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June 29, 2018

Podcast: The fat of the land

By Jonn Elledge

This week, we’re going back to basics, and ignoring cities to talk about farms.

Dr Sarah Taber is a North Carolina-based crop scientist who recently went viral. In a lengthy thread posted to Twitter, she explained why civilisations in different parts of the world developed entirely different diets: the short version is that wet regions developed low-meat diets, while dry regions developed high-meat diets. She went on to explain why cows are a useful source of food in those dryer regions, and also how much water you’d need to farm them.

Being me, I found all this fascinating, so I invited her to talk to me about it, down an occasionally dodgy Skype connection from a Chicago hotel room. She promised to explain “crops, soil and cows” – but also managed to cover the history of American farming, and the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, too. Makes a change from trains, doesn’t it?

The episode itself is below. You can subscribe to the podcast on AcastiTunes, or RSS. Enjoy.

Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter as @jonnelledge and on Facebook as JonnElledgeWrites.

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