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Community / Public space

Podcast: The fat of the land

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.

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

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