At the dawn of the agricultural revolution, humans began to tinker with our seeds. Over millennia, we’ve managed to breed plants for selective traits and grow more food. As certain crops now dominate our agricultural fields, what will happen to all of those original seeds – and their genetic information – that were used to create our modern food system? We travel to the extreme northern latitudes and visit the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to see how they are trying to curate our changing seeds. In our second story, we see that humans aren’t the only force that tinkers with seeds. With climate change, certain crops might adapt their own biology to warmer conditions. Cassava, a major food staple worldwide that feeds over one billion people, has already shown the potential to adapt in a strange way – by producing more cyanide. We speak with biologist Ros Gleadow to explore the complex relationship with climate change and the changing biology of cassava.
Guests: Ola Westengen, Ros Gleadow. Interviewers: Leslie Chang, Michael Osborne, Miles Traer. Producers: Michael Osborne, Miles Traer, and Leslie Chang.