Episode 128: Our Chemical Landscape – The Farm


A perfectly pastoral farm. Image courtesy of Flickr user chefranden.

In honor of the International Year of Chemistry, Distillations is airing a four-part series Our Chemical Landscape. These shows look at how science has shaped the city, the suburb, the farm, and the wild. Today's episode is about the farm, and how crop production has evolved in response to exploding global population growth. First we learn about the gruesome pursuit of guano—a powerful natural fertilizer—in the 19th century. And next, producer Julia Botero visits a Louisiana farm to investigate the impact of the EU's ban on genetically modified crops.

Show Clock

00:00 Opening Credits
00:32 Introduction
01:49 History of The Farm: Guano
06:11 Future of The Farm: Genetically Modified Crops
14:43 Closing Credits


Special thanks to Jennifer Dionisio for researching this show. 

Our Chemical Landscape is part of CHF’s Thanks to Chemistry project, sponsored by BASF Corporation,  The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, DuPont, and ExxonMobil.

Our theme music is composed by Dave Kaufman. Additional music from DeWolfe Music. Additional music includes "Changing Ways," by Glyn M Owen, "Possibilities," by Colin Kiddy, and "Ecology," by Ian Boddy.

Image courtesy of Flickr user chefranden.

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