A Biofortified Podcast?

For the second week in a row on my radio show on WSUM in Madison, I talked about plant genetics. Not that I’m trying to bore a general audience by discussing this topic over and over again, it’s just not every fortnight that you get to go to Berkeley to grub and elbow-rub with Michael Pollan. So naturally, I invited Anastasia on to the show for a half-hour discussion about blogging about plant genetics, our weekend in the Bay Area, Dinner with Michael, and we also talked about his new book, Food Rules. If you happened to listen to the mp3 I put up from our conversation at the Maize Genetics Conference, and you care to compare how we sound talking about genetic engineering 11 months later, I have just uploaded it to Inoculated Media, feel free to hop on over there to punch up the audio. The interview begins at 18:30 into the program.
One of the things that we discovered while kicking around my place of origin is that we could very easily keep talking about GE crops and related issues until our voices ran out. We covered a lot of ground and have since thought that it would be nice to share some of those thoughts in more ways than just through written paragraphs. We recorded a video conversation right after we got back to my folk’s place from Chez Panisse, which I should have edited pretty soon, for example, and then there’s also the interview for my radio show. But we would like to do more. What do y’all think about a Biofortified podcast?
Our idea is to record a conversation once a month to talk about recent issues, thoughts we’ve had, and we could also add interviews to it. For instance, the Executive Director of the Non-GMO Project, Megan Westgate, has already agreed to record an audio interview with me for the blog, and we could put that in there. I have enough recording equipment at home to be able to include up to three different locations in a recorded conversation: one phone line, one skype, and a couple local microphones. So we could also rotate through other blog contributors who might like to chat over the phone, and there are ways for readers/listeners to contribute audio quotes and questions which we could try down the road.
Would you listen to it? What would you like to hear on it? Chat about recent issues not covered on the blog, or find general topics to discuss?
What should we call it?
And what kind of music just says Biofortified all over it?
There are three weeks left to the month, I bet we could figure this out before the first episode at the beginning of March!

[Later edited to add image awesomeness]

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Written by Karl Haro von Mogel

Karl Haro von Mogel serves as BFI’s Director of Science and Media and as Co-Executive Editor of the Biofortified Blog. He has a PhD in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from UW-Madison with a minor in Life Sciences Communication. He is a Postdoctoral Scholar at UC Riverside and works on Citrus genetics.

4 comments

  1. Personally, I’d be most interested in a “topical” show rather than interviews (“current events” counts as “topical” in this context).
    My personal interests tend to revolve around what I like to call “intentional food microbiology” (food fermentation, industrial microbiology, etc. rather than “keeping E.coli off my spinach”), so including topics regarding e.g. recombinant microbes in food fermentation or production (e.g. citric acid) would particularly interest me.
    Therefore, if you occasionally include a topic in that range somewhere you’ll have at least one listener…
    (Applied biotechnology in general interests me as well).

  2. Thanks for the input – we could probably end up talking about related – but intersecting – topics such as stuff about agriculture, food, genetic engineering not with plants, etc. For example, there’s the genetically-engineered rennet enzymes that are used in cheese – that sounds like one thing to talk about. Then there’s brewer’s yeast genetically engineered to produce resveratrol like in red wine…!
    Plus one of these days I’m going to do some research on genetic engineering and honeybees, it would also be an interesting topic too.

  3. I don’t professionally work in food microbiology (at this time), so for the moment I have to content myself with doing Hillbilly Biotech at home. My dream of making “GloGurt™” with engineered lactic-acid bacteria will have to wait, I fear, but I’m hoping to do some bioprospecting for acetic acid bacteria among the local flora when the flowers start blooming in the next month or so.
    Full Disclosure: I also have occasional delusions of becoming a Famous Internet Radio Personality, if I can get more time for regular updates and acquire more than “nearly 3” listeners…

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