6 October 2022

Kew’s critically-acclaimed podcast returns!

Our new podcast series 'Unearthed: Journeys into the future of food' reveals how science is helping futureproof what we eat.

By Grace Brewer

Logo for Kew podcast Unearthed: Journeys into the future of food

Out today, our new podcast series Unearthed: Journeys into the future of food looks at the state of our failing food systems and shows how Kew and partners are working to overcome some of the biggest food challenges we face globally.

Join presenters Advolly Richmond, Garden Historian; James Wong, Ethnobotanist and TV presenter; and Poppy Okocha, Ecological Food Grower for a seven-part series digging into how our relationship with food is problematic and offering some critical solutions to the blockages.

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Hear from our presenters

Talking on the series, Advolly Richmond says, 'Food systems are failing: We are producing limited numbers of crops that in turn limit our nutrition and are vulnerable to being wiped out altogether. Industrial-scale farming practices have weakened our soils, climate change is ravaging landscapes and traditional livelihoods. Plus, global supply-chains can conceal dark secrets.'

Poppy Okocha adds, 'Meanwhile, we’re wasting vast amounts of food in some places, whilst in other places people are starving. The way things stand, we’re on track for a future where the world is hungry, the planet is spent and our health and diets fail us.'

James Wong concludes, 'In this series, we show how we can use plant science, technology, traditional practices and history to inform and change our behaviour today to change the fate of our food crises it will reveal how you, your shopping basket, and global science will save the world.'

What can we do to help?

Whilst the facts are worrying, Kew is helping to futureproof food security for generations to come.

In this podcast series, we will hear about how our scientists and partners are conserving endangered plant species and researching sustainable alternatives to support biodiversity, lives and livelihoods.

We also reveal our work enhancing agrobiodiversity and reinforcing forest conservation, as well as funding projects which are seeking out plants that provide better nutrition and security for people around the world.

The daily food choices we all make can play a part in supporting social and cultural change globally and Unearthed: Journeys into the future of food reveals how.

What to expect from series two

Episodes 1 and 2 are now available on your favourite podcast platform.

Episode 1: We have a problem — Thursday 6 October

In this first episode, we explore the history of our relationship with food and how it’s led to harmful modern-day production and consumption practices that are forcing our favourite foods to extinction.

Episode 2: Food security, supply and waste — Thursday 6 October

Episode two unearths what you can do at home, versus what big business and supermarket giants are doing to make sure our food choices are transparent and production is fair and sustainable.

Episode 3: Biodiversity loss and food — Thursday 20 October

In episode three, we travel from the mountains of Sierra Leone to our Millennium Seed Bank in West Sussex, exploring how Kew scientists and partners around the world are working to conserve food species before it’s too late.

Episode 4: Agriculture and livelihoods — Thursday 3 November

This time, we're looking at our relationship with growing and producing foods around the world, hearing about a sustainable coffee brand, Kew's work in Madagascar supporting local livelihoods; and a regenerative farming approach in Chile.

Episode 5: Future foods — Thursday 17 November

This episode looks at what actions we need to take today, to secure nutritious and disease-resilient food in the future. You'll also hear some top tips for home growers looking for inspiration.

Episode 6: How should we be growing — Thursday 1 December

In our penultimate episode, we bring it back to our relationship with growing and producing food. How do we mend the problems in that relationship and still make sure we have plenty of healthy, affordable and sustainable food for everyone?

Episode 7: Food health and wellbeing in daily life — Thursday 15 December

In our final episode of the series, we look at how our medicines and health connect with what we eat and how we can transform our own dining and cooking habits for a more sustainable planet. 

Two men sitting in the Palm House speaking into microphones
Unearthed guests Alex Antonelli and Ajay Chhabra © RBG Kew
Two people standing outside the Kew's Pal House speaking into microphones
Unearthed Presenter Poppy Okocha and guest Jeremy Torz © RBG Kew

Featuring a myriad of special guests

Throughout the series, we'll hear from artists, thinkers, chefs and plant scientists, together sharing insights, ideas and inspirational actions to help secure healthy, sustainable diets for the future of our people and planet.

Keep your ears peeled for thought-provoking discussions with the likes of Judith Batchelar, former Director of Sainsbury’s and RBG Kew Trustee; Dan Saladino, Journalist and Author of Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods & Why We Need to Save Them; and Max La Manna, Low-waste Food Chef.

Not to mention a healthy mix of Kew experts speaking to their science and conservation work into the potential uses of plants and fungi for human health and well-being; the future of wild plant species; the importance of plant diversity for local economies; improving crop resilience and adaptation to the climate crisis, and much, much more.

Two people crouching down observing plants in Edible Science: Kew's Kitchen Garden
Unearthed presenter James Wong and guest Helena Dove © RBG Kew

Subscribe to our channel on SpotifyApple or other platforms to get the latest episode as it drops.

Follow for updates throughout the series on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. And join the conversation on social media using #KewUnearthed

Logo for Kew podcast Unearthed: Journeys into the future of food

Unearthed: Journeys into the future of food

Join presenters James Wong, Advolly Richmond and Poppy Okocha to explore how our relationship with food is impacting the health of the planet.

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