Category Archives: Podcasts

Check out these audio interviews with people working on the forefront of food systems innovations. More

Getting graduates agricultural experience in Malawi: an Interview with Sera Gondwe

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Sera Gondwe is a faculty member at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources. In November of 2016, Sera and her team launched a 6 months experiential learning program with graduates from LUANAR’s Agribusiness Management bachelors program. In this interview, Sera tells us more about the pilot.

Listen here.

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Teaching a sweet potato self-defense

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By Max Johnston

Here in the states we like our sweet potatoes fried, sweetened and tater-totted. But the nutritious sweet potato is more than just a side dish. Sweet potato is also a cheap and resilient crop.

While it’s a popular food here, it can be a livelihood for low-income farmers. Especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

But there’s a small problem, or should I say a big problem in a small package. We may enjoy sweet potatoes, but so does the weevil–a small brown beetle that resembles an ant.

Listen to this story here.

Brooke Bissinger is an entomologist at AgBiome, a biotech company in North Carolina. She says the weevil loves the taste of sweet potato.

“Weevil is the most devastating pest to the sweet potato worldwide,” Bissinger said.

Bissinger says the weevil likes to eat and live in sweet potatoes. But in the process, they ruin them for everyone else. Continue reading Teaching a sweet potato self-defense

Communicating research: Malawi journalist interviews one from the U.S.

By Max Johnston

Stanley Kadzuwa, a reporter with the Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) FM Radio, recently interviewed David Poulson, senior associate director of the Knight Center and professor of journalism at Michigan State University.

Kadzuwa participated in a workshop put on by Poulson and Amol Pavangadkar, director of Sandbox Studios and a senior specialist with the Media Information Department at MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

Listen to the interview here.

Poulson discussed communicating research through journalism, the differences between Malawi and Michigan, and some stories from the training tour.

MIJ FM Radio has operated for over 15 years and airs programs throughout Malawi’s three regions.

This broadcast is from part of The Knight Center for Environmental Journalism’s two-continent, three-country training tour. We’re sharing stories that we’ve received through our global partnerships.

For more information on The Knight Center’s tour and partnerships, read more here.

Global Partnership Series: More productive goats

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Rhoda Msiska

As part of The Knight Center for Environmental Journalism’s two-continent, three-country training tour, we’re sharing stories that we’ve received through our global partnerships.

This story on increasing the population of goats in Malawi was produced by Rhoda Msiska from the Voice of Livingstonia.

Listen here.

Researchers in Malawi are trying to make healthier goats. Innovations in goat productivity could potentially boost goat populations from 8 million to 50 million in Malawi alone.

Voice of Livingstonia is a radio station operated in the Northern Region of Malawi, and reaches over 4 million listeners.

For more information on The Knight Center’s tour and partnerships, check out our WordPress: https://msufoodfix.wordpress.com/2017/08/20/bridging-food-scientists-and-journalists-with-communications-training/#more-1596

Fixing food labeling to end world hunger

By Max Johnston

Today’s idea to make the world less hungry is to regulate and standardize the date labels on our food.

If you wander through your local grocery store, you’re likely to see a lot of ‘labels’ with dates preceded by a warning of sorts.

“Best if used by,” this date, “sell by,” that date, “use by”…this date.

These labels can have different meanings, some are for freshness, others are for quality, but all these labels do have one thing in common: they’re confusing.

The nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimates that 20% of food waste that occurs at home, stems from confusion over what these labels mean.

In other words, people are throwing away good food, because they think that if it’s past the “best if used by” date, it’s spoiled. That isn’t the case.

In this episode, you’ll hear about why these labels are causing food waste, and past and future legislation to simplify food labels.

Listen here