Protecting the Global Food Chain

A quarter of the calories that feed the planet come from wheat. It’s going to take a lot more wheat to feed the world as its population moves toward 9 billion.

But keeping that vast hunger fed is a constant race against pathogens that can wipe out a harvest, climate change that can strangle a crop.

It takes non-stop breeding and new hybrids. Breeding that can depend on some very old and out-of-the-way strains. On seeds you’d never think of. In the most exotic locations. Seeds that keep your family fed.

This hour, On Point: the staff of life, and the wild story of how bread stays on your table.


Joining us in our studio is Susan Dworkin, author of “The Viking in the Wheat Field: A Scientist’s Struggle to Preserve the World’s Harvest.”

Read an excerpt from the book.

And from Ithaca, N.Y., we’re joined by Per Pinstrup-Andersen, professor of food, nutrition and public policy at Cornell University. He won the World Food Prize in 2001.

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