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Something to Chew On - Global Food Systems at Kansas State University

Our lives are frequently and significantly affected by food. Because we must eat to survive, many human cultures have developed with food at their very core. Through prosperous times and depression what we eat has influenced art, music, science, relationships, and more. In this fast-paced world, we often don’t take the time to consider how food gets to our plates, the importance of what and how that food is produced and the aesthetics of food requirements and food enjoyment. Often, seemingly o… Continue Reading >>
Our lives are frequently and significantly affected by food. Because we must eat to survive, many human cultures have developed with food at their very core. Through prosperous times and depression what we eat has influenced art, music, science, relationships, and more. In this fast-paced world, we often don’t take the time to consider how food gets to our plates, the importance of what and how that food is produced and the aesthetics of food requirements and food enjoyment. Often, seemingly obscure or unrelated aspects of life circle their way back to food. The goal of this podcast is to explore the complexity and nuance of the global food system, celebrate the progress we have made, and debate the best ways for humans to proceed forward into the future. Join Scott and Jay as they informally discuss these points with various contributors from Kansas State University and abroad.


To reach the Global Food Systems staff, email research@k-state.edu << Show Less
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Anaerobic microorganisms importance within agricultural systems In this podcast, we talk with Prathap Parameswaran, associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at K-State. Parameswaran’s research focuses on the use of anaerobic microorganisms in a continuous system that produces energy and isolates materials that might be used to increase soil nutrients and more. Parameswaran discusses his approach to combating water contamination and its importance within agricultural systems.
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Anaerobic microorganisms importance within agricultural systems In this podcast, we talk with Prathap Parameswaran, associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at K-State. Parameswaran’s research focuses on the use of anaerobic microorganisms in a continuous system that produces energy and isolates materials that might be used to increase soil nutrients and more. Parameswaran discusses his approach to combating water contamination and its importance within agricultural systems.
The Microbiome: A discussion of life as we know it In this podcast, we talk with Sonny Lee, assistant professor in the Division of Biology at K-State. Lee’s work touches on many areas of microbiome research and casts a wide net in laboratory studies, mining data from peers to aid in complex evaluations, and working with students and colleagues capable of critical thinking and problem solving. Lee discusses how we are in the infancy of understanding how organisms impact our health, a plant's ability to grow and everything dealing with life as we know it.
Diversity is the key to Sustainability; Challenges and opportunities in the field of Weed Science Listen to our first podcast of 2022, where we discuss weed management techniques, old and new, and the tools being developed to achieve food crop yield optimization with Vipan Kumar, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Agronomy at Kansas State University. Weeds can reduce food crop yields by more than 30%.  In this podcast, Kumar discusses the ways in which this problem might be solved when the need for food production will continue to increase, and the challenges caused by climate change create a moving target.   Transcript: “Diversity is the key to Sustainability; Challenges and opportunities in the field of Weed Science”.      Diversity is the key for sustainability. You keep doing one thing again and again you will see a problem that we have seen in our herbicide based methods or weed control.   Something to chew on is a podcast devoted to the exploration and discussion of global food systems. It's produced by the Office of Research Development at Kansas State University. I'm Maureen Olewnik, coordinator of Global Food Systems. We welcome back co host Dr. Jim Stack Professor of Plant Pathology, weeds can reduce food crop yields by more than 30%. These interlopers compete for resources including soil nutrients and water. We attempt to control weed growth through chemistry, but over time they manage to mutate, overcome, thrive, and adjust to given management techniques. So how is this problem solved when the need for food production will continue to increase and the challenges caused by climate change create a moving target. Today, we will hear more about weed management techniques old and new. And the tools being developed to achieve food crop yield optimization with Dr. Vipan Kumar, Assistant Professor in the Department of Agronomy at Kansas State University, I want to welcome you Vipan would like to before we get started in the technical side of things, just get a little background and understanding of who you are and how you got to the place that you are today as far as your professional interests go.   Sure, So my name is Vipin Kumar, I'm originally from India. I did my bachelor in crop science, but finished in 2008 from Punjab Agricultural University back in India, in the state of Punjab, it's a Northwestern State in India, mainly known for wheat production and rice production. And it's very big in ag, Punjab state. So, my original goal was to help communities there, especially the farming communities to management practices they are doing so I did my bachelor there. And then I started my master actually mastering Weed Science in Pau 2008, fall 2008. But somehow I was also interested to come abroad and expand my education here in the States. So I was looking through some programs and during that time, I got to know there is a master positions open in Louisiana State. So I I applied there and I got invited and came over 2009 That was summer 2009 started my graduate research assistant with LSU, Louisiana State, Louisiana State University. So that program was specifically looking for someone who can help growers in terms of managing their irrigation water irrigation scheduling, developing some crop coefficients for the cotton prop in North East side of Louisiana. So I was based in actually a research center. It was in North East Louisiana, about five, four or five hours from the main campus Baton Rouge. So my whole research was on resource center and I got to know very few people there but I had a very excellent project to work with. So during that time, I was doing a master I got interested in Weed Science because wonderful. One of my committee member was a weed scientist. He was the superintendent with the research center and he was on my committee and glyphosate resistant Palmer Amaranth was kinda getting a lot of attention during that time in codon. So during that conversation and meeting with his students, I got interested in wheat science. So finishing master and then I started applying for PhD program. So I think during that time, there was not a whole lot of opportunity because of the economic constraints, but I found one position in Montana State University 2011 So I started my PhD 2011 in Montana State University, Bozeman, the whole my dissertation research was focused on herbicide resistant weeds, mainly Tumbleweed Kosha, looking at, you know, characterizing herbicide resistance evolution, how we can manage in terms of what strategies growers can use to control herbicide resistant Kosha in Different cropping systems. So, that was for four years I spent there and then just immediately after finishing my PhD, I started my postdoc there and two year postdoc in the same program in Montana State. So 2017 I got here at K State got this position, where I am in his as an
The Many Paths of Pathogens with Dr. Philip Hardwidge, associate director of the Center on Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases In this episode, we host Dr. Philip Hardwidge, associate director of the Center on Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology at Kansas State University. Dr. Hardwidge’s research focuses on understanding, treating and preventing diarrheal disease caused by bacterial pathogens. These pathogens represent important threats to food safety, biosecurity and animal health. His research team is tackling the fundamentals of biochemical interactions, leading to a better understanding of mitigation methods.
Special episode: Safe Food Today for a Healthy Tomorrow In celebration of World Food Safety Day, this week we are joined by faculty from The Department of Animal Science and Industry at Kansas State University: Dr. Carla Luisa Schwan, postdoctoral fellow; Dr. Jessie Vipham, assistant professor; Dr. Randall Phebus, professor; and Dr. Sara Gragg, associate professor. World Food Safety Day aims to draw attention to foodborne risks and inspire action to prevent, detect and manage risks. This important work contributes to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development. The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations jointly facilitate the observance of World Food Safety Day, in collaboration with Member States and other relevant organizations. This international day is an opportunity to strengthen efforts to ensure that the food we eat is safe, mainstream food safety in the public agenda and reduce the burden of foodborne diseases globally.
Understanding and Controlling the Contamination of Meat Products In this episode, we host Dr. Sara Gragg - Associate Professor of Food Science in the department of Animal Sciences and Industry. The study of E-coli along with Salmonella and other toxin producing pathogens has been a major focus of researchers at Kansas State University for many years. Her research program investigates pre-harvest and post-harvest issues affecting the meat and produce industries, with specific interests addressing the manner by which pathogens contaminate food products and the application of interventions to prevent and/or reduce pathogen presence. The question of where that contamination occurs and how the organisms enter into meats to be consumed continue to be investigated.  She has shared her expertise with fellow researchers on various platforms presenting the topic of food safety and studying processes in food safety and microbiology.
A New Frontier with Dr. Justin Kastner, associate professor of diagnostic medicine/pathobiology In this podcast, we talk with Dr. Justin Kastner, associate professor in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University. Kastner co-directs the interdisciplinary Frontier program, which is focused on crossing disciplinary borders, and overseeing scholarly activities for several academic units. Since food production, shipping and trade are all managed through regulation and international policy agreements, students in Kastner’s courses benefit from his experience in international trade policy at the World Trade Organization in Geneva.
Robotics + Ag with Dr. Dan Flippo, biological and agricultural engineering How do we plan to feed 9.8 billion people by 2050? Increasing the availability of sustainable, arable land through the use of modern robotics could help to expand food production, and reduce the need for destruction of forested land.   In this episode of our podcast, we talk with Dr. Dan Flippo, Patrick Wilburn Keystone Research Scholar in biological and agricultural engineering at Kansas State University, about the work he is doing to mesh state-of-the-art robotic technology with food production to move toward sustainably feeding the world past 2050.
Safe and secure with Dr. Stephen Higgs, university distinguished professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology In this episode, we welcome Dr. Stephen Higgs, university distinguished professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at Kansas State University. On this episode, Dr. Higgs discusses interdisciplinary biosecurity research programs, agrosecurity and collaborative research. Higgs, who is director of the Biosecurity Research Institute, or BRI, also highlights the role the BRI will play in transitioning work to the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, adjacent to the K-State campus. Dr. Higgs’ research is focused on mosquito-related viral spread, but through his oversight of the BRI, he has expanded to the areas of food safety and security, plant and animal disease and zoonotic disease.
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