The Food Chain

The problem with wheat

The Food Chain

Wheat is one of the most important grains worldwide: you’ll find it in bread, biscuits, pasta, sauces, sweets and more besides. Indeed, take wheat products off supermarket shelves and they would look rather bare. But recent global events – not least the war in Ukraine - have caused crop prices to soar. Ruth Alexander charts how a humble grass grown in the Fertile Crescent became a commodity traded worldwide, and she explores whether we have become too reliant on this “mega crop” for our food supplies – and what alternatives there might be. She talks to Cathy Zabinski, professor of plant and soil ecology at Montana State University, US; Frank Uekotter, professor of environmental humanities at the University of Birmingham, UK; and Augustine Sensie Bangura, CEO of Sierra Agri Foods, Sierra Leone. If you would like to get in touch with the show, please email: [email protected] (Picture: An ear of wheat blowing in the wind. Credit: Getty Images/BBC)

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