Welcome to the Track & Food podcast. Host Jamie Mah is a writer, bartender and sommelier in beautiful Vancouver, BC. With co-host Mickey McLeod, they take regular deep dives into everything food and culture in the city and around the globe.
I’ve been lucky enough to have interviewed some truly brilliant individuals in the past, especially those who’ve written timely and insightful books. As a bookworm at heart, I just love delving into these stories and piecing them out. My interview with BBC Radio food journalist, Dan Saladino, is no exception.
His new book (which is receiving glowing reviews) tells a personal narrative of the diversity of food we risk losing if we’re not careful. In Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them, Saladino takes you on a global journey from Tanzania to Australia, to Colorado and the Faroe Islands. Along the way, we learn about the precariousness of kavilca wheat in Turkey, the importance of the Tian Shan forests in Kazakhstan for apple diversity, and the sheer will of Atlantic salmon when returning to their place of origin to spawn. Each story is meticulously researched, with Saladino occasionally offering up his own empathetic and curious viewpoint. This book is not only an important work for our time, but an enjoyable ride through our past and present food ecosystems.
In this interview, Dan digs into the nitty gritty of things in detail. I’m confident you’ll come away with a fuller understanding of our food biodiversity but more importantly, a hungry desire to grab a copy of Eating to Extinction to sink your teeth into.
Dan Saladino is a renowned food journalist who has worked at the BBC for twenty-five years. For more than a decade he has traveled the world recording stories of foods at risk of extinction — from cheeses made in the foothills of a remote Balkan mountain range to unique varieties of rice grown in southern China. His work has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation, the Guild of Food Writers, and the Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards.