Free Talk Tonight with CHEW — Potatoes Will Save Humanity

Tonight, the institute director, Scott Johnson, will be giving a talk to the Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin (CHEW). CHEW is a group that sponsors monthly talks on a variety of food-related topics, complete with matching foods to sample. They’re a great group and if you’re in the Madison, WI, area, consider finding out more about attending their meetings. Tonight will be their first virtual talk since the pandemic has stopped their in-person meetings.

From their website:

“How Potatoes Will Save Humanity”

Presented by Scott Johnson

Wednesday, May 6, 2020, 6:30 pm

Online Meeting via Zoom (scroll down for more info)

Potatoes were the staple of Andean civilizations and remain unique among global staples today, since wheat, corn, and rice are essentially types of grass seeds. Potatoes grow in varied conditions and soils, and they provide largely complete nutrition. They need no specialized equipment or skill to grow, store and propagate. Potatoes were the staple of the past, but they’re also vital for our future. This talk will cover the domestication of potatoes, their spread across the world and the Irish Potato Famine. We’ll also explore the potato’s role in the future of sustainable local agriculture and food security, including a look at a study by the Low Technology Institute with market gardeners in southern Wisconsin.

Scott Johnson is the founder and director of the Low Technology Institute in the historic village of Cooksville, WI. He followed an interest in the ancient world into a Ph.D. in anthropology (Tulane University, 2012), focusing on archaeology. He’s taught at universities across the US and Canada and led international field projects funded by the National Science Foundation and National Geographic Society. He is also the author of several books, including Translating Maya Hieroglyphs and Why Did Ancient Civilizations Fail?).

For security purposes, we are making the May 6 Zoom presentation available only to CHEW members and folks on our e-newsletter mailing list. For details about accessing the meeting, see the upcoming May issue of CHEW’sletter, which will be out be out in late April.

To get access to tonight’s talk, you’ll have to sign up for their newsletter here.


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