History Talk from Origins

Leticia Wiggins and Patrick Potyondy

Smart conversations about today’s most interesting topics - a history podcast for everyone, produced by Ohio State's Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective.

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Origins Podcast
9:00 am
Thu December 15, 2011

Conserving Diversity at the Dinner Table: Plants, Food Security and Gene Banks

In the last fifty years, global agricultural practices have favored growing ever fewer varieties of high-yielding crops, leading to fears that the loss of genetic diversity in food leaves the growing human population exposed to risks of food shortages.

With the ongoing East African drought crisis, the persisting threat of global climate change, and the world population now estimated at 7 billion, global concerns about food insecurity are again in the news. Little mentioned, however, is the continuing loss of genetic diversity of the foods we eat today—a trend that has rapidly accelerated since the twentieth century and that raises troubling questions about the vulnerability of the world’s food supply.

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Business & Technology
8:00 am
Tue November 15, 2011

Down and Out (Again): America's Long Struggle with Mass Unemployment

FEMA photo by Michael Raphael
Hundreds of people who lost jobs when freezing weather hit California in January 2007 line up to register for the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

1857, the 1870s, the 1890s, 1907, 1914, 1919, 1921: The United States faced widespread joblessness in all of these years, well before the Great Depression, not to mention today's Great Recession. As legislators in Washington prepare to debate another round of stimulus spending, and as unemployment reaches record highs, historian Daniel Amsterdam looks back at how the United States has tackled major spikes in unemployment throughout its history and how American efforts have compared with those of other countries.

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