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Science in Your Shopping Cart - The Podcast

Did you know that the popular Roma tomato was actually developed by ARS scientists in Beltsville, MD? Or that ARS technology has helped reduce the use of pesticides on apples and other fruits? Or that ARS researchers are turning waste after harvest into fuels and other products? Check out our new podcast series, Science in Your Shopping Cart, and learn how science touches many of the products we buy at the grocery store, from new varieties of fruits and vegetables to technological advances that make our food safer, cheaper, and tastier.

Listen to the Latest Podcast

Cotton bolls

Season 5: Wonder Plants
Part 4: Super Cotton

ARS scientists are turning nano fibers from cotton plants into mask filters, wound dressings, and other medical applications.

 

Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

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Season 1: Spinach, Tomatoes and Potatoes: What Do They All Have in Common?

We know that all three are vegetables, or two vegetables and a fruit if you will, but would you be surprised to find out that ARS researchers developed its own varieties of tomatoes, potatoes, and spinach?

Take a virtual trip with us to Italy, Idaho, and California and learn about the Roma tomato, red spinach and Huckleberry Gold potato.

 

Listen now on: (14 min. 18 sec.) Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, YouTube, mp3, and more.

Don't have time to listen to the entire podcast? Explore the individual segments below.

 

Roma tomatoes

Season 1: Spinach, Tomatoes, & Potatoes
Episode 1: Tomatoes

Where was the Roma tomato developed? Rome? Nope, the answer may surprise you. Learn this and more interesting facts about the Roma tomato.

 Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

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Season 1: Spinach, Tomatoes, & Potatoes 
Episode 2: Potatoes

"I’m your huckleberry." Learn about the origins of the Huckleberry Gold potato and other interesting facts about potatoes.

 Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

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D4224 1Spinach image

Season 1: Spinach, Tomatoes, & Potatoes
Episode 3: Spinach

Making Popeye proud. ARS recently released the world’s first true red spinach, called “USDA Red”. Learn about the benefits this new powerful vegetable provides to consumers.

Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

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Season 2: Apples: Get Crunchin'

Apples are as American as apple pie. Let's look at some cool innovations and research that ARS scientists are conducting to ensure those apples in your shopping cart are fresh, tasty, cost-friendly, and high quality.

Listen now on: (14 min. 18 sec.) Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, YouTube, mp3, and more.

Don't have time to listen to the entire podcast? Explore the individual segments below.

 

 

Scientist looking at apples in an orchard

Season 2: Apples: Get Crunchin' 
Episode 1: Apple Rootstocks

Did you know that the apple you're eating right now probably came from a rootstock developed by ARS? Our scientists are breeding new rootstocks that are more resistant to pests and diseases, that bear more delicious fruit, and are more ideal for apple growers to pick and prune.

Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

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Scientists using an apple sorting machine

 

Season 2: Apples: Get Crunchin' 
Episode 2: Apple Sorting Machine

ARS researchers have developed an in-field apple sorting machine that not only improves apple picking efficiency, but also scans and grades apples. Think of it as a 21st century solution to apple picking and harvesting.

Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

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Sprayer machine in apple orchard

Season 2: Apples: Get Crunchin' 
Episode 3: Precision Sprayer

ARS researchers have developed an in-field apple sorting machine that not only improves apple picking efficiency, but also scans and grades apples. Think of it as a 21st century solution to apple picking and harvesting.

Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

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Applesnackbreak image

Season 2: Apples: Get Crunchin' 
Episode 4: Snack Break

Ready for a snack break? Then sink your teeth into this apple trivia. You'll finally be able to answer the question, "What does a 200-year old apple tree and a train have in common?"

Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

 

Apple orchard

Season 2: Apples: Get Crunchin'
Episode 5: Mysterious Disease

Apple growers have a mystery on their hands. Something is killing popular dwarf apple trees, but researchers are unsure if the cause is environmental, viral, soil-based, or something else. ARS scientists are on the case!

Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

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Season 2: Apples: Get Crunchin'
Episode 6: Rapid Breeding

The apple industry is a highly impactful business for the U.S. Growers are always looking for new varieties that are not only tasty but more resistant to disease outbreaks and environmental stressors that can severely reduce apple production. However, developing new varieties can take decades before they appear in your grocery market. ARS researchers have developed rapid breeding techniques to drastically speed up the process, bringing those new varieties of apples to your shopping cart much sooner than before.

Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

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Season 3: Biomass

Learn about innovations and research that ARS scientists are conducting to turn farm waste, called biomass, into environmentally friendly products.

Listen now on: (19 min. 22 sec.) Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, mp3, and more.

Don't have time to listen to the entire podcast? Explore the individual segments below.

 

Almond image

 

Season 3: Biomass 
Episode 1: Pallets From Almond Shells

Learn about innovations and research that ARS scientists are conducting to turn farm waste, called biomass, into environmentally friendly products.

Did you know that ARS researchers in Albany, California, have created pallets out of biomass, specifically, discarded, low value almond and walnut shells? Listen to our podcast to learn more.

Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

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Cotton trash

Season 3: Biomass 
Episode 2: Polymers Out of Cotton Gin Trash

ARS is helping the environment by developing biodegradable plastics comprised of biomass, in this case cotton gin trash.  

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Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

 

Season 3: Biomass 
Episode 3: Breaktime

Before we get to our next biomass story, let's take a break and look at other ARS discoveries that could benefit our ecosystem.

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Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, and more.
 

 

Biomass image

Season 3: Biomass 
Episode 4: Bioproducts From Corn Waste

 

Corn is used to produce many products resulting in millions of pounds of waste but even byproducts of corn can be turned into bioproducts.

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Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, and more.


 

Season 4: Berries

 

Love eating berries? Berries are healthy and nutritional powerhouses that taste delicious whether fresh, frozen, dried, or processed. Did you know there is a very good chance that some of the berries you eat can be traced back to varieties developed by ARS scientists?

In this five part podcast series, "Berries", we'll explore four types of berries—blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries—and ARS's role in developing new varieties.

 

Season 4: Berries
Episode 1: Blueberries

Learn how a USDA breeding program was responsible for the development of the blueberry growing industry in the southeastern United States and how ARS scientists have developed and are continuing to work with farmers to create new cultivars of blueberries that we all get to enjoy. 

Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

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Season 4: Berries
Episode 2: Blackberries and Raspberries

ARS scientists created a thornless blackberry plant along with many new varieties of blackberries for the agricultural industry and a trellis system designed to protect and help pickers harvest blackberries. ARS scientists are also working with the individually quick-frozen industry to pack the great taste of raspberries into your cool treats.

Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

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Season 4: Berries
Episode 3: Break Time

Thinking about growing berries at home? Check out the podcast to learn what types of nutritious, sweet-tasting berries you can plant in your own backyard.

Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

 

Strawberries growing on a vine

 

Season 4: Berries
Episode 4: Strawberries

Check out the 'Keepsake' strawberry which resulted from research efforts to develop strawberries with improved shelf life and learn how new strawberry cultivars are created.

Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

 

 


Azeleas and green shrubs at the U.S. National Arboretum

Season 5: Wonder Plants

In this season of Science In Your Shopping Cart we take a tour of some super human plants that we use in our everyday lives to help feed and protect us.

Season 5: Wonder Plants
Episode 1: U.S. National Arboretum

Check out some of these amazing wonder plants at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, DC.

 

Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

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Plasticcontainers image

Season 5: Wonder Plants
Episode 2: One Time Use Containers

Plastic containers are everywhere. Products like toothpaste, shampoo, condiments, carryout containers, and even water nearly always come in packaging that we use once then throw away and can last hundreds of years in a landfill. ARS scientists are turning plant fibers in to single-use containers to one day replace non-biodegradable plastic containers.

 

Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

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Guayule image

Season 5: Wonder Plants
Episode 3: Taking the Guayule Plant for a Test Drive

Rubber is a substance usually made from petroleum or from the Asian rubber tree plant. But rubber can also be produced from a plant called guayule. Learn about this amazing desert loving plant and how it's used in a 100% guayule tire!

 

Listen now on: Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

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To learn even more, check out our "Science in Your Shopping Cart" factsheets to discover more ARS research sitting in your shopping cart!