Herbs And Herbal Drinks, How To Feed 9 Billion People

Air Date:
Heard On Central Time

With the human population on the rise, there are serious concerns over the long-term sustainability of the world’s food supply. Veronica Rueckert and Rob Ferrett look at efforts to ensure food for all, without destroying the environment. They also talk with an urban gardener about how to grow and use herbs in your own home.

Featured in this Show

  • Advocate Offers Tips On Making The Most Of Garden Herbs

    Venice Williams is passionate about herbs.

    As the executive director of Alice’s Garden, a two-acre, urban, community garden in Milwaukee, growing food is a natural enthusiasm for Williams, but with applications that she said can heal, freshen and flavor, herbs hold a special place in her heart.

    One of Williams’ favorites is lemon balm.

    “Lemon balm is the go-to herb for me when it comes to digestive issues,” she said. “Wwhen it comes to baking chicken or fish, when it comes to wanting to just cut something that smells fresh in my bathroom.”

    Historically, lemon balm was also used to treat depression in ancient Rome, according to Williams, who said it can also aid in healing cuts when used in a tincture.

    “As a bonus,” says Williams, “bees love lemon balm. If you want to do something to help bees plant lemon balm.”

    One simple way to take lemon balm for a test spin is to serve it as a tea — just pour boiling water over the leaves and you’re set, she said.

    And lemon balm is especially helpful for women at any stage of their reproductive cycle, said Williams, who recommends it to women throughout their lives.

    “I am an advocate of lemon balm like it is the herb that will save us all,” she said.

    But beware, lemon balm is agressive, warns Williams. She said once you plant it, you’ll have it around for life.

    Basil cinnamon is another favorite. Williams said she likes to use it for baking and fresh salads and as an added kick in pastas and cole slaw.

    “There are so many recipes out there that will invite you to use herbs in creative ways,” said Williams, who’s an advocate for thinking outside the box when it comes to using herbs.

    With a chilly spring, Williams advises starting herbs inside in egg cartons, offering them a little water and “love,” then moving them outside and planting them as weather allows. Once the herbs are planted and growing, Williams advises giving them a “haircut” each week from the top of the plant to keep them fresh and well-maintained.

    The good news, said Williams, “herbs don’t need a whole lot of help.”

  • Using Herbs In Our Everyday Lives

    Herbs are used in every aspect of our living, we just don’t think about. That’s according to a community gardener who uses herbs in teas, bath products, and even in insect repellent. She explains how you can grow and use herbs in your own home.

  • Feeding Nine Billion People

    How can the world feed nine billion people without ruining the environment? The author of a new National Geographic feature tackles the question of food security and sustainability.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Interviewer
  • Venice Williams Guest
  • Jonathan Foley Guest
  • Amanda Magnus Producer