Over the past century, we've transformed the arid lands of the American west into year-round, well-irrigated agricultural powerhouses. Today, fruits, nuts, and nearly all of our leafy greens are grown in the desert, using water diverted, stored, and supplied at taxpayer expense. This intense irrigation is having an impact: Reservoir levels are dropping, rivers are drying up, and the state of Arizona is literally sinking. All of which raises some big questions, like should we be farming in the desert? And what would a water-saving system even look like? Today’s episode comes from our friends at the show Gastropod, which is hosted by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley. They walk through the history of how the United States became so dependent on food grown in the driest part of the country, and then share stories of people who have found other ways of growing delicious food.
Guests: Brad Lancaster, Ramona Button, Terry Button, Gary Nabhan, Sterling Johnson, Nina Sajovec, Eric Meza, Abe Sanchez and Sonja Swanson.