Potatoes - Leisure Pleasure
Potato cultivation has increased hugely in Russia since the dissolution of the USSR. Professor Nancy Ries claims that it is a sign of oppression, poverty and bare subsistence.
The potato, with just a little bit of milk, can provide all of the nutrients necessary to sustain human life. Its wonderful productivity and the fact that it can be grown in small family plots in urban and rural areas means that, according to Professor Nancy Ries, it provides subsistence when local economies fail and other sources of food disappear.
This fact more than any other explains why Russia, the home of the vast collective wheat farm, increasingly relies on the potato. Nearly half of all agricultural production in the country is potatoes and 90 per cent of that is in small family plots. Is the potato a tool of oppression? Does it perpetuate poverty? Laurie Taylor is joined by Professor Ries and by John Reader, author of The Untold History of the Potato.
Also, Allison Hui from Lancaster University talks about her research into the role of travel in people's hobbies, and how leisure pursuits play an increasing part in global tourism.