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Broadcast from the Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson Foundation Talk Studio, supporting arts and communications outreach

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(AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Rising wheat prices made bread unaffordable to many Egyptians, fomenting some of the unrest that lead to the revolution.

Aug. 15, 2011

When one thinks of factors contributing to the Arab Spring uprisings, food is probably not on the top of the list. But nearly half of the top 20 wheat importers in the world are Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia.  It’s not a coincidence that these countries have experienced instability. As part of our occasssional series Food Mondays, we speak with Annia Ciezadlo, journalist and author of Day of Honey, about the relationship between food and power in the Middle East. And, Food Mondays continues with a look at bananas. In the United States, the fruit is cheap and ubiquitous, but that may change soon. A lethal disease has severely reduced banana crops in Asia and Australia. Scientists expect it's only a matter of time until it reaches Latin America, which supplies the U.S. market. We’ll talk about the future of bananas with Dan Koeppel, journalist and author of the book Banana: the Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World.