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62 – Just Give People Money

7/13/2018
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On this episode, economics writer Annie Lowrey argues that the government should give people a monthly stipend. Not something you have to jump through hoops to qualify for—rather, if you have a heartbeat, you get cold, hard cash. A universal basic income, of, say, $1000 per month for every American adult could go a long way toward reducing the toll of food insecurity, Lowrey says. Then, we’ll hear from people in a neighborhood who are arguing about whether a different group should get...

Duration:00:26:31

61 – Comic W. Kamau Bell on Getting Coffee While Black

6/29/2018
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Not so long ago, comedian W. Kamau Bell was asked to leave a Berkeley cafe in what he called a case of “textbook racism.” On this episode of Bite, Bell talks to Mother Jones reporter Brandon E. Patterson about that incident, Starbucks’ controversial racial bias trainings, and more. Then, Maddie visits the kitchen of a refugee woman who fled Iraq for California five years ago. Today, she’s cooking at some of the world’s hottest restaurants. Warning: This interview may trigger intense shawarma...

Duration:00:25:42

60 – (Not) Eating Animals

6/15/2018
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This episode is all about giving up meat. As novelist Jonathan Safron Foer prepared to become a father, he became increasingly irked by a question: How would he justify eating meat to his kids? The question morphed into a bestselling book, Eating Animals, which became a documentary, premiering June 15. Jonathan shares more about his reasons for going veggie, and reflects on talking about food choices in the age of Trump. Then we hear from the Vegan Bros, two all-American dudes who gave up...

Duration:00:28:57

59 – Bonus: Alice Waters

6/8/2018
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In late April, Tom Philpott sat down with Alice Waters and Jonathan Kauffman at the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, California. Some have described Alice Waters as “the most important figure in the culinary history of North America.” Her new book, “Coming to my Senses,” is a juicy memoir about her life up to the opening of her historic restaurant Chez Panisse. San Francisco Chronicle food writer Jonathan Kauffman is the author of “Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs and...

Duration:00:48:41

58 – How to Grow Your Own Cocktail

5/31/2018
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Spring is in full swing, so we bring you treats from the garden. Writer and botanist Amy Stewart shares fascinating facts about plants—from the deadly (she once had a poisonous plants garden) to the delicious (she’s since replaced it with a cocktail garden). And Ron Finley explains what it means to be a “gangster gardener.”

Duration:00:31:35

57 - Bonus: Introducing The Mother Jones Podcast

5/25/2018
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Bite is proud to present this special bonus show—the first episode of The Mother Jones Podcast. Our colleagues have been busy putting together a show packed with our brand of original, no-holds-barred reporting. Do us a favor and find it on your favorite podcast app, and subscribe! In the debut episode, Senior Reporter Tim Murphy profiles the candidates ripping up West Virginia’s political blueprint and asks what their successes and failures mean for national politics come November. In...

Duration:00:28:37

56 – What the Rajneeshee Cult Was Cooking Up

5/18/2018
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The new Netflix documentary “Wild, Wild Country” delves into the strange world of the Rajneeshees, a religious group that moved to Oregon in the 1980s and clashed with local townspeople. The documentary reveals plenty about those tensions, but left us hungry for more detail about everyday life at the Rajneeshee Ranch. Writer Melissa Locker tells us about the group’s cookbook, Zorba the Buddha. Then Maddie talks to chef and restaurant owner Tanya Holland about the challenges of opening a...

Duration:00:32:25

55 – This Is the Best Kind of Milk

5/4/2018
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In this episode of Bite, we dive deep into the contentious topic of fake milk with the great Plant-Based Milk Showdown of 2018. And Tom tells us how a particular kind of alterna-milk could restore America’s farmland. Then, in honor of Mother’s Day, we talk to Aimee Lee Ball, the journalist behind the website Eat, Darling, Eat, where she collects stories about a very potent mix of topics: mothers, daughters, and food.

Duration:00:24:13

54 – Did Drinking Give Me Cancer?

4/20/2018
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Mother Jones Senior Reporter Stephanie Mencimer just wrote a blockbuster story that weaves together her own breast cancer diagnosis and the disturbing history of the alcohol industry downplaying the link between booze and cancer. She joins us to talk about her drinking history and how the industry courts women. Then, New York Times op-ed writer Liz Tracy reflects on what it’s like to be a sober mom in a parenting culture that’s obsessed with wine. Finally, MoJo's Becca Andrews caught up...

Duration:00:41:06

53 – When Sexual Harassment Is on the Menu

4/6/2018
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On this very special episode of Bite, we talk about how sexual harassment scandals have rocked the restaurant industry—and what to do about it. We hear from two journalists—the San Francisco Chronicle’s Tara Duggan and the New York Times’ Kim Severson—about their reporting on how powerful men in acclaimed kitchens abused their power. And San Francisco restaurateur Karen Leibowitz tells us how she’s trying to stop harassment in her kitchen before it begins. Plus, we hear from you, our...

Duration:00:32:36

52 – This Is Your Dinner on Weed

3/23/2018
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California recently legalized marijuana for recreational use, and gourmet chefs have pounced. Maddie takes you to a high-end edibles dinner, where fancy appetizers are infused with cannabis. Then Mother Jones fellow Jackie Mogensen talks all things edibles with the San Francisco Chronicle’s David Downs, one of the few cannabis news editors in the country. “You bet FritoLay is going to get in this space,” Downs said—“they recognize the writing on the wall.”

Duration:00:33:29

51 – You Thought You Knew Spam. You Knew Nothing.

3/9/2018
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Every year, Spam enthusiasts take over the town of Isleton, California. Mother Jones senior editor Dave Gilson attended, and his audio postcard contains many treats, including but not limited to Spam cheesecake. Then: What if food prices depended on your skin pigment? Chef Tunde Wey just ran a fascinating and provocative experiment about that, and Kiera caught up with him to hear about the results. Finally, Tom talks to Maine congresswoman Chellie Pingree, who might be the only...

Duration:00:37:06

50 – The Year's Best Movies Are Secretly About Food

2/23/2018
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Seen any good food flicks lately? If you’ve watched some of 2017’s most critically acclaimed films, you probably have. This week, Tom talks to New Yorker food correspondent Helen Rosner about the food themes running through Phantom Thread, The Shape of Water, and Call Me By Your Name. Another film up for an Oscar this year is Knife Skills, a documentary short about an ambitious effort to create the best French restaurant in the country and help former felons find work. Podcast fellow...

Duration:00:37:52

49 – It Shouldn't Be This Hard to Get an Ethical Cup of Coffee

2/9/2018
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On today’s episode, you’ll hear about the incredible lengths one man went to in his attempt to bring coffee from Yemen back into the world. Maddie interviews acclaimed writer Dave Eggers and coffee importer Mokhtar Alkhanshali, the subject of Eggers' new book, The Monk of Mokha. Then, Tom talks to historian Adrian Miller about the hidden history of African American chefs in the White House.

Duration:00:38:01

48 – This Science Will Make You Feel Better About What You Eat

1/26/2018
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Have you ever wondered why some foods make you feel more full than others? Or why when you’re stressed out you turn to your mom’s mac and cheese recipe? Our guest Rachel Herz is a psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist who studies why we eat what we eat. Kiera talks to her about how your culture influences your cravings, and why the outcome of the Super Bowl could make you eat healthier. Plus: Tom breaks down why the Farm Bill is actually interesting.

Duration:00:25:49

47 – Not Just Granola: How Hippies Reinvented American Cuisine

1/12/2018
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If you enjoy avocado toast and power bowls, thank a hippie. On this episode, Tom talks to Jonathan Kauffmann, whose new book is about how the 1960s counterculture gave way to some of today's most popular American dishes. Plus, Maddie talks to New York Times reporter Nellie Bowles about why some people are rejecting tap water in favor of pricey, untreated H20.

Duration:00:31:35

29 – This Simple Advice Completely Changed the Way I Eat

12/29/2017
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Writer and chef Samin Nosrat distills cooking into four basic elements: salt, fat, acid, heat. In this episode, she reveals secrets about using one of them to transform what you cook—and her advice changed how Maddie was tasting food for the days following. Maddie and Samin conduct a taste test, and Samin reveals how she clinched her first cooking job at Chez Panisse, and dishes on what it took to win over Alice Water. Plus, Tom reveals some of his own home cooking tricks.

Duration:00:28:46

46 – Dinner and a Movie

12/15/2017
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Kiera interviews screenwriter Sri Rao, one of the few American-born people who’s worked on Bollywood films, and he’s learned a lot about bridging the two cultures along the way. He applies those insights in his new cookbook, title Bollywood Kitchen, which tells you how to make authentic Indian food and suggests the perfect Bollywood films to watch while enjoying it. Sri talks about the inspiration for the cookbook, which Bollywood stars he’d invite for a dinner party, and more. Plus,...

Duration:00:20:02

45 – Restaurant Workers Say #MeToo

12/1/2017
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Sexual harassment is rampant in the food industry, as Tracie McMillan discovered when she worked undercover stints in California farm fields and at an Applebee’s in New York City for her classic 2012 book The American Way of Eating. Tracie tells Tom about her experiences with harassment, and worse, when working as a cook. Then we hear about one tweak to the restaurant industry that could help fix misogynistic workplace culture. (Warning: This episode includes material that might not be...

Duration:00:30:49

44 – When Dinner Gets Awkward

11/17/2017
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Ah, Thanksgiving: the holiday when American families give thanks while trying to politely ignore their glaring political differences and inhaling vast quantities of food. In this special episode, Jenny Luna attends a dinner party where the whole point is to have awkward conversations: A group called Make America Dinner Again pairs up folks on opposite sides of the political aisle to cook and eat a meal together—and the result is some refreshingly honest discussions. Then, Maddie talks to...

Duration:00:22:48