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Food with a side of science and history. Every other week, co-hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley serve up a brand new episode exploring the hidden history and surprising science behind a different food- or farming-related topic, from aquaculture to ancient feasts, from cutlery to chile peppers, and from microbes to Malbec. We interview experts, visit labs, fields, and archaeological digs, and generally have lots of fun while discovering new ways to think about and understand the world through food. Find us online at gastropod.com, follow us on Twitter @gastropodcast, and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/gastropodcast.

Food with a side of science and history. Every other week, co-hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley serve up a brand new episode exploring the hidden history and surprising science behind a different food- or farming-related topic, from aquaculture to ancient feasts, from cutlery to chile peppers, and from microbes to Malbec. We interview experts, visit labs, fields, and archaeological digs, and generally have lots of fun while discovering new ways to think about and understand the world through food. Find us online at gastropod.com, follow us on Twitter @gastropodcast, and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/gastropodcast.
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Location:

United States

Description:

Food with a side of science and history. Every other week, co-hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley serve up a brand new episode exploring the hidden history and surprising science behind a different food- or farming-related topic, from aquaculture to ancient feasts, from cutlery to chile peppers, and from microbes to Malbec. We interview experts, visit labs, fields, and archaeological digs, and generally have lots of fun while discovering new ways to think about and understand the world through food. Find us online at gastropod.com, follow us on Twitter @gastropodcast, and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/gastropodcast.

Language:

English


Episodes

Sweet and Low (Calorie): The Story of Artificial Sweeteners

1/15/2019
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For decades, ads for treats sweetened with substances like Sweet’N Low, NutraSweet, and Splenda have promised what seems like a miracle of modern science: that you can enjoy all the dessert you want, calorie-free. No need to deprive yourself—with artificial sweeteners, you can literally have your cake and eat it, too. But are these substances …More → The post Sweet and Low (Calorie): The Story of Artificial Sweeteners appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:43:32

Dirty Tricks and Data: The Great Soda Wars, Part 2

12/17/2018
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Over the past five years, more than forty cities and countries around the world have passed a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. These soda taxes are designed to improve public health—but do they? Or have all the doom-and-gloom predictions of the soda industry come true instead? Researchers have been crunching the data, and this episode we …More → The post Dirty Tricks and Data: The Great Soda Wars, Part 2 appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:48:06

Souring on Sweet: The Great Soda Wars, Part 1

12/4/2018
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Public health researchers agree: the evidence is clear that Americans consume way too much sugar, that sugar contributes to weight gain, and that rising rates of obesity in the U.S. will lead to significant health problems in the future. What’s much less clear is what to do about it. In this special, first-ever two-part episode …More → The post Souring on Sweet: The Great Soda Wars, Part 1 appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:49:42

The Truth is in the Tooth: Braces, Cavities, and the Paleo Diet

11/19/2018
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Brush, floss, and forget: chances are, you only think about your teeth when they cause you trouble. But teeth have tales to tell, such as how old we are, how fast we grew, and how far we’ve traveled… But, most intriguingly, teeth can tell us both what we evolved to eat and what we actually have …More → The post The Truth is in the Tooth: Braces, Cavities, and the Paleo Diet appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:37:08

Who Invented Mac and Cheese?

11/13/2018
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The warm, gooey dish, a childhood staple across North America, is many things to many people: a mainstay of African-American Sunday dinners, according to soul food expert Adrian Miller; a comforting yet celebratory meal that can be jazzed up in dozens of ways, according to chef and former mac and cheese restaurant owner Allison Arevalo; and …More → The post Who Invented Mac and Cheese? appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:29:21

How the Carrot Became Orange, and Other Stories

11/5/2018
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Thousands of years ago, in what’s now Afghanistan, people unearthed the tangled, gnarled roots of Queen Anne’s Lace—a ubiquitous, hairy-stemmed plant with a spray of tiny white flowers. These fibrous, twisted roots were white and bitter-tasting, but they had an appealing spicy, pine-y, earthy aroma. This was the unpromising ancestor of one of America’s most …More → The post How the Carrot Became Orange, and Other Stories appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:39:26

The Incredible Egg

10/23/2018
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We love eggs scrambled, fried, or poached; we couldn’t enjoy a quiche, meringue, or flan without them. But for scientists and archaeologists, these perfect packages are a source of both wonder and curiosity. Why do eggs come in such a spectacular variety of colors, shapes, and sizes? Why are we stuck mostly eating chicken eggs, …More → The post The Incredible Egg appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:44:30

Espresso and Whisky: The Place of Time in Food

10/8/2018
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Why does fish cook so fast? What’s the “wasabi window”? And can you really make 20-year-old aged whisky in six days? This episode, we’re looking at the role of time in food and flavor: what it does, and how we’ve tried—and sometimes succeeded—to manipulate that. To explore these questions, we visit a whisky time machine tucked …More → The post Espresso and Whisky: The Place of Time in Food appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:42:00

Why These Animals?

9/24/2018
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In the West, when it comes to which meat is for dinner, we nearly always choose beef, pork, or chicken. Yet cows and pigs are only two of more than five thousand of species of mammals, and chicken is one of ten thousand species of birds. Meanwhile, at different times in history and in different …More → The post Why These Animals? appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:47:26

Mango Mania: How the American Mango Lost its Flavor—and How it Might Just Get it Back

9/11/2018
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Mangoes inspire passion, particularly in India, which is home to hundreds of varieties of the fruit. They are celebrated in Indian music, poetry, and art; they are mentioned in Hindu and Buddhist religious texts as well as the Kama Sutra; and Indian expats will even pay hundreds of dollars for a single, air-freighted box of …More → The post Mango Mania: How the American Mango Lost its Flavor—and How it Might Just Get it Back appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:40:35

Keeping it Fresh: Preservatives and The Poison Squad

8/27/2018
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More than a century ago, enterprising manufacturers added brand-new chemical preservatives into food to keep it fresh as it traveled from the farm into rapidly growing American cities. Milk no longer went rancid! Meat no longer spoiled! But some scientists wondered: could all these preservatives be doing more harm than good? It took a crusading …More → The post Keeping it Fresh: Preservatives and The Poison Squad appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:51:51

Watch It Wiggle: The Jell-O Story

8/13/2018
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It’s been described as the ultimate status symbol for the wealthy, as the perfect solution for dieters and the sick, and, confusingly, as a liquid trapped in a solid that somehow remains fluid. What could this magical substance be? In case you haven’t guessed, this episode, we’re talking about Jell-O! Or, to be more precise, …More → The post Watch It Wiggle: The Jell-O Story appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:49:58

Out of the Fire, Into the Frying Pan

6/19/2018
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From rainbow-hued enameled stew pots to lightweight nonstick frying pans, the metal and ceramic vessels we use to heat our food are such an everyday aspect of the kitchen that they’re easy to take for granted. But make no mistake: the invention of the pot was, after fire, one of the most important innovations in …More → The post Out of the Fire, Into the Frying Pan appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:49:08

Hotbox: The Oven From Turnspit Dogs to Microwaves

6/5/2018
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Humans are the only animals that cook their food, an innovation that changed the course of our evolution and the trajectory of the planet. But how did we tame those early cooking fires and put them in a box—and what can subsequent leaps forward in heating technology tell us about cuisines and culture? This episode, …More → The post Hotbox: The Oven From Turnspit Dogs to Microwaves appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:55:16

Feed the World: How the U.S. Became the World’s Biggest Food Aid Donor—And Why That Might Not be Such a Great Thing

5/22/2018
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The United States is, by far, the world’s largest international food aid donor. Almost every year since the 1950s, it has been responsible for more than 50 percent of the billions of tons of food shipped from the parts of the world with a surplus to the parts of the world that are hungry. This …More → The post Feed the World: How the U.S. Became the World’s Biggest Food Aid Donor—And Why That Might Not be Such a Great Thing appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:50:30

Ripe for Global Domination: The Story of the Avocado

5/7/2018
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Avocados are on a roll. More precisely, they’re on toast—a lot of toast. Last summer, British Vogue reported that more than three million new photos of avocado toast are uploaded to Instagram every day. But how did this humble fruit, originally named after testicles, get from its Mexican forest home to a tattoo on Miley …More → The post Ripe for Global Domination: The Story of the Avocado appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:48:18

Meet the Man Who Found, Finagled, and Ferried Home the Foods We Eat Today

4/23/2018
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You’ve probably never heard of David Fairchild. But if you’ve savored kale, mango, peaches, dates, grapes, a Meyer lemon, or a glass of craft beer lately, you’ve tasted the fruits of his globe-trotting travels in search of the world’s best crops—and his struggles to get them back home to the United States. This episode, we …More → The post Meet the Man Who Found, Finagled, and Ferried Home the Foods We Eat Today appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:44:00

Who Faked My Cheese?

4/9/2018
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Cheeeeese: that one word alone causes our stomachs to rumble and mouths to water. The sheer variety of flavors and textures created by only a few ingredients—milk, salt, enzymes, and microbes—is astounding: hard and soft, creamy and crumbly, richly umami and sweetly savory. For thousands of years, humans have been transforming animal milk into one …More → The post Who Faked My Cheese? appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:55:46

Marching on our Stomachs: The Science and History of Feeding the Troops

3/26/2018
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For most of us, eggs are perfect packets of portable protein, and pizza is the lazy option for dinner. For the research team at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center, pizza and eggs are two of the most nightmarish food-science challenges of the last fifty years—but the struggle to perfect such dishes for the …More → The post Marching on our Stomachs: The Science and History of Feeding the Troops appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:49:35

Cooking the Books with Yotam and Nigella

3/12/2018
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Who first started collecting recipes into cookbooks? Do cookbooks have a future in a world full of online recipes? And can cookbooks tell us anything about what people are actually eating, or are they simply aspirational food porn? This episode, we explore the past, present, and future of cookbooks, from cuneiform tablets to Hail Marys, …More → The post Cooking the Books with Yotam and Nigella appeared first on Gastropod.

Duration:00:48:30