Foodie Pharmacology Podcast

Science Podcasts

Foodie Pharmacology is a science podcast built for the food curious, the flavor connoisseurs, chefs, science geeks, plant lovers and adventurous taste experimenters out in the world! Join American ethnobotanist Dr. Cassandra Quave on this adventure through history, medicine, cuisine and molecules as we explore the amazing pharmacology of our foods.


United States


Foodie Pharmacology is a science podcast built for the food curious, the flavor connoisseurs, chefs, science geeks, plant lovers and adventurous taste experimenters out in the world! Join American ethnobotanist Dr. Cassandra Quave on this adventure through history, medicine, cuisine and molecules as we explore the amazing pharmacology of our foods.




Nutritious Food for Healthy Skin with Jennifer Fugo

You are what you eat, and your skin will certainly reflect that! This week on the show, I speak with clinical nutritionist, Jennifer Fugo, about how to support healthy skin with our diets. Health is a journey, and Jennifer has experience in working on a range of chronic inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, dandruff, and hives with clientele ranging from regular folks to celebrities and professional athletes. You can learn more about Jennifer’s work at her website...


Gifts from the Irish Coast! Seaweeds and Abalone Aquaculture with Cindy and Sinead O’Brien

I’m back from an adventure along the western coast of Connemara, Ireland! A beautiful region full of scenic bogland and pristine coastlines, Connemara reflects a part of Ireland where tradition of language and foodways is celebrated and maintained. While there, I had the opportunity to learn more about wild foraged seaweeds and land-based aquaculture of abalone and I just had to share it with you all! Meet Cindy and Sinead O’Brien: a mother-daughter team who are paving the path forward in...


Fungal Nutrition with Jeff Chilton and Bill Chioffi

Mushrooms can be magical, medicinal, and delicious! This week on the show, I speak with two experts on the cultivation of medicinal mushrooms for the nutritional supplement industry. We examine the qualities of mushrooms and discuss the differences between fruiting bodies (mushrooms) grown on logs and vegetative bodies (mycelia) grown on grains. The way your supplement ingredients are grown and processed is key to the final quality and health value of the product! We break down the...


Figbrew! A New Kind of Coffee with Andy & Marianne Whitehead

This episode is for all the coffee lovers out there who are looking for a naturally decaffeinated alternative to their cup of Joe! I speak with the co-founders of Figbrew, Andy and Marianne Whitehead, about their innovative new product, Figgee. Prepared from dried figs which are roasted and ground for brewing, this dark, yet non-acidic, brew offers a light caramel note to the palette. Learn more about Figgee on Instagram @FigBrew #figs #coffee #podcast #decaf #Figbrew #foodiepharmacology...


Animal medication with Dr. Jaap de Roode

What if we could discover new medical treatments based on how animals use nature as medicine? The practice of animal medication is called “zoopharmacognosy”, and you may be surprised by just how many animals use plants and other natural resources to medicate themselves and their kin! Here’s a clue, it’s not just limited to primates, but also includes other mammals and even insects! This week, I chat with Dr. Jaap de Roode, Professor of Biology at Emory University, about the amazing ways...


The Quality of Herbs with Elan Sudberg

When it comes to botanicals, quality matters… A LOT! The identification and authentication of botanical ingredients is undertaken through macroscopic, microscopic and chemical analyses. Our guest this week is Élan Sudberg, CEO of Alkemist Labs, a passionately committed contract testing laboratory specializing in plant authentication, botanical ingredient identification and quantitative analytical services to the Food & Beverage, Nutraceutical and Cosmeceutical Industries. Élan shares some of...


The Science of Rum Creation with Master Blender Joy Spence

Notes of vanilla, a hint of orange and holiday spice, rich color, long legs and a full body… these are the traits of an excellent aged rum. On this episode, we learn about the art of rum making, starting with the sugar cane fields all the way to the aging barrel. Our guest is Joy Spence, a chemist and first woman to hold the position of Master Blender in the spirits industry. Joy shares insights from her 40+ year tenure at Appleton Estate creating some of the most highly awarded rums the...


Addiction & the Gut-Grain Axis with Dr. Vanessa Sperandio

New science is emerging that the chemical signals read by our brain (neurotransmitters) also impact the gut. Each of us has a complex gut microbiome composed of many different species, but did you know that some gut bacteria have receptors for neurotransmitters? I speak with leading microbiologist, Dr. Vanessa Sperandio, about research on cocaine addiction behavior and bacterial cell-signaling in the gut. #cocaine #microbiome #addiction #FoodiePharmacology


Fiber Fueled with Dr. Will Bulsiewicz

If you were to pick one essential element of the diet that influences our health, what would it be? The amount of fats, sugars, or carbs we consume? How about meats? Fiber? On this episode of Foodie Pharmacology, I chat with award-winning gastroenterologist and best-selling author Dr. Will Bulsiewicz about the importance of our diets to gut health! He explains the benefits of a plant-based diet and the science behind the healing properties of dietary fiber. You can learn more about Dr. B’s...


The Incredible Edible American PawPaw with Sheri Crabtree

This week on the show, we’re going to dig in to one of my favorite fruits and despite it being the largest edible tree fruit native to North America, I’d bet that many of you have never heard of it before! The best way to describe its flavor is as a fun cross between a banana and mango! We’re talking about Asimina triloba in the Annonaceae family, commonly known as the American Pawpaw. Our guest today is Sheri Crabtree, Horticulture Research and Extension Associate at Kentucky State...


PFAS In Our Food, Our Bodies, and the Environment with Dr. Erin Baker

What does the Manhattan project and your sandwich wrapper have in common? PFAS! These per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are man-made chemicals invented nearly 80 years ago that are used in non-stick cookware, raincoats, water-proof boots, sandwich wrappers, take-out food boxes, microwave popcorn bags and more! Despite being linked to several cancers and other health hazards, they are ubiquitous in our modern food system. As “forever chemicals”, they enter the body and stay. I speak with...


Farming Spirulina with Jonas Guenther

Spirulina is a blue-green algae that has been growing in popularity on the food scene as either a dry product or fresh ingredient. Could this biomass of microbes help offset carbon footprints and serve as a key part of a sustainable food system? I speak with Jonas Guenther about this and more. Jonas is an entrepreneur, food activist, and writer who launched We Are The New Farmers to bring nutrient-dense fresh frozen spirulina to consumers. You can follow them on Instagram @wearethenewfarmers...


Medicinal Plants of French Polynesia with Dr. François Chassagne

This week on the show we’re going to learn about plant medicines from the beautiful islands of French Polynesia. Our guest is Dr. Francois Chassagne; he’s a research group leader at the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development. He works on developing ethnobotanical and pharmacological tools to validate the use of traditional remedies in developing countries and French Overseas territories. We discuss some of his latest research on medicinal plants for treating diarrhea...


Eaters of the Dead with Kevin Wetmore

Every culture has monsters that eat us, and every culture repels in horror when we eat ourselves. This week on the show, we explore the inhuman acts of consumption found in stories of anthropophagous monsters and cannibals. Our guest is Kevin Wetmore, author of Eaters of the Dead and many other books. Kevin is an actor, director, stage combat choreographer, and professor of Theatre Arts at Loyola Marymount University. We discuss the cultural and environmental conditions that create myths of...


Q’eqchi’ Maya Medicinal Plants with Amanda Thiel

Did you know that an estimated 80% of the world relies on medicinal plants as their main source of medicine? This week, I speak with Amanda Thiel, who is working towards her PhD in Anthropology at Washington State University. She shares insights from her research on medicinal plants and home gardens of the Q’eqchi’ Maya people of Guatemala. We discuss how certain fruit trees are used as food and medicine, and how community relationships and sharing of plant resources fosters health...


Hungry Planet with Jody Boyman

Who’s hungry for meat? How about plant-based meat? Our guest this week is Jody Boyman, co-founder of Hungry Planet, a plant-based meat company that offers a full range of inventive products, from burger patties and chicken to Italian sausage, crab cakes, pork Thai meatballs and more. Jody shares the story of building the company and developing flavorful plant-based products. You can check out more about Hungry Planet products on Instagram @hungryplanetfoods. #plantbased #vegetarian...


Fasting-Mimicking Diet with Dr. William Hsu

Humans have practiced the art of fasting across cultures and religions over millennia. But its only just in the past few years that the science behind how fasting impacts our health has begun to emerge. This week, I speak with Dr. William Hsu, Chief Medical Officer at L-Nutra. Dr. Hsu walks us through the different modalities of fasting and how this practice can lead to a longer healthspan. #healthspan #fasting #diet


Technically Food with Larissa Zimberoff

This week, we take a closer look at how technological innovations are changing the landscape of the foods we eat. Not so many years ago, eating a veggie burger was a rather dull, mushy experience. Yet, today, you can find plant-based foods in the meat section of the grocery store that actually make a convincing pass at the flavor and texture of everything from ground meat to chicken nuggets! These techie foods are made with an assortment of plant-derived proteins and flavors… but just how...


Famine Foods with Dr. Paul Minnis

Throughout human history, humans have faced periods of intense food shortages and even famines. The cause of famines can differ, and whether it is due to poor economic policy, drought, crop disease, or pests, one thing remains the same: humans seek out alternative food sources to fill the gap. My guest this week is Dr. Paul Minnis, an ethnobiologist and expert on famine foods! We talk about the role of famine foods in history and their importance to the future of food security. To learn...


Oca! A Delightful Tuber with Dr. Eve Emshwiller

This week, we get to the root of things! Literally! I speak with Dr. Eve Emshwiller, ethnobotanist and expert on the Andean tuber crop “Oca” in the genus Oxalis. We dig into the fascinating genetics, chemistry, and morphology of this staple food source. We also discuss how research on crop wild relatives can contribute to food security for the future. #oca #Andes #crops #eveemshwiller