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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.

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.


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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.




Wild Waters with Susanne Masters

Have you spent much time exploring the water? Whether by swimming, kayaking, or hiking along the edges of aquatic habitats—there is always something interesting to see… and sometimes even tasty to eat! On this episode I speak with Susanne Masters, author of the new book Wild Waters: A wildlife and water lover’s companion to the aquatic world. We discuss curious creatures like eels, anemones, kelp and watermint and explore their history and present roll in the culinary traditions of Britain...


Wild Food & Migration with Prof. Andrea Pieroni

This week on the show, we’re going to get a little wild, exploring the wild food traditions across geographic borders in the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, Balkans and Middle East! I’m joined by Professor Andrea Pieroni, a leading ethnobiologist who studies the food traditions of diaspora and minority populations. We discuss the ties between traditional knowledge and community resilience, and celebrate some of the incredible foods found in some of the most remote regions of the...


Hooked with Michael Moss

We’ve talked a lot about the topics of food security and food choice on the show, and I think most of you will agree that it can be hard to keep a healthy diet. But, have you ever considered if some of our food decisions are beyond our control? Are certain foods engineered to be addictive, like drugs or alcohol? An how complicit is the food industry in creating and marketing such foods? We’ll cover these topics and more today with our special guest, Pulitzer prize winning and best selling...


Fresh Banana Leaves with Dr. Jessica Hernandez

Human health and the sustainability of our global food systems are both intimately linked to the health of planet Earth. But, with the rise of climate change, our world is less healthy than ever before. Despite the undeniable fact that Indigenous communities are among the most affected by climate devastation, Indigenous science is nowhere to be found in mainstream environmental policy or discourse. We have so much to learn from Indigenous holistic land, water and forest management. This...


How We Eat with Paco Underhill

Modern supermarkets bombard shoppers with colorful displays and marketing featuring terms like “healthy” and “all natural”… but what do those marketing titles really mean? Paco Underhill, founder of the behavioral research and consulting firm Envirosell Global LLC, and bestselling author of books like Why we Buy: The Science of Shopping joins us on the show. We chat about his new book, How We Eat: The Brave New World of Food and Beverages, and the evolution of the modern...


Probiotics, Gut Health, and the Microbiome with Dr. Rheinallt Jones

The science behind how the gut microbiome affects our health rapidly evolving with new tools that enable scientists to not only sequence the complex mixtures of microbes in the gut, but also with new laboratory models that enable the study of single microbes in otherwise sterile systems. This week, I welcome an expert in the field of gut microbiome studies, Dr. Rheinallt Jones, to the show. He’s an Associate Professor at the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition of the...


Unfunc Your Gut with Dr. Peter Kozlowski

Did you know that your mental, emotional, and spiritual connection to the food you eat influences your health? This week, I speak with Dr. Peter Kozlowski, a physician who keeps functional medicine at the center of his medical practice. We discuss how food sensitivities impact our health and how the process of a food elimination diet can help identify foods that may be problematic for you. We also explore the benefits of intermittent fasting and how changes in diet influence the dynamics of...


The Olive Oil Grove with Lucas Soler

Out of all of my kitchen pantry items, olive oil holds the place of honor for being the most important ingredient in most of our meals, whether in dressing salads or sautéing dishes on the stove. But, not all extra virgin olive oils in the grocery store are alike. There have even been issues with companies adulterating EVOO with other inferior oils to make a bigger profit. In this episode, I chat with Lucas Soler, co-founder of The Olive Oil Grove, about how the quality of olive oil begins...


Ayahuasca & Therapeutic Emplotment with Dr. Hernando Echeverri Sanchez

Ayahuasca, also known as Yage, has long been integral to shamanic healing rituals in western Amazonia. Consumed in healing and diagnostic rituals, this mixture of plants includes ingredients like monoamine oxidase inhibitors and dimethyl tryptamine, which when consumed together, yields strong purgative and hallucinogenic effects. Other plants, known as Chondur (Cyperus spp.) are also important elements of the ritual, and are key in both cleansing spaces and guiding visions. This week, I chat...


A Good Drink with Shanna Farrell

This week we talk about spirits, cocktails, and….. sustainability! My guest is Shanna Farrell, author of the new book “A Good Drink: In Pursuit of Sustainable Spirits.” Shanna specializes in drink cultural and environmental history and you can also find her at her website ( or follow her on Instagram or Twitter @shanna_farrell. #spirits #sustainablefood #beverages


The Henbane Theory of Berserkers with Dr. Karsten Fatur

You may have heard of the legends of the Norse Beserkers—a fierce group of wild warriors from Scandanavia that were known to enter a trance-like state that allowed them to fight with increased strength and a rage that granted them immunity to many forms of harm in battle. But, did you know that a new theory has emerged that instead of consuming Amanita muscaria mushrooms, a plant may be responsible for achieving the state of berserkeage? A nightshade plant from the same family where we find...


The Secret History of Food with Matt Siegel

Humans have a complex history with food—some foods were even used as weapons! This week, I chat with Matt Siegel, author of a new book The Secret History of Food. We discuss a range of topics including why most vanilla products aren’t made with vanilla at all and how our food choices influence our emotions. Follow him on Instagram at


Pickles, Sauerkraut & the Gut Microbiome with Dr. Andrew Flachs

This week we dig into a fascinating study of the microbial composition of fermented foods and how they influence the gut microbiome! Our guest is Dr. Andrew Flachs, an anthropologist who researches food and agriculture systems, exploring genetically modified crops, heirloom seeds, and our own microbiomes. We also discuss the rich cultural heritage behind some of our favorite ferments and a simple recipe to making your own ginger beer at home! #fermentatio #microbiome #ethnobiology #pickles...


Around the World in 80 Plants with Jonathan Drori

This week we take a tour around the globe exploring some fascinating plants with Jonathan Drori! You may know Jon from one of his four TED talks on botany, which have had millions of views! He’s also the author of the international bestseller, Around the World in 80 Trees, now in 18 languages, and its sequel, Around the World in 80 Plants, which has just been published. Jon has been on the Board of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and The Eden Project and is an Ambassador for the World...


Evolutionary Gastronomy with Prof. Jonathan Silvertown

This week I meet with Prof. Jonathan Silvertown, an ecologist and evolutionary biologist with a research interests in plant population biology. We chat about the evolution of our foods, exploring how the domestication of plants and animals has shaped our modern dinner plates. His book, Dinner with Darwin, explores how everything we eat has an evolutionary history. You can also follow him on Twitter: @JWSilvertown #evolution #domestication #crops


Where the Wild Things Grow with David Hamilton

This week on the show, I chat with David Hamilton about his latest book Where the Wild Things Grow: A Foragers Guide to the Landscape. David is an expert forager and offers lots of great tips on easy things to forage along with some very tasty recipes! Who knew that magnolia flowers could make a delicious pickle for salad toppings? Or how about a wild mushroom calzone? My mouth is watering just thinking about some of these! Tune in to learn more and check out his website:...


Eat the Weeds with Prof. Philip Stark

This week, we’re talking about one of my favorite subjects: foraging! Our guest is Professor Phillip Stark, the founder of Berkeley Open Source Food and Wild/Feral Food Week and a professor of statistics at UC Berkley. Philip is passionate about urban foraging, including studying the safety, nutrition, and availability of wild foods in urban ecosystems and their value for ecosystem services and nutrition security. Bonus: we also share some of our favorite recipes for wild ingredients,...


Roundup & The Monsanto Papers with Carey Gillam

When global conglomerate Bayer AG paid $63 billion in 2018 to buy Monsanto Company, the deal was seen as a boost to Bayer’s wealth and power. But only two years later, Bayer was forced to agree to pay $11 billion to settle the claims of more than 100,000 cancer victims who alleged their suffering was caused by the use of Monsanto’s flagship herbicide, Roundup. That settlement may never have happened without Lee Johnson, whose story is told in investigative journalist Carey’s Gillam’s new...


The Secret Life of Fat with Dr. Sylvia Tara

You may not love your fat, but your body certainly does. This week, we explore the secret world of fat, discussing its complex biology, how it resists loss, and what can be done to remove stubborn fat. I chat with Dr. Sylvia Tara, a biochemist with a business background, about her new book on this subject! You can access more information about her book and her course at her website, #Fat #Diet #WeightLoss


Crop Diversity & Global Food Systems with Dr. Colin Khoury

This week, we ask some big questions about the origins of our food and how it connects people from across the globe. I speak with Dr. Colin Khoury, a crop diversity researcher who has spent more than 20 years trying to understand the state of diversity in the global food system. Colin shares how collaborative work brings together multidisciplinary expertise to inform conservation strategies for crops and their wild relatives, develop conservation indicators for international agreements, and...