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Foodie Pharmacology Podcast

Science Podcasts

Foodie Pharmacology is the science podcast for the food curious! Dr. Quave is co-creator and host of the show. She speaks with leading experts on certain crops, sustainable farming methods, medicinal plants, and explores the pharmacology--or health impact--of our food through weekly episodes! You can also tune in through subscribing to the podcast on Apple Podcasts. Leave comments and ratings on episodes! Dr. Quave loves to hear from the #FoodiePharmacology fans!


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Foodie Pharmacology is the science podcast for the food curious! Dr. Quave is co-creator and host of the show. She speaks with leading experts on certain crops, sustainable farming methods, medicinal plants, and explores the pharmacology--or health impact--of our food through weekly episodes! You can also tune in through subscribing to the podcast on Apple Podcasts. Leave comments and ratings on episodes! Dr. Quave loves to hear from the #FoodiePharmacology fans!




At the Table: The Chef’s Guide to Advocacy with Katherine Miller

The U.S. Farm Bill has far-reaching implications for our food systems and our health. Our guest this week, Katherine Miller, shares insights into this piece of legislation and offers tips on how to effectively advocate for food policies. Katherine has built a 20-year career working at the intersections of policy, politics, and social impact. Her new book, "At the Table: The Chef's Guide to Advocacy," highlights ways that people can get involved in food policy and advocacy. It showcases chefs that work on hunger relief efforts, food waste reduction policies, labor, and mental health policies and more. We address questions like: You can learn more about Katherine’s work at her website and follow her [at]Table81 on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads. #FoodPolicy #FarmBill #Chefs #FoodWaste #FoodSystems #FoodBook #foodiepharmacology


Kratom with Dr. Christopher McCurdy

An estimated 3 million Americans use kratom products for recreational purposes, in self-treatment of opiate addiction, and to manage pain. Yet, our scientific understanding of its safety, efficacy, and potential for addiction is still poorly understood. With new data emerging each year, scientists are starting to gain a better picture of the full spectrum of risks and benefits of this SE Asian medicinal herb. Our guest this week, Dr. Christopher McCurdy, is an internationally recognized expert on kratom. Chris is a Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutics at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, where he also directs the UF Translational Drug Development Core. We address questions like: What is kratom? Where does it come from and how does its traditional use differ from the ways it is consumed in the USA? What are the major active compounds found in kratom and how much variation is there in different products? What are the side effects of chronic versus acute use of kratom? And are there any drugs you should avoid taking in combination with kratom? #kratom #MedicinalPlants #Pain #Addiction #tea #Herbs #HerbalSafety #Stimulant #Science #foodiepharmacology #ChristopherMcCurdy


Quinoa! The Story Behind A Superfood with Dr. Linda Seligmann

Quinoa has become a staple among health food lovers across the globe, but few know the full story of its origins, how its processed, and what impact this quinoa boom has had on the indigenous farmers of the high Andes mountains. This week on the show, our guest is Dr. Linda Seligmann, a professor emeritus of anthropology at George Mason University. Linda specializes in agrarian issues and has worked in the Andes for more than forty years. She shares some key insights from her research on this special crop with us and in her new book, “Quinoa: Food Politics and Agrarian Life in the Andean Highlands.” #quinoa #food #crops #agriculture #FoodPolitics #Mining #Environment #HealthyFoods #Peru #Andes


The Gut Microbiome and Immune Health with Dr. Heather Zwickey

You are what you eat… or rather what your gut microbes eat! New science is emerging on the role of how our food affects the composition of our gut microbiome, and how in turn, those gut microbes influence our health! Our guest this week is Dr. Heather Zwickey, an internationally recognized expert and educator in the fields of integrative medicine, natural therapies, and the immune system. We cover topics like: How does food affect microbiome health and subsequent immune health? What do we know about how to 'fix' our microbiome? How does the way you are born (vaginal or Cesarian delivery) affect your gut microbiome? We also cover topics like prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics! There’s lots of wisdom to be gleaned from this episode! You can learn more about Heather’s work at or you can follow her on Instagram at @hzwickey. #microbiome #food #GutHealth #Podcast #microbiology #prebiotics #probiotics #postbiotics


Ant Fungal Gardens with Dr. Marcy Balunas and Dr. Jonathan Klassen

In this week's episode of Foodie Pharmacology, we talk about ants that grow fungal gardens and how their farming methods are surprisingly similar to human agriculture! Our guests are Dr. Marcy Balunas from the University of Michigan and Dr. Jonathan Klassen from the University of Connecticut. They discuss a new study that shows ants and microbes communicate using chemicals. We also talk about a new tool called MPACT that makes it easier to analyze complex chemical data. Looking ahead, the team plans to study how these ant-microbe partnerships handle challenges like forest fires due to climate change and to identify other chemicals involved in these relationships. If you're interested in how the natural world works, this episode is for you! You can follow their work on Twitter at BalunasLab and klassenlab. #science #sciencefacts #Podcast #Scicomm #ants #Fungi #Fungal #gardening #foodiepharmacology


Conservation of Useful Plants in Colombia with Laura Kor

Human perceptions of plants matter in conservation! This week on the Foodie Pharmacology podcast, I spoke with an expert on the concept of “sustainability-through-use,” which is important to designing conservation programs that consider the needs and priorities of local communities. Laura Kor is a PhD candidate at King’s College London and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Her research focuses on the conservation of useful plants in Colombia—species with reported human uses ranging from food and medicine to spiritual and cultural values. You can access Laura’s research articles on her Google Scholar page ( or follow her on Twitter at @laurabkor #Colombia #SouthAmerica #Conservation #Botany #Plants #Podcast #ethnobotany #science #Scicomm


The Microbiology of Coffee and Cocoa with Dr. Eric Peterson

What gives coffee and chocolate those special notes of fruit or nutty aromas? It all comes down to how the plants are processed, and especially to the role of microbial fermentation! I speak with Dr. Eric Peterson, an Assistant Professor at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique in Quebec, Canada. Dr. Peterson is an interdisciplinary researcher who is worried about food. A perfect storm is on the horizon, where climate change, political instability, and globalization all threaten access to food for everyone. Dr. Peterson shares his fascinating insights on the world of coffee and cocoa production, from the farm to fermentation and drying processes, to global distribution. Follow his work on Twitter at @trashprof or his university website: #yeast #coffee #cocoa #fermentation #flavor #aroma #taste #tropics #bacteria #blackivorycoffee #Kopiluwak


Community-led Biodiversity Conservation with Dr. Teri Allendorf

Conservation starts with community! This week I speak with biodiversity conservation expert, Dr. Teri Allendorff, about community-led models for fostering conservation of natural resources in different sites across the globe. Dr. Teri Allendorf is the Executive Director of Community Conservation, located in Viroqua, WI, but with projects around the world, including Peru, Myanmar, Nepal, Madagascar, Thailand, and Cameroon. She is also an Honorary Fellow in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Allendorf has worked on issues of local communities and conservation since 1994. Follow her work at the Community Conservation website ( ) and social media channels: Twitter: @ComConsInc, Facebook: @communityconservationinc, Insta: @communityconservationinc #conservation #biodiversity #podcast #ecosystem #foodiepharmacology


How to Taste with Mandy Naglich

This week we explore the exciting sensory elements of taste with Mandy Naglich! Mandy is an Advanced Cicerone, National Homebrew Competition Gold Medalist, drinks educator, and writer. She’s the author of “How to Taste: A Guide to Discovering Flavor and Savoring Life”. She shares with us some great tips on how and why we can improve our senses of taste and smell and explores how our senses are connected to our health. Mandy lives, writes, and brews in New York City, but she documents her drinks adventures around the world at @drinkswithmandy #taste #flavor #senses #food #beer #howtotaste #MandyNaglich #FoodiePharmacology #Quave


Regenerative Farming and Climate Action with Dr. John De La Parra

This week on the podcast, we learn more about the exciting initiatives underway on climate action, regenerative agriculture, and food science supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. I speak with Dr. John de la Parra, an ethnobotanist and chemist with expertise in food crops and medicinal plants. John drives programming, grantmaking, performance, and partnership within the Rockefeller Foundation Food Portfolio, including the development of the Periodic Table of Food. #food #health #agriculture #crops #nutrition


Key Drivers of Food Crop Composition with Kat Morgan

Have you ever wondered how climate change and different agricultural management practices can affect the composition of the foods we eat? If yes, then this episode is for you! I speak with Kat Morgan, a food systems professional with expertise in anthropology, environmental health, and communications. Currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at Columbia University, Kat is dedicated to addressing the intersection of food systems, environmental issues, and health disparities. In addition to her work with the Rockefeller Foundation, Kat also hosts the “Oh, Crop” podcast! #food #ClimateChange #Agriculture #crops #podcast


Bosnian Home Gardens and Foodways with Ashley Glenn and Dr. Andrew Flachs

In this episode of Foodie Pharmacology, we discuss the vital role of home gardens in diverse economies and social reproduction. Our guests are scholars Andrew Flachs and Ashley Glenn. Andrew, an anthropologist and agrarian studies expert, talks about how gardens support resilient economies in areas with limited formal economic activity, and the critical role of women in these systems. Ashley, an Ethnobotanist, examines the diversity of these gardens and their role in preserving social institutions in difficult economic scenarios. The episode focuses on the role of gardens in fueling social reproduction: keeping social institutions going even as other aspects of the economy would fragment them. We explore sustainable agriculture, botany, and anthropology, understanding the value and potential of home gardens in our economies and ecosystems. #Bosnia #homegarden #Missouri #gardening #foodways


Caribbean Plants for Women’s Health with Ella Vardeman

This week, we take a closer look at Caribbean medicinal plants used in women’s health in New York City! Our guest this week is Ella Vardeman. Ella is a Ph.D. candidate at the City University of New York and New York Botanical Garden Plant Sciences program under the mentorship of Dr. Ina Vandebroek and Dr. Edward Kennelly. Her research focuses on the ethnopharmacology of plants used by Haitian immigrants in New York City for women’s health. Learn more about Ella’s work by following her on Twitter @ellavardeman. #NYC #Haiti #medicinalplants #womenshealth #FoodiePharmacology #mysterycontrol


Cool Spirits: An Ice Breaker with Camper English

This week, we delve into the alchemical world of boozy botanicals and the intricate art of ice with Camper English, a seasoned cocktail and spirits aficionado. With his rich experience spanning over 15 years, English has distilled his knowledge into international publications and his acclaimed books, Doctors and Distillers and The Ice Book. We dive into the fascinating history of botanicals used in spirits, the science behind crystal-clear ice cubes, and how these elements elevate your drink. Tune in as we shake up your cocktail knowledge, stirring in a mix of science, history, and English's unique insights. From his explorations on to this intimate conversation, English continues to add a splash of intrigue to the mixology realm. #mixology #icecubes #cocktail #botanical #negroni #gin #artemisia #wormwood #gentian #mysterycontrol


Teatime with Biocultural Collections Expert Aurora Prehn

Are you a tea-lover? There is a dazzling array of tea types out there to taste—but you may be wondering where these teas come from and how they are made. This week, I speak with Aurora Prehn, an expert tea taster to learn more about the flavor and history of different teas. Aurora is the Biocultural Collection Manager in the William L. Brown Center at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis where she has been since January 2021. #teatime #tea #podcast #greentea #matcha


The Good Garden with Chris McLaughlin

Gardening is an activity that can have significant positive impacts on both your physical and mental well-being. This week, we are excited to feature Chris McLaughlin, a highly experienced author and gardening expert, whose latest book, 'The Good Garden: How to Nurture Pollinators, Soil, Native Wildlife, and Healthy Food -- All in Your Own Backyard', delves into the benefits of gardening in harmony with nature. With almost half a century of gardening experience, Chris is passionate about nature, small livestock, and the family farm, and has authored nine books on these topics. During our discussion, we explore topics such as nurturing pollinators, supporting native wildlife, and cultivating local connections within your community. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting, Chris has some excellent insights that are sure to inspire and help you get the most out of your gardening experience. You can follow Chris on social media with Facebook: Suburban.Farmer and Instagram: @laughingcrowco As a special offer for Foodie Pharmacology listeners – when you go to Island Press and purchase a book, you can use GARDEN as a discount code for 20% off the book purchase. #gardening #garden #homegarden #podcast #pollinators #nature


Plantology with Dr. Sharon Bergquist

This week on the show, we dive into the health-benefits of a plant-based diet! The Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) is, well, SAD!! IUT also drives high incidence of chronic disease that shorten lifespans and reduce quality of life! But there is hope! Eating a whole food, plant-based diet can help prevent many chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. My guest this week is Dr. Sharon Horesh Bergquist, the Pam R. Rollins Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, and founder and director of Emory Lifestyle Medicine & Wellness. Dr. Bergquist is a nationally recognized lifestyle medicine pioneer, practicing internist with over two decades of patient-centered clinical experience. She is an advocate for advancing healthcare by integrating lifestyle medicine, resiliency, and prevention-based science into clinical care. She is also the host of The Whole Health Cure podcast and co-author of the cookbook Plantology: a cookbook based on the science of plant-based eating. Learn more on her website at: or follow her on Twitter @SHBergquistMD and Instagram @drsharonbergquist #plantbaseddiet #healthfood #podcast #healthyliving


Reduce Food Waste & Combat Climate Change with Chef Alejandra Schrader

Did you know that your culinary choices can not only improve your health, but also that of the planet? This week on the show, I speak with Chef Alejandra Schrader. She is an award-winning cookbook author, plant-based nutrition certified chef, food TV personality, and activist. Alejandra encourages people to eat in a way that benefits human and planetary health—to consume a wider variety of edible plants, to minimize food waste, and to cook smart. We talk about lessons from her new book “The Low-Carbon Cookbook and Action Plan: Reduce Waste and Combat Climate Change with 140 Sustainable Plant-Based Recipes” and explore how to put these into action. Learn more about Alejandra’s work at her website ( or follow her on social media platforms at @ChefAleSchrader. You can also learn more about the Periodic Table of Food’s global initiative to biochemically characterize foods at their website: #food #SustainableFood #ClimateChange #Sustainability


Global Plant Diversity as a Reservoir of Micronutrients for Humanity with Aoife Cantwell-Jones

Today, nearly 2 billion people suffer from vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Labeled as the ‘hidden hunger’, this puts them at greater risk of infection, lower cognitive function, and leads to 1 million premature deaths. A new study published in the journal Nature Plants reports that there are 1,044 edible plant species that show promise as key sources of B vitamins. I speak with the lead author of the study, PhD student Aoife Cantwell-Jones, about their findings. She also shares some fun stories from her current work on expedition in the Arctic circle, where she studies bumblebees and plants in the wild! Learn more about her research on Twitter at @aoifecj #PlantDiversity #ClimateChange #bumblebees #Vitamins #Nutrients #Podcast


Our Fermented Lives with Dr. Julia Skinner

Fermentation harnesses the power of microbes to transform ingredients into value-added foods, and there are so many different techniques to this culinary craft! I speak with Dr. Julia Skinner—author of Our Fermented Lives and fermentation enthusiast, educator, writer, food historian, and founder of Root Kitchens. Learn more about Julia and her work by subscribing to her newsletter and get a free 60-day trial at this link: #fermentation #fermented #soda #naturalsoda #recipes #podcast