Foodie Pharmacology Podcast-logo

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.




Food Sovereignty with Linda Black Elk

How do we become better connected with our food? This week I speak with Linda Black Elk, an ethnobotanist and food sovereignty activist specializing in teaching about culturally important plants and their uses as food and medicine. Linda is the Food Sovereignty Coordinator at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota, where she passes ethnobotanical and food systems knowledge on to her amazing students. When she isn’t teaching, Linda spends her time foraging, hiking, hunting,...


Eat & Flourish with Mary Beth Albright

Have you ever noticed that your mood is connected with the food you eat? This week, Ispeak with journalist Mary Beth Albright about her new book "Eat and Flourish: How Food Supports Emotional Wel-Being." We discuss four pillars of food and health explored ni the book: pleasure, microbiome, inflammation, and nutrients. From eating socially to eating a variety of vegetables, we discuss the myriad ways to boost mood through our foods! Follow Mary Beth's work at...


Psychedelic Medicines for Depression with Dr. Charles Raison

This week on the show, we’re going to explore a popular topic emerging in mental healthcare: the potential utility of psychedelic medicines for depression. I speak with expert in this field, Dr. Charles Raison. Dr. Raison is a medical doctor whose research focuses on examination of novel mechanisms involved in the development and treatment of major depression and other stress-related emotional and physical conditions. He is the Distinguished Chair for Healthy Minds, Children and Families and...


Echinacea and the Incredible Synergy of Plants with Dr. Nadja Cech

Echinacea is one of the most beloved of medicinal plants in North America, long used in folk medicine for its immune-boosting effects. But did you know that echinacea also has a microbiome—a community of microbes living in and on it—that influences its chemistry and medicinal properties? I speak with plant chemistry expert, Dr. Nadja Cech, about plant microbiomes, chemical signatures of plants, and how the thousands of molecules found in a single plant work together in synergy. You can...


Adventures in Foraging with Alexis Nikole Nelson

Imagine a world in which you knew how to find food all around you in nature… what would that look like? How might your food experiences expand? This week on the show I speak with the extraordinary Alexis Nikole Nelson – aka the “Black Forager”! Alexis is a cook, forager, and science communication star who has introduced the incredible world of foraging to millions of people via her channels on TikTok (@alexisnikole) and Instagram (@blackforager). I had so much fun chatting with Alexis about...


The Seed Detective with Adam Alexander

Seeds are nothing short of magical. They are the reservoirs of genetic information and yet so much more. They also hold the stories of farmers, seeds savers, and cultures of long ago. This week, I speak with Adam Alexander, whose book The Seed Detective – Uncovering the Secret Histories of Remarkable vegetables was published in September 2022. We chat about Adam’s passion in collecting seed of rare, endangered but above all, delicious vegetables from around the world. #Seeds #Farming...


A Gardeners Guide to Botany with Dr. Scott Zona

Who’s ready to start your spring garden? If you love plants and gardening, you’re going to love this episode! I speak with my former plant taxonomy Professor, Dr. Scott Zona, about his fun new book: “A Gardener’s Guide to Botany: The biology behind the plants you love, how they grow, and what they need.” We also touch on topics ranging from plant defense compounds to some of the emerging challenges in agriculture. #garden #botany #houseplants #GardenersGuideToBotany #ScottZona...


Dinner in Rome with Andreas Viestad

Who’s ready to sit down for a meal in the eternal city? This week on the show, I speak with Norwegian food writer, restauranteur and activist Andreas Viestad about his latest book, Dinner in Rome: A History of the World in One Meal. We explore the archeology of taste and how some simple ingredients provide insight into the past and future of our food. Plus, Andreas shares a recipe for his favorite meal, Pasta Carbonara! You’ll work up an appetite listening to this episode! Check out his...


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...