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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.


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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.




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


Wild Tomatoes with Dr. Chris Martine, Dr. Tanisha Williams, Amy Wrobleski & Dr. Rebecca Bird

This week on the show, we go wild for bush tomatoes! I speak with an incredible crew of botanists and an anthropologist who share their work in studying a sweet relative of the tomato that grows in the Western Desert of Australia in lands managed by the Martu People with controlled burns. We cover topics of flavor, population genetics, and tales from the field! You can learn more about this project in a new film featured on the “Plants are cool, too!” YouTube Channel. #tomato #solanum #Australia #explore #WildFoods


The Last of Us with Dr. Nick Oberlies & Dr. Huzefa Raja

If you’re a fan of science fiction like me, you’ve gone gaga over HBO’s new hit show, The Last of Us! This week on the podcast, I speak with two experts in chemistry and mushrooms to dissect fact and fiction in the show! Join me as I chat with Dr. Nick Oberlies (a natural products chemist) and Dr. Huzefa Raja (a mycologist) from University of Carolina Greensboro. We dive into questions like: Which fungi can kill humans? Can fungi survive in the snow? Can fungi really turn creatures into mind-controlled zombies? How do fungi communicate? SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t seen the show yet! You can follow our guests research work on Twitter at: @OberliesGroup @huzefaraj @uncg_chem @UNCGresearch #TheLastOfUs #HBO #Fungi #Zombie #PopularCulture #NaturalProducts


Biodynamic Agriculture & Sustainable Development with Helmy Abouleish

As a follow-up to my research expedition in Egypt this winter, I speak with Helmy Abouleish. He is the Chief Executive Officer of SEKEM Holding, the Initiative for Sustainable Development in the Egyptian desert, which works holistically in the four pillars of sustainable development: Ecology (biodynamic agriculture and its promotion), Economy of Love (production of phytopharmaceuticals, organic textiles and food), Social Life (sustainable community development) and Cultural Life (individual potential unfolding in Schools, University, Medical center). I’ve learned so much about biodynamic farming and sustainable agriculture in the face of climate change from Helmy and his team and I know you will too with this episode! Plus, he shares an exciting capacity building program underway in Egypt that helps small farms (2 acres or less) to farm using biodynamic practices and gain financial support through carbon certification. You can learn more about Helmy and the work at SEKEM at their website ( and learn more about how to support farmers through voluntary carbon credits with the Economy of Love project ( #biodynamic #organic #farming #Egypt #desert #compost #sustainability #ClimateChange #podcast #CarbonCredit #Africa


Fermentation Journeys with Sandor Katz

Fermentation is where microbes, vegetables, and community meet! This week on the show, I chat with Sandor Katz, James Beard award-winning fermentation revivalist. Sandor shares secrets on how to make the most delicious lactic acid fermented vegetables and shares some of his favorite recipes from his new book. “Fermentation Journeys”. Learn more about Sandor’s work at his website: #fermentation #pickles #probiotics #kombucha #kefir #sourdough


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, and fishing on the prairies and waters of the northern Great Plains with her husband and three sons, who are all members of the Ohceti Shakowin, the Seven Council Fires of the Lakota. Follow her work on Facebook @lindablackelk and on TikTok and Instagram at @Linda.Black.Elk #WildFood #Ethnobotany #Lakota #Podcast #Fermentation #Plants


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 Professor of Psychiatry at University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as the Director of Clinical and Translational Research for the Usona Institute. He shares insights into the current state of psilocybin research and development, including how it is being tested in the clinic to treat depression. Follow his work on Twitter at @DrCharlesRaison #depression #psilocybin #psychedelics #MentalHealth #microdosing #CharlesRaison #mushrooms


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 #food #mood #flourish #mentalhealth #diet #podcast


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 follow Dr. Cech’s work on Twitter at @nadjacech. Join us this June at the Joint Conference of the Society for Economic Botany and Society of Ethnobiology meeting. Lock in the best rates with early registration by April 15th! #echinacea #medicinalplants #plantchemistry #synergy #podcast #microbiome #nadjicech #CassandraQuave


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 plants she loves and how she takes her passion for wild foods to the masses. Listen and learn with me! #forage #podcast #wildfood #BlackForager


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 #HomeGarden #SeedSaver #SeedDetective #Foodie


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 #FoodiePharmacology #CassandraQuave


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 website to learn more: #ItalianCooking #FoodHistory #Pasta #WhenInRome #PastaCarbonara #FoodiePharmacology


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, on Instagram @ jenniferfugo or on her podcast, “The Healthy Skin Show.” #SkinHealth #HealthySkinShow #youarewhatyoueat #foodiepharmacology


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 sustainable aquaculture in the country. Learn more about their work at or follow them on Instagram @mungomurphyseaweed #aquaculture #Ireland #shellfish #seaweed #abalone