240 episodes

Food with a side of science and history. Every other week, co-hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley serve up a brand new episode exploring the hidden history and surprising science behind a different food- or farming-related topic, from aquaculture to ancient feasts, from cutlery to chile peppers, and from microbes to Malbec. We interview experts, visit labs, fields, and archaeological digs, and generally have lots of fun while discovering new ways to think about and understand the world through food. Find us online at gastropod.com, follow us on Twitter @gastropodcast, and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/gastropodcast.

Gastropod Vox Media Podcast Network

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 3.3K Ratings

Food with a side of science and history. Every other week, co-hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley serve up a brand new episode exploring the hidden history and surprising science behind a different food- or farming-related topic, from aquaculture to ancient feasts, from cutlery to chile peppers, and from microbes to Malbec. We interview experts, visit labs, fields, and archaeological digs, and generally have lots of fun while discovering new ways to think about and understand the world through food. Find us online at gastropod.com, follow us on Twitter @gastropodcast, and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/gastropodcast.

    Are Hush Puppies Racist? Is A2 Milk Really Healthier? And What's Up With Wedding Cake? Ask Gastropod!

    Are Hush Puppies Racist? Is A2 Milk Really Healthier? And What's Up With Wedding Cake? Ask Gastropod!

    You asked, and we’re answering—again! Ask Gastropod returns to answer some of our listeners’ most pressing culinary queries: how did elaborate, expensive cakes become the standard dessert for weddings? Did the deep fried cornmeal blobs known as “hush puppies” get their name from Confederate soldiers or racist stories from the plantation-era South? And could a trendy "new" variety of milk (that's actually ancient) allow the dairy-intolerant to snarf down cheese and ice cream without digestive consequences? This episode, we’re diving deep on the science, dispelling some myths, and correcting the historical record with the help of a team of experts. Listen in now!
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    • 47 min
    Why Does Everyone Have Food Allergies These Days?

    Why Does Everyone Have Food Allergies These Days?

    It's not your imagination, food allergies are really on the rise. One recent study found that severe allergic reactions to food have increased by more than 300 percent over the past decade. And they don't just affect Americans or kids—they're on the rise in adults around the world. Even pets are getting food allergies. So what's going on? Why would your body decide that food—something that's actually essential to keeping you alive—needs to be attacked like a dangerous invader? And why would we evolve a defense mechanism that can end up killing us? This episode, we've got the history and the latest scientist on food allergies: what they are, what causes them, how they're different from food intolerance and sensitivity, and what we can do about them. Join us on a wild journey from ancient Pharoahs to the future of medicine, via jellyfish, Calvin Coolidge, and "rose fever," as we figure this all out.
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    • 51 min
    The Bagelization of America (encore)

    The Bagelization of America (encore)

    Today, it’s a breakfast staple, but, as recently as 1960, The New York Times had to define it for readers—as “an unsweetened doughnut with rigor mortis.” That’s right, this episode is all about the bagel, that shiny, ring-shaped, surprisingly dense bread that makes the perfect platform for cream cheese and lox. Where did it come from? Can you get a decent bagel outside New York City? And what does it have in common with the folding ping-pong table? Come get your hot, fresh bagel science and history here! (encore edition)
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    • 51 min
    The Birth of Cool: How Refrigeration Changed Everything

    The Birth of Cool: How Refrigeration Changed Everything

    For as long as we’ve been making Gastropod, co-host Nicky has also been working on another project: writing a book all about refrigeration. Well, time to pop the champagne you’ve had stashed in the icebox, because that book comes out June 25—and we’re giving Gastropod listeners an exclusive preview! This episode, Cynthia and Nicky talk about how a high school dropout's get-rich-quick scheme, some deadly explosions, and lots and lots of beer brought us the humming boxes of cold now ubiquitous in the modern kitchen—and how the proliferation of this portable, on-demand winter has transformed our food (not always for the better) while heating up our planet. It's almost impossible to imagine living without a fridge, but Nicky’s book totally changed the way we look at preserving food. Is there a better way? Listen to find out, and for the rest of the story, be sure to pre-order Frostbite: How Refrigeration Changed Our Food, Our Planet, and Ourselves!
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    • 48 min
    Omega 1-2-3 (encore)

    Omega 1-2-3 (encore)

    Based on all the hype, you'd be forgiven for believing that the fish oils known as omega-3s are the solution to every problem. Heart disease, dementia, depression, even obesity—the list of ailments that experts claim a daily dose of omega-3 can help prevent seems endless. And with more than ten percent of Americans taking a capsule of fish oil daily, omega-3s are one of the most profitable supplements in the world, too. Listen in this episode, as author Paul Greenberg and scientist JoAnn Manson help us figure out what these supposedly miracle molecules are, and what consuming them is doing to our bodies—and to our oceans. (Encore presentation)
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    • 44 min
    Sugar's Dark Shadow

    Sugar's Dark Shadow

    Your pantry's sweetest ingredient has an extremely bitter history. The sap-producing grass known as sugarcane has been grown and enjoyed by humans for at least 10,000 years, but it was only relatively recently that it went from a luxury to an everyday ingredient—a change that also triggered genocide, slavery, and the invention of modern racism. In this episode, how the Crusades got Europeans addicted to the sweet stuff, and how that appetite deforested southern Europe and kicked off the trade in enslaved Africans, before decimating indigenous populations in the New World and codifying racism into law. It's a dark story that involves Christopher Columbus' mistress, the early human rights advocate whose campaign to save indigenous people encouraged the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade, and a trip to southern Louisiana, where we met Black sugarcane farmers to explore sugar's troubling legacy there. No sugar coating here: join us for the fascinating and horrifying history of this household staple.
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    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
3.3K Ratings

3.3K Ratings

十日十人遇 ,

about food allergy in China

actually due to the genetics composition, food tradition, environment exposures and all sorts of reasons, the most common food allergy in China is not peanut. Also, soy, tree nuts , sesames and wheat are far from the most commonly allergens in China.

According to some latest studies, the statistics suggest the top allergens in China are shrimp, mango, shellfish, egg and fish.
My brother is allergic to mango, luckily his allergic reaction is far from life threatening ones, which gives my parents a big relief.

JNLCIA ,

AI

“ You robots sound more human every day.”

Girl Listening ,

May 14th Episode About Loud Restaurants

First, I love your podcast!! Finally, someone is talking to the general public about loud restaurants!! Thank you so much for your educational and well researched episode on “Why Are Restaurants So Loud”. I’ve been complaining about this very thing for years, especially the loud music. This is the case with every restaurant I’ve visited in the metro Atlanta area in recent years. It’s unbearable! Thanks again for another great episode.

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