49 min

Science and Thanksgiving The Pulse

    • Science

Thanksgiving usually means we’re going big — way over the top. Twice as much turkey as we could possibly eat; more side dishes than the table can hold; and, of course, so much pie. We travel great distances to see our families and friends — we hug, we eat, we argue, and we nap. On this special episode of The Pulse, we explore the traditions and rituals of Thanksgiving through a scientific lens. We hear stories about the neuroscience of gratitude — and how it can help us through grief; the environmental impact of our holiday feasts, from cranberries to food waste; and ask whether turkeys are really as dumb as they look.

Also heard on this week’s episode:


Turkeys have a reputation for being big, dumb birds. But are they? And what does it mean for a bird to be smart anyway? Reporter Alan Yu explores.
Jad Sleiman introduces a New Jersey family that does all their food shopping at local dumpsters. They are among a tiny minority of people fighting global food waste. We hear about how this problem affects the environment — and what we can do about it.
We chat with Yale GI specialist Earl Campbell about what happens inside of our digestive tract when we overeat.
Reporter Nina Feldman on her annual Friendsgiving tradition, and why it’s come to mean more than she ever thought it would.

Thanksgiving usually means we’re going big — way over the top. Twice as much turkey as we could possibly eat; more side dishes than the table can hold; and, of course, so much pie. We travel great distances to see our families and friends — we hug, we eat, we argue, and we nap. On this special episode of The Pulse, we explore the traditions and rituals of Thanksgiving through a scientific lens. We hear stories about the neuroscience of gratitude — and how it can help us through grief; the environmental impact of our holiday feasts, from cranberries to food waste; and ask whether turkeys are really as dumb as they look.

Also heard on this week’s episode:


Turkeys have a reputation for being big, dumb birds. But are they? And what does it mean for a bird to be smart anyway? Reporter Alan Yu explores.
Jad Sleiman introduces a New Jersey family that does all their food shopping at local dumpsters. They are among a tiny minority of people fighting global food waste. We hear about how this problem affects the environment — and what we can do about it.
We chat with Yale GI specialist Earl Campbell about what happens inside of our digestive tract when we overeat.
Reporter Nina Feldman on her annual Friendsgiving tradition, and why it’s come to mean more than she ever thought it would.

49 min

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