Gastropod

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.

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    To Eat or Not to Eat Meat


    With flexitarianism on the rise throughout the developed world, and everyone from Bill Clinton to Beyoncé endorsing the benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet, it can sometimes seem as though meat is just a bad habit that the majority of us are too weak-willed to kick. But is giving up meat morally superior, healthier, …More → The post To Eat or Not to Eat Meat appeared first on Gastropod.


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    49m
    last week

    We Heart Chocolate


    In the weeks before Valentine’s Day, U.S. consumers will buy nearly 58 million pounds of chocolate. This love affair is not limited to just one day or one country: chocolate has spread from its native home in Central and South America to conquer the world. But today, cacao cultivation is facing a series of wicked problems—ones that threaten to …More → The post We Heart Chocolate appeared first on Gastropod.


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    45m
    this month

    Inventing the Restaurant: From Bone Broth to Michelin


    Early humans may have visited each others’ caves for a shared meal, but they wouldn’t have expected to be served at their own table, or to choose when and what to eat. But today, restaurants are ubiquitous: there are millions of them worldwide, and the average American eats roughly 200 meals a year in one. So …More → The post Inventing the Restaurant: From Bone Broth to Michelin appeared first on Gastropod.


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    46m
    last month

    Gettin’ Fizzy With It


    ‘Tis the season for a glass of bubbly—but this episode we’re not talking champagne, we’re talking seltzer. America is in the throes of a serious seltzer craze, with consumption of the bubbly stuff doubling in only a decade, from 2004 to 2014. But where does seltzer come from, and why is it called “seltzer,” rather than simply …More → The post Gettin’ Fizzy With It appeared first on Gastropod.


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    44m
    this year

    The Spice Curve: From Pepper to Sriracha with Sarah Lohman


    American food has a reputation for being bland—but, according to historical gastronomist Sarah Lohman, “It’s nonsense that Americans don’t like spicy food.” Lohman is the author of a new book, Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine, which explores the stories behind the flavors that have come to define American cuisine. In this episode, she …More → The post The Spice Curve: From Pepper to Sriracha with Sarah Lohman appeared first on Gastropod.


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    44m
    this year

    The Buzz on Honey


    Honey seems like a simple, comforting food, slathered on toast, spooned down to soothe sore throats, and beloved of bears, both plush and real. In reality, this sticky combination of bee spit and evaporated nectar is a powerful and ancient ingredient. For much of history, honey was humanity’s main source of sweetness, as well as …More → The post The Buzz on Honey appeared first on Gastropod.


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    43m
    this year

    What is Native American Cuisine?


    Pasta, sushi, tacos, samosas, and pad thai: In the U.S., enthusiastic eaters will likely be able to name traditional dishes from a wide variety of cuisines around the world. But most of us couldn’t name a single Native American dish from any one the vast network of tribes, cultures, and cuisines that spread across the U.S. …More → The post What is Native American Cuisine? appeared first on Gastropod.


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    44m
    this year

    Oysters: History and Science on the Half Shell


    We’re living in a golden age for oysters. Just two decades ago, an ostreophile would have thought him or herself lucky to choose among a handful of options; today, in the U.S. alone, hundreds of varieties with exotic names like Moon Shoal, Hama Hama, and Kusshi tempt oyster lovers. What creates all those different flavors and …More → The post Oysters: History and Science on the Half Shell appeared first on Gastropod.


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    44m
    this year

    Counting Fish


    This week, we are taking on one of the universe’s great mysteries: how many fish are in the sea? If you stop to think about it, it seems almost impossible to figure out how many fish there are—after all, they’re basically invisible, not to mention constantly moving. But how else are we to know how …More → The post Counting Fish appeared first on Gastropod.


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    44m
    this year

    Seaweed Special


    Seaweed farming is booming: the global harvest has doubled in the past decade, according to a new report from the United Nations University, and it’s now worth more than all the world’s lemons and limes. Most of that seaweed ends up in our food, though there is a growing market in seaweed-based cosmetics and drugs. …More → The post Seaweed Special appeared first on Gastropod.


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    29m
    this year