Pick A Pawpaw: America's Forgotten Fruit from Gastropod
From Gastropod - In 1916, agricultural experts voted the pawpaw the American fruit most likely to succeed, ahead of blueberries and cranberries. But today, most people have never even heard of it, let alone tried it. What is the pawpaw, and how did we forget it? Listen in this episode for a tale that involves mastodons and head-lice, ...More â
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Gastropod Gastropod looks at food through the lens of science and history. Co-hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley serve up a brand new episode every two weeks.
Pick A Pawpaw: America's Forgotten Fruit 2019-02-26 12:03:58 In 1916, agricultural experts voted the pawpaw the American fruit most likely to succeed, ahead of blueberries and cranberries. But today, most people have never even heard of it, let alone tried it. What is the pawpaw, and how did we forget it? Listen in this episode for a tale that involves mastodons and head-lice, ...More â
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Move Over Gin, We've Got Tonic Fever 2020-02-10 21:45:28 Just a few decades ago, gin & tonics were considered rather stodgy and boring, the drink of suburbanites at the golf club. Today, the century-old drink is hot again. In part, that's due to a boom in craft gin distillingâa ginaissance! But there's also been a new wave of experimentation with gin's life partner, tonic ...More â
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The United States of McDonald's 2020-01-27 17:00:10 McDonald's is mind-boggling. According to Adam Chandler, author of the recent book, Drive-Thru Dreams, it sells roughly 75 burgers every second and serves 68 million people every dayâequivalent to 1 percent of the entire world's population. "The golden arches are thought to be, according to an independent survey, more recognizable as a symbol than the ...More â
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Dinner Plate Invasion: Lionfish, Tiger Shrimp, and Feral Pigs, Oh My! 2020-01-13 11:21:43 Across America, feral pigs are on the rampage, wrecking fields of crops, hunting local wildlife to extinction, and even attacking humans. In the United Kingdom, Japanese knotweed is taking over the landscape: banks deny mortgages to infested properties, and the government regulates its disposal with the same precautions it takes for low-level nuclear waste. Humans ...More â
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Meet the Queen of Kiwi: the 96-Year-Old Woman Who Transformed America's Produce Aisle 2019-12-17 06:39:57 The produce section of most American supermarkets in the 1950s was minimal to a fault, with only a few dozen fruits and vegetables to choose from: perhaps one kind of apple, one kind of lettuce, a yellow onion, a pile of bananas. Today, grocery stores routinely offer hundreds of different fruits and vegetables, many of ...More â
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Meet the Queen of Kiwi: The 96-Year-Old Woman Who Transformed America's Produce Aisle 2019-12-17 06:39:57 The produce section of most American supermarkets in the 1950s was minimal to a fault, with only a few dozen fruits and vegetables to choose from: perhaps one kind of apple, one kind of lettuce, a yellow onion, a pile of bananas. Today, grocery stores routinely offer hundreds of different fruits and vegetables, many of ...More â
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Are Insect Guts the Secret to the Most Delicious Kimchi? 2019-12-03 13:05:59 This side dish of spicy, bubbly, funky pickled vegetables is such a staple in Korea that no meal is considered complete without itâbut, recently, kimchi has found its way into burgers, pasta, grilled cheese, and even tacos. This episode, we trace the behind-the-scenes story of the "kimchi diplomacy" that turned Korea's favorite fermented cabbage into ...More â
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Menu Mind Control 2019-11-18 15:21:41 At its most basic, a menu is simply a way for a restaurant to communicate its offerings and their prices to its customers. But, perhaps even more importantly, says Alison Pearlman, author of a new book on menus called May We Suggest, a menu has to persuade diners that they want what the restaurant is ...More â
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Of Ghost Foods and Culinary Extinction 2019-11-04 17:31:09 The earliest humans favored juicy, meaty mammoth at mealtimes. Ancient Romans loved their favorite herb, silphium, so much that they sprinkled it on everything from lamb to melon. In the 19th century United States, passenger pigeon pie was a cherished comfort food, long before chicken pot pie became commonplace. And, for dessert, Americans a century ...More â
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What's CRISPR Doing in our Food? 2019-10-07 19:12:02 You've probably heard the hype: CRISPR will revolutionize biotech, cure disease, resurrect extinct species, and even create new-and-(not-so)-improved humans. But what is CRISPRâand what's it doing in our food? The first generation of genetically modified crops, or GMOs, were labelled "Frankenfoods" by critics and are banned in the European Union. Can CRISPR succeed where fish-tomatoes ...More â
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Happy Birthday to Us: Gastropod Turns Five 2019-09-24 11:40:20 We launched Gastropod in September 2014, which means we're turning five this month, and that's approximately 100 in podcast years. We're celebrating our birthday with a special episode featuring highlights from the past five years' worth of episodes, as chosen by you, our listenersâserved up alongside a generous slice of cake science and history. Join ...More â
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Celebrate Mexico's True National Holiday with the Mysteries of Mole 2019-09-10 13:27:28 In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is an excuse for margarita-fueled partying. But in Mexico, that dateâthe anniversary of a military triumph over Napoleon on May 5, 1862âis marked by a parade and not much else. The real celebrations happen on September 16, which is Mexican Independence Day. At Gastropod, we're always down to ...More â
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Running on Fumes: Strawberry's Dirty Secret 2019-08-27 10:19:20 This episode, we tell an age-old tale: an innocent young berry heads west to make its fame and fortuneâbut sells its soul in the process. In order for our hero, the strawberry, to defeat its nemesis, a fungus called wilt, the aromatic red fruit makes a deal with the devilâand duly becomes America's favorite berry. ...More â
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Omega 1-2-3 2019-08-12 19:52:30 Based on all the hype, you'd be forgiven for believing that the fish oils known as omega-3s are solution to every problem. Heart disease, dementia, depression, even obesityâthe 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 ...More â
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Meet Sharbat, the Ancestor of Sorbet, Syrup, Shrub, Sherbet, and Pretty Much Everything Else Cool 2019-08-05 22:42:47 Many of you won't have heard of sharbat, the delightfully tangy, refreshingly icy Persian drink. But most of you will have tasted at least one of its many descendants: sorbet, sherbet, syrup, shrub, and even the julep. So, what is sharbat? How did it inspire so many variations on cooling deliciousness? And how did Persians ...More â
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Super Fry: The Fight for the Golden Frite 2019-06-18 17:50:48 Shoestring, waffle, curly, or thick-cut: however you slice it, nearly everyone loves a deep-fried, golden brown piece of potato. But that's where the agreement ends and the battles begin. While Americans call their fries "French," Belgians claim that they, not the French, invented the perfect fry. Who's right? This episode, we take you right into ...More â
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Eat This, Not That: The Surprising Science of Personalized Nutrition 2019-06-09 22:18:45 This episode, we've got the exclusive on the preliminary results of the world's largest personalized nutrition experiment. Genetic epidemiologist Tim Spector launched the study, called PREDICT, to answer a simple but important question: do we each respond to different foods differently? And, if so, why? How much of that difference is genetic, how much is ...More â
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Guts and Glory 2019-05-21 06:44:55 What does it mean when your stomach rumbles? How do our bodies extract nutrients and vitamins from food? Does what you eat affect your mood? Digestion is an invisible, effortless, unconscious processâand one that, until recently, we knew almost nothing about. On this episode of Gastropod, we follow our food on its journey to becoming ...More â
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BONUS: Introducing Science Rules! with Bill Nye 2019-05-16 06:23:48 We interrupt our regular programming to bring you news of a new podcast you might like. Bill Nye is on a mission to change the worldâone phone call at a time. On his new podcast, Science Rules!, he tackles your questions on just about anything in the universe. Perhaps you've wondered: Should I stop eating ...More â
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The Great Gastropod Pudding Off 2019-05-06 15:44:10 Four bakers, one evening, and one challenge: Who can steam the best spotted dick? On this week's action-packed episode, Tom Gilliford, Selasi Gbormittah, and Yan Tsou of Great British Bake-Off fame, along with honorary Gastropod member (and Cynthia's partner) Tim Buntel, compete to see who can master this most classic of British puddings for the ...More â
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Potatoes in Space! 2019-04-23 12:20:51 Today, a half century after Neil Armstrong took one small step onto the surface of the Moon, there are still just three humans living in spaceâthe crew of the International Space Station. But, after decades of talk, both government agencies and entrepreneurs are now drawing up more concrete plans to return to the Moon, and ...More â
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The Curry Chronicles 2019-04-09 11:47:34 Curry is, supposedly, Indian. But there is no such word in any of the country's many official languagesâand no Indian would use the term to describe their own food. So what is curry? This episode takes us to India, Britain, and Japan on a quest to understand how a variety of spicy, saucy dishes ended ...More â
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The Bagelization of America 2019-03-26 01:12:18 Today, it's a breakfast staple, but, as recently as 1960, The New York Times had to define it for readersâas "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 ...More â
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Can Diet Stop Alzheimer's? 2019-03-11 13:41:00 Every three seconds, someone in the world develops Alzheimer's disease. It's a devastating disease: millions of people, as well as their caretakers, spend years dealing with disabling disorientation and memory loss. Today, it's the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. By 2050, an estimated 15 million people in America will have Alzheimer'sâthe combined ...More â
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Seeds of Immortality 2019-03-04 13:22:50 When seeds first evolved, hundreds of millions of years ago, they not only revolutionized the plant world, but they also eventually sowed the path for human civilization. Today, it's nearly impossible to eat a meal without consuming a plant embryoâor many. But how did seeds come to play such a critical role in human history? ...More â
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Manoush's Favorites: Moving Forward We're hard at work on new episodes of the TED Radio Hour, which will start rolling out in March. In the meantime, new host Manoush Zomorodi shares some of her favorite episodes of the show. This episode originally aired on June 21, 2019. When the life you've built slips out of your grasp, you're often told it's best to move on. But is that true? Instead of forgetting the past, TED speakers describe how we can move forward with it. Guests include writers Nora McInerny and Suleika Jaouad, and human rights advocate Lindy Lou Isonhood.
#551 Translating Science, Part 2 This week on Science for the People, we're discussing how Siksika become one of the official translation languages for press releases from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). The area of the world that is now known as Canada has an abundance of distinct languages; according to the 2016 Census, over 70 are still spoken. But the British government, and then the Canadian government, spent generations trying to prevent children from learning these languages. One of the languages spoken in the prairies is Siksika, also called Blackfoot (the English translation). Host Marion Kilgour speaks to Sharon Yellowfly and Corey Gray...
The Other Latif: Episode 3 The Other Latif
Radiolab's Latif Nasser always believed his name was unique, singular, completely his own. Until one day when he makes a bizarre and shocking discovery. He shares his name with another man: Abdul Latif Nasser, detainee 244 at Guantanamo Bay. The U.S. government paints a terrifying picture of The Other Latif as Al-Qaeda's top explosives expert, and one of the most important advisors to Osama bin Laden. Nasser's lawyer claims that he was at the wrong place at the wrong time, and that he was never even in Al-Qaeda. This clash leads Radiolab's Latif into a years-long investigation, picking apart evidence, attempting to separate fact from fiction, and trying to uncover what this man actually did or didn't do. Along the way, Radiolab's Latif reflects on American values and his own religious past, and wonders how his namesake, a fellow nerdy, suburban Muslim kid, may have gone down such a strikingly different path.
Episode 3: Sudan
Latif turns his focus to Sudan, where his namesake spent time working on a sunflower farm. A sunflower farm owned... by Osama bin Laden. Latif scrutinizes the evidence to try to discover whether - as Abdul Latif's lawyer insists - it was just an innocent clerical job, or whether - as the government alleges - it was what turned him into an extremist fighter.
This episode was produced by Suzie Lechtenberg, Sarah Qari, and Latif Nasser. With help from Niza Nondo and Maaki Monem. Fact checking by Diane Kelly and Margot Williams. Editing by Jad Abumrad and Soren Wheeler. Original music by Jad Abumrad, Alex Overington, Jeremy Bloom, and Amino Belyamani.
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.