Keeping it Fresh: Preservatives and The Poison Squad
From Gastropod - More than a century ago, enterprising manufacturers added brand-new chemical preservatives into food to keep it fresh as it traveled from the farm into rapidly growing American cities. Milk no longer went rancid! Meat no longer spoiled! But some scientists wondered: could all these preservatives be doing more harm than good? It took a crusading ...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.
Keeping it Fresh: Preservatives and The Poison Squad 2018-08-27 20:59:10 More than a century ago, enterprising manufacturers added brand-new chemical preservatives into food to keep it fresh as it traveled from the farm into rapidly growing American cities. Milk no longer went rancid! Meat no longer spoiled! But some scientists wondered: could all these preservatives be doing more harm than good? It took a crusading ...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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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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Eating to Win: Gatorade, Muscle Milk, and... Chicken Nuggets? 2019-02-12 13:36:48 Ancient Greek Olympians swore by beans to give them a competitive edge. Japanese sumo wrestlers rely on a protein-rich soup called chankonabe to get into peak condition. And NBA all-stars Kevin Garnett, Carmelo Anthony, and Steph Curry credit their success to a pre-game PB&J. Throughout history, athletes have traditionally eaten something special they hope will ...More â
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The Secret History of the Slave Behind Jack Daniel's Whiskey 2019-01-28 15:51:33 Back in 1866, Jack Daniel's became the first registered distillery in the United States; today, it's the top-selling American whiskey in the world. For much of the brand's 150-plus years, the story went that the young Jack Daniel learned his trade from a pastor named Dan Call. In reality, he was taught to distill by ...More â
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Sweet and Low (Calorie): The Story of Artificial Sweeteners 2019-01-15 11:54:57 For decades, ads for treats sweetened with substances like Sweet'N Low, NutraSweet, and Splenda have promised what seems like a miracle of modern science: that you can enjoy all the dessert you want, calorie-free. No need to deprive yourselfâwith artificial sweeteners, you can literally have your cake and eat it, too. But are these substances ...More â
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Dirty Tricks and Data: The Great Soda Wars, Part 2 2018-12-17 20:13:19 Over the past five years, more than forty cities and countries around the world have passed a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. These soda taxes are designed to improve public healthâbut do they? Or have all the doom-and-gloom predictions of the soda industry come true instead? Researchers have been crunching the data, and this episode we ...More â
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Souring on Sweet: The Great Soda Wars, Part 1 2018-12-04 13:01:27 Public health researchers agree: the evidence is clear that Americans consume way too much sugar, that sugar contributes to weight gain, and that rising rates of obesity in the U.S. will lead to significant health problems in the future. What's much less clear is what to do about it. In this special, first-ever two-part episode ...More â
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The Truth is in the Tooth: Braces, Cavities, and the Paleo Diet 2018-11-19 14:47:02 Brush, floss, and forget: chances are, you only think about your teeth when they cause you trouble. But teeth have tales to tell, such as how old we are, how fast we grew, and how far we've traveled... But, most intriguingly, teeth can tell us both what we evolved to eat and what we actually have ...More â
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Who Invented Mac and Cheese? 2018-11-13 09:15:11 The warm, gooey dish, a childhood staple across North America, is many things to many people: a mainstay of African-American Sunday dinners, according to soul food expert Adrian Miller; a comforting yet celebratory meal that can be jazzed up in dozens of ways, according to chef and former mac and cheese restaurant owner Allison Arevalo; and ...More â
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How the Carrot Became Orange, and Other Stories 2018-11-05 19:28:48 Thousands of years ago, in what's now Afghanistan, people unearthed the tangled, gnarled roots of Queen Anne's Laceâa ubiquitous, hairy-stemmed plant with a spray of tiny white flowers. These fibrous, twisted roots were white and bitter-tasting, but they had an appealing spicy, pine-y, earthy aroma. This was the unpromising ancestor of one of America's most ...More â
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Best Science Podcasts 2019
We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Rethinking Anger Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...