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Food Non-Fiction

Food Non-Fiction tells the incredible true stories behind food. Every week, we pick a food topic and delve deep into its history and fascinating facts. We look forward to taking you on this wild food journey, through history, and around the world.
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Jul 31, 2017

Lots of people know the story of how cornflakes were created - this is the story of why.

Thank You To Our Interviewee:

Dr. Brian Wilson

Thank You To Looperman Artists:

Melody 126 Beats by Purge
Ambellient by Danke
Edm pluck for intro by capostipite
Edm synth for verse by capostipite

Jul 2, 2017

This is the origin story of fondue and how it became a popular dish.

Thank You To Our Interviewee:

Belinda Hulin

Thank You To Looperman Artists:

Poppy Acoustic (parts 1, 2, and 3) by BradoSanz
Edm pluck_for_intro by capostipite
EDM Trap Perc Melody by 7venth12

May 22, 2017

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is about the famous cereal mascot - Tony the Tiger.

Thanks to Looperman Artists for the Music:

Apollo by SANTIAGOO

 

Mar 6, 2017

In this Food Non-Fiction episode, we talk to Peter Brears about what it was like to work in King Henry VIII's kitchen. 

Thank you to our interviewee:

Peter Brears - author of "Cooking & Dining in Tudor & Early Stuart England"

Thank you to Looperman artists:

Bright Absurdity - Hip-hop Piano by JulietStarling
xxiii Sampled Medieval Italian Acoustic Guitar by Julietstarling
Artisticstrings HD Part 1 by Jawadalblooshi
Dusted Jazz Loop by LeuNatic
Brass - 10 - 130 Bpm by SoleilxLune
AV Melody Loop 4 by Angelicvibes

Jan 29, 2017

This is the incredible true story of Turnspit Dogs. 

The turnspit dog is an extinct breed of dog. This breed was used in kitchens to turn roasting spits back when roasting was done over an open fire, rather than in an oven. The earliest known reference to to this breed is in a book called "De Canibus Britannicis" by Dr. Caius. In this book, which was published in 1570, turnspit dogs were described as a kitchen service dog. 

Turnspit dogs were put into wooden wheels (that looked like giant hamster wheels), and made to run inside the wheel, which turned a chain, which turned the spit. 

Thank You to Our Interviewee:

Ciara Farrell from The Kennel Club

Thank You to this Looperman Artist for the Music:

Melody by Slice0fCake

Dec 1, 2016

Did your parents ever tell you that carrots improve your night vision? Have you ever heard that this is a myth? So what is the real story?

Thank You to Our Interviewee:

Maya Hirschman from The Secrets of Radar Museum

Thank You to This Looperman Artist for the Music:

Piano Loop Will-Power 94 by designedimpression

Special Thanks to Public Service Broadcasting for the Music:

Visit their site!

Oct 31, 2016

This episode explores the history of Halloween and the vague beginnings of trick or treating!

Thank You To Our Interviewee:

Professor Nick Rogers

Thank You To Looperman Artists for the Music:

Melody by Slice0fCake
Father Grimlin - Temperament Strings by JulietStarling
Dark Creepy Piano by Zaqsi

 

Oct 12, 2016

Inspired by the book, "Chocolate Wars", by Deborah Cadbury, today we're telling you the incredible true story of how how the biggest chocolate companies in the world fought for our tummies and tastebuds through innovation after innovation that eventually turned cocoa products from a drink, to an edible chocolate, to a milk chocolate powder, and finally, to our beloved milk chocolate bar.

In the 1860s/70s cadbury experimented with and successfully created the first mass-manufactured chocolate bar. Milk chocolate bars did not yet exist at this time, so it would have been a plain dark chocolate bar.

This was a big breakthrough. The fact that these bars could be mass-produced meant that they could be cheaper...more affordable, so more people could buy it and try it.

By the 1890s, everyone in Britain was buying cocoa products - it was no longer just an exotic treat for the rich. In the decade from 1890 to 1900, the amount of cocoa consumed in Britain was doubled.

Over in Switzerland, around the same time that Cadbury had managed to mass-produce their plain chocolate bar, Daniel Peter was working on making the world’s first milk chocolate powder.

We know that Daniel Peter happened to be neighbors with Henri Nestlé of Nestle fame. And according to one story, Daniel had a baby daughter, named Rose, who wouldn’t take breast milk. So he asked his neighbor Henri for help, because he had just started selling a powdered milk developed for babies.

So baby Rose was saved, because she could drink Nestlé’s powdered milk. At the same time her father, Daniel, got the idea to use the powdered milk to create a milk chocolate powder, which of course did not exist at the time. Although, people were already drinking cocoa powder with milk, so they would have been familiar with the flavor.

In 1875, Daniel su cceeded in making the world’s first milk chocolate powder - it was called “Chocolats au Lait Gala Peter”. It was a success.

He thought about making his drink into a chocolate bar...a milk chocolate bar. After years of working to create a milk chocolate bar, Daniel finally created one he could sell - he called it “Gala Peter”. The year was 1886.

Elsewhere in Switzerland, at around the same time, another important chocolate innovation was happening.

Rodolphe Lindt, of Lindt chocolate fame, created a much smoother chocolate after pressing the beans for longer than the norm. He experimented with different temperatures and timings to get as much cocoa butter folded into his mix as possible. This created a delicious melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. (Even today Lindt chocolates are known to be silky smooth.)

He invented a machine called “a conch” because it looked like a conch shell. Chocolate bars used to be hard and gritty, but now they could be softer and smoother.

So what we’re seeing at this time is more and more people getting into the business of cocoa, and working hard and innovating to get ahead.

Now, back in Britain, Cadbury’s innovations made them very successful. As Quakers, George and Richard Cadbury wanted to use their money to create an ideal place for their employees to work.

In 1878, they bought the idyllic land for their model factory that would be surrounded by nature. The factory was a manufacturing marvel. It was built to be one-storey tall, so that goods would not have to go up and down stairs.

And they built cottages and gardens around it with spaces to play sports or relax. They called the model Town Bournville, and Bournville would be the inspiration for model towns to come. Including, the town of Hershey, which we’ve done an episode on.

At around this time in the 1870s, young Milton Hershey was still in Philadelphia trying to make his candy shop successful.

In England at that time the Quaker-led chocolate companies dominated. The 3 Quaker companies, Fry, Cadbury and Rowntree were all powerhouses. But they were all being threatened by European competition. You can imagine it must have been hard to compete with Lindt’s smooth chocolate and Peter’s milk chocolate coming out of Switzerland. So the Quaker firms discussed pricing and advertising with one another, essentially working together not to destroy each other.

Cadbury had to figure out how to make a product that could compete with Swiss chocolate. After a trip to Switzerland and much experimentation, George Jr. created a chocolate bar you may have heard of - it was Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, and it launched way back in 1905. That means Dairy Milk has been around for over one hundred years.

The first world war really leveled out the chocolate playing field. The big British Quaker companies, including Cadbury, had to withdraw their best products.

The Swiss, including Nestle, were very impacted because their home market was small and they had relied on selling across Europe and abroad, but exporting became dangerous. The solution was to borrow a ton of money and invest in companies overseas.

In America, Hershey was not affected by the first world war. And soon after the war, another chocolate contender surfaced in America alongside Hershey. It was Mars, which used to be called the Mar-O-Bar Company.

The countline that was created was the Milky Way which launched in 1924 and made Frank Mars’s Mar-O-Bar Company a success. Frank Mars and his son Forrest Mars built a new factory and went on to launch Snickers and 3 Musketeers bars. In 1933, the father and son had a fight over how to run the business.

After WWI, cadbury had to worry about competition from foreign companies like Nestle again. They had become more efficient after experiencing war-time rationing, and they knew they needed to use their efficiency to make and sell products more cheaply.

They also knew that they needed to make fewer types of chocolate and focus on mass producing key products.

Soon after WWI they launched Flake (1920), Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut bar (1926) which I love, and the original cream-filled chocolate egg (1923) which would eventually become today’s iconic Cadbury Creme Egg (1963).

Like Cadbury, the other chocolate companies rolled out fantastic new chocolate bars in the post-WW1 period. In the 1930s Forrest Mars came out with Maltesers. Then Rowntree came out with tons of innovations like - Chocolate Crisp (which was eventually named Kit Kat), and also Aero, and Smarties.

Eventually, Cadbury went public

And then Cadbury was taken over by Kraft, which I just learned is now called Mondelez International

Thank You to Our Interviewee:

Deborah Cadbury

Thank You to Looperman Artists:

Guitars Unlimited - Reaching Home 1 by MINOR2GO
Melody 126 Beats by Purge

Sep 1, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about the beginning of Cadbury. We go right back to a time before Cadbury even existed.

Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music:

happily ever after strings perfect for movie score by nbeats26
oboe 65 70 bpm by soleilxlune
Funky Guitar by Neems 1 by Neems

For more information on the topic, we recommend this book:

"Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers" by Deborah Cadbury

Aug 10, 2016

This Food Non-Fiction episode is about waffles! We talk about the beginning of waffles and the rise of waffles.

Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music:

Guitars Unlimited - Reaching Home 1 by MINOR2GO

Guitars Unlimited - Reaching Home 2 by MINOR2GO

happily ever after strings perfect for movie score by nbeats26

Jul 26, 2016

This is the story of the extremely popular and iconic Huy Fong Foods hot sauce - Sriracha. The company, Huy Fong Foods, is an American success story. The founder, David Tran, left Vietnam in 1979 and ended up in the U.S., along with many of his fellow refugees. He had been part of the Chinese minority in Vietnam, and because of his Chinese heritage, he had been pressured to leave after the Vietnam War. 

David Tran missed the taste of the hot sauces from Vietnam, and also needed to make money, so he started the company, Huy Fong Foods, in 1980 in California. The company was named after the freighter that he took to leave Vietnam. It was named "Huey Fong". Huy Fong Foods has never spent money on advertising, but it continues to grow year after year. They make Sriracha from fresh red Jalapeno peppers, which comes from Underwood Ranches - their sole supplier. The peppers are delivered within hours of harvesting.

It's believed that the original Sriracha sauce was created by a woman named Thanom Chakkapak from a coastal town in Thailand called Si Racha. The original sauce is still being produced, and it is called "Sriraja Panich". It is sweeter and runnier than the Huy Fong Foods brand Sriracha that we know so well.

Thank You to Our Interviewees:

Griffin Hammond

Ernesto Hernandez-Lopez

Craig Underwood

Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music:

relaxed chillout strings by rasputin1963

within reach piano by designedimpression

DNB EXPLOSION Piano by frogdude34

Jul 15, 2016

Hey Food Buffs - This one is a bonus episode. Fakhri has a pizza place she loves - it's called Secret Stash - and she collected an interview with the owner, Kyleena Falzone.

Thank You To Our Interviewee:

Kyleena Falzone of Secret Stash

Jun 23, 2016

This episode is about vending machines. The first reference to a vending machine is from the 1st century AD in Egypt. The reference is in a book called “Pneumatika”, written by Hero of Alexandria. In it, there is a detailed description and a picture of a device, which dispensed water when you put in a five-drachma coin.

This was invented for dispensing equal amounts of sacrificial water at Egyptian temples. This was a source of money for the Egyptian temples, and it also made sure everyone got the same amount of holy water.

Here is how it worked: Imagine a teeter totter. When a coin was dropped into the holy water dispenser, it fell on one end of the teeter totter, causing the other end to lift up, also opening a little exit which let the holy water out. As the teeter totter moved down on the side with the coin, the coin eventually fell off. Once the coin fell, the teeter totter reset and the water exit closed.

Unfortunately, one of these devices has never been found, so we don’t know if this was just a design concept or if it was actually used. In fact, we’re not even sure who invented it.

It’s possible that the author of the book, Hero of Alexandria, invented it. It’s also possible that one of his predecessors, Ctesibius, invented it.

After that, it wasn’t until the 1600s that more vending machines were introduced to the world. Around 1615, you could get tobacco from coin operated devices in English taverns and inns.

Here’s how the tobacco device worked: When you put your coin in, it pressed a trigger that popped open the lid.

These were very crude vending machines. After each use, you had to manually close it again. And you also had to watch to make sure people didn’t take everything in the box, because when the lid was open, you could just take all the tobacco.

The next version of vending machines also appeared in England. Richard Carlile was a publisher and a bookseller who believed in freedom of the press. He had been arrested for selling political texts, so in 1822 he created a book vending machine, hoping to avoid more legal charges that way - because it would be the machine selling the books, not him. Anyhow, the courts did not agree with that logic, and he was still held responsible for selling the books.

Moving on to 1857, we get the first patent for a fully automatic vending machine. It was called “A Self Acting Machine for the Delivery of Postage and Receipt Stamps”. That didn’t take off either.

Finally, in England, 1883, we get a more successful vending machine. That year, Percival Everitt got his patent for a vending machine which dispensed postcards. With that vending machine, people could finally buy postcards when shops were closed.

In 1888, the Adams Gum Company installed vending machines on the platforms of rail stations in New York. These vending machines were designed to sell Tutti-Frutti gum, and inspired the creation of more vending machines that sold small snacks like candy and peanuts.

Gum was a great product to sell because it was cheap, it lasted a long time, and they came with no health concerns. Gum can also take a good amount of abuse. You can drop it without it breaking it, and it doesn’t melt when it gets hot out - the way chocolate bars do - so quality control was not an issue.

In 1911, many of the big players in the vending machine business started to merge together to become the Autosales Gum and Chocolate Company. This company combined the major players in the chewing gum business, together holding 250 names and brands, and the major players in the vending machine making business, together controlling many patents and wide distribution.

The idea behind the Autosales Gum and Chocolate Company was that their vending machines would sell small versions of the goods they wanted people to buy over the counter. The vending machines were a way to market the goods.

But vending machines still had a long way to go before becoming the $43 billion industry it is today. The vending machine industry has been plagued with bad behaviour since the start.

People abuse the machines. People hit vending machines when they don’t get their purchased item, they plug the coin slots with random objects for fun, drunk people pour beer into the coin slot, and people also use other objects to mimic coins - these mimics are called “slugs”.

Slugs were a really big problem, especially in the early 1900s when vending machines were not great at identifying fake coins. In the 1940s vending machines improved their system for checking for slugs. Coins went through multiple tests before they were accepted by the machines. First, the vending machines would test the size of the coin. Then they tested for iron and steel with a magnet - if the coin was magnetic, it would be returned. Then the coin was tested for the proper weight. Then the coin was tested with metallurgy to check for the right composition (for example foreign currency was sometimes used and this test would uncover that). Real coins passed these 4 tests within a fraction of a second.

Vending machines really took off in the post-WWII period. They were a convenient way to feed the workers in the factories. Factories also earned commission from vending machine sales.

Over time, the technology became more sophisticated. Today, machines are great at detecting fake money, operators can monitor the machines remotely, sensors and machine-learning reduce the energy usage by turning off things like the lighting when there are no customers, and machines can take credit cards.

The next step for the vending machine industry is to make vending machines a destination, rather than a last resort. Touch screen video displays and other interactive features are being added that are making vending machines much more fun.

Thank you to our Interviewees:

Tim Sanford - Editor-in-Chief of Vending Times

Dr. Michael Kasavana - National Automatic Merchandising Association Endowed Professor

Thanks to Looperman Artists for the Music: 

happily ever after strings perfect for movie score by nbeats26

Whats Goin Down by rasputin1963

Strings Universal - RIP Old Friend by MINOR2GO

Funky Guitar by Neems 1 by Neems

 

Jun 9, 2016

This episode tells the story of Jell-O from when it was first introduced in 1897. Because gelatin desserts like Jell-O used to be a food that only wealthy families could afford to eat, (it took a long time to prepare) people were unfamiliar with the product and it was hard to sell. It took some great marketing to get this product off the ground.

Special Thanks to Interviewee:

Lynne Belluscio and the Jell-O Gallery Museum

Thanks to Looperman Artists for the Music:

relaxed chillout strings by rasputin1963

happily ever after strings perfect for movie score by nbeats26

May 20, 2016

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is about vanilla! We explain the causes behind the rise and fall of the price of vanilla. It is a product that has very erratic cycles of prices skyrocketing then crashing, skyrocketing then crashing. The supply never seems to match the demands. We discuss a possible solution to this - fair trade.

Special Thanks to Our Interviewees:

Felix Buccellato of Custom Essence

Richard J. Brownell

We highly recommend this book about vanilla:

"Vanilla Orchids: Natural History and Cultivation" by Ken Cameron

Thank You to Truekey for the Music, as well as Looperman Artists:

Memories Acoustic 1 by BradoSanz

chillwave bass and synth by Djpuzzle 

Going Up by LarsM

May 11, 2016

This episode is about the creation of the original chocolate chip cookie recipe by Ruth Wakefield in 1938. Ruth, along with her husband, was the owner of the famous Toll House Inn.

As promised in the episode, here are 2 links to the original chocolate chip cookie recipe:

Easier to read!

With pictures!

Thank you to Looperman Artists for the Music:

Apollo by SANTIAGOO
Funky Guitar by Neems 1 by Neems
Whats Goin Down by rasputin1963

Apr 25, 2016

We talk to the Hershey community archivist, Pam Whitenack and her colleagues about what it is really like to live in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Hershey is a model community that was built by Milton Hershey - the founder of The Hershey Company. It was built as a place for The Hershey Company employees to live. Unlike other factory towns, it was built with care and love, with great transportation, entertainment, and aesthetics.

Special Thanks to Our Interviewees:

Pam Whitenack and Anthony Haubert of the Hershey Community Archives

Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music:

Poppy Acoustic by BradoSanz
Poppy Acoustic 2 by BradoSanz
Poppy Acoustic 3 by BradoSanz
Poppy Acoustic 4 by BradoSanz
Bright Absurdity Hip-hop Piano by JulietStarling
1950s Rock-N-Roll Piano Riff by rasputin1963
Going Up by LarsM
Nights Strings HD by jawadalblooshi
FX - 34 - 80 Bpm by SoleilxLune

Apr 13, 2016

This is a very special Food Non-Fiction podcast episode. We had the immense pleasure of interviewing one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the Heroes category of 2010. Her name is Temple Grandin. She is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University. In North America, over half the cattle are handled in the humane systems designed by Dr. Grandin.

Thank You to Our Esteemed Guests:

Temple Grandin

Christopher Monger

Mark Deesing

Special Thanks to:

David Porter and Rachel Winks of Cabi.org for all your help.

Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music:

Memories Acoustic 1 by BradoSanz 

Ambellient by Danke

Primitive Piano by Danke 

Nasty Patterns 4 by flsouto

Funky Guitar by Neems 1 by Neems

Whats Goin Down by rasputin1963

Concert Cello - Heaven by kickklee

Piano Quality Cajsa by MINOR2GO

SynCato by DesignedImpression

Credit to Rosalie Winard for the photos of Temple Grandin

Apr 7, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell the incredible true story of The Poison Squad.

Thanks to Looperman Artists for the Music:

SynCato by DesignedImpression
1950s Rock N Roll Piano Riff by rasputin1963
Food non-fiction 1 & 2
Funky Guitar by Neems 1 by Neems

Special thanks to the musician, truekey, for writing music for Food Non-Fiction:
Soundcloud
Twitter: @truekeymusic

Mar 26, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell the incredible true story of Henry John Heinz - the founder of the H.J. Heinz Company and the maker of everybody's favorite ketchup.

Special Thanks to Looperman Artists for the Music:

Liar Piano - 1 of 5 Sounds by RicoBeatz
Funky Guitar by Neems 1 by Neems
Bright Absurdity - Hip-hop Piano by JulietStarling
Liar Guitar FLEX - 4 of 5 Sounds by RicoBeatz
Piano Quality - Love Confession 2 by MINOR2GO
Piano Quality - Love Confession 1 by MINOR2GO

If you'd like to know more about this topic, we strongly recommend the book "H.J. Heinz: A Biography" by Quentin R. Skrabec - we relied heavily on this source for this episode.

Mar 18, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell the incredible true story of ketchup.

Thank you to this Looperman Artist for the Music:

1950s Rock N Roll Piano Riff by rasputin1963

Special thanks to the musician, truekey, for writing music for Food Non-Fiction:

Soundcloud

Twitter: @truekeymusic

Mar 10, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction episode, we tell the incredible true story of the Tupperware Party. Every few seconds, someone somewhere in the world is hosting a Tupperware Party. In a world where everything is sold online, Tupperware sells their product through Tupperware Parties. If you haven't attended a Tupperware party, it's unlikely that you own actual Tupperware brand Tupperware. That's right - Tupperware is a brand. It's one of those brands, like Frisbee and Kleenex, with a name that has become synonymous with the product.

If Tupperware Parties didn't exist, it's possible that tupperware would not exist. And without tupperware, we might still be covering our dishes in shower caps. When tupperware first hit the market, it was a huge dud. Even with tons of marketing, the inventor, Earl Tupper, could not increase sales. However, while no one was buying tupperware from stores, people were buying tupperware from independent sales people hosting parties, utilizing the "party plan" sales method. This is because back when people were not familiar with tupperware, it had to be demonstrated for people to recognize what a great product it was.

Brownie Wise was a superstar at selling tupperware through Tupperware Parties. Earl Tupper hired her to create a sales force and she created a huge and loyal network of salespeople. 

Special Thanks To Our Interviewee:

Caroline Schoofs

Thank You To Looperman Artists for the Music:

Funky Guitar by Neems 1 by Neems

Bright Absurdity - Hip-hop Piano by JulietStarling

Feb 25, 2016

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode investigates the question - who created the California Roll?

Thank You to Our Interviewees:

Hidekazu Tojo

Trevor Corson

David Kamp

Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music:

Drum Loop Republic by attackyak

Japanese Vibes Rhodes Only by raphael29

edm pluck for intro by capostipite

Dusted Jazz Loop by LeuNatic

Poppy Acoustic 2 by BradoSanz

Poppy Acoustic 3 by BradoSanz

Feb 17, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction episode, we go nerdy and cover a paper titled "Simply Walking into Mordor: How Much Lembas Would the Fellowship Have Needed?" by Skye Rosetti and Krisho Manaharan.

The paper calculates how many pieces of lembas (elvish waybread) the Fellowship of the Ring would have had to pack for the journey from Rivendell to Mordor.

Special Thanks to Looperman Artists for the Music:

Concert Cello - Heaven by kickklee
Apollo by SANTIAGOO
Amazing Strings by BakoBone

Feb 11, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell the rollercoaster story of the birth of instant noodles. On March 5, 1910, Momofuku Ando was born in Taiwan and raised by his grandparents. This was during the 50 years of Japanese rule that started after Japan won the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895.

He was a natural entrepreneur and started a clothing business when he was only 22. With his success, he moved to Japan the next year and expanded his clothing company while still attending university.

But during WWII, he lost everything when Osaka was firebombed by American forces. It was a tragedy that informed his world-view. He saw the hungry all around him. In a 1988 interview, he said, “the world is peaceful only when everyone has enough to eat. Everything starts with food.”

With his strong respect for food, he made his first attempt at entering the food industry by producing salt and nutritional products but it was too competitive. Instead, he worked as chair of a credit union until it went bankrupt in 1957.

He was 47 that year, and had once again lost his livelihood. But Ando was not one to give up. He saw every failure as muscle added to his body. He thought once more about food and remembered a day when he had seen people waiting in a long line for a bowl of noodles.

He thought that it would be wonderful if the hungry could have a bowl of warm noodles whenever they needed it. So, he began searching for a way to make instant noodles.

To prepare, he built a shed in his backyard that was to be his makeshift lab for creating instant noodles. He bought a used noodle making machine, a chinese wok, some flour and cooking oil.

He set his criteria right from the start. His noodles had to be tasty, nonperishable and ready in less than 3 minutes. He knew he had to figure out two things to create instant noodles - first, he had to find a way to remove all moisture from the noodles, in order to make them nonperishable. Second, he had to find a way to revive the noodles by putting the moisture back in.

He worked for a year in his backyard shed until he finally got the creative insight that he needed. This happened while he watched his wife making vegetable tempura.
Ando once said that, “Perspiration might lead to inspiration, but only if you set clear goals”. He set clear goals, he worked hard, and he got the inspiration he needed.

When Ando watched that tempura batter enter the frying oil, he recognized two important things. One was that the oil pushed the water out of the batter. Two was that water exiting the batter created little pores in the it. So dipping noodles in hot oil would remove all the water from the noodles, making the noodles nonperishable AND create pores in the noodles, so that water could re-enter the them and moisten them up again. The year was 1958 and Ando had created the world's first instant noodles.

Unfortunately, when Ando approached wholesalers, they told him it was too expensive for consumers, because at the time, it cost 6 times as much as a serving of fresh noodles. So, undaunted, he took matters into his own hands and organized tastings around the city

The tastings were successful and within a year, he had a factory and was producing 100,000 packs of instant noodles a day.

Right from the very first packs of instant noodles, Ando had planned to go international. He knew he was going to sell his product in the west. That’s why the very first flavor of instant noodles was flavored like Chicken Noodle Soup.

Not soy sauce flavored, but chicken noodle soup flavored, because Ando knew that people in the west might find soy sauce flavoring too foreign.

He famously said “Let them eat it with forks!" showing that he wanted to spread his product to the west and was going to accommodate western norms.

In 1966, Ando traveled to Los Angeles to promote his product. According to an article by Karen Leibowitz, he saw the supermarket executives he was meeting with reuse their styrofoam coffee cups to hold instant noodles.

At this point, he already knew that making portable bowls was the next step to improving the convenience of instant noodles, and now he knew that the bowls should actually be shaped like cups!

Cups would be the trendy new way to eat noodles. Bowls were outdated. Cups you could carry around with one hand without soup spilling!

Ando chose young adults as his target market. In order to reach his target market, he again used tasting events. This time he set up tasting events in Ginza, the fashion district in Japan. It was a successful tactic and cup noodles took off.

Ando’s cup noodles were brilliantly designed. Because manufacturing equipment at the time lacked the finesse to evenly wedge the noodles into the cups, he had the machines put the cups over the noodles instead.

We should also note that the noodles went in the mid portion of the cups, so they did not sit at the bottom. Having noodles in the mid portion of the cups made them more structurally sound, a great asset for shipping. As well, the noodles had room to expand on both sides when hot water was poured in.

Ando’s innovations took off. By 1973, Nissin had opened its first factory in the US. Today, Nissin continues to innovate. Ando had wanted his product to feed the masses - he never intended his noodles to be considered cheap, unsubstantial food. So these days, his company is working on adding nutrients to the centre layer of their noodles.

Nissin has created a line of healthier noodles called Raoh that are not fried. These noodles consist of 3 layers of different textures to mimic fresh noodles - the outer layers are silky and the inner layer is chewy. They’ve achieved these different textures by changing the levels of gliadin and glutenin that combine to form the gluten in the noodles. The chewy center layer is where they are working on adding nutrients.

 

Special Thanks to Looperman Artists for the music!

Ambellient by Danke
Piano Quality Cajsa by MINOR2GO
Piano Quality Make A Wish 2 by MINOR2GO
Poppy Acoustic 2 by BradoSanz
Poppy Acoustic 4 by BradoSanz

Feb 4, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell you how the accountant, Walter Diemer, ended up creating the world's first commercially available bubble gum. Walter worked for the Frank H. Fleer Corporation founded by Frank H. Fleer who had invented the world's first (not commercially available) bubble gum. After Frank died, his son in law, Gilbert Mustin, eventually took over the company. There are few sources on how Walter became involved with making bubble gum, but according to a book titled, "It Happened In Philadelphia", Mustin had set up a lab for working on a gum base. This lab happened to be near Walter's office. Walter helped watch over a gum concoction one day and became fascinated with the idea of making a successful bubble gum. He played around with recipes and eventually created Dubble Bubble.

Thank you to Looperman artists for the music:

edm pluck for intro by capostipite
Drum Loop Republic by attackyak
Japanese Vibes Rhodes Only by raphael29

Thank you to Bob Conway for the interview

Website

 

 

Jan 28, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about the spork. 

Thank you to the Looperman artist BradoSanz for the music!

We used these wonderful songs:

Poppy Acoustic 1

Poppy Acoustic 2

Poppy Acoustic 3

Poppy Acoustic 4

Jan 21, 2016

This is the first Food Non-Fiction episode of 2016, so we are going to talk about food trends. This episode will cover how to spot food trends, how to track food trends and what food trends we can expect in 2016.

Using the New York Times' Chronicle tool, writer Neil Irwin came up with the Fried Calamari Index to track food trends by looking at the frequency at which the NYT mentioned various foods.

Culinary trendologist, Christine Couvelier, forecasts food trends by going to food shows around the world, talking to chefs, visiting grocery stores/gourmet retail stores, and looking at food magazines.

Christine says that food trends start at industry food shows around the world where food companies show their new food ideas. Some ideas are adopted in restaurant menus and the successful flavours then become available in specialty stores and magazines. From there, certain foods make it to grocery stores, thus becoming widespread and easily available to the average consumer. This is the path that balsamic vinegar has taken and this item is now commonplace in kitchens.

In 2016, we can expect to see the flavour combination of sweet and heat. We can also expect new flavours of hummus, as well as vegetable yogurts. Continuing on from 2015, vegetables will be more and more central to dishes. Rather than simply being the healthy option or a garnish, vegetables will be used in enticing new ways - grilled, charred, roasted and smoked.

2016 has been deemed the International Year of Pulses by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, so we'll be encouraged to use pulses like chick peas, beans and lentils. 

Thank you to our fascinating interviewees:

Christine Couvelier of the Culinary Concierge

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois of the University of Guelph

Special thanks to the musician, truekey, for writing music for Food Non-Fiction:

Soundcloud

Twitter: @truekeymusic 

 

Dec 16, 2015

This Food Non-Fiction podcast is all about Can Man Dan. This is the story of how Dan Johnstone became Can Man Dan.

 

Thank you to the following artists for the music in this episode: 

Paul Otten "Joy to the World" cover - Website | SoundCloud

Shaun Friedman "Deck the Halls" cover - Website | SoundCloud

 

Thank you to our Interviewees:

Dan Johnstone

Evan Cherot

Wood Buffalo Food Bank

Edmonton's Food Bank

Dec 9, 2015

1300 km past the Arctic Circle, nestled in the permafrost, amongst inhabitants like polar bears and reindeer, lies the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

In the media, it’s better known as the “Doomsday Vault”. The vault contains backup copies of our world’s seeds...it protects the genetic diversity of our crops in case of large-scale disasters.

The location was chosen in 1983 by the Nordic gene bank. Originally, they had used an old coal mine to store containers of seeds. The coal mines were so big that they had the idea to include the seeds from many other gene banks in this secure storage. But at the time, the project couldn’t get the international or financial support that it needed and it was put on hold.

In 2004 when The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture was taken into force then the project was started again. The facility was opened in 2008.

Thank You To Our Interviewees:

Evjen Grethe Helene - Senior Advisor at Ministry of Agriculture and Food

Ahmed Amri - Head of the genetic resources unit at the International Centre for Agricultural Research for Dry Areas (ICARDA) 

Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music:

2015 Holiday Movies Mashup ActionCue2 String Arp by supertex

Classic Choir 02 by Cbeatz

Summit Full Lead Remake 2 by Optimus1200

Dec 3, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about the creation of the Rice Krispies Treats. In 1928, Kellogg’s introduced the Rice Krispies cereal to the public. In the same year, the company hired a recent home economics graduate of Iowa State University - her name was Mildred Day. Her job was to test recipes for Kellogg’s and she also travelled around the country conducting cooking schools for the company’s customers.

Kellogg’s recipe testers were asked to develop recipes using Kellogg’s cereals. So Mildred Day and her friend Malitta Jensen put their heads together to create something delicious.

They created what we now know as Rice Krispies Treats or Rice Krispies Squares, but back then they called it “marshmallow squares”.

By the way, they didn’t create the recipe from thin air, it’s likely they tweaked the recipe using either the Puffed Wheat Squares recipe in the 1938 cookbook, It’s Fun to Cook, or they may have used an older recipe from 1916 which was a recipe for something called Puffed Rice Brittle.

Either way, the molasses and vinegar were removed from the original recipe and Campfire Marshmallows were added. One source said that Mildred Day chose to replace molasses with marshmallows because marshmallows are less sticky.

You should also note that Mildred Day and Malitta Jensen were part of the Campfire Girls organization.

The Campfire Girls sold boxes of Campfire Marshmallows back then, much like how Girl Scouts sell Girl Scout Cookies. So perhaps that inspired the use of marshmallows in the recipe.

Soon after the marshmallow squares recipe was created, the Campfire Girls organization needed to raise some money to support their summer camp and activity programs. So, Kellog’s, being a company with a reputation for helping out in the community, lent a hand.

It was a good opportunity for them to test out their new marshmallow squares on the public after all. They set up a temporary kitchen to produce batches of marshmallow squares for the Campfire Girls to sell as part of a fundraiser.

Mildred Day worked in the temporary kitchen for two intensive weeks, every day from 6:30AM to 10PM. She was a dedicated Campfire Girls Troop leader and her scouts were able to sell hundreds of Rice Krispies Treats in Michigan during that summer in 1939.

Kellogg's executives noted how much families loved the marshmallow squares.
Kids loved them because of the taste and parents loved them because of the price. Remember, this was 1939 - the back-end of the Great Depression and the front-end of the second world war, so price was important.

So, Kellogg's trademarked the Rice Krispies Treats name in 1940 and added the recipe to the back of the Rice Krispies cereal boxes in 1941.

In 1995, Kellogg's started making the packaged version of the treats for grocery stores.

We spoke with Malitta Jensen's grandson, Jay Hewlett about his grandmother. She was a determined and successful businesswoman and a loving grandmother.

 

Special Thanks to Our Guest:

Jay Hewlett

 

Thank you to Looperman Musicians:

What’s Goin Down by rasputin1963
Visuality by danke
140 BPM Acoustic Guitar by ferryterry

Nov 26, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell the story of how Las Vegas became a destination market for gambling, how the nature of destination markets created competition amongst the many casinos, how casino food amenities were used as a competitive tool, and how casino restaurants have changed over time from buffet to gourmet.

In October of 1929, the stock market crashed. October 29th was the worst day of this crash. It was named “Black Tuesday”. On Black Tuesday, over 16 million shares were traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Billions of dollars were lost and the economy was on a downward spiral into the Great Depression of the 1930’s. So, in 1931, Phil Tobin, a 29 year old freshman member of the legislative assembly introduced a bill to legalize gambling in Nevada. He wasn’t a gambler himself, in fact, he was a cowboy, but he knew that legalizing gambling would bring the state of Nevada some much-needed revenue. The revenue would come from gaming taxes.

At this time, in 1931, the Hoover Dam was scheduled for construction. It was built between 1931 and 1936. This meant that thousands of workers would be coming to Nevada. And these would be federal workers, so it was likely that a lof of the illegal casinos would be shut down. So instead, of having the casinos shut down when the workers came, legalizing casinos would bring in a ton of tax revenues.

Phil Tobin’s bill made financial sense. So, on March 19 of 1931, the Governor signed Assembly Bill 98 into law.

Assembly Bill 98 legalized the following games:

Faro
Monte
Roulette
Keno
Fan-Tan
Twenty-One
Blackjack
Seven-and-a-half
Big Injun
Craps
Klondyke
Stud Poker
Draw Poker
Slots

The bill is also known as the “Wide Open Gambling Bill”.

After World War II, there were strict gambling laws in most states, so Nevada really became the center of gambling in the U.S. - especially, of course, in the Las Vegas strip - which is, by-the-way, located south of the actual city of Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas strip was, and still is, a destination market. People travel there specifically to experience the gambling and entertainment. Destination markets offer a lot of the same thing. For example, you go to Hawaii to surf so there are a lot of surfing schools and they need to compete.

Same thing with going to Las Vegas to gamble - there are so many places you can gamble that these places need to compete for your dollars. So casinos, over time, 

have offered more and more amenities.

Casino resorts started popping up in the 1940’s. You could go to a casino resort, and not only gamble, but have your hotel, live shows and food, all in one place.

Casino restaurants were designed to bring people to the casinos. The strategy back in the middle of the 20th century was to offer cheap food, sometimes even free food. The logic was that if you could offer great price value for food at your casino, then people might choose to come to your casino, rather than go to a standalone restaurant or another casino.

So casino restaurants used to operate as what is called “loss leaders” - casino restaurants would lose a little money, but then gain that money back and more when customers played the gambling games.

There are 2 ways that having a restaurant at a casino can increase revenue.
One - is that the restaurant draws in more players
Two - is that it gets each player to spend more while they’re at the casino.

The Vegas strip is the ULTIMATE gambling destination, but the relationship between casino restaurants and gambling spending is different in Vegas. Certainly, your average Vegas casino restaurant is not operating at a loss anymore. This shift in Las Vegas from the days of cheap casino buffets, designed for the convenience of gambling clients, to high end, big profit restaurants has been gradual.

Thank you to our interview guests:

Dr. Sarah Tanford

Dr. David G. Schwartz

Thanks to the Looperman Artist for the Music:

Chillwave bass and synth by djpuzzle

Nov 19, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we reveal how bacon became a breakfast food. In 1925, the Beech-Nut Packing Company asked Edward Bernays to help increase bacon sales. Why did they ask Edward Bernays? Because Bernays was a master of influencing public opinions. His campaigns increased smoking amongst women, the use of disposable Dixie cups instead of washable glass cups, and more. Back then, breakfasts were very light meals. For example, a breakfast could be a cup of orange juice, some coffee and a roll. So Bernays asked his physician whether a heavier breakfast would be better for the body, given the logic that the body needs to replenish energy lost during sleep. After his physician concurred with the idea, Bernays asked the physician to write to 5000 other doctors to get their opinion. Bernays then published the findings in magazines and articles, concluding that bacon and eggs would make a great healthy breakfast. He succeeded in increasing bacon sales.

References:

The American Table

Baltimore Post-Examiner

Bloomberg Business

Burpy

Daily Dawdle

Music Thanks to Looperman Artists:

Big Room Lead by djpuzzle
EDM Trap 808 by 7venth12
pop drums acoustic drumset 1 by martingunnarson
progressive house melodic synth for intro by capostipite
Lookin For This by FLmoney

Nov 12, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we look into the origins of the ice cream sundae. About a dozen towns claim to be the birthplace of the ice cream sundae, but there are 3 main contenders that are always mentioned. By chronological order, we share the stories from 1. Two Rivers, Wisconsin in 1881, 2. Evanston, Illinois in 1890 and 3. Ithaca, New York in 1892.

In Two Rivers, the ice cream sundae was created when a man named George Hallauer asked for chocolate syrup on top of his ice cream. The Berners' Soda Fountain owner, Edward C. Berners, obliged. 

In Evanston Illinois, the passing of the Blue Law prevented people from consuming soda water, because it was considered too frivolous. That meant that people also couldn't buy ice cream sodas, which were already invented. So one inventive pharmacist. Mr. Garwood, who had a thriving business in ice cream sodas, removed the soda water from the ice cream treat, calling it a "Sunday soda". The name was later shortened and the spelling was changed to be more respectable of the lord's day. So it became known as the "sundae".

In Ithaca, New York, the first sundae was created at Platt & Colt Pharmacy. The pharmacy's co-owner, Chester Platt, often got together with the pastor, John M. Scott, from the Unitarian Church after services. One day, when the two were together, he served up ice cream with cherry sauce and they loved it so much that they named it Cherry Sunday after the flavor and the day of the week.

We present the evidence for each and you can decide which story you want to believe. 

 

Sundae Fight Song lyrics:
In Two Rivers, in Winsconsin,
History was made.
And our pride in that first sundae,
it will never fade.
Made right here by old Ed Berners
Eighteen eighty-one
Now we celebrate that sundae
And have lots of fun
Others try to claim the sundae
started in their towns
But the story of our sundae
turns their smiles to frowns
Evanston and Ithaca,
They are among the worst,
but confronted with our facts,
Concede that Ed was first.
Topped with chocolate, or with cherries and with lots of nuts
Try to claim our sundae
and we’ll kick you in your butts!
On Two Rivers! On Wisconsin.
It’s with pride we burst
as we shout out to the whole world
Ed was first!


Two Rivers, Puh-leeze lyrics:
Two Rivers, why live in denial,
The story you compile, won't play.
Your sign maker, a truth faker,
without sundae proof your claim's melting away.
Ed Berners off to fool the world.
There's such a lot of fools you see.
Though sometimes the truth may offend-
still you can pretend,
my sweet Wisconsin friend,
Two Rivers-puh-leeze.

Special thanks to:
Ithaca recording artists, "Rock Beats Paper"
Arrangement: Robert Dietz
Engineering: James Cannon/Panic Room Studios

Music Thanks to Looperman Artist:

1950s Rock N Roll Piano Riff by rasputin1963

Special Thanks to our Interviewees:

Eden Juron Pearlman - Executive Director of the Evanston Historical Center in Evanston Illinois

Bruce Stoff - Director of Ithaca/Tompkins Convention & Visitors Bureau

Gregory Buckley - Two Rivers City Manager

Ron LaQuaglia - Owner of Glenburn Soda Fountain and Confectionery

References:

Book: A Month of Sundaes by Michael Turback

Visit Ithaca

What's Cooking America

 

Nov 5, 2015

This is the incredible true story of passenger pigeons. There used to be an estimated 3-5 billion passenger pigeons. People killed them for food, then sold the surplus to local markets. With the advancements of technology, people were able to sell their surplus to regional then national markets. Improvements in telegraph technology allowed hunters to communicate where the birds were, and the spread of railroads allowed transportation of huge numbers of passenger pigeons to far away markets.

There was a time when you could buy a passenger pigeon for pennies a piece. There were thousands of hunters that just hunted passenger pigeons all year round. Eventually, the passenger pigeons started dying out, but instead of hunting less to allow the birds to rebuild their numbers, hunters would grab passenger pigeon chicks as soon as they hatched and then mash them together into make a paste.

In 1914, Martha, the last passenger pigeon in the world died at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Special Thanks to Joel Greenberg for the fascinating interview!

References:

Book: “A Feathered River Across the Sky” by Joel Greenberg 

Thank you to Looperman for the Music:

Night Strings HD by jawadalblooshi
Sad Acoustic by EpicRecord
Wood Chimes by danke
Poppy Acoustic 3 by EpicRecord

Oct 28, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we find out the truth behind Halloween candy poisonings. Our guest, Dr. Joel Best, is the world's leading expert on Halloween sadism (Halloween sadism is the term that describes poisoning Halloween candy). He became interested in the topic when he was in graduate school and spending his term reading about deviant behaviours. What he noticed was that criminals always have a motive. He didn't believe that strangers would poison candy because what would be the motive behind that? In fact, there has been no cases of random acts of Halloween candy poisoning in all the years that Dr. Best has been scouring the news for data (1958 onwards). The real danger is sending kids out into the dark with costumes that could limit visibility or cause them to trip. 

Dr. Joel Best notes that "an urban legend is harder to kill than a werewolf" because people continue to believe that Halloween candy gets poisoned each year, even though the overwhelming evidence says otherwise.

Special Thanks to our guest, Dr. Joel Best.

Music is thanks to Looperman artists:

Bass Like Skrillex by TOSHYO
Cutie Pie Anxious Rhodes by JulietStarling
Nice Orchestral Beat HD by jawadalblooshi
Ambellient by Danke
Lookin For This by FLmoney

Oct 22, 2015

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode reveals the creation of Betty Crocker. In 1921, the Washburn-Crosby (now General Mills), created a non-existent employee named "Betty Crocker" who was "chief of correspondence". All customer inquiries about domestic matters were responded to immediately in personal letters signed by Betty Crocker. People loved her. Betty's replies were always prompt and informative. She not only taught people cooking and cleaning techniques, but she also guided women in how to keep happy relationships. Eventually, Betty Crocker's voice was heard on the radio. Washburn-Crosby Company bought a failing radio station and renamed it WCCO. Betty Crocker hosted a cooking radio show that has graduated over a million students.

References:

Article: "Home Cooking: Betty Crocker and Womanhood in Early Twentieth-Century America"

MN90: WCCO - How Betty Crocker Became a Good Neighbor

MN90: The Invention of Betty Crocker

Article: The Radio Made Betty (by Sarah Murray)

Book: Finding Betty Crocker (by Susan Marks)

Oct 15, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about scurvy and its Vitamin C cure. Although the cure for scurvy was discovered a long time ago, changes in the understanding of science, medicine and the human body, caused people time turn away from the tried and true cure of fresh fruits and vegetables time and time again.

We discuss the various events that brought the fresh produce cure in and out of favor.

Thanks to Looperman artists for the music:

Nerves Drums Part 1 & 2 by Lodderup

Nerves Part 1 & 2 by Lodderup

Never Again by Jawadalblooshi

Thought of You by Jawadalblooshi

Sad Piano by Danke 

References:

Mental Floss

Jason Allen Mayberry

About.com

Article: Advancements, challenges, and prospects in the paleopathology of scurvy: Current perspectives on vitamin C deficiency in human skeletal remains

Article: Lind, Scott, Amundsen and scurvy (Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine)

Article: Scott and Scurvy (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Article: Scurvy: Historical Review and Current Diagnostic Approach

Article: Scurvy in the Antarctic (The Lancet Vol 300, Issue 7787)

Article: Sailor's scurvy before and after James Lind - a reassessment

Article: Scurvy: Forgotten but definitely not gone

Article: Scurvy on sea and land: political economy and natural history, c. 1780 - c. 1850

Article: Scurvy: Past, present and future (European Journal of Internal Medicine)

 

Oct 8, 2015

In this podcast episode of Food Non-Fiction, we continue our discussion of Space Food from part 1. This episode features Dr. Louisa Preston, an astrobiologist who discusses with us how realistic the book/movie The Martian was in depicting the growth of potatoes on Mars. We also talk to Chris Patil who is part of the Mars One mission that is hoping to send human colonists to Mars. Finally, we finish our interview with astronaut Chris Hadfield who reveals his favourite space food.

Thanks to our guests Chris Hadfield, Dr. Louisa Preston and Chris Patil for the insightful interviews.

Thanks to Looperman artists for the music:

140BPM Acoustic Guitar by ferryterry
HiGuitar by EpicRecord
Going up by LarsM

Oct 5, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we begin our interview with astronaut Chris Hadfield (concluded in part 2 of the space episode). We also speak to Andy Weir, author of The Martian (film adaptation out in theatres Oct. 2, starring Matt Damon). We ask Chris Hadfield what breakfast lunch and dinner are like in space and we ask Andy Weir about how he came up with the idea for his book.

Oct 1, 2015

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is the story of the first ever luau. Hawaii's second king, Kamehameha II was only around 22 years old when his father died and he took the throne. With influence from his stepmother and birthmother, as well as changing beliefs sparked by Western contact, Kamehameha dined at the women's table during a feast in 1819. This was previously forbidden by kapu rules, but the king's act symbolized the end of the strict kapu system. The Hawaiian word for "feast" used to be "aha 'aina" but that word changed to "luau" after the feast of 1819 - the first Hawaiian feast where men and women dined together. Exactly when the word "luau" replaced "aha 'aina" is uncertain. Although some sources say the word "luau" was first used in 1856 in the Pacific Commercial Advisor newspaper, it was likely used before then. 

Special thanks to Chico for the interview!

References:

A Companion to the Anthropology of American Indians (Edited by Thomas Biolsi)

The Hawaiian Luau (Food, Culture & Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research)

The Hawaiian "kapu" Abolition of 1819 (American Ethnologist Vol. 1 No. 1)

Kamehameha II: Liholiho and the Impact of Change (Julie Stewart Williams and Suelyn Ching Tune)

The Overthrow of the Kapu System In Hawaii (Stephenie Seto Levin)

Music from Looperman: Thanks!

Wiki Tiki by Ravi 

 

Sep 24, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about marshmallows! Marshmallows used to be made with marshmallow plants (Althaea Officinalis). When marshmallows were made with marshmallow plant sap, they had some medicinal properties. They were used like lozenges, to soothe sore throats. We also talk about the first printed S'mores recipe in the 1927 Girl Scouts handbook.

References:

Guild of Food Writers

How Stuff Works

Madehow.com

Smithsonian.com

Campfire Marshmallows

Boyer Candies

Book: Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs

 

 

 

 

Sep 16, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell you about ancient Egyptian honey. Did you know that honey that archaeologists have uncovered from tombs that are thousands of years old remain edible? We tell you all about beekeeping from ancient Egypt.

References:

Smithsonian

Eurasianet

Reshafim

Ancient Origins

Book: The World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting

Book: Letters from the Hive: An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind

Music from Looperman thank you to:

40A

Jensmuse

 

Sep 10, 2015

This is a Food Non-Fiction bonus episode! Lillian the host went on a BBQ boat with her friends today and recorded the experience to share. 

Thanks to Joe, the owner of Joe's BBQ Boat for the interview

Sep 9, 2015

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is about fruit flies. They seem to appear out of nowhere. In fact, people used to believe that small organisms like flies could be spontaneously generated from other matter, whether living or nonliving. This was called "the doctrine of spontaneous generation" or "Aristotelian abiogenesis". The concept of spontaneous generation was popular from Aristotle’s time (somewhere between 384-322 BCE) to the 1600’s. In 1668, Italian physician, Francesco Redi, conducted an experiment to disprove the doctrine of spontaneous generation. He put meat in jars, covered one jar with gauze (so that only air could get in) and left the other one open. If spontaneous generation was possible, then flies would have grown in either condition, but no maggots were seen in the covered jar.

References:

Mother Nature Network
The Bug Squad
Book: Lords of the Fly: Drosophila Genetics and the Experimental Life
Article: Achilles and the Maggots
Article: Francesco Redi's Description of the Spontaneous Generation of Gall Flies 

Music From Looperman artists:

jensmuse
minor2go
blakafer

Sep 8, 2015

In this bonus Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about giant apes and bamboo. In a National Geographic article, we read that perhaps giant apes competed with giant pandas for bamboo. To learn more about this, we spoke to the gigantopithecus (giant ape) expert, Dr. Russel Ciochon. In an enlightening interview, the professor informed us that there is no evidence of competition between gigantopithecus and giant pandas and that gigantopithecus is more likely to have become extinct because they were large animals and could not adapt during more extreme climate change.

Researchers know what gigantopithecus ate because of phytolith ("phyto" meaning plant and "lith" meaning stone) found in gigantopithecus teeth. Our knowledge of phytolith shapes let us recognize the phytolith as coming from bamboo and durian.

Special Thanks: to Professor Russell Ciochon

References: National Geographic article

 

Sep 2, 2015

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is all about pandas and bamboo. We tackle the question - why do giant pandas only eat bamboo? The 2015 answer is that no one really knows. We also spoke to panda experts from the Toronto Zoo and Zoo Atlanta. We find out what they feed the giant pandas, when, why and how.

Aug 27, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, Lillian visits Dark Table in Vancouver and Fakhri visits O'Noir in Montreal. We speak to the founder of Canada's 3 dark dining restaurants and find out how to run a restaurant in pitch black. We also had a guest, Jaycelyn Brown, keyboardist from the Juno award winning band, Said the Whale. She dined with us and this episode has been a blast!

Aug 6, 2015

This is a mini episode from Food Non-Fiction. Because Lillian is getting ready for her Master's defence! This episode is a brief look at deep fried desserts. We talk about doughnuts, deep fried ice cream and even deep fried coke!

References

Smithsonian

About.com

Jul 29, 2015

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode talks about milk cartons. We speak to patent attorney, Matt Buchanan, about the inventor of the milk carton and his patent, which was granted in 1915 in Toledo, Ohio. We then talk to Dr. Joel Best, author of "Threatened Children: Rhetoric and Concern about Child-Victims", about the history of missing children milk carton campaigns.

Special Thanks to Guests:
Matt Buchanan (partner at Buchanan Nipper)
Dr. Joel Best (University of Delaware Professor of sociology and criminal justice)

References:
Patent Blog
Dairy Antiques Website
Google Patent 1157462A
Google Patent 1123628A

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