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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Food Non-Fiction




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Now displaying: May, 2015
May 26, 2015

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode tells the history of food trucks. The forerunners to food trucks are the chuckwagons of the cowboy cattle drives and the pushcarts of busy cities. Chuckwagons were invented by Charles Goodnight in 1866 to feed cowboys during long cattle drives that sometimes lasted for months. Chuckwagon cooks were called "cookies" and they would wake up bright and early to stoke a fire with firewood from the chuckwagon and prepare food with surfaces and supplies provided by the chuckwagon. Pushcarts have been around for ages and have a fascinating history of clashes with law enforcement. Since the 1600's New York has passed several laws to try and manage pushcart vendors and the current food truck laws are reminiscent of the pushcart laws. The food truck laws in New York haven't been changed since 1965 and the NYC Food Truck Association is pushing for changes to make the laws more modern. We interviewed 2 food truck owners in Durham - Saltbox Seafood Joint and Tootie. They gave us on insight on the business of food trucks.

Chuckwagon Cooking Recipes:

Chuckwagon recipes blog page

Legends of America recipes

Chronicle of the Old West recipes

American Chuckwagon cooking


Saltbox Seafood Joint (Facebook Page)



NYC Food Truck Association

NYC Food Truck Regulations

Food Truck Startup 101 (in Toronto)

Food Truck Startup Infographic (for Toronto)

Cattle Drives after Civil War

Encyclopedia - cattle drives

Pushcart/Street Vendor History

Street Vendor History

New York Times - The Food Cart Business Stinks

Book: Street Foods

Book: Start Your Own Food Truck Business

May 18, 2015

This podcast episode takes a look at the trending food alternatives - Soylent and Ambronite. These 2 liquid meal replacements were both created in 2013, one in the US and the other in Finland. Soylent is a sort of futuristic food - its formula is open source - and the aim is to be as cheap and efficient as possible. Ambronite also aims to be as efficient as possible but its ingredients don't compromise quality for price.


William the Conqueror's Diet
Rob Rhinhart's blog
Meghan Telpner's Soylent Criticism
Soylent's Ingredients

May 10, 2015

This episode starts with the true story of Ryan Shilling and the huge food fight in his UK school, Jarrow, in the town of Jarrow. We then piece together the history of food fights, starting with the creation of the pie-in-face gag from the Vaudeville era to the first pieing scenes in silent films to our modern day idea of food fights in schools. Next, we tell you about the world's greatest food fight - La Tomatina in Bunol, Spain. We interviewed Rafael Perez, the organizer of the event.

Special thanks to our interviewees:

Thank you Ryan Shilling!
Thank you Rafael Perez!

Promised Links:

3 Stooges Pie Fight 
Telegraph article on the Colombian La Tomatina 
La Tomatina-esque events in the US

Other References Used:
La Tomatina
Colorado Tomato War
The Salt Blog history of food fights
Evolution of Pieing
Web Urbanist list of food fights

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May 3, 2015

In "Save the Salmon Part 2" we explain why environmentalists talk about the drastic loss in salmon populations even though salmon seems to be abundant in grocery stores and sushi restaurants. We talk about the differences between wild and farmed salmon. This episode also discusses the pros and cons in the debate on using farmed salmon as a way to provide salmon to the masses and alleviate the fishing of wild salmon. Should you be buying farmed or wild salmon? Which one are you getting at restaurants? How do you know what the best choice in salmon is? We cover all this in this super informative and thought-provoking episode.

Special thanks to the amazing musician, Jetty Rae, for letting us use her music. Click here to visit her webpage.

More special thanks to our incredible interviewees:

Laurel Marcus of Fish Friendly Farming
Dana Stolzman of the Salmonid Restoration Federation
Kari Burr of the Fishery Foundation of California
Scott Greacen of Friends of the Eel River
Ron Reed of the Karuk Tribe and the Department of Natural Resources

How to Choose Sustainable Salmon:

Sea Choice
Seafood Watch

Other Resources used include:

David Suzuki's page on salmon farming
Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975
NPR Salt blog article