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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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Now displaying: September, 2015
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.

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