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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: October, 2015
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 

 

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