Museums and the Mafia: The Secret History of Citrus (encore)
Gastropod
by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley
1w ago
A slice of lime in your cocktail, a lunchbox clementine, or a glass of OJ at breakfast: citrus is so common today that most of us have at least one lurking on the kitchen counter or in the back of the fridge. But don't be fooled: not only were these fruits so precious that they inspired both museums and the Mafia, they are also under attack by an incurable immune disease that is decimating citrus harvests around the world. Join us on a historical and scientific adventure, starting with a visit to the ark of citrus—a magical grove in California that contains hundreds of varieties you've never h ..read more
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The End of the Calorie (encore)
Gastropod
by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley
2w ago
For most of us, the calorie is just a number on the back of the packet or on the display at the gym. But what is it, exactly? And how did we end up with this one unit with which to measure our food? Is a calorie the same no matter what type of food it comes from? And is one calorie for you exactly the same as one calorie for me? To find out, we visit the special rooms scientists use to measure how many calories we burn, and the labs where researchers are discovering that the calorie is broken. And we pose the question: If not the calorie, then what? (This is an encore presentation.) Learn more ..read more
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Champagne Wishes: The Tastes of Celebration
Gastropod
by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley
1M ago
We pop it at weddings and pour it for the holidays, gift it to congratulate and sip it to celebrate—but, if we're being honest, Gastropod will seize any occasion to drink champagne. In the second episode of our two-part miniseries on the tastes of celebration, we tell the story of how this sparkling wine went from an unwelcome accident—winemakers considered fizz a flaw!—to a global brand associated with quality, luxury, celebrity, and, above all, fun. Along the way, we explore the science behind the bubbles, get to the bottom of the difference between prosecco, pét-nat, and Perrier-Jouët, and ..read more
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Champagne Wishes: The Tastes of Celebration
Gastropod
by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley
1M ago
We pop it at weddings and pour it for the holidays, gift it to congratulate and sip it to celebrate—but, if we're being honest, Gastropod will seize any occasion to drink champagne. In the second episode of our two-part miniseries on the tastes of celebration, we tell the story of how this sparkling wine went from an unwelcome accident—winemakers considered fizz a flaw!—to a global brand associated with quality, luxury, celebrity, and, above all, fun. Along the way, we explore the science behind the bubbles, get to the bottom of the difference between prosecco, pét-nat, and Perrier-Jouët, and ..read more
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That Old Chestnut: A Nutty Tale, of Love, Loss, and Reconnection
Gastropod
by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley
3M ago
Just a little over a hundred years ago, eastern forests were studded with what was called "America's perfect tree": 100-foot giants with straight-grained, rot-resistant wood, which filled the woods every fall with delicious, nutritious nuts. This nut—the American chestnut—was a staple in the diet and culture of Indigenous peoples, local wildlife, and colonial Americans. Then, in the early 1900s, disaster struck: a deadly and seemingly unstoppable disease moved in and made the species functionally extinct. But Americans haven’t given up on the chestnut; there’s a movement today to bring back th ..read more
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Prescription Dinner: Can Meals Be Medicine?
Gastropod
by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley
3M ago
We've all heard that what you eat affects your health—but doctors prescribing dinner? It's real: Medically tailored meals are specifically designed to treat conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, and heart disease, as well nourish people going through chemotherapy and radiation. Today, in a handful of places around the US, eligible patients can receive them for free, prescribed by their medical provider and reimbursed by their health insurance. There's even legislation in Congress that would roll this program out nationwide. This episode, Gastropod investigates: how do medically tailored ..read more
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Trouble in Paradise: Coconut War Waters and Coconut Oil Controversies
Gastropod
by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley
4M ago
Whether enrobed with chocolate in a candy bar or sucked up through a straw on the beach, coconut has become shorthand for the good life: clear blue waters, white sand beaches, and an ocean breeze. But it’s not just a tropical treat. All around the world, people who live alongside the coconut palm refer to it as the “tree of life,” thanks to its ability to provide food, oil, fresh water, and the sturdy raw materials to build homes, clothes, and even musical instruments—all from one plant. But can this delicious, Swiss Army-knife of a nut (that's not technically a nut) also prevent heart disease ..read more
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Does the Western Megadrought Mean the End of Cheap Cheese and Ice Cream?
Gastropod
by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley
4M ago
Imagine a summer's day without the jingle of the ice-cream truck, a pizza without its bubbling layer of melted cheesy goodness, or even a bowl of cereal without milk. It’s a shocking prospect, for sure, but the threat to these delights is perhaps even more surprising: The fact that Americans enjoy more than three times their body-weight in dairy products each year is, in no small part, due to a water-hungry plant that’s frequently, if counterintuitively, grown in the desert. That plant is alfalfa, and it makes up at least half of the diet of dairy cows all over the world. So why are we growing ..read more
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Gut Feeling
Gastropod
by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley
4M ago
Do you get butterflies in your stomach when you’re excited? Feel nauseated when you’re nervous? Get a knot in your gut when you're worried something bad is going to happen? Then you’ve experienced what’s called the gut-brain axis: a powerful connection between your brain and your stomach. And, if you’ve been on wellness social media over the last few years, you’ve probably heard that you can hijack this connection to help heal a whole host of mental illnesses, from taking probiotics for PTSD to treating depression with diet. But how much of this is science, and how much is modern-day snake oil ..read more
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Lunch Gets Schooled (encore)
Gastropod
by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley
4M ago
Across the United States, school lunch is being transformed, as counties and cities partner with local farms to access fresh vegetables, as well as hire chefs to introduce tastier and more adventurous meals. This is a much-needed correction after decades of processed meals that contained little in the way of nutrition and flavor. But how did we get to trays of spongy pizza and freezer-burned tater tots in the first place? While it seems as if such culinary delights were always part of a child's day, the school lunch is barely a century old—and there are plenty of countries in the world, like C ..read more
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