Author Profile

About Gastropod

Gastropod is the award-winning podcast that looks at food through the lens of science and history. Co-hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley serve up a brand new episode every two weeks. Each episode, we look at the hidden history and surprising science behind a different food and/or farming-related topic, from aquaculture to ancient feasts, from cutlery to chile peppers, and from microbes to Malbec. We interview experts, visit labs, fields, and archaeological digs, and generally have lots of fun while discovering new ways to understand the world through food. We think these stories are fascinating, and we hope you will too.

Food Files

The United States of McDonalds – how it happened

McDonald’s is mind-boggling. According to Adam Chandler, author of the recent book, Drive-Thru Dreams, it sells roughly 75 burgers every second and…

The Big Issues

Invasive species are causing havoc – should we eat them?

Across America, feral pigs are on the rampage, wrecking fields of crops, hunting local wildlife to extinction, and even attacking…

Food Files

Queen of Kiwi: The woman who changed America’s fruit bowl

The produce section of most American supermarkets in the 1950s was minimal to a fault, with only a few dozen…

Food Files

The science and secrets behind ‘Kimchi’

This side dish of spicy, bubbly, funky pickled vegetables is such a staple in Korea that no meal is considered…

Food Files

Green gold: The mysteries of olive oil

Olive oil is not what you think it is. According to Tom Mueller, author of Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World…

The Big Issues

Foods we’ve eaten to extinction – and how to stop it happening again

Mammoth, silphium, passenger pigeon, ansault pear – what do all these have in common? We’ve eaten them to extinction.  The…

Food Files

Meet saffron, the world’s most expensive spice

It’s the poshest spice of all, often worth its weight in gold. But saffron also has a hidden history as…

Food Files

What’s CRISPR – and what’s it doing in our food?

You’ve probably heard the hype: CRISPR will revolutionise biotech, cure disease, resurrect extinct species, and even create new-and-(not-so)-improved humans. But what is CRISPR—and what’s it…

Food Files

The Mafia’s lemon roots and other facts – Gastropod turns five

We launched Gastropod in September 2014, which means we’re turning five this month, and that’s approximately 100 in podcast years….

Food Files

The saucy tale of how pasta came to be

It’s one of food’s most beautiful relationships: pasta and sauce. But which came first? We bring you the saucy —…

Food Files

Cutting the mustard: How the seed got its heat and more

For some Americans, a trip to the ballpark isn’t complete without the bright yellow squiggle of French’s atop a hotdog….

Food Files

Nuns and Napoleon: The history of Mexico’s ‘mole’ dish

We trace mole’s complicated evolution from medieval Moors to the invention of the blender, and from something that had been…

Food Files

The surprising science behind cheese – and why it’s hard to fake

Cheeeeese: That one word alone causes our stomachs to rumble and mouths to water. The sheer variety of flavours and…

The Big Issues

Can the American strawberry break free from fumigants?

This episode, we tell an age-old tale: an innocent young berry heads west to make its fame and fortune—but sells…

Food Files

Taming the flame: How humans became cooks

Humans are the only animals that cook their food, an innovation that changed the course of our evolution and the…

Food Files

Fishy tales: The impact of omega oils on our bodies and oceans

You’d be forgiven for believing that the fish oils known as omega-3s are the solution to every problem – heart…