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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.

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The surprising history of cockles – and why they’re disappearing

You might have heard of Molly Malone, selling cockles from a wheelbarrow in Dublin, or of Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary,…

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Dig for Victory: Can community gardens help feed cities?

You’ve seen the news: vegetable seeds are selling out. All that quarantine ennui has combined with anxiety about the gaps on…

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Practices and plants: How to put carbon back in our soils

Our glaciers are melting, our forests are on fire, our harvests are increasingly decimated by either floods and drought. We…

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Shared plates: How eating together makes us human

We love eating dinner together with friends and extended family, and we miss it! But why does sharing a meal…

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South American tree bark and a malaria drug – the story of tonic

Just a few decades ago, gin and tonics were considered rather stodgy and boring, the drink of suburbanites at the…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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….

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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 —…

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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….