Foodie Pharmacology Podcast

Foodie Pharmacology Podcast

Foodie Pharmacology is a science podcast built for the food curious, the flavor connoisseurs, chefs, science geeks, plant lovers and adventurous taste experimenters out in the world! Join American ethnobotanist Dr. Cassandra Quave on this adventure through history, medicine, cuisine and molecules as we explore the amazing pharmacology of our foods.

Episodes

June 14, 2021 54 min

This week, we ask some big questions about the origins of our food and how it connects people from across the globe. I speak with Dr. Colin Khoury, a crop diversity researcher who has spent more than 20 years trying to understand the state of diversity in the global food system. Colin shares how collaborative work brings together multidisciplinary expertise to inform conservation strategies for crops and their wild relatives, devel...

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This week, we explore one of the most important botanical families for food crops and medicine! Ever heard of nicotine or atropine? These tropane alkaloids from the Solanaceae family are just a few examples of pharmacologically active compounds from this group. I speak with Dr. Sandra Knapp, a world renown expert in the taxonomy of the Solanaceae, about tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, chili peppers and more! Want to learn more about...

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What lessons can we learn about human behavior from the plant kingdom? I chat with Dr. Beronda Montgomery, a writer, professor, and science communicator. Her research focuses on how organisms (primarily plants) maintain a sense of self, where they are, and what behaviors they should pursue to support their success. Dr. Montgomery is author of a new book Lessons from Plants. Learn more about her work at her website at berondamontgom...

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This stimulant ingredient has captured the imaginations (and taste buds) of humans over the centuries! You may be surprised at all of the steps that it takes to transform cacao seeds from the chocolate tree into the chocolate bars and beverages we love. This week, I speak with Dr. Nat Bletter about the history and chemistry of chocolate. He also gives us a unique walk through all of the steps to processing chocolate—including some ...

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Did you know that in some cultures, humans are believed to transform into forest animals as a part of the hunting tradition? Or that the elderly may transform into the fierce jaguar in the last phases of life? This week, I speak with Dr. Glenn Shepherd about topics ranging from medicinal plants and poetry, to the life cycle and different cosmologies that shape the ways that humans perceive the processes of aging and death. We also ...

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Food is our most intimate and powerful connection to each other, to our cultures, and to the earth. This week, I speak with Navina Khanna, co-founder and the Executive Director of the HEAL (Health, Environment, Agriculture, and Labor) Food Alliance, a national alliance of organizations building collective power for transformed food systems across race, sector, and geography. We explore how community action can transform food system...

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When it comes to food, there are many labels, many choices, and even more confusion for the everyday consumer! But there is a way to cut through the chaos and find the best choices for you and your family. This week, I speak with guest Sophie Egan, author of “How to be a Conscious Eater: Making Food Choices That Are Good for You, Others, and the Planet.” Tune in to learn about some simple tips for how to use your purchasing power i...

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April 26, 2021 37 min

Fermentation is fabulous! Yes, absolutely fabulous! It is what transforms otherwise standard staples like milk, grains, or grapes into a dizzying array of flavorful value-added products that serve as ambassadors to the food culture and intricate environments from which the ingredients originate! This week on Foodie Pharmacology, I speak with Katie Quinn about her new book “Cheese, Wine and Bread” which takes us on a journey through...

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If you use botanical teas and dietary supplements, this episode is for you! I speak with Dr. Ann Armbrecht, director of the Sustainable Herbs Program and author of her latest book, The Business of Botanicals. We dive in to the business of herbal medicines, dietary supplements, and all of the different ways that medicinal plants enter the marketplace. We discuss how plants move from global sources to the grocery store aisle. Follow ...

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April 12, 2021 30 min

How did the diversity of plants that we enjoy today on our dinner plates come to be cultivated across the world? Initially, valuable crops were transported by ship, but many of these specimens died in transit. Invention of the Wardian case—a glass topped plant box—was a game changer in keeping plants alive on long sea voyages. I speak with Luke Keogh, historian and author of The Wardian Case: How a simple Box Moved Plants and Chang...

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How do people connect with the land? What role do initiatives in sustainable agriculture and ecosystem restoration play in climate action? I explore these questions and more with Greek ethnobotanist Pavlos Georgiadis. In addition to his research in the field of ethnobotany, Pavlos is an international consultant in the areas of Resilient Development, Agriculture and Climate Policy and Biodiversity Conservation with experience across...

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March 29, 2021 29 min

Who loves Italian food? I do! This week, I meet with Anna Maggio to discuss foods of the Puglia province in southern Italy! From local olive oil to wild green vegetables and homemade pasta – Anna explains the importance fresh, seasonal cuisine to the eating experience and our health! You can find recipes discussed on the show in her new book Under the Olive Tree: Memories and Flavors of Puglia.

#Italy #MediterraneanDiet #Cookbook

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How does beer brewing work… and just how important are the different ingredients in determining the final flavor of the brew? We address these questions and others with Dr. John Sheppard, a professor of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at North Carolina State University. We also discuss brewing tasty sour beers with a wild yeast found in the guts of some wasps and bumblebees! Unlike typical brewers yeast (Saccharomyces ce...

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Sustainable agriculture starts with the relationships people have with their environment. This week, I speak with Dr. Nancy Turner; she’s an ethnobotanist who has spent her career working in collaboration with indigenous peoples of British Columbia. We discuss how wild plant tubers are harvested and replanted in sustainable food systems and how traditional fire pits are used to cook these energy-rich vegetables. Want to learn more?...

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February 22, 2021 42 min

Where do food and medicine meet? In the kitchen! This week, I chat with Dr. Linda Shiue, one of the few MD’s who is also a trained chef. She has dedicated her life’s work to bridging the gap between the medical, nutrition and culinary worlds. We discuss how a plant based diet impacts your health and Dr. Shiue offers some great tips on how to prepare some tantalizing plant-forward recipes! Learn more about her new book Spicebox Kitc...

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February 15, 2021 41 min

Precision nutrition enables investigation of many factors that influence our health—whether the composition of foods we eat, how and when we eat, and what influence our genetics and the composition of our microbiomes has on health. I speak with Dr. Sarah Berry, a nutrition scientist at Kings College London who was led more than 30 randomized clinical trials on human nutrition and cardio-metabolic health. She shares some key insight...

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For our Valentine’s Day episode, I speak with Polish ethnobotanist and foraging expert, Dr. Łukasz Łuczaj about how humans connect to nature! Łukasz shares his work on wild foods—including plants, mushroom, and insects—and how this ties into cultural histories of the people who consume them. In addition to the edible aspects of the wild, we discuss Łukasz’s new book Sex in Nature: A Guide to Making Love in the Forests and Meadows t...

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Nutrimetabolomics is an emerging field of science that represents the intersection of metabolomics and nutrition research. Using the powerful tools of mass spectrometry and models with germ-free mice and human microbiome samples, scientists are discovering new biomarkers of health and are able to track how different foods are metabolized by the body and the gut microbiome. Our guest this week is Dr. Nichole Reisdorph; she’s working...

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In that magical period between winter and spring in the northeast US and Canada, tapped sugar maples yield buckets of clear sap. Once concentrated, the resulting sticky syrup is used as a natural sweetener for everything from breakfast treats to specialty cocktails. While sucrose does make up the majority of maple syrup, there are many other secondary metabolites present that give maple its unique flavor and contribute to its pharm...

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Dead plants do tell tales. Over the past five hundred years, plant hunters have scoured the Earth, collecting millions of specimens that are now held in vast collections in New York, London and Paris, complemented by smaller collections found in museums and universities across the globe. These plants were sought out not just for their beauty and diversity, but also for their potential applications in new foods, medicines, and more....

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