How did a story about hog rectum and calamari on public radio capture the public’s attention and win a James Beard Award? Find out on a brand new episode of Eat Your Words, as host Talia Ralph is joined by Ben Calhoun, a producer for NPR’s This American Life, who contributed the story about hog rectum to the popular public radio show. He got a tip about a meat plant selling pig intestines as fake calamari, wondered if it could be true, and decided to investigate. Tune in as Ben explains how the story came to life and shares why he became so emotionally invested in the possibility of pork bung masquerading as seafood. This program was brought to you by Consider Bardwell Farm



“I like finding all the paths to go down and chasing them all as far as they can possibly go.” [06:00]


“Pricing in American food culture ends up obscuring so many other things that are happening with those foods.” [25:00]


“The story appealed to different parts of my personality as a journalist and somebody who likes to make radio […] I love the idea of it. If you didn’t have to use the word rectum, it could be a children’s book.” [27:00]


“If you eat calamari in the United States, I can’t guarantee anything but I’d bet everything I own that you’re not eating hog rectum […] eat your calamari with confidence!” [28:00]


–Ben Calhoun on Eat Your Words