Podcasts Gastropod

Kale of the Sea

Episode: 7

Call off the search for the new kale: we’ve found it, and it’s called kelp! In this episode of Gastropod, we explore the science behind the new wave of seaweed farms springing up off the New England coast, and discover seaweed’s starring role in the peopling of the Americas.


The story of seaweed will take us from a medicine hut in southern Chile to a high-tech seaweed nursery in Stamford, Connecticut, and from biofuels to beer, as we discover the surprising history and bright future of marine vegetables. Along the way, we uncover the role kelp can play in supporting U.S. fishermen, cleaning up coastal waters, and even helping make salmon farms more sustainable.


Latest Episodes

Crunch, Crackle, And Pop

Crunch, Crackle, And Pop

16

"Sound is the forgotten flavor sense," says experimental psychologist Charles Spence. In this episode, we discover how manipulating sound can transform our experience of food and drink, making stale potato chips taste fresh, adding the sensation of cream to black coffee, or boosting the savory, peaty notes in whiskey.Composers have written ...
Field Recordings

Field Recordings

15

Plants that can hear themselves being eaten. Microphone-equipped drones that eavesdrop on sick chickens. Lasers that detect an insect's wing-beats from dozens of feet away.
The Cocktail Hour

The Cocktail Hour

14

Whether you sip it with friends, chug it before hitting the dance floor, or take it as a post-work pick-me-up, there's clearly nothing like a cocktail for bracing the spirit. In addition to its peculiar history as a medicinal tonic, plenty of hard science lies behind the perfect cocktail, from the relationship between taste perception and ...
Gastropod on Gastropods

Gastropod on Gastropods

13

Though Gastropod is, as regular listeners know, a podcast about the science and history of all things gastronomical, we do share a name with Gastropoda, the taxonomic class that includes slugs and snails. And, as it turns out, the history and science of heliciculture, or snail farming, is completely fascinating. Join Cynthia on a trip to ...
Savor Flavor

Savor Flavor

12

Why does grape candy taste so fake? What on earth is blue raspberry, anyway? And what is the difference between natural and artificial, at least when it comes to flavor?Join us as we taste the rainbow on this episode of Gastropod, from artificial flavoring's public debut at the 1851 Crystal Palace exhibition, to the vanilla-burping yeasts of ...
Say Cheese!

Say Cheese!

11

Cheese is the chameleon of the food world, as well as one of its greatest delights. Fresh and light or funky and earthy, creamy and melty or crystalline and crumbly-no other food offers such a variety of flavors and textures.But cheese is not just a treat for the palate: its discovery changed the course of Western civilization, and, today, ...
No Scrubs: Breeding a Better Bull

No Scrubs: Breeding a Better Bull

10

In 1900, the average dairy cow in America produced 424 gallons of milk each year. By 2000, that figure had more than quadrupled, to 2,116 gallons. In this episode of Gastropod, we explore the incredible science that transformed the American cow into a milk machine-but we also uncover the disturbing history of prejudice and animal cruelty that ...