Meat and Three: 2021 Favorites

Based on the Southern concept of one meat and three sides, Meat and Three dishes out a deep dive and three short stories every week. These stories are told by a variety of contributors, and explore the trends, politics, and personal anecdotes surrounding food. 

From soda stream beats to KoЯn covers, the following playlist highlights some of our favorite episodes from this past year. We trace the history of trade, talk about seed sovereignty, and taste bugs. We unpack the significance of corn, jump into a world of bubbly beverages, and have a heartfelt conversation with a friend about cooking during chemotherapy.

Don’t know where to start with Meat and Three? Here are our six favorite episodes from the last six months! 

By: Vy Duong

Episode 100: From The Silk Road to a Globalized World: An Introduction To Trade: Trade is innately human. Whether it’s baseball cards, lunchbox items or recipes, people have been exchanging goods, services, practices, and ideas since prehistoric times. To better understand the past, present, and future of trade’s huge web of interconnectivity, we’re traveling back in time with Meat and Three’s first ever 4-part mini-series. We first look at history's most significant trade route: The Silk Road. We explore how the expansive caravan and maritime routes marked the first period of vast global interchange with Najmieh Batmanglij. We then dig into economics with Don Boudreaux to explain the implications of free trade and some central characteristics of our current globalized model. 

Episode 105: Planting the Seed: Time Travel, Shortages and Heirloom Crops: We’re sowing the seeds of knowledge and empathy through four unique stories. We dig into why some seed sellers’ shortage of seeds was actually due to an abundance of zealous home-gardeners. We harvest ideas from an episode of Fields, a new urban farming podcast on HRN, on how seeds are the world’s first and only time travelers, and what they can share with us about the future. We forage through the world of invasive species, and how they can be a proxy for migratory groups and sentiments towards immigrants. Finally, we conclude with a story on the cultural importance of heirloom seeds in the Cherokee nation and their historical struggle to attain seed sovereignty. 

Episode 108: Corn to be Wild: When you think of corn, you might think of the 90s metal band (spelled with a ‘K’ and embodying a raucous explosion of angst and anger) or a summer barbeque. However, the story of corn is more complicated than these contemporary reference points. For this week’s episode, we unpack the role that corn plays in our ecosystems, economies, and the experiences of farmers. We start with a story about organic corn being fed to livestock. Then, we dive into the world of ethanol, and learn why it may not be the answer to our energy needs. We explore the complicated politics of corn legislation and how it affects farmers. Last but not least, we learn about the spiritual history of corn, and how people are keeping that history alive today.

Episode 109: Bubbles: We’re jumping into a world filled with fizz, iridescence and deliciousness. We’re talking about how to make bubbles. How to eat them. And the unexpected ways in which they’ve shaped our culture and history. We’re looking at how the pandemic led to a domino effect from a gasoline decrease to a CO2 shortage and, eventually, a craft beer crisis. But bubbles aren’t just limited to the type that make you burp. Diving to the bottom of a cup of delicious bubble tea, we examine what lies at the core of the popular drink. Finally, we take it back to a bubbly classic, seltzer, and examine its significance in New York City.

Episode 113: Eating and Cooking During Chemotherapy: When someone you love is sick, sending food is often the first way we show our love and support. It can offer satisfaction and heartiness when a hug is not possible. This was definitely true for Eric Poretsky, a close friend of Meat and Three producer and episode host, Dylan Heuer. Eric was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago and talking to him, Dylan noticed that food has played a big role during his treatment. It’s become a marker of his sickness and wellness, of what’s changed and what still feels normal. Eric is an avid home cook and in this episode he brings us with him on the winding path he has traveled to keep food a joyful part of his life.

Episode 117: Bug Out: Cicada Chaos and Radioactive Honey: We’re putting insects front and center. We unpack the mysterious patterns of cicadas in the US, investigate the presence of radioactive isotopes in honey, meet a self-professed edible insect ambassador, and do some insect cooking of our own. 

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