FoodStuff

The stuff we eat and drink is part daily necessity and part cultural identity. Every mouthful represents millennia of human collaboration and innovation. On FoodStuff, Anney and Lauren bite into the juicy stories – and science – behind everything that nourishes us.


The concept of having food delivered to your home is centuries old, but technology and culture are constantly changing what -- and how -- we order. Anney and Lauren explore the history and tech that drive delivery.

The story of Spam is one of war and peace, nostalgia and necessity, all-American innovation and greed. Anney and Lauren explore the history and science behind Spam.

Frozen, on the rocks, or straight up, there's science behind every sip of margarita -- and some seriously muddled history. Anney and Lauren explore in this episode of FoodStuff.

For what seems on the (toroid) surface to be a humble bread product, bagels can inspire a lot of nostalgia -- and strong opinions. We explore the history and baking science behind bagels.

This is an episode of the podcast FoodStuff. Its continuing mission: to explore strange (blue) beverages, to seek out new foods and new replications. To boldly go where -- well, where lots of fans have gone before: the food & drink of ‘Star Trek.’ Engage!

Mushrooms are a delicious, nutritious part of our diets, but they’ve more traditionally been a medicine -- and you definitely shouldn't eat wild mushrooms without an expert. We dig into the history and science of the fungus among us.

That stuff you probably dip your fries in descended from Chinese fermented fish sauce, and it had a hand in creating the FDA. We explore the non-Newtonian science and surprisingly fascinating history of ketchup.

Added flavors feature in as much as 90% of our groceries, so the science of creating them is a serious business. We unpack the difference between natural and artificial flavors and explore how some of the most famous (blue raspberry! MSG!) came to be.

The Lunar or Chinese New Year celebration, also known as the Spring Festival, is a 15-day marathon of family, friends, food -- and puns. We share some of the holiday's most popular traditions -- and welcome our friends Stuff to Blow Your Mind to come chat.

Chalky candy hearts printed with sweet (or salty!) messages are apparently the most prolific candy of Valentine's Day. Anney and Lauren explore the past and present of the product, plus some of its strangest messages.

B-A-N-A-N-A-S. The most popular fruit in the world has driven food technology and military coups alike. It's also in danger of being wiped out. We peel back the disturbing history and science surrounding bananas.

The cupcake caused quite a culinary kerfuffle in the early 2000s. Anney and Lauren explore how cupcakes (and their cousins, muffins) became what they were then, and what they are today.

Banned for a century throughout the Western world, absinthe is officially back on the market. But was it ever dangerous in the first place? Come drink in the history and science behind the Green Fairy in this episode of FoodStuff.

Garlic has millennia of history with cultures all over the world -- but mostly as a medicine and vampire deterrent, not a food. Anney and Lauren explore how we came to eat garlic, plus whether there's any hard evidence of its supposed health benefits.

McDonald's is the biggest fast food chain in the world, but this behemoth has humble beginnings. We explore the ambitions and intrigue that made the McEmpire what it is today.

Sugar substitutes boast the ability to satisfy your sweet tooth with low or no calories. But how can such wonder-compounds exist? Are they hazardous? Can they really help you lose weight? We explore the history and science behind artificial sweeteners.

In this, the second half of our conversation about fad diets, we head into the modern era of calorie counting and curious trends spreading at broadband speeds. If you missed Part 1, maybe listen to that one first!

Since before the word 'diet', there have been fad diets. And egad, some of them were bad ideas. Anney and Lauren unearth and demystify some of history's weirdest (and longest-running) fad diets.

Jambalaya really is a melting pot of a dish, influenced by all of the native populations, settlers, and enslaved peoples of the American South. Anney and Lauren dish on the history of jambalaya.

Is red licorice really licorice? Can you overdose on licorice?? Anney and Lauren answer these and other burning licorice questions.

All around the world, people ring in the New Year with foods said to bring good fortune. Anney and Lauren talk through traditions from their own homes and beyond.

This quintessential British cheese has a history cut with myth, fraud, and war. Anney and Lauren dig in, plus explain the science and process behind making a wheel of cheddar.

Tipping at restaurants can be stressful for all parties involved. How much is enough? How much is based on actual quality of service? How did we start doing this, anyway? FoodStuff discusses the equally depressing and important answers.

Soda, pop, coke, or plain ol' carbonated water: We dive into the sometimes explosive science and history of all agua that sparkles, from natural mineral springs to soda fountains to Big Gulps.

The durian fruit is famous for its rich custardlike flavor and infamous for its staunch corpselike scent. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and science behind this stinky delicacy.