Saturday, November 19, 2011

THE Foodie Podcast: Splendid Table

Hello all!

So an old friend of mine suggested this podcast to me in light of the research I am doing on food and ethics, and I just had to share it with you. It's hosted by American Public Media and it's entitled The Splendid Table.

So the particular episode of this podcast I want to share with you is one of their first ones, and it features Dr. James Levine of the MAYO clinic and his book Move a Little, Lose a Lot. His ideas about how we are meant to be animals in motion (as evidenced by our upright, standing nature) and how we can just add small amounts of motion to our everyday activities in order to remain healthy are fascinating. It's also intriguing to see a health expert not merely blaming people and personal behavior for the obesity epidemic, but instead striving to find a way to adapt to current societal needs and norms. For example, the innovative idea of a treadmill/desk (stay with me for a moment) highlights just how difficult it is for many of us who work all day at a desk to find time to exercise, when work means earning a living to survive. In the interview, he eve states that tests show those using the prototype begin to feel more focused on their tasks, more creative, and less inclined to nap in the middle of the day. This makes sense, as exercise increases blood flow, and that means it could get your intellectual juices flowing. It's just so refreshing to hear someone suggest that we work with societal norms (like long work-days in desks) in a new, innovative manner instead of suggesting an unrealistic change to one's lifestyle (such as fitting in an hour at the gym every day midst work, commuting, cooking, cleaning, taking care of children or family members etc).

Another great interview on this podcast is with Karen Solomon on her book Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it: And Other Cooking Projects. She discusses adult versions of the classic DIY Popsicle we all know from way back when, only this time with wonderful ingredients like coconut milk and in wonderful new textures such as granitas. She highlights that an ice cream maker is not necessary to create delectable frozen treats, and her book features section on (you guessed it) jamming and pickling as well. Very impressive and very intriguing - I've always wanted to try making my own jams, so this might just end up on my foodie Christmas wish list after all!

The podcast was full of other intriguing interviews, including one about how happy cows make the best ice cream, and how to know whether the fish you are buying is actually the fish it is advertised as being in the store.  I just subscribed to the entire podcast and downloaded all the episodes, so I'll be sure to share with you any other exciting interviews I come across. 

Here's the link in case you'd like to hear the episode in full: The Splendid Table

Think Happy Food Thoughts! - Jess

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