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Food Non-Fiction

Lillian Yang and Fakhri Shafai

5 FANS
Food Non-Fiction tells the incredible true stories behind food. We look forward to taking you on this wild food journey - through history, and around the world. Think of us as food historians, food scientists, and food journalists.
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14:30 | May 26th, 2015

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode tells the history of food trucks. The forerunners to food trucks are the chuckwagons of the cowboy cattle drives and the pushcarts of busy cities. Chuckwagons were invented by Charles Goodnight in 1866 to feed co...Show More

38:57 | May 20th

This is an in-depth interview with the wonderful person who created Tofurky. Seth Tibbott founded Turtle Island Foods which is still a family owned company today.

17:25 | Dec 24th, 2018

This is the story of the beginnings of craft beer. We tell you how this "craft beer" concept emerged. In this episode, we interviewed John Holl - a beer expert and journalist, Renee DeLuca - the daughter of the craft beer pioneer Jack McAuliffe, and ...Show More

28:23 | Aug 24th, 2018

This is the story of where Oreo came from, how it got its name, and who designed the cookie.

21:23 | Jun 18th, 2018

Kombucha has been referred to as the tea of immortality. So where did it come from and what are the actual health benefits? In this episode, we talk to the experts to learn about the history and the process of brewing kombucha.

13:50 | Dec 31st, 2017

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about the origins of Nutella - starting from when cocoa met hazelnut!

21:10 | Nov 1st, 2017

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk to one of the authors of Trappist Beer Travels. Caroline Wallace and her two co-authors visited the 11 Trappist monastery breweries, learning the stories and history behind each of these breweries.  H...Show More

17:25 | Jul 31st, 2017

Lots of people know the story of how cornflakes were created - this is the story of why. Thank You To Our Interviewee: Dr. Brian Wilson Thank You To Looperman Artists: Melody 126 Beats by Purge Ambellient by Danke Edm pluck for intro by capostipite E...Show More

16:17 | Jul 2nd, 2017

This is the origin story of fondue and how it became a popular dish. Thank You To Our Interviewee: Belinda Hulin Thank You To Looperman Artists: Poppy Acoustic (parts 1, 2, and 3) by BradoSanz Edm pluck_for_intro by capostipite EDM Trap Perc Melody b...Show More

05:01 | May 22nd, 2017

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is about the famous cereal mascot - Tony the Tiger. Thanks to Looperman Artists for the Music: Apollo by SANTIAGOO

18:46 | Mar 6th, 2017

In this Food Non-Fiction episode, we talk to Peter Brears about what it was like to work in King Henry VIII's kitchen.  Thank you to our interviewee: Peter Brears - author of "Cooking & Dining in Tudor & Early Stuart England" Thank you to Looperman a...Show More

17:43 | Jan 29th, 2017

This is the incredible true story of Turnspit Dogs.  The turnspit dog is an extinct breed of dog. This breed was used in kitchens to turn roasting spits back when roasting was done over an open fire, rather than in an oven. The earliest known referen...Show More

13:48 | Dec 1st, 2016

Did your parents ever tell you that carrots improve your night vision? Have you ever heard that this is a myth? So what is the real story? Thank You to Our Interviewee: Maya Hirschman from The Secrets of Radar Museum Thank You to This Looperman Artis...Show More

12:30 | Oct 31st, 2016

This episode explores the history of Halloween and the vague beginnings of trick or treating! Thank You To Our Interviewee: Professor Nick Rogers Thank You To Looperman Artists for the Music: Melody by Slice0fCake Father Grimlin - Temperament Strings...Show More

15:56 | Oct 12th, 2016

Inspired by the book, "Chocolate Wars", by Deborah Cadbury, today we're telling you the incredible true story of how how the biggest chocolate companies in the world fought for our tummies and tastebuds through innovation after innovation that eventu...Show More

14:39 | Sep 1st, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about the beginning of Cadbury. We go right back to a time before Cadbury even existed. Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music: happily ever after strings perfect for movie score by nbeats26 obo...Show More

10:40 | Aug 10th, 2016

This Food Non-Fiction episode is about waffles! We talk about the beginning of waffles and the rise of waffles. Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music: Guitars Unlimited - Reaching Home 1 by MINOR2GO Guitars Unlimited - Reaching Home 2 by MINOR...Show More

17:17 | Jul 26th, 2016

This is the story of the extremely popular and iconic Huy Fong Foods hot sauce - Sriracha. The company, Huy Fong Foods, is an American success story. The founder, David Tran, left Vietnam in 1979 and ended up in the U.S., along with many of his fello...Show More

24:12 | Jul 15th, 2016

Hey Food Buffs - This one is a bonus episode. Fakhri has a pizza place she loves - it's called Secret Stash - and she collected an interview with the owner, Kyleena Falzone. Thank You To Our Interviewee: Kyleena Falzone of Secret Stash

21:04 | Jun 23rd, 2016

This episode is about vending machines. The first reference to a vending machine is from the 1st century AD in Egypt. The reference is in a book called “Pneumatika”, written by Hero of Alexandria. In it, there is a detailed description and a picture ...Show More

17:30 | Jun 9th, 2016

This episode tells the story of Jell-O from when it was first introduced in 1897. Because gelatin desserts like Jell-O used to be a food that only wealthy families could afford to eat, (it took a long time to prepare) people were unfamiliar with the ...Show More

12:43 | May 20th, 2016

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is about vanilla! We explain the causes behind the rise and fall of the price of vanilla. It is a product that has very erratic cycles of prices skyrocketing then crashing, skyrocketing then crashing. The supply ...Show More

12:38 | May 11th, 2016

This episode is about the creation of the original chocolate chip cookie recipe by Ruth Wakefield in 1938. Ruth, along with her husband, was the owner of the famous Toll House Inn. As promised in the episode, here are 2 links to the original chocolat...Show More

18:54 | Apr 25th, 2016

We talk to the Hershey community archivist, Pam Whitenack and her colleagues about what it is really like to live in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Hershey is a model community that was built by Milton Hershey - the founder of The Hershey Company. It was bui...Show More

25:56 | Apr 13th, 2016

This is a very special Food Non-Fiction podcast episode. We had the immense pleasure of interviewing one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the Heroes category of 2010. Her name is Temple Grandin. She is a professor of animal science at Colorad...Show More

11:23 | Apr 7th, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell the incredible true story of The Poison Squad. Thanks to Looperman Artists for the Music: SynCato by DesignedImpression 1950s Rock N Roll Piano Riff by rasputin1963 Food non-fiction 1 & 2 Funky Guitar...Show More

12:43 | Mar 26th, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell the incredible true story of Henry John Heinz - the founder of the H.J. Heinz Company and the maker of everybody's favorite ketchup. Special Thanks to Looperman Artists for the Music: Liar Piano - 1 o...Show More

11:20 | Mar 18th, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell the incredible true story of ketchup. Thank you to this Looperman Artist for the Music: 1950s Rock N Roll Piano Riff by rasputin1963 Special thanks to the musician, truekey, for writing music for Food...Show More

11:09 | Mar 10th, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction episode, we tell the incredible true story of the Tupperware Party. Every few seconds, someone somewhere in the world is hosting a Tupperware Party. In a world where everything is sold online, Tupperware sells their product t...Show More

12:18 | Feb 25th, 2016

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode investigates the question - who created the California Roll? Thank You to Our Interviewees: Hidekazu Tojo Trevor Corson David Kamp Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music: Drum Loop Republic by attackyak Jap...Show More

07:40 | Feb 17th, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction episode, we go nerdy and cover a paper titled "Simply Walking into Mordor: How Much Lembas Would the Fellowship Have Needed?" by Skye Rosetti and Krisho Manaharan. The paper calculates how many pieces of lembas (elvish waybre...Show More

11:38 | Feb 11th, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell the rollercoaster story of the birth of instant noodles. On March 5, 1910, Momofuku Ando was born in Taiwan and raised by his grandparents. This was during the 50 years of Japanese rule that started a...Show More

10:29 | Feb 4th, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell you how the accountant, Walter Diemer, ended up creating the world's first commercially available bubble gum. Walter worked for the Frank H. Fleer Corporation founded by Frank H. Fleer who had invente...Show More

06:28 | Jan 28th, 2016

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about the spork.  Thank you to the Looperman artist BradoSanz for the music! We used these wonderful songs: Poppy Acoustic 1 Poppy Acoustic 2 Poppy Acoustic 3 Poppy Acoustic 4

13:07 | Jan 21st, 2016

This is the first Food Non-Fiction episode of 2016, so we are going to talk about food trends. This episode will cover how to spot food trends, how to track food trends and what food trends we can expect in 2016. Using the New York Times' Chronicle t...Show More

15:06 | Dec 16th, 2015

This Food Non-Fiction podcast is all about Can Man Dan. This is the story of how Dan Johnstone became Can Man Dan.   Thank you to the following artists for the music in this episode:  Paul Otten "Joy to the World" cover - Website | SoundCloud Shaun F...Show More

09:31 | Dec 9th, 2015

1300 km past the Arctic Circle, nestled in the permafrost, amongst inhabitants like polar bears and reindeer, lies the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. In the media, it’s better known as the “Doomsday Vault”. The vault contains backup copies of our world’...Show More

09:15 | Dec 3rd, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about the creation of the Rice Krispies Treats. In 1928, Kellogg’s introduced the Rice Krispies cereal to the public. In the same year, the company hired a recent home economics graduate of Iowa State...Show More

10:50 | Nov 26th, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell the story of how Las Vegas became a destination market for gambling, how the nature of destination markets created competition amongst the many casinos, how casino food amenities were used as a compet...Show More

07:11 | Nov 19th, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we reveal how bacon became a breakfast food. In 1925, the Beech-Nut Packing Company asked Edward Bernays to help increase bacon sales. Why did they ask Edward Bernays? Because Bernays was a master of influenc...Show More

15:35 | Nov 12th, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we look into the origins of the ice cream sundae. About a dozen towns claim to be the birthplace of the ice cream sundae, but there are 3 main contenders that are always mentioned. By chronological order, we ...Show More

15:47 | Nov 5th, 2015

This is the incredible true story of passenger pigeons. There used to be an estimated 3-5 billion passenger pigeons. People killed them for food, then sold the surplus to local markets. With the advancements of technology, people were able to sell th...Show More

12:00 | Oct 28th, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we find out the truth behind Halloween candy poisonings. Our guest, Dr. Joel Best, is the world's leading expert on Halloween sadism (Halloween sadism is the term that describes poisoning Halloween candy). He...Show More

09:33 | Oct 22nd, 2015

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode reveals the creation of Betty Crocker. In 1921, the Washburn-Crosby (now General Mills), created a non-existent employee named "Betty Crocker" who was "chief of correspondence". All customer inquiries about domes...Show More

13:54 | Oct 15th, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about scurvy and its Vitamin C cure. Although the cure for scurvy was discovered a long time ago, changes in the understanding of science, medicine and the human body, caused people time turn away fro...Show More

21:48 | Oct 8th, 2015

In this podcast episode of Food Non-Fiction, we continue our discussion of Space Food from part 1. This episode features Dr. Louisa Preston, an astrobiologist who discusses with us how realistic the book/movie The Martian was in depicting the growth ...Show More

12:15 | Oct 5th, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we begin our interview with astronaut Chris Hadfield (concluded in part 2 of the space episode). We also speak to Andy Weir, author of The Martian (film adaptation out in theatres Oct. 2, starring Matt Damon)...Show More

13:24 | Oct 1st, 2015

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is the story of the first ever luau. Hawaii's second king, Kamehameha II was only around 22 years old when his father died and he took the throne. With influence from his stepmother and birthmother, as well as ch...Show More

08:19 | Sep 24th, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about marshmallows! Marshmallows used to be made with marshmallow plants (Althaea Officinalis). When marshmallows were made with marshmallow plant sap, they had some medicinal properties. They were us...Show More

09:19 | Sep 16th, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell you about ancient Egyptian honey. Did you know that honey that archaeologists have uncovered from tombs that are thousands of years old remain edible? We tell you all about beekeeping from ancient Egy...Show More

07:56 | Sep 10th, 2015

This is a Food Non-Fiction bonus episode! Lillian the host went on a BBQ boat with her friends today and recorded the experience to share.  Thanks to Joe, the owner of Joe's BBQ Boat for the interview

07:19 | Sep 9th, 2015

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is about fruit flies. They seem to appear out of nowhere. In fact, people used to believe that small organisms like flies could be spontaneously generated from other matter, whether living or nonliving. This was ...Show More

12:04 | Sep 8th, 2015

In this bonus Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about giant apes and bamboo. In a National Geographic article, we read that perhaps giant apes competed with giant pandas for bamboo. To learn more about this, we spoke to the gigantopithecus (g...Show More

14:52 | Sep 2nd, 2015

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is all about pandas and bamboo. We tackle the question - why do giant pandas only eat bamboo? The 2015 answer is that no one really knows. We also spoke to panda experts from the Toronto Zoo and Zoo Atlanta. We f...Show More

12:35 | Aug 27th, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, Lillian visits Dark Table in Vancouver and Fakhri visits O'Noir in Montreal. We speak to the founder of Canada's 3 dark dining restaurants and find out how to run a restaurant in pitch black. We also had a gu...Show More

08:29 | Aug 6th, 2015

This is a mini episode from Food Non-Fiction. Because Lillian is getting ready for her Master's defence! This episode is a brief look at deep fried desserts. We talk about doughnuts, deep fried ice cream and even deep fried coke! References Smithsoni...Show More

20:30 | Jul 29th, 2015

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode talks about milk cartons. We speak to patent attorney, Matt Buchanan, about the inventor of the milk carton and his patent, which was granted in 1915 in Toledo, Ohio. We then talk to Dr. Joel Best, author of "Thr...Show More

09:11 | Jul 15th, 2015

In this podcast episode of Food Non-Fiction, we are talking about popcorn! Popcorn is made out of any variety of corn that can be popped. Corn was selectively bred from a wild grass called Teosinte, which was a very tough plant. So right from the beg...Show More

11:44 | Jul 7th, 2015

In this podcast episode of Food Non-Fiction, we speak with world champion sumo wrestler, Byamba. He is 6'1'' and 350lb but he has gotten his body fat percentage down to 11%. Sumo wrestlers may look fat, but they have more fat free mass (this includes...Show More

09:37 | Jun 30th, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell the insane but true story of when Parisians ate zoo animals to survive the 1870-1871 Siege of Paris. We transport you back in time to those five months when Prussian soldiers surrounded Paris to starv...Show More

13:10 | Jun 23rd, 2015

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell the origin story of chopsticks. During a 1993-1995 excavation of Neolithic ruins in North China, archaeologists found sticks made of bone. They believe that these bone sticks are the first versions of...Show More

10:06 | Jun 16th, 2015

In this podcast episode of Food Non-Fiction, we talk about the baker's dozen. When someone says "a baker's dozen" they mean 13. But why is it 13 when a dozen is actually 12? The history of "a baker's dozen" goes back to medieval England. In 1266, Kin...Show More

08:53 | Jun 9th, 2015

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is about the founding foodie, Thomas Jefferson. More specifically, we talk about his gardens at Monticello. Jefferson collected crops from all over the known world in his time. He planted a huge variety of fruits...Show More

07:35 | Jun 2nd, 2015

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is all about mangos! This is our first listener requested episode so thank you Spencer! Looking at fossils, we can trace the appearance of the first mangos to around 30 million years ago in Northeast India, Myanm...Show More

16:38 | May 18th, 2015

This podcast episode takes a look at the trending food alternatives - Soylent and Ambronite. These 2 liquid meal replacements were both created in 2013, one in the US and the other in Finland. Soylent is a sort of futuristic food - its formula is ope...Show More

22:14 | May 10th, 2015

This episode starts with the true story of Ryan Shilling and the huge food fight in his UK school, Jarrow, in the town of Jarrow. We then piece together the history of food fights, starting with the creation of the pie-in-face gag from the Vaudeville...Show More

21:34 | May 3rd, 2015

In "Save the Salmon Part 2" we explain why environmentalists talk about the drastic loss in salmon populations even though salmon seems to be abundant in grocery stores and sushi restaurants. We talk about the differences between wild and farmed salm...Show More

08:33 | Apr 24th, 2015

This episode is a timely look at California's drought and how it has affected salmon runs. Specifically, we look at the Chinook salmon, also called the King salmon. These salmon can grow to be the size of a small person - up to 58 inches (4.8 feet) i...Show More

18:42 | Apr 18th, 2015

This episode covers Benjamin Franklin’s love of food. Benjamin Franklin was a very conscientious eater. At around the age of 16, he became a vegetarian for ethical and frugal reasons, but began eating meat again soon after, while traveling by ship fr...Show More

16:53 | Apr 9th, 2015

Intro 0:00 John lying to his Mom 0:17 Undercover Restaurant Reviewers 0:29 Michelin Guide Restaurant Reviewers 1:31 How the Michelin Guide began 2:14 Current use of the Michelin Guide 3:52 Michelin stars and symbols 4:10 Bib Gourmand 5:18 Mystery of ...Show More

23:32 | Apr 2nd, 2015

Intro 0:00  Recap of last episode 0:12 The ick factor 0:49 Six Foods story 1:27 Chirps 1:46 Harvard Innovation Lab pitch competition with mealworm tacos 3:12 Cricket flour 4:30 Massachusetts Innovation Nights 6:20 Ofbug (Kathryn Redford) 9:46 What to...Show More

09:46 | Mar 25th, 2015

Intro 0:00 Eating insects as a hot topic 00:26 Edible Insects - Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security 00:48 Time Magazine names insects one of the top food trends of 2015 1:40 FDA allows insect fragments in food 2:19 Theories on why we don't ea...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Mar 13th, 2015

00:30 | Mar 13th, 2015

Hello from Food Non-Fiction. This episode introduces the hosts of this podcast, Lillian Yang and Fakhri Shafai. Through this podcast, we will take you on a food journey through history and around the world. We can't wait to entertain you with stories...Show More