V is for Vitamin TRANSCRIPT

This is a transcript of the Gastropod episode V is for Vitamin, first released on April 11, 2017. It is provided as a courtesy and may contain errors.


CYNTHIA GRABER: Once I get that jingle stuck in my head, I can never get it out. Those of you who grew up in the U.S. will probably recognize it—that song is trying to make sure parents bought and gave us our daily…

NICOLA TWILLEY: Vitamins! And I’m sorry folks, I’m going to say it that way throughout. Even if our guest this week did make fun of me for it. Because that’s what we’re going to be talking about this episode: vitamins.

GRABER: Or vitamins. We’ll forgive you, Nicky, your native British pronunciation.

V is for Vitamin

They're added to breakfast cereal, bread, and even Pop-Tarts, giving the sweetest, most processed treats a halo of health. Most people pop an extra dose for good measure, perhaps washing it down with fortified milk. But what are vitamins—and how did their discovery make America's processed food revolution possible? On this episode of Gastropod, author Catherine Price helps us tell the story of vitamins, from Indonesian chickens to Gwyneth Paltrow. …More

TRANSCRIPT Dig for Victory

This is a transcript of the Gastropod episode, Dig for Victory, first released on June 16, 2020. It is provided as a courtesy and may contain errors.

CYNTHIA GRABER: So, I think we need a little introduction here. We for the first time ever have about a 4×5 square bit of sunny dirt.

TIM: Sunny old abandoned city urban dirt. Oh boy. We’ve got lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, chives…

GRABER: I really, really, really wanted lots of dark leafy greens but they appear to be impossible to get this year because everybody is planting.

TIM: Rich looking soil there, huh, some organic topsoil from Brentwood, New Hampshire. Smells nice…

ARCHIVAL SOUND: Remember what Grandpa says: No work, no garden. No work, no turnip, no tank, no flying fortress, no victory. Bear that in mind, all you victory gardeners, and work for victory!

NICOLA TWILLEY: Remember what Grandpa says, Cynthia. No work, no garden! I hope you know what you and Tim are letting yourselves in for!

Dig for Victory

You’ve seen the news: vegetable seeds are selling out. All that quarantine ennui has combined with anxiety about the gaps on supermarket shelves to create a whole new population of city farmers in backyards and windowsills across America. And everyone from the Los Angeles Times to Forbes to CBS has dubbed these brand new beds of beets and broccoli "COVID-19 Victory Gardens." But what war is your pot of basil fighting? This episode, historian Anastasia Day helps us explore the history of urban gardening movements—and shatter some of the nostalgic myths about those original World War II-era Victory Gardens. One thing is true: in 1943, more than 43 percent of the fresh produce eaten by all Americans came from Victory Gardens. So, can a combination of vegetable patches, community gardens, and urban farms help feed cities today? Or is growing food in the city just a feel-good distraction from the bigger problems in our food system? And does the hype about high-tech vertical farms live up to environmental and economic reality? Listen in as farmers and activists Leah Penniman and Tepfirah Rushdan, food writer Tamar Haspel, and researchers Neil Mattson and Raychel Santo help us dig in to the science on urban agriculture, and harvest some answers—as well as a tomato or two.


TRANSCRIPT Potatoes in Space!

This is a transcript of the Gastropod episode, Potatoes in Space, first released on April 23, 2019. It is provided as a courtesy and may contain errors.

WIEGER WAMELINK: There’s quite some difference. Especially with the moon. The moon soil is very coarse. It’s very sharp. And that’s one of the very important differences not only for the plants but also for the worms. Because they eat soil and if you eat soil and it’s sharp, it’s the same as if we would eat broken glass.

NICOLA TWILLEY: Oh man, those poor little wormies! But why are we feeding worms moon soil exactly?

CYNTHIA GRABER: How do scientists even get soil from the moon in the first place? Sure, we need to study it if we’re ever going to grow food in outer space, but where does this crushed moon rock come from?

TRANSCRIPT Guts and Glory

This is a transcript of the Gastropod episode, Guts and Glory, first released on May 21, 2019. It is provided as a courtesy and may contain errors.

GIULIA ENDERS: Sometimes when I’m done with work and I still have 10 or 20 minutes then I just go to the endoscopy and see if they have some small intestine to show me [LAUGHS] because I find it very pretty. I do think that if people could have this in an aquarium at home I think they might. Maybe if they knew what it was they wouldn’t but maybe they still would. Because it’s very beautiful.

CYNTHIA GRABER: I’ve never thought of my small intestine as beautiful, but you know, I’ve never seen it!

NICOLA TWILLEY: If anyone’s would be beautiful, Cynthia, I’m sure it’s yours. Anyway, Giulia would think so.

TRANSCRIPT White vs. Wheat: The Food Fight of the Centuries

This is a transcript of the Gastropod episode, White vs. Wheat: The Food Fight of the Centuries, first released on March 24. It is provided as a courtesy and may contain errors.

STEVE JONES: I don’t like to be in the same room as white flour, and very white pastries and breads creep me out. They look too white. It’s just weird and it’s not natural and it’s odd. And it’s odd if you think you’re basically making paste that we made as second graders, right, out of white flour—is starch and gluten. It makes a very good paste. I don’t get it.

NICOLA TWILLEY: OK. Me personally, I can’t be in the same room as a delicious freshly baked white baguette and not eat it. But to be fair, I have the same problem with a good whole wheat loaf, too.

CYNTHIA GRABER: I actually do try to stay away from purely white flour bread because I feel like there’s something missing in it. I, of course, am Cynthia Graber, and you’re listening to Gastropod, the podcast that looks at food through the lens of science and history.

TRANSCRIPT What’s CRISPR Doing in Our Food?

This is a transcript of the Gastropod episode, What’s CRISPR Doing in Our Food?, first released on October 7. It is provided as a courtesy and may contain errors.

NEWSCASTER 1: Cue the worldwide CRISPR frenzy! At the University of California, scientists used a form of CRISPR to edit mosquitoes so they can’t transmit malaria. Their colleagues are modifying rice to better withstand floods and drought.

NEWSCASTER 2: Scientists say it could someday eliminate inherited diseases like some cancers, hemophilia, and sickle cell anemia.

NEWSCASTER 3: Researchers in Massachusetts have created piglets that might one day provide livers, hearts, and other organs for humans. They used a gene editing technology called CRISPR to remove viruses from pigs that could cause diseases in humans.

TRANSCRIPT Omega 1-2-3

This is a transcript of the Gastropod episode, Omega 1-2-3, first released on August 13. It is provided as a courtesy and may contain errors.

PAUL GREENBERG: It was a little bit of a grueling thing. It’s funny. I was—I never went out on a Jet Ski as a younger person, and I was, I think, 47 when I started on this on this book. So you know it turns out riding a Jet Ski is not a lot of fun, if you’re 47.

NICOLA TWILLEY: The Jet Ski mounted hero of today’s episode is… 47-year-old Paul Greenberg.

CYNTHIA GRABER: Well, he’s not 47 anymore. That was when he started the book, so he’s a few years past that now.

TWILLEY: Like us all, he’s getting older. And that, actually, is what led him to the topic of his book.

Guts and Glory

What does it mean when your stomach rumbles? How do our bodies extract nutrients and vitamins from food? Does what you eat affect your mood? Digestion is an invisible, effortless, unconscious process—and one that, until recently, we knew almost nothing about. On this episode of Gastropod, we follow our food on its journey to becoming fuel, from the filtered blood that helps slide food into the stomach, to the velvet walls and rippling choreography of the small intestine, to the microbial magic of the colon and out the other end. And we do it by visiting the world's most sophisticated artificial gut at dinner time—a plumbing marvel named TIM that chews, swallows, squeezes, farts, and poops just like the real thing.