A Tale to Warm the Cockles of Your Heart

You might have heard of Molly Malone, selling cockles from a wheelbarrow in Dublin, or of Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, with her cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row—but the chances are most Gastropod listeners have never actually tasted a cockle. And, apparently, you're missing out! For the Native American tribes in the Puget Sound, where cockles used to be abundant, they're a treasured treat: meatier, sweeter, and richer-tasting than other shellfish. But they're also disappearing, and no one knows why—or how to save them. This episode, we join the team of intrepid marine biologists and tribal leaders on a mission to restore the cockle, on a journey that involves cockle viagra, a cockle vampire, and some carefully choreographed simultaneous spawning. Listen in now for a story of shellfish science and cultural history that will warm the cockles of your heart—and perhaps inspire the revival of other indigenous foods.

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TRANSCRIPT Are Insect Guts the Secret to the Most Delicious Kimchi?

This is a transcript of the Gastropod episode, Are Insect Guts the Secret to the Most Delicious Kimchi?, first released on December 3. It is provided as a courtesy and may contain errors.

CYNTHIA GRABER: You recording? Yep, OK. So now I am going to massage my cabbage. SOUNDS. Okay, number two, well massaged cabbage. Now for a large bowl for cabbage number three.

GRABER: Just what I like to do on a Saturday afternoon in the fall, give some cabbage a very deep massage.

TWILLEY: I prefer to be the one actually getting a massage myself. But you are not alone Cynthia: this is an autumn ritual for millions of people. Primarily Koreans.

GRABER: Because fall is the traditional time to make kimchi, and that’s what I was doing, and that’s what this episode is about.
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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.
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What’s CRISPR Doing in our Food?

You've probably heard the hype: CRISPR will revolutionize biotech, cure disease, resurrect extinct species, and even create new-and-(not-so)-improved humans. But what is CRISPR—and what's it doing in our food? The first generation of genetically modified crops, or GMOs, were labelled "Frankenfoods" by critics and are banned in the European Union. Can CRISPR succeed where fish-tomatoes failed? And what's yoghurt got to do with it? Listen in this episode for the CRISPR story you haven't heard—and for a taste of our CRISPRized future.

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TRANSCRIPT Running on Fumes: Strawberry’s Dirty Secret

This is a transcript of the Gastropod episode Running on Fumes: Strawberry’s Dirty Secret, first released on August 27, 2019. It is provided as a courtesy and may contain errors.

MATT CELONA: In the first year that we did pick-your-own, we tried to do it on two days, Saturday and Sunday. And so we put a barrier like thinking like, okay, people will pick this part of the bed today. And the people literally pushed the barrier over and picked the whole thing. It was crazy trying to control the crowds. And it’s like, for those few hours it’s mayhem and we call it, like, strawberry zombie time.

CYNTHIA GRABER: This is basically me in June at the farmers market. I can’t buy enough—I bring home quarts and quarts and I eat as many as I can and I make ice cream and popsicles and then I freeze whatever I haven’t devoured. I am a strawberry zombie.

NICOLA TWILLEY: This has never happened to me. Because, to be honest, I’m more of a raspberry girl. But Cynthia, I hate to break it to you—we can get strawberries basically all year round in the great state of California.
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Potatoes in Space!

Today, a half century after Neil Armstrong took one small step onto the surface of the Moon, there are still just three humans living in space—the crew of the International Space Station. But, after decades of talk, both government agencies and entrepreneurs are now drawing up more concrete plans to return to the Moon, and even travel onward to Mars. Getting there is one thing, but if we plan to set up colonies, we'll have to figure out how to feed ourselves. Will Earth crops grow in space—and, if so, will they taste different? Will we be sipping spirulina smoothies and crunching on chlorella cookies, as scientists imagined in the 1960s, or preparing potatoes six thousand different ways, like Matt Damon in The Martian? Listen in this episode for the stories about how and what we might be farming, once we get to Mars.

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TRANSCRIPT Ripe for Global Domination: The Story of the Avocado

This is a transcript of the Gastropod episode Ripe for Global Domination: The Story of the Avocado, first released on May 8, 2018. It is provided as a courtesy and may contain errors.

NICOLA TWILLEY: Alright, I’m in my kitchen Cynthia, and I feel as though it’s time for some lunch.

CYNTHIA GRABER: I am thinking the same thing, and I have a really lovely ripe avocado here on the counter.

TWILLEY: I do too! I do too!

GRABER: Perfect! You might even think we planned this.

GRABER: Oh come on, don’t tell me we’re out of bread, that would be really bad.

TWILLEY: There’s no avocado toast without the toast.
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Cutting the Mustard TRANSCRIPT

This is a transcript of the Gastropod episode Cutting the Mustard, first released on February 27, 2018. It is provided as a courtesy and may contain errors.

ROSE EVELETH: So I’m Rose Eveleth. I’m the host of Flash Forward, which is a podcast about the future. But more importantly I am a very huge fan of mustard.

CYNTHIA GRABER: And you and I were actually talking about this, I don’t know, a year or two ago, and you were, like, you have to do an episode on mustard! So why are you obsessed with mustard?
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Secrets of Sourdough: TRANSCRIPT

This is a transcript of the Gastropod episode Secrets of Sourdough, first released on December 19, 2017. It is provided as a courtesy and may contain errors.

CYNTHIA GRABER: That’s really good.

NICOLA TWILLEY: Really good. That’s good.

GRABER: One more—I know, I just need one more little bit.

TWILLEY: Just one more piece.

GRABER: I’ll join you in that.

TWILLEY: How can I not? It’s so good.

GRABER: It’s so warm and yummy. I’m going to taste some of this. Mmmm, Nicky—hot pita with garlic butter?

TWILLEY: Welcome to an episode of carb lovers anonymous!
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Cannibalism: From Calories to Kuru TRANSCRIPT

This is a transcript of the Gastropod episode Cannibalism: From Calories to Kuru, first released on October 24, 2017. It is provided as a courtesy and may contain errors.

(CLIP FROM THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS)

TWILLEY: So if you know this famous clip from “The Silence of the Lambs,” you will know that this episode, we could be discussing one of three things. Chianti. Fava beans. Or…

GRABER: Oh how I wish we were discussing chianti or fava beans. But no, this episode, we’re all about cannibalism. Happy Halloween!
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