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    Do you ever wonder about the science behind your food? We do, too.

    Our group of writers serves up juicy topics like genetic engineering, gut bacteria and the chemical reactions that occur during cooking.

    Together, we’ll peer inside factory farms, dark jungles, cafeterias, laboratories and those trendy molecular gastronomy spots. Grab a bite, and sit down at the table to learn why Food Matters.

    Food Matters Crew:

    Kevin Bonham, Layla Eplett and Patrick Mustain
  • Jonathan Eisen and Jessica Richman on the Microbiome


    I just finished listening to a pretty great discussion between Jonathan Eisen, whose work I mentioned last month, and Jessica Richman, founder of uBiome (a sort of 23andMe but for the microbiome). It’s on the podcast of Tim Ferriss, who I’d never heard of, but is apparently a big deal. The discussion is wide-ranging, but [...]

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    Microbial sex and not sex – Passing genes around the dinner table


    As mammals, I think we sometimes take sex for granted. I’m not talking about the frequently messy act of having sex, or the extensive effort most of us go through in order to have sex. I’m talking about the fact that sexual reproduction gives rise to some pretty impressive genetic diversity in a population. But [...]

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    What To Eat When You’re High (up): Why Not Caviar? And Plenty Of H2O

    Winter Park, Colorado, Image buy Author

    If you are from the Midwest, or a place of comparable altitude, and have ever taken a trip to the mountains, then you are probably familiar with the humbling experience that is trying to breathe air that just doesn’t seem to be there. A simple task, such as walking up a hill can elicit dizziness, [...]

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    The Truffle, Shuffled: Attempting To Make Alinea’s Famed Black Truffle Explosion


    Have no fear–there will be no re-enactments of this anywhere in this post. Instead, attempts to shuffle truffles will strictly be limited to those involving Tuber melanosporum mixed in various forms: juice, oil and fresh. Since it’s truffle season and dinner at Alinea is not in the foreseeable future, the next best thing seems to [...]

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    Black Truffles: The Other Magic Mushroom?


    Just one try and some become addicted. They’re smuggled through airports and often counterfeited. According to a recent study, there may be one more way black truffles are similar to drugs. Researchers in Italy have found that black truffles produce anandamide, a natural chemical similar to marijuana’s active compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). One of the study’s [...]

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    An Experiment in Open Science – My fermentation journal

    A dehydrated Kombucha mother

    I’m a strong believer in the notion that science, especially academic science that is performed with public money, should be openly accessible to everyone. I’m sort of on the radical fringe of this belief, as I think that not only published results, but lab notebooks, and in-process stuff as well should be shared. Alas, since [...]

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    A look back at 2014

    It was a scant blogging year for me, what with defending my PhD thesis, launching a masters program at Harvard and getting married. But I still have a couple of posts I’m proud of: It’s only been a couple of months, but it’s already hard to remember what life was like before my fermentation obsession. [...]

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    Brewing the “First” Alcoholic Beverage

    Raw wild flower honey

    My fermentation obsession has reached new heights – on Christmas day I bottled my first mead, and it was delicious. My wife also gave me a book on mead making, and I’m getting ready to start a wild-ferment mead. So what is mead? Mead is an alcoholic ferment of honey. All alcoholic ferments start with [...]

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    The First Supper

    Hark! The herald angels weren’t singing in Matthew’s narrative. Boticelli’s Mystic Nativity more accurately depicts Luke’s account--he alludes to a stable (instead of Matthew’s house) and the oxen were an elaboration attributed to St. Francis of Assisi based off a subtle hint from Luke.

    Last Christmas, we looked at why most celebrate the birth of Jesus with foods more closely associated with Bethlehem, Pennsylvania than the Bethlehem Jesus was born in. The popularity of Christmas in nineteenth century England and the influence of Charles Dickens’ short story, A Christmas Carol, contributed to current Christmas cuisine. There may be one [...]

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    The Weight of the World: A Look At Global Obesity Prevalence and Dietary Trends


    Increased consumption of sugar, fats, and a more sedentary lifestyle have led to rising levels of obesity in the United States and parts of Europe. According a report from the UK based think tank, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), this trend may also be occurring throughout the developing world. Along with exploring the increasing rates of [...]

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