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Around the Table: Food Stories from Science to Everyday Life

Updated 15 days ago

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Food
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Around the Table is a podcast from Stanley Ulijaszek, Professor of Human Ecology at the University of Oxford and Director of UBVO, and Dr. Tess Bird, an anthropologist of household uncertainty and wellbeing. We interview nutrition, food, and health experts as well as everyday households from around the world, filling in some of the gaps between scientific knowledge and everyday practice.

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Around the Table is a podcast from Stanley Ulijaszek, Professor of Human Ecology at the University of Oxford and Director of UBVO, and Dr. Tess Bird, an anthropologist of household uncertainty and wellbeing. We interview nutrition, food, and health experts as well as everyday households from around the world, filling in some of the gaps between scientific knowledge and everyday practice.

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Cover image of Around the Table: Food Stories from Science to Everyday Life

Around the Table: Food Stories from Science to Everyday Life

Latest release on Jan 18, 2021

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 15 days ago

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This means that the episode rankings aren't working properly. Please revisit us at a later time to get the best episodes of this podcast!

Rank #1: Sociologist Anthony Ryan Hatch on Sugar's Legacy of Racism

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In this interview with Tess, sociologist Prof. Tony Hatch explains why the problem of sugar is much greater than just being bad for our bodies. As a colonial commodity, sugar carries a legacy of slavery and racism that is still with us today. He describes sugar's relationship to black bodies, metabolic syndrome, and global trade, calling for political action: a boycott of sugar. This podcast is an eye-opening take on sugar from an environmental, ecological, and social perspective. (Listeners take note: we had some sound tech issues with this one, so we hope you can forgive the clicking sound!)

Listener's may also be interested in Madeleine Power's discussion of food justice in the UK, Esther González-Padilla's description of sugar and micronutrient dilution, and Michael Goran and Emily Ventura's latest book on how to help children eat less sugar.

Anthony Ryan Hatch, Ph.D., is a sociologist and Associate Professor and Chair of the Science in Society Program at Wesleyan University where is he is also affiliated faculty in the Department of African American Studies, the College of the Environment, and the Department of Sociology. Dr. Hatch is an expert in health systems, medical technology, and social inequalities. He recently appeared in the PBS documentary Blood Sugar Rising and is the author of Silent Cells: The Secret Drugging of Captive America (2019) and Blood Sugar: Racial Pharmacology and Food Justice in Black America. He also mentions his co-authored article, “Sugar Ecologies and their Metabolic and Racial Effects” in the podcast.

Jan 18 2021

25mins

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Rank #2: Health Scientist Dr. Madeleine Power discusses Food Insecurity and Food Justice in the UK

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Dr. Madeleine Power is an expert in UK food aid and food insecurity, in particular its relationship with wider economic and ethnic inequalities. In this interview with Stanley, she discusses her research into food insecurity amongst Pakistani, Muslim, and white British groups in Bradford, UK. Dr. Power describes the variations of food insecurity amongst these groups (it's more complicated than you might think, and different than in the US!) she then talks about the York Food Justice Alliance, which was started as a network to ally local organizations concerned about hunger in York and the Independent Food Aid Network is a national UK network that represents independent food banks around the UK. 

Dr. Power is Wellcome Fellow in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York, where she works on poverty and inequalities in access to food. She is Co-Chair of the Independent Food Aid Network, a representative body of independent food aid providers, and founder and former Chair of the York Food Justice Alliance, a cross-sector partnership addressing food insecurity at the local level. She is a regular commentator on food inequalities and food aid on local and national media. She has published widely on poverty and food, inequalities in food access according to ethnicity and gender, and food aid, including food banks.

Dec 03 2020

13mins

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Rank #3: Sociologist Lotte Holm on Food, Body-weight, and Income Disparity

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In this interview with Stanley, Professor Lotte Holm explains why a sociological understanding of different people’s experiences around food, body-weight, and income is vital for implementing better policies around food. Much of her research focuses on populations in Denmark and the European Union, but understanding everyday struggles around food is a huge component of our global food and healthcare system.

Prof. Holm is a sociologist at the Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO) at the University of Copenhagen. Two of her recent publications include:

Nov 20 2020

18mins

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Rank #4: Nutrition and Exercise Physiologist Lars Holm on Diet in Later Life

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In this interview with Stanley, Prof. Lars Holm discusses the importance of protein in our diet as we age. As we get older, our sensitivity to amino acids begins to deteriorate, which prevents us from absorbing as much protein as we could earlier in life. He also explains why the uptake of amino acids is better when the protein is eaten with meals and how protein relates to exercise.

Lars Holm is Professor at the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK. 

Nov 05 2020

16mins

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Rank #5: At Home with Tess: Ashley Chard Dinella, a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, talks about intuitive, healthy eating

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In this episode, Tess interviews Ashley Chard Dinella, a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and food marketing specialist. Ashley tells a story about not being able to diagnosis an illness as a child and finally turning to a nutrition expert who located the culprits. The subsequent twenty years of knowledge acquisition and experimentation eventually led her to intuitive, healthy eating as an overarching principle of her lifestyle. She also has a few tidbits of real-world advice for our listeners.

Ashley runs Zoetic Wellness Consulting, which designs corporate and personal wellness solutions. 

Oct 30 2020

17mins

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Rank #6: Health Scientist Anna Bach-Faig and Everything You Need To Know About the Mediterranean Diet

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The Mediterranean diet has risen in popularity around the world. In this informative and inspiring episode, Stanley talks to Dr. Anna Bach-Faig, a leading scholar on the Mediterranean diet in Spain. As Prof. Bach-Faig explains, this diet is considered one of the healthiest diets out there, with strong evidence showing its role in preventing “cardiodiabesity,” or cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and type II diabetes. It’s also a unique diet because it tackles two key aspects of food: what-we-eat as well as the how-we-eat. She explains how the pleasure of preparing and sharing meals with significant people is associated with health promoting effects, such as contributing to less over-eating. The diet also is linked to brain function and the cognitive decline associated with aging. To top it all off, the Mediterranean diet is a very sustainable diet, with a significantly lower environmental impact than the standard Western diet.

Dr. Bach-Faig is Professor at the Health Sciences Faculty at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). She is a former Mediterranean Diet Foundation research group director for the Institute for Catalan Studies' Catalan Nutrition Centre (CCNIEC) and currently forms part of FoodLab, the UOC's food, nutrition, society and health interdisciplinary research group. You can follow Prof. Bach-Faig on Twitter at @Bach_Faig. 

Oct 15 2020

23mins

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Rank #7: Biological Anthropologist Cristina Giuliani on Taste Receptors (which are located all over the body!)

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Dr. Cristina Giuliani discusses the physiology of taste in this episode with Stanley. As Dr. Guiliana explains, taste is way more complicated than you think: "it's a sort of sensory modality to evaluate food toxicity, to select high energy foods, and to prepare the body to extract energy from foods." Taste receptors are actually located in many different areas of our body, far beyond the tongue. For instance, one bitter receptor (TAS2R38) is not only located in the oral cavity but in the upper respiratory airways. These receptors play a far greater role in sensing our environments than we've previously known. 

This is pretty cool stuff, but it may take a close listen. If you're interested in learning more, check out Dr. Guiliani's publication with Stanley Ulijaszek and other colleagues in Advances in Nutrition entitled, Ecological Sensing Through Taste and Chemosensation Mediates Inflammation: A Biological Anthropological Approach.

Dr. Cristina Giuliani is a biological anthropologist and senior assistant professor at the University of Bologna and Research Affiliate of Oxford University. For an overview of her research team and the activities they perform, visit the Molecular Anthropology Lab at the University of Bologna.

Oct 01 2020

13mins

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Rank #8: Anthropologist Amy McLennan on Redefining Lifestyle Diseases on the Pacific Island of Nauru

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In this fascinating episode about Nauru, an island country in the central Pacific, anthropologist Dr. Amy McLennan discusses what it means to redefine the medical notion of "lifestyle" in a locally-contextualized way. In her own words: “In the world of medicine, lifestyle is often distilled into what you eat, what exercise you do, whether you sleep or not, if you smoke, and if you drink alcohol. [But] when you work with people on the ground in communities, “lifestyle” means something very different. It means who you’re related to and who you spend time with, what you like to do, where you learn, the habits you have, and the habits and social practices you have in your community. It’s the political leadership, it’s the economy, it’s the geography and the place that you live, and it’s your history. And all of these things really matter…” Listen to learn more about Nauru, its people, and their food.

Dr. McLennan is a Research Fellow at the Australian National University's 3A Institute (3Ai), where she works at the intersections of technology, society and wellbeing. 

You can also listen to Dr. McLennan talk about the meat industry during the Covid-19 global lock down in our first series, Lock Down Food. 

Sep 22 2020

18mins

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Rank #9: Anthropologist Sabine Parrish talks Coffee

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Sabine Parrish (www.sabine.coffee), a doctoral candidate and anthropologist at the University of Oxford, describes how an unsavory gendered comment while working as a barista triggered her research into coffee and coffee shops. She discusses coffee in relation to sociality and gender, nutrition, and coffee competitions in the US and Brazil. She also co-owns a coffee shop in Cardiff, Wales. Check it out at www.mec.coffee and follow @sabine.coffee and @mec.coffee on Instagram and @sabinebeans and @meccoffeeltd on Twitter! 

Sep 15 2020

22mins

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Rank #10: At Home with Tess: Can you really reduce your family's sugar consumption?

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In this episode, Tess talks with Dr. Emily Ventura, co-author of the new book Sugarproof: The Hidden Dangers of Sugar That Are Putting Your Child’s Health at Risk and What You Can Do, and a mother and daughter in Washington state who have tested out some of the Sugarproof techniques and recipes. 

This episode follows Thursday's, where Stanley interviews Prof. Michael Goran and Dr. Emily Ventura about Sugarproof. If you haven't listened in, start there!

For more info, visit: www.sugarproofkids.com and www.goranlab.com. You can also follow them on Instagram @sugarproofkids; Facebook @sugarproofkids; and Prof. Goran on Twitter: @michaelgoran

Sep 05 2020

23mins

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