Rank #1: 22 - You Don’t Get Fat For the Reasons You Think
Rank #2: 8 - Michael Pollan – Magic Mushrooms
Rank #3: 12 – You’re Eating a Lie
Rank #4: 48 – This Science Will Make You Feel Better About What You Eat
Have you ever wondered why some foods make you feel more full than others? Or why when you’re stressed out you turn to your mom’s mac and cheese recipe? Our guest Rachel Herz is a psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist who studies why we eat what we eat. Kiera talks to her about how your culture influences your cravings, and why the outcome of the Super Bowl could make you eat healthier. Plus: Tom breaks down why the Farm Bill is actually interesting.
Rank #5: 21 – The Secret Lives of Chefs
Rank #6: 47 – Not Just Granola: How Hippies Reinvented American Cuisine
If you enjoy avocado toast and power bowls, thank a hippie. On this episode, Tom talks to Jonathan Kauffmann, whose new book is about how the 1960s counterculture gave way to some of today's most popular American dishes. Plus, Maddie talks to New York Times reporter Nellie Bowles about why some people are rejecting tap water in favor of pricey, untreated H20.
Rank #7: 14 - The Science of What Kids Eat
Rank #8: 26 - The Science of Why People Don’t Believe in Food Science
Rank #9: 66 – The Bizarre Fad Diet Taking the Far Right by Storm
Lately, Jordan Peterson, the Canadian psychologist known for his arch-conservative politics and views on masculinity, has been talking up the virtues of carnivorism. He’s not the only extreme right winger who has an unusual relationship with meat. In today’s episode, we talk to Kelly Weill, a Daily Beast reporter who wrote about the rise of the all-meat diet in the conservative fringe. Then, University of Colorado PhD student Alexis De Coning talks about her investigation into the disturbing history of veganism among white nationalists.
Rank #10: 78 – How Slavery's Brutal Legacy Lingers in American Cooking
Archaeologist and historian Kelley Fanto Deetz talks to Tom about her deep dive into the world of enslaved cooks on antebellum Virginia's plush plantations—and she makes the case that the first celebrity chef was a slave. Plus: Maddie interviews Jonathan Townsend, a colonial reenactor, about his popular cooking channel and the early American recipes he endorses. And we hear a dispatch from Jordan Gass-Poore, who attended a Prohibition-themed event in New York City.
Rank #11: 60 – (Not) Eating Animals
This episode is all about giving up meat. As novelist Jonathan Safron Foer prepared to become a father, he became increasingly irked by a question: How would he justify eating meat to his kids? The question morphed into a bestselling book, Eating Animals, which became a documentary, premiering June 15. Jonathan shares more about his reasons for going veggie, and reflects on talking about food choices in the age of Trump. Then we hear from the Vegan Bros, two all-American dudes who gave up hunting and fishing for plant-based diets. The hosts share their favorite vegetarian cookbooks. And we ask you to tell us why you became a vegetarian or vegan—even if it didn't stick. (Go to www.motherjones.com/veggie-stories)
Rank #12: 41 – Do Farmers Still Love Trump?
Farmers voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in the last presidential election. But over the course of the past year, the conversation has shifted, says journalist Ted Genoways, author of the new book, This Blessed Earth. "Farmers are starting to realize the real threats this could pose to their livelihood." Ted also talks about what he learned following around one family from harvest to harvest for his book. And Kiera discovers what it’s like to consume nothing but pumpkin spice products for a whole week.
Rank #13: 29 – This Simple Advice Completely Changed the Way I Eat
Rank #14: 23 - Save the Chocolate
Rank #15: 34 – You Are What You Eat, Donald Trump
As President Donald Trump adapts to his new life as the most powerful leader in the country, his food choices have remained curiously stodgy. Steaks doused in ketchup, chocolate soufflé, wedges of iceberg lettuce served with creamy dressing: "He basically has the eating habits of someone who was spending lots of time and money in fine dining establishments in the early '80s and late '70s," says Slate political correspondent Jamelle Bouie, our first guest on this week’s episode. Bouie also reveals how he got into cooking as a broke college student, and has some tips on stretching out your food budget. Then Kiera talks to Civil Eats founder and editor-in-chief Naomi Starkman about how to stay optimistic in these “anxiety-producing” times.
Rank #16: 74 – The Cult of the Chili Pepper
We all know that burning sensation particular to eating chili peppers. But who knew the tiny fruit did so much more than make our mouths sweat? Stuart Walton, author of the new book “The Devil’s Dinner,” reveals the life-altering power of capsaicin, the active compound in chilis. Then Nopalito Chef Gonzalo Guzman shares his tips and tricks for taming dried chili peppers.
Rank #17: 77 – "Bao" Director Domee Shi Gives a Sweet Dumpling a Dark Twist
Domee Shi, director of Pixar's Oscar-nominated short film "Bao," was afraid that people "would be too upset" by the shocking turn in her fantastical tale about a cute, little Chinese dumpling. But it ended up being her secret ingredient. Plus: How food plays an essential role in the year's best films.
Rank #18: 54 – Did Drinking Give Me Cancer?
Mother Jones Senior Reporter Stephanie Mencimer just wrote a blockbuster story that weaves together her own breast cancer diagnosis and the disturbing history of the alcohol industry downplaying the link between booze and cancer. She joins us to talk about her drinking history and how the industry courts women. Then, New York Times op-ed writer Liz Tracy reflects on what it’s like to be a sober mom in a parenting culture that’s obsessed with wine. Finally, MoJo's Becca Andrews caught up with Planned Parenthood’s outgoing CEO Cecile Richards about her new memoir and the recipes that have fueled her career. Bonus: Cecile reveals her secrets to baking the best cherry pie.