Episodes
The stats say that mealtimes are becoming a smaller and smaller part of Americans’ lives. The average American eats one out of every five meals in their car. Americans eat alone nearly half the time. And, when we eat alone, we tend to eat less healthy foods. But sometimes we actually pause and take a moment to cook for someone else. Today’s episode is about what can happen during those moments. For our sixth and final episode of the season, we sent producers around the country to record...
Published 11/22/17
Published 11/22/17
There are more Chinese restaurants in the United States than McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Combined. But the iconic menu items you’ll find in many of them bear almost no resemblance to traditional Chinese food.In today’s episode, we find out how immigration laws contributed to the rise of Chinese restaurants, debate the pros and cons of cooking with a flat-bottomed wok, and ask the eternal question: what the heck is duck sauce?Show Notes: This episode...
Published 11/15/17
When you think about the climate change, you might think about how it’ll affect where you’ll live, or get around. But one of the most intimate effects of climate change will be on what we eat. Sea level rise, more frequent droughts, extreme weather and more will reshape our diets. On this episode of Why We Eat What We Eat, we develop a diet of the future -- the “Climate Change Diet” -- for two brave volunteers.View artist Allie Wist’s “Flooded” project here.Rachel’s recipe for “Climate Change...
Published 11/08/17
Sometimes we eat what we eat because there’s a shared tradition and history that brings us together, and sometimes we eat what eat because it’s what was brought to the table. That’s the potluck. In this week’s episode, we travel to what is arguably the potluck capital of the world —Minnesota — and trace the origin of the potluck- from the American prairie, to the Great Depression, to the present day. We’ll hear from Americans who’ve been potlucking for generations and Americans who are brand...
Published 10/25/17
Macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, grilled cheese. American kids are known around the world for their bland, boring palates. But what happens if you never outgrow the kids’ menu? Today on the show, we’re exploring the secret lives of adult picky eaters. Why are some people so finicky about their food? Is it psychological? Physiological? Can we blame our parents, just like we do for everything else? Is pickiness incurable? And why do we even care what foods other people do or do not put in...
Published 10/18/17
In our first episode, we take on food trends — specifically, the biggest food trend of the last decade: kale.  Kale isn’t an especially flashy vegetable. It’s slightly bitter, hard to digest, and lasts forever in your fridge. Rumor has it that, until 2011, the biggest kale buyer used it to garnish their salad bar. Now, it’s on 1 out of every 5 menus in the U.S. Something — or someone — catapulted kale into a status symbol. In our quest to find the story of how kale got cool, we’ll trace its...
Published 10/11/17
In a new series brought to you by Blue Apron and Gimlet Creative, host Cathy Erway investigates the unseen forces that shape our eating habits. We’ll tackle everything from food conspiracies and picky eaters, to exploring the potluck scene and more. Subscribe to Why We Eat What We Eat now so you don’t miss a single episode. 
Published 10/03/17