Each week I will publish the most Delicious Ingredients of my Audible Feast … the scrumptious, delectable, savory, rich, sweet, spicy, and best podcasts that have fed my ears this week. They’re listed in no particular order. You can see what I’ve been listening to here to see the competition these shows beat out to earn their spot as the best of the week.
This week I checked out quite a few Hillary Clinton interviews, and I liked the Call Your Girlfriend slant the best, FWIW.
My playlist is accessible on RadioPublic at the link below, which will take you directly to the playlist if you have the app where you can hit “follow” to get the Delicious Ingredients weekly. If you don’t have the app, get it from the Apple Store or Google Play.
See Something Say Something, Episode 34: Ghee Something Say Something (9/23/17): What it’s about: “Ghee is having a moment right now. People call it a magic food that will melt your fat away. Kourtney Kardashian swears by it. Whole Foods is selling it. And the marketing language always comes back to how “ancient,” “pure” and “authentic” it is. And Ahmed can’t stop thinking about it. So this week, we’re spending the whole episode tackling one question: Why is this happening to ghee? We do a taste test with the brain trust, chat with BuzzFeed Health editor Sally Tamarkin, NYU Food Studies Department chair Krishnendu Ray, and Ahmed’s aunt Naheed Usmani to chew on it.” Why it’s great: This episode is definitely more than ghee-ts the eye … it’s about the sorta appropriation of a food item that is only a big deal because of a Kardashian. One of the messages I got from the episode’s hosts was – WTF is the big deal? Why is this a thing? No shocker that it’s about a food fad – pretty much every food fad prompts similar questions. (39 minutes)
Science Vs: The Rise of Anti-Vaxxers (9/21/17): What it’s about: “Last week we explored the science behind vaccine safety. This week we try to understand where these fears came from, and why they persist. We speak to three historians: Prof. Nadja Durbach, Prof. Elena Conis, and Prof. Robert Johnston. And a concerned mom named Noelle.” Why it’s great: I actually liked this episode even more than the previous one about why vaccines are safe according to science, because I got to hear what “science” people cite when they are anti-vax. I really struggle with this issue and have never really taken the time to learn about why people don’t believe in accepted science – I’d never heard the argument about the CDC being paid off by big pharma. Certainly possible, but I wouldn’t think vaccines would be the science they’d try to alter, seems like there would be bigger fish to fry. Anyway – another great episode from this terrific show. (32 minutes)
Read my 5-star review of Science Vs here! (October 2016)
The Hilarious World of Depression: Wil Wheaton is Really Hoping it’s All Worth It (9/25/17): What it’s about: “Wil Wheaton was a child star in Stand By Me, a regular on Star Trek: The Next Generation as a teenager, and has been trying to figure out his role in show business for a long time since then. He was dealing with the pressures of fame and the fickle tastes of Hollywood, all while dealing with a chemical imbalance in his brain that made him prone to anxiety and depression. Wil’s better now thanks to medication, but despite his long IMDb page and regular work on The Big Bang Theory, his hit YouTube show, and a thriving and varied career, he sees himself primarily as a failed actor.” Why it’s great: Could Wil Wheaton be more lovable? He truly doubts himself and his success, and I certainly don’t wish self-doubt on anyone, but it’s somehow comforting to know that “stars, they’re just like us.” Wil: you’re awesome. (52 minutes)
Inflection Point: How to Get Through the Worst – Together (Kelsey Crowe) (9/23/17): What it’s about: “Most of us don’t know what to say when we are grieving or how to reach out when the people we love go through something awful. Dr. Kelsey Crowe’s own experiences with grief helped her realize that so many people suffer alone because the people around them don’t know what to do or say. So Kelsey actually shifted her career focus to understand what grieving people want, and what they don’t. She surveyed 900 people about their experiences with grief, founded Help Each Other Out to provide empathy bootcamps, and wrote a book about what she learned. The title of her book sums it up: There is No Good Card for this: What to say and do when life is scary, awful and unfair to people you love.* Lauren talks with Kelsey about what she learned and how we can all help each other out.” Why it’s great: This was a bit of an unusual episode for Inflection Point (and I’ve listened to almost all of them, it’s one of my favorites). It was very emotional and personal on host Lauren Schiller’s part, completely appropriate for the topic and guest. I actually rewound a couple parts and listened again. Empathy is so lacking in our culture (here in the U.S. at least) and I loved the very frank discussion about what we’re doing wrong and what we can do to show people we care about them. (41 minutes)
Read my 5-star review of Inflection Point with Lauren Schiller here! (December 2016)
Daughter: Fin. (9/10/17): What it’s about: The final episode in this series about a woman who finds out about her Sudanese mother’s incredible past. Why it’s great: You have to listen to this series in order, and this is the last episode, but I loved how it tied every previous episode together and offered such an honest reflection from the “daughter” about what it’s like to put your (and your mom’s) life out there for strangers’ consumption. (20 minutes)
The Heart: Bodies: Goddess (9/19/17): What it’s about: “Maria is a poet and activist living in Houston, Texas who Mitra spent a few days with. Mitra got to meet some of Maria’s family, hung out with her pets and ate delicious food during her time with Maria. For Maria’s whole life all she has wanted was breasts. Big breasts to be specific. This story follows the poet, Maria from childhood to adolescence to womanhood.” Why it’s great: This was my favorite of the Bodies series. First of all, I enjoyed Mitra’s reflection on body hair at the outset of the episode. And then the pièce de résistance, Maria telling us about her relationship with her breasts, how much she loves them, and how she feels they’re such a sexual body part. It was rich and intoxicating listening to her. (21 minutes)
Read my 5-star review of The Heart here! (July 2017)
Radio Atlantic: What Are Public Schools For? (9/21/17): What it’s about: “The idea that public schools are failing is one of the most commonly heard complaints in American society. But what are they failing to do? Surveys of American parents—and the history of the nation’s public education system—tell a more complicated story. In this episode, The Atlantic‘s education editor Alia Wong joins Jeff, Matt, and Alex for a conversation about how we define and measure success in public education.” Why it’s great: So often when I start an episode of Radio Atlantic, I think – this is what all Americans need to be listening to! We need more discussions like this! The personal reflections of The Atlantic’s staff regarding their own experience with public school were diverse and occasionally surprising to me, especially the conflict of wanting something different for your own kids than what you had, but also wanting to support the idea of public schools. If you liked the 2015 This American Life episodes with Nikole Hannah-Jones or caught her article in The New York Times Magazine, you’ll love this episode. (55 minutes)
Code Switch: It’s Getting (Dangerously) Hot in Herre
Call Your Girlfriend, Episode 111: Hillary
Here Be Monsters, HBM081: Kinnikinnick Nick VS the Bear
Why Oh Why, Episode 48: The Perfect Storm
Between Us Girls, Episode 51: Friends, How Many of Us Have Them?
All episode descriptions and artwork come from the linked sites. What else was fantastic this week? Send me a note! firstname.lastname@example.org or @audible_feast on Twitter.
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