Food podcasts have been in existence since the medium took off in the early 2000s, but it wasn’t until recently that people have expressed a renewed interest in them. The explosive fame that non-fiction podcast Serial has achieved over a matter of months spurred a new wave of podcasters, giving rise to new podcast shows from business to science and to anything under the sun.
Buoyed by growing audience numbers, food podcasting has rapidly gained traction indeed, and the increasingly competitive nature of the niche is allowing podcasters to expand their reach and diversify their topics. Here are some of the best food podcast channels today:
First, there’s an upcoming program listed on Kentucky Public Radio called Mighty Fine Farm & Food, whose podcasts are also downloadable on iTunes. The show, which is hosted by Steve Paradis, owner of gardening center Fresh Start Growers Supply; Rainbow Blossom store chain owner Summer Auerbach and local farmer; and Harvest restaurant owner Ivor Chodkowski, centers on “eating right to feel good” and “how to make locally produced food more affordable,” according to The Courier-Journal.
According to Paradis, they are tackling on a national issue that’s worthy of air time—and he’s right: the farm to table movement has been a growing phenomenon that the greater American population should be aware of. “I want local food which is accessible to all. I want families to understand that food is medicine and to treat it like that. My job is to build customers for farmers,” he said.
For food science geeks as well as conscientious home cooks who wish to improve on the quality of their meals, the new Gastropod podcast, which launched in September last year, is their go-to information source. Founded by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley in New York, the Gastropod provides an “analysis of food through the lens of science and history,” according to a report on The Boston Globe.
From using the right metal spoon to archaeological artifacts, the show focuses on reporting stories that are not often featured by the media. “Food is the primary way we [all] negotiate the world around us,” Graber told The Globe. “It’s a daily negotiation with our environment, both cultural and natural. We hope we can make you think about having a thoughtful relationship with it.” Gastropod also talks with experts, one of whom was James Beard award-winning chef Dan Barber, who authored “Dan Barber’s Quest for Flavor” and “The Third Plate.”
Next is Food is the New Rock, an Audioboom channel hosted by Zach Brooks of Midtown Lunch (a.k.a. Fat guy) and KCRW host Chuck P. A show featuring “food people who like music and food,” the podcast offers a unique look into the culinary fancies of musicians and foodies. Its most recent guests include indie-electronic band Wildcat! Wildcat! and Ludo Lefebvre, owner of LudoBites in Los Angeles.
Rounding up the list is Oxford University-sponsored The Podcast History of Cooking, a personal project of author Jesse Browner. According to its website, the podcast show explores cooking in the West, from prehistoric recipes during the Stone Age era to the 21st century. It will also touch on ancient cooking in Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome; as well as culinary activities during at each historical period, global cuisines, and finishing with the “fall and rise of cooking in the United States. History is a work in progress,with just two podcasts published on the site as of this posting. New podcast episodes are available every six weeks and can be downloaded via iTunes.