Food history

Food
9:06 am
Wed January 23, 2013

How the sweet potato crossed the Pacific before Columbus

A well-traveled root: A vendor sells sweet potatoes at a market near Manila in 2011. The Portuguese brought the root to the Philippines all the way from the Caribbean.
Ted Aljibe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:15 am

When it comes to spreading food around the world, Christopher Columbus and his European compatriots get most of the credit.

Yes, they introduced some quintessential ingredients into European and Asian cuisine. Who could imagine Italian food without the tomato? Or Indian and Chinese dishes without the spicy kick of chili peppers?

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Food
12:59 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

An Evolutionary Whodunit: How Did Humans Develop Lactose Tolerance?

Thousands of years ago, a mutation in the human genome allowed many adults to digest lactose and drink milk.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 9:41 am

Got milk? Ancient European farmers who made cheese thousands of years ago certainly had it. But at that time, they lacked a genetic mutation that would have allowed them to digest raw milk's dominant sugar, lactose, after childhood.

Today, however, 35 percent of the global population — mostly people with European ancestry — can digest lactose in adulthood without a hitch.

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Sustainability
5:59 am
Wed October 3, 2012

East Coast author defending salmon, speaking out against Alaska's Pebble Mine

"Eat some sockeye" says New York Times contributor Paul Greenberg, if you want to help sustain the future of wild salmon.
Courtesy Paul Greenberg

The future of food is a subject writer Paul Greenberg has explored extensively in his NYTimes bestselling book, called Four Fish. It’s also something that interests him deeply as a lifelong fisherman. He grew up in Connecticut, where he discovered this passion as a youngster.

KPLU’s Bellamy Pailthorp invited him into our studios for an interview about his last book, as well as a new one he's been researching in the Pacific Northwest. (You can hear the interview by clicking on the "Listen" icon above. )

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The Salt
5:04 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Here's a pie in your eye: A brief history of food fights

Communist party lawmaker Liana Kanelli enters her car after protesters threw yogurt on her face as she tried to reach the Greek parliament during a 48-hour general strike in Athens in 2011.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 3:19 pm

Last week, 500 tacos appeared at the mayor's office in East Haven, Conn. But they weren't intended for a casual luncheon.

Instead, this truckload of tacos was meant to be a symbol of discontent. An immigration reform group sent the fare in protest to what they said was an insensitive comment from Mayor Joseph Maturo in reference to Latinos and tacos.

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