By America's Test Kitchen

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Subscribers: 1500
Reviews: 4

Daniel Evans
 May 29, 2020
*Currently attempting to write adequately glowing review.

 Feb 4, 2020

John B
 Nov 18, 2019
A great food and food adjacent podcast. Lovely!

 Nov 10, 2018
A very interesting podcast! Definitely worth a listen.


We tell the weird and surprising and funny backstories around food and drink. The tales we haven’t all heard yet, the ones that have been lost, the under-told. This is not a recipe show. And this is not a show about celebrity chefs or what they like to eat. Proof goes beyond recipes and cooking to investigate the foods we love (tiki drinks) and don't love (the grain bowl); ask the big questions (where do food cravings come from?); and uncover the hidden backstories that feed your food-obsessed brain. Hosted by Bridget Lancaster. A production of America's Test Kitchen.

Episode Date
Sakura and the Wild Boars

In the town of Yamanaka in Western Japan, wild boars are a threat to local farming. With the extinction of natural predators, the boars run rampant, leaving hunters like Sakura Yoshida to patrol the area. This pits boars against humans, but Sakura approaches the boars with veneration and a deep understing of the ecosystem they both inhabit. In this episode of Proof, author Hannah Kirshner takes us along for a ride with Sakura and recounts the history of meat eating in Japan.

This episode draws on the "Year of the Boars" chapter in Hannah Kirshner's Water, Wood, and Wild Things.

For further reading about human-wildlife relations in Japan, read The Lost Wolves of Japan by Brett L. Walker and Waiting For Wolves in Japan by John Knight.

Jun 10, 2021
Reclaiming the Fifth Sense

Our five senses--sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell--can feel intrinsically linked to who we are. But when aspiring chef Molly Birnbaum lost her sense of smell in a traumatic accident, she resolved to get it back through smell training and learning how our olfactory systems are connected to the brain. In this episode of Proof, Editor-In-Chief of ATK Kids Molly Birnbaum, walks us through her journey, and talks to others who lost their sense of smell--from Covid-19 and other causes--along the way.

Read Molly's book, Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way.

Jun 03, 2021
No Us Without You

Hospitality and and serving others were at the heart of Damián Diaz and Othón Nolasco's bar consulting business in Los Angeles. When the pandemic hit, the duo noticed that undocumented workers, who serve as vital back of house staff at restaurants and bars, weren't eligible or able to get the help that they needed. The two decided to start a nonprofit organization and called it No Us Without You. In this episode of Proof, reporter Jean Trinh talks to two individuals who have been helped by No Us Without You and chronicles how Damián and Othón resolved to serve those who have served us for years.

A version of this story was originally reported in The Washington Post.

May 27, 2021
A Baloney Redemption Story

Baloney is one of the most well-known--and divisive--meat products in the United States. Many synonymize it with "fake" or "synthetic," but there are some who defend the maligned meat to its core. What makes this iconic American food so controversial, and how did it fall from its former glory? In this episode of Proof, Reporter Rebecca Rosman travels to Bologna, Italy to trace the origins of the city's namesake meat, and talks to the people in the United States who are at the forefront of revitalizing the meat's reputation.

Take our show survey here:

May 20, 2021
Nixtamalization and Indigenous Science

Tortillas, tortilla chips, and tamales—these are all foods that are easy to enjoy but not as easy to make from scratch. There's a process called nixtamalization that occurs, which unlocks nutrients from corn and makes it ready to use in the foods we love. Nixtamalization is a crucial step, yet it's not well-known. It's a testament to the ingenuity of Indigenous science, which has been subject to erasure throughout history. In this episode of Proof, Navajo reporter Andi Murphy walks us through her journey of nixtamalizing blue corn, and embarks on an Indigenous information exchange with chefs, scholars, and poets in the process.

May 13, 2021
Feeders, Eaters, and A Neither

For many of us, food and family are an intertwined bridge of our identity. We can trace so many things about ourselves and personalities to our family members and the meals we’ve shared. There are the dedicated feeders of the family, the thankful eaters, and the confusing neithers--they neither eat nor feed. Writer Ahmed Ali Akbar was a neither. At an early age, he didn’t eat or prepare much of his family’s Pakistani food. However, an unexpected meal changed his entire perspective. In this episode of Proof, Ahmed confronts his pickiness while solidifying an undeniable connection he shared with a beloved feeder.

May 06, 2021
The Curious Curator of Culinary History

The Food Timeline has been a valuable resource for food professionals and laypeople alike. The website chronicles the origins of everything from emmer grain (which, dates back to 17,000 BC), to the modern-day cake pop. Most impressively, the Food Timeline was the creation of one single individual: Lynne Olver. In 2015, however, the future of the Food Timeline suddenly becomes uncertain. In this episode of Proof, we go back in Internet history to witness the Food Timeline's birth and learn about the amazing woman behind it.

Explore the Food Timeline for yourself here:

Apr 29, 2021
France, Tin Cans, and the Missing Man

Canned foods are an essential part of our pantries. From pasta sauce, to pumpkin puree, to corn and beans, these ready-to-open options give cooking more ease. That is exactly what Nicolas Appert wanted when he invented the airtight art of food preservation. During the 19th century, this French chef identified ways to hold nature’s greatest gifts in bottles year-round. Yet, after this transformative discovery, Appert’s legacy is still unknown by the majority of the world. In this episode of Proof, we unpack the story of Appert’s non-perishable contributions to society.

Read Malcolm Summers' biography of Nicolas Appert here.

Apr 22, 2021
Season 7 Starts April 22

Who was the man who helped revolutionize the way we eat? What does it mean to be an ambassador of a food culture and a pickiy eater at the same time? Why is a boar hunter in Japan conflicted? Tune in to find out on Season 7 of Proof beginning April 22.

Apr 08, 2021
[Bonus] The Sporkful: Mission: ImPASTAble 1| Spaghetti Sucks

Dan Pashman is on a mission to make--and sell--a new pasta shape. Our friends at The Sporkful have a new five part series on Dan's journey (and in this episode, find out why he hates Spaghetti). You can find the rest of the series in The Sporkful feed wherever you listen to podcasts.

Mar 11, 2021
[Bonus] Rebel Eaters Club: Food is a Bridge with Francis Lam

Our friends a Transmitter Media have a body-positive and unapologetically food-positive show that is about breaking up with diet culture. Host Virgie Tovar talks to amazing ‘rebel eaters’ who will change the way you think about food and your body. Their second season just launched and features great conversations with guests like Francis Lam from The Splendid Table, as well as fascinating stories about why we eat what we eat. Listen now in your favorite podcast app or at

Jan 28, 2021
An Ice Cream Truck Music Controversy

Nichols Electronics has a monopoly on the ice cream truck music box market. When you hear the familiar sound of ice cream truck music ringing through your neighborhood, chances are extremely high that it’s coming from a box that Mark and Beth Nichols created. For decades, they’ve been in the business of evoking nostalgia and happy memories. Until recently, when it was revealed that one of the most popular songs on their boxes has a dark history. Today on Proof, we tell the story of how one small family business faced the biggest controversy to rock the ice cream truck industry.

Jan 21, 2021
How Orange Juice Was Built

When you see “not from concentrate” on a carton of OJ, you might assume it’s healthier than other brands. But actually, that’s a relic of a decades-long juice brand battle and deceptive marketing that sold customers the promise of a "balanced breakfast." In fact, the behemoths behind orange juice popularity have constantly shape-shifted and reinvented themselves in order to bring our favorite breakfast juice to the proverbial table. In this episode of Proof, we chronicle Minute Maid and Tropicana’s decades-long tête-à-tête, that firmly solidified orange juice as a permanent fixture of the American diet. 

Jan 14, 2021
Considering Blue Food

The color blue doesn’t really occur naturally in food. Think about it: when was the last time you ate something blue? Maybe a piece of candy or an ice pop that was “blue raspberry” flavored. Food marketing teams have steered their companies away from blue labels and blue colored foods (except in a few cases), often citing studies on the psychology of color and perception of taste. But one popular study might not be all it’s cracked up to be. This week we teamed up with Slate’s Decoder Ring podcast to dig deeper and find out why blue isn’t a common color on our plates.

Jan 07, 2021
[Bonus] Ask This Old House: Insulating Your Attic

Our friends at This Old House have a new podcast "Ask This Old House". The show features home enthusiasts around the country, who ask questions about the toughest projects in their homes.

Dec 21, 2020
Sizzler and the Search for the American Dream

When Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee and her family moved to America from Korea in the 1980s, they were immersed in a whole new world. New schools, friends, jobs, and new food. None was more remarkable than the salad bar at Sizzler, with its small yellow cubed pieces of cheese and Thousand Island dressing. In this memoir, Cecilia and her siblings recall their first few years in the US, and how food shaped their family’s pursuit of the American Dream.

Dec 17, 2020
France's Forbidden Wine

Hervé Garnier owns a small vineyard in the tiny French town of Beaumont making wine from hybrid Franco-American grape varieties. But this fruity, floral, rich red wine he makes… is illegal. According to outdated French and EU law, the wine made from these hybrid vines is dangerous, that it induces madness. But they also claim the wine just doesn’t taste good enough to be sanctioned as “French Wine.” Hervé calls these excuses absurdités. For decades, he has fought the restrictions to no avail. So, what is French Wine? And who gets to say?

Dec 10, 2020
The Case of the Snail in the Ginger Beer

Modern personal injury lawsuits are now considered frivolous, at best. But 66 years before the infamous spilled McDonald’s coffee, May Donoghue drank a ginger beer in Paisley, Scotland and changed personal injury law forever. May, a humble shopkeeper, discovered a snail in her drink and decided to sue. No such lawsuit had ever been won before. She was slandered in the press, and criticized in court, but to the surprise of many, she won. In Proof’s first ever docu-drama episode, we explore the unspoken trust between consumer and seller through a dramatized retelling of May Donoghue’s story.

Dec 03, 2020
Season 6 Starts December 3

Illegal wine, food color psychology, a snail in a soda, and an immigrant family's food story. We're back with more of the food stories you love. Tune in for Season 6 of Proof beginning December 3.

Nov 27, 2020
[Bonus] Antiques Roadshow's Detours Podcast

Our friends at GBH and Antiques Roadshow have a new podcast called Detours, where you'll get some insider info on objects you've never seen before, and why. We're excited to share their first episode with you: The Hardest Fact I Ever Checked.

Nov 23, 2020
The Villain of Trader Joe's

The Trader Joe's subreddit is a place for friendly conversation and helpful tips for how to use Trader Joe's products. But what happened when a villain caused trouble in the online community?

Nov 12, 2020
Thanksgiving Times in Crises

Becky Krystal of The Washington Post joins Bridget to talk about what Thanksgiving has looked like in the past during times of crises like the World Wars, economic disasters, and more.

Read Becky's article The Washington Post.

Nov 05, 2020
[Bonus] The Genius Recipe Tapes: The #1 Way to Eat More Vegetables

Our friends at Food52 have a great new podcast about the uncut gems of their weekly "Genius Recipes" column and video series. Bridget talks with host Kristen Miglore before playing an episode of the show.

Oct 31, 2020
The Genetics of Taste

Bridget speaks with Dr. Danielle Reed from the Monell Chemical Senses Center about the genetics of taste perception. To learn more about the Monell Center’s research, visit

Oct 29, 2020
Famous Death Row Meals

Ashley Lecker, Author of the Serial Killer Cookbook, joins Bridget to talk about Famous Death Row Meals. Warning: this episode may not be suitable for children. You can purchase Ashley's book here:

Oct 22, 2020
Proof Presents: The Walk-In

In this special episode of Proof, Bridget Lancaster talks with America’s Test Kitchen Executive Editor Elle Simone Scott about Elle’s new podcast, The Walk-In. Then, food historian Dr. Jessica B. Harris steps into The Walk-In with Elle. 

Food historian, author, and educator Dr. Jessica B. Harris gives Elle advice only an Auntie can. They talk about growing up as an only child, the magic of HBCUs, and how the pandemic has changed Dr. Harris' perspective.

Oct 01, 2020
Hive Heist

A new branch of crime has emerged in central California under cover of mass almond groves: the theft of beehives. Why? Because they’re really valuable. The American honey economy has crashed, leading beekeepers to find other sources of income for their bees. The burgeoning US Almond industry was just the key. But it's a dangerous gig for the bees, making their hive rental fees steep and a perfect target for organized crime. 

Sep 24, 2020
You're a Good Man, Brady Keys

After Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination in 1968, Civil Rights leaders, fast food corporations, and the Nixon administration began an unlikely collaboration: to promote “Black Capitalism” in the fast food industry. The idea was this: promoting Black franchise business ownership in Black neighborhoods could improve the quality of Black life in America. Brady Keys was the king of Nixon’s Black capitalism. He received upwards of 9 million dollars in federal money to develop his fast food franchise, All-Pro Chicken, and collaborated with KFC and Burger King in ground-breaking franchise deals. Keys’ story is a case study of Black business ownership in the ‘60s, when the path to Civil Rights was paved with profits.

Sep 18, 2020
The Case of the Disappearing Franchise

Historian/Fast-food Detective Marcia Chatelain is our guide as we explore the cases of American fast food franchises that once were, until they vanished without a trace. The Mid-century was the height of fast-food franchising: McDonalds, KFC, White Castle. But what about the chains that didn’t survive? From pyramid schemes and copycats to acquisitions and fish wars, we explore the culprits in the cases of the disappearing franchise.

Sep 10, 2020
The Mysterious Yamei Kin

Dr. Yamei Kin was orphaned by her parents at a young age, and adopted by missionaries. She became one of the first Chinese women to receive a medical degree. In the 1910s, the USDA hired Dr. Kin to research high-protein foods in light of World War I shortages. But she was never able to position tofu as a respectable ingredient in the American diet. Why wasn’t the West ready for Tofu?

Sep 03, 2020
Will The Real Mr. Oreo Please Stand Up?

A collaboration with Business Insider’s Brought To You By. In this three-part story, we tell the history of the Biscuit Wars of the early 1900s. Then, we learn of one woman’s relationship with Oreos as an expression of rebellion to her Jewish roots’ Kosher rules. Lastly, we also uncover the real story behind Mr. Oreo, the man who somehow got credit for inventing the current Oreo cream filling. 

Read Marjorie Ingall's essay about the Oreo

Stella Parks, BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts

Read from Business Insider: How the Oreo cookie went from unknown knock-off to the world's most popular cookie, as a result of a sibling rivalry between baker brothers

Aug 27, 2020
The Search for the Queerest Food

In John Birdsall’s 2014 article, "America, Your Food is so Gay," he describes a particularly indulgent cheese burger as "unflinchingly queer." For reporter Chad Chenail, this sparked a journey of self-discovery through queer theory, all in an attempt to answer the question: What is the Queerest food?

Aug 20, 2020
Season 5 starts August 20

Queer food, beehive theft, Nixon-sponsored fast food, and searching for Mr. Oreo. We're back with more of the food stories you love. Tune in for Season 5 of Proof beginning August 20.

Aug 06, 2020
Summer Cocktails 101

According to cocktail expert Dan Zucarello, the basic Daiquiri might be the queen of all cocktails. Learn these cocktail fundamentals, and your summer will be filled with delicious drinks.

Jul 30, 2020
Wine and Whisky Copycats

Some new wines and spirits are being created in the lab, not the cask. Using flavor technology, companies are able to replicate artisan wines and spirits at a fraction of the price. But, is there art in that too?

Jul 23, 2020
Quaran-tiny Sourdough Starter

Creating a sourdough starter can be difficult during a pandemic. Sourdough Guru, Andrew Janjigian is here to help.

Jul 16, 2020
Science Diction: Umami

Science Diction host Johanna Mayer joins Bridget to talk about the history of Umami and MSG.

Jul 09, 2020
[Bonus] Brought To You By from Business Insider: Jack Daniel's

While we work on our next season, here's another podcast to check out: Brought To You By from Business Insider. Jack Daniel’s is the top-selling whiskey in the world. For more than 150 years, it’s been made using time-honored methods that go back to when Jack Daniel made the whiskey himself. (Yes, he was a real person.) But who taught “Mr. Jack” how to make that whiskey? Nearest Green, a formerly enslaved man. Unlike Jack Daniel, though, most people don’t know his name, so one woman has made it her mission to tell the world his story one sip at a time.

Jun 04, 2020
Exodus Bagels: A Small Business and COVID-19

The restaurant industry has been especially hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. 8 million restaurant jobs have disappeared around the country and some are projecting $80 billion in lost revenue in March and April alone. But behind the numbers and headlines are real people. This is the story of one family, struggling to save their bagel cafe in Boston. 

Take our Season 4 survey!

May 28, 2020
The Reconstruction of A Royal Cake

In 1947, the Peek Freans bakery of Bermondsey made a beautiful royal wedding cake for Queen Elizabeth’s nuptials to Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh. It was a showstopper: 6 feet tall, 6 tiers, and covered in beautiful white royal icing and exquisite decorations. The Peek Freans bakers were so proud of the cake, that they immediately made a replica, which sat on display for decades. Queen Elizabeth’s replica wedding cake would end up in a museum. Until one day in 2015, when it was destroyed by vandals. They turned it upside down, splashed it with red paint, and marked it with “A” for anarchy. But that wasn’t the end of the story. Over the next two years, hundreds of people would come together to make yet another replica of the replica royal wedding cake: For the Queen, for craft, or for Bermondsey.

Take our Season 4 survey!

May 21, 2020
Cheater Cheater Chili Eater

For competitive chili cooks, the ultimate accomplishment is taking home first prize at the Original Terlingua International Frank X. Tolbert-Wick Fowler Memorial Championship Chili Cook-off. The Terlingua chili cooks are a tight-knit group. And in 2003, they were suspicious of newcomer Don Eastep. And it turns out, they were right to be. Because Don didn’t cook chili at that cook-off. Instead, he turned in a cup of chili to the judges, filled with samples of everyone else’s chili mixed together. And then, he won first place. The 2003 Terlingua Cook-off would go down as the most scandalous event in the history of chili cooking. After the chili cheater was revealed, Don was banned from Terlingua, the Eastep family name was scorched, and the chili-cooking community was forced to answer the question: Can the ultimate chili crime be forgiven?

Take our Season 4 survey!

May 14, 2020
The Journey of the Nem

How did the nem, a Vietnamese Spring Roll, become a prominent feature on Senegalese restaurant menus in New York City? The Journey of the nem is one of war, love, hardship, and chasing a dream. Over the last century, the nem has traveled thousands of miles, from Vietnam, to Senegal, and eventually, to find its new home in New York. The diaspora and the collective knowledge that traveled with it, shared over generations and across international cities, helped propel spring rolls from foreign novelty to everyday snack.

Take our Season 4 survey!

May 07, 2020
Who Owns Nature?

The Plant Patent Act of 1930 is cited in a landmark Supreme Court case that extended patent rights to genetically engineered plants, animals, and bacteria. But it all started with Luther Burbank, aka the “Wizard of Horticulture.” Burbank rose to fame in the early 20th century for his plant inventions like the Russet Burbank Potato. But, unlike his friends Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, Burbank was never able to patent his creations. After Burbank’s death, his supporters would push a controversial bill through Congress legalizing patents on plants. But have these laws had unintended consequences in the modern age?

Apr 30, 2020
Yelp Therapy

Bryce has put his blood, sweat, and tears into building his business, a Williamsburg restaurant called Black Flamingo. This plant-based Latin-inspired restaurant is home to a basement disco, and widely celebrated tacos and cocktails. So when Tanya leaves a scathing Yelp review about her bad experience at the restaurant, Bryce is discouraged. A Yelp rating is proven to affect restaurant profit, which can make even one bad review devastating to a business owner like Bryce. When the Yelp platform does little to help facilitate resolution, is Bryce and Tanya’s only hope of reconciliation to take their dialog “offline” and come face to face?

Apr 23, 2020
Raiders of the Lost Yeast

Seamus Blackley is the creator of the Xbox. He’s also an ancient Egypt enthusiast and baking hobbyist. Yes, you heard that right. Via Twitter, he assembled a rag-tag team of specialists: an archeologist (Dr. Serena Love) and a biologist (Rich Bowman). Together, they created a grand scheme: extract dormant yeast from the nooks and crannies of ancient Egyptian pots stored in the vaults of the world’s most prestigious museums and bake bread with it.

Apr 16, 2020
Atomic Peanuts and Gamma Grapefruit

In 1927, more than 50 years before the first GMO crop hit the market, a scientist named Louis Stadler shot X-rays at barley. The result was a random mutation—a change in the color of the plant. While not particularly useful, it showed that with radiation, scientists could roll the genetic dice, press fast-forward on natural selection, and with enough rolls, maybe even uncover something new- a useful mutant. The Atomic Age would inspire a generation of scientists to blast crops with Cobalt-60 radiation. Even civilians got in on the action. But today, this type of breeding is all but forgotten. Is the possibility of an “Atomic Garden of Eden” worth the nuclear gamble?

Apr 09, 2020
Season 4 Starts April 9

4,500 year old yeast, atomic peanuts, and a cheating scandal at a chili cook-off. Season 4 goes even deeper to reveal what’s on our plates and how it got there. Tune in for Season 4 of Proof beginning April 9.

Apr 02, 2020
[Bonus] The Bitter Southerner: Waffle House

We want to share with you a podcast from our friends at The Bitter Southerner called "The Ways of Waffle House" that attempts to answer a large question: How could a 2,000-store restaurant chain become, to Southerners, something more than just another place to eat?

Mar 20, 2020
Introducing Mystery Recipe, a New Podcast from America's Test Kitchen Kids

Mystery Recipe is a new podcast from America's Test Kitchen Kids! With new episodes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, this short-form podcast will help kids AND their grown-ups uncover the fun, fantastical, and fascinating sides of food. Each week will have a different ingredient theme, which builds to the grand finale: a mystery recipe cook-along. Get excited about cooking (and eating) by digging into the deliciously silly and unexpectedly educational.

Mar 16, 2020
[Bonus] Introducing Clearstory from This Old House

Our friends at This Old House have a new podcast called Clearstory. Hosted by Kevin O'Connor, Clearstory is a podcast that sheds light on the surprising stories behind our homes. The episode we bring you today, "Wood: Dead in the Water?", is all about old-growth wood found at the bottom of riverbeds that's used for beautiful furniture and flooring.

Feb 06, 2020
Oyster Mushroom Revolution

In Rwanda 26-year-old Christian has turned his mom’s backyard into an oyster mushroom cultivation lab, with mushrooms sprouting here and there. And he’s not alone. For a country still known internationally for its 1994 genocide, Rwanda’s booming mushroom industry reflects hope for a brighter future. In Rwanda, is a better tomorrow just a mushroom farm away?

Jan 02, 2020
Underground Aams Trade, Part 2

In part two of this investigation, reporter Ahmed Ali Akbar explores the underbelly of the secretive mango distribution industry. He uncovers the historical and economic reasons that importing mangoes from Pakistan has been so difficult — from regulation to irradiation. And he finally traces product to supplier.

Dec 26, 2019
Underground Aams Trade, Part 1

Pakistani-American communities in the U.S. rely on dealers on WhatsApp to gain access to their most coveted treasure: Pakistani mangoes. And they pay a premium for it. In part one of this two-part investigation, reporter Ahmed Ali Akbar searches for answers. Why are Pakistani mangoes so hard to find? And why is the Pakistani community resorting to deals on WhatsApp to procure them?

Dec 19, 2019
Jamon, Y'all

In 2015, Will Harris, a farmer in southwest Georgia, partnered with Spanish entrepreneur father and son to bring Iberian pigs to the United States. The climate would be different (from hot, dry Spain to wet, humid Georgia) and so would the pigs' diet (they would eat Georgia pecans instead of acorns), but Harris figured this expensive gamble could pay off. Can jamón ibérico can be reduced to a simple formula (pigs + pasture + acorns), or is there more to the story?

Dec 12, 2019
Tracing Jambalaya

Reporter Kayla Stewart attempts to trace Gulf Coast dish Jambalaya back to its rumored roots in West Africa’s Jollof Rice. Kayla’s journey to find a connection between the two dishes takes her from her mother’s Houston kitchen to the streets of Accra. But instead of a link, she finds that the history of African American food ways cannot be separated from the influences of slavery and colonialism.

Dec 05, 2019
Why Not Eat Bugs?

A South African Entrepreneur, Leah Bessa, discovers that processing Black Soldier Fly larvae produces a milk-like substance, dubbed Entomilk. Can Leah’s entomilk ice cream succeed as a dairy-alternative? Although South African populations have a traditional history of bug-eating, can modern society overcome its ick-factor to take advantage of all bugs have to offer?

Nov 21, 2019
Prepping for the Worst

In a deep dive into “prepper” culture, we learn what makes up the ultimate survival cuisine. We investigate the motivation of this subculture that stocks up on non-perishables for the end-of-times. Should the desire to survive be reduced to a quirky paranoia, or is the quest to prepare for survival in dire circumstances more noble than we give it credit for?

Nov 14, 2019
The True Cost of Mezcal

Mezcal has recently enjoyed a spike in popularity, which brought a welcome surge to the Oaxacan economy, the southern Mexican state where Mezcal is produced. But is the demand for Mezcal outgrowing the supply? What can be done to ensure it survives for years to come without sacrificing the agave plants and land that sustain it? Can mezcal avoid becoming the next tequila?

Nov 07, 2019
Season 3 Starts November 7th

An underground mango industry, the hidden costs of your favorite Mezcal, and ice cream made from bugs. Season 3 goes deep to challenge our ideas about what we eat and uncover where it comes from. Tune in for Season 3 of Proof beginning November 7.

Oct 17, 2019
Can You Prevent Brain Freezes?

In these bonus episodes, we try to answer your weird food questions. This week: does eating ice cream slower prevent a brain freeze?

Oct 03, 2019
Can Pistachios Spontaneously Combust?

In these bonus episodes, we try to answer your weird food questions. This week: do pistachios spontaneously combust?

Sep 26, 2019
What Food Should I Wish For On A Deserted Island?

In these bonus episodes, we try to answer your weird food questions. This week: If I was stranded on a deserted island, what's the best food to wish for?

Sep 19, 2019
What Weird Things Did Presidents Eat?

In these bonus episodes, we try to answer your weird food questions. This week: What are the weirdest things US presidents ate?

Sep 12, 2019
Can You Bake A Cookie In Space?

In these bonus episodes, we try to answer your weird food questions. This week: If you flung a cookie dough ball into space, how long until it bakes into a cookie?

Sep 05, 2019
Why Is Ranch So Addictive?

In these bonus episodes, we try to answer your weird food questions. This week: why is ranch so addictive?

Aug 29, 2019
Are We All Victims of Food Fraud?

In these bonus episodes, we try to answer your weird food questions. This week: In a world fraught with food fraud, how do you know what you're buying?

Aug 22, 2019
Can You Get Drunk Off Kombucha?

In these bonus episodes, we try to answer your weird food questions. This week: How much kombucha would it take to get you drunk?

Aug 15, 2019
Is Cereal Soup?

In these bonus episodes, we try to answer your weird food questions. This week: Is cereal soup?

Aug 08, 2019
Why Does OJ Taste Bad After Using Toothpaste?

In these bonus episodes, we try to answer your weird food questions. This week: Why are some flavor pairings divine (chocolate + coffee) and others horrible (orange juice after toothpaste)?

Aug 01, 2019
The Plan to Kill the Chinese Restaurant

Chinese restaurants are an essential part of the American landscape -- even more ubiquitous than McDonald’s. But a century ago, they were almost extinguished by legislation passed around the country that barred young white women from eating at chop suey houses. This is the story of an organized effort to wipe out Chinese eateries altogether and how these restaurants survived in spite of it.

We want to get your feedback about Proof. Please take this survey so we know what you like and what we can do better:

Jul 18, 2019
The Pretty Big Problem of Ugly Food

“Ugly Food” subscription boxes propose to solve a very big problem: nearly half of all the food produced in the United States is being wasted, even while many struggle to put food on the table each day. But can delivering a box of three-legged carrots and misshapen squash really address the root causes of food waste? Or is the Ugly Foods movement actually doing more harm than good?

We want to get your feedback about Proof. Please take this survey so we know what you like and what we can do better:

Jul 11, 2019
The Quest for Mystic Makgeolli

Makgeolli is a quintessentially Korean alcohol, but few people outside of the Korean peninsula have ever heard of, much less tasted it. Even within Korea, it’s mostly known as an overly sweet, low quality drink available at every corner convenience store. But the real version of Makgeolli is the product of centuries of traditional Korean brewing techniques -- an elegant, complex, and balanced brew easily made in any home kitchen with only three ingredients: water, rice, and a fermentation starter called nuruk. How did Korean history shape Makgeolli production? And can a new generation of brewers revive the lost art of the “true” Makgeolli?

Jun 27, 2019
The OGs of America’s Oranges

Eliza Tibbets was ahead of her time. She was a suffragist, an abolitionist, held regular seances in her home, and lived in a utopian community. And in Riverside, California, she was also considered the unofficial queen of the orange industry. As local legend has it, every navel orange tree in the Golden state can be traced back to cuttings from the two parent trees in Eliza’s front yard. This is the little known story of how an amateur farmer with utopian dreams launched an entire industry.

Jun 20, 2019
Hidden Valley Wine

Great wine begins with high quality grapes, careful fermentation, deft blending techniques, and, in Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe, a group of puritanical Russian immigrants called the “molokans.” Learn how this region’s earliest settlers escaped from religious persecution in tsarist Russia and how a culture of innovation and experimentation has transformed this humble strip of land near the Pacific coast into one of the most fawned over and exciting wine destinations in the world.

Jun 13, 2019

The snakehead has been described as one of the ugliest fish in the world. It has a thick neck and razor-sharp teeth. It's been rumored to bite little kids and walk on land. It’s also an invasive species that’s been plaguing the Potomac river system for nearly two decades. Can turning this monster into a local delicacy save the Potomac? 

Jun 06, 2019
Welcome to the Microbiome

Probiotics are everywhere, but the science that explains the mechanism of the gut-brain connection still isn't there. Harvard PhD candidate Cary Allen-Blevins is researching everything from breast milk to kombucha to better understand the role of probiotics in gut health. This episode is a collaboration between Proof and Veritalk from Harvard's Graduate School for Arts and Sciences. The original version is part of a series on food that Veritalk produced recently. Check it out at:*

May 30, 2019
Who Killed the Miracle Berry?

In the 1970s, the Miracle Berry was poised to become the sugar replacement of choice. It was hailed as the solution to the diabetes epidemic, and was preferred to every other sugar alternative in blind taste tests. The fruit contains a taste-altering protein, miraculin, that makes sour foods taste sweet. So why haven't you heard of it? Did "big sugar" engineer its downfall? And can modern food entrepreneurs reposition the miracle berry as the future of sweet?

May 23, 2019
Season 2 Starts May 23rd

An FDA conspiracy, an invasive species threatening our waterways, and an emerging wine region that shouldn't work. If you thought Season 1 changed the way you thought about food, stay tuned. Season 2 of Proof starts May 23rd.

May 02, 2019

A conversation with culinary historian Michael Twitty about the history of American Barbecue.

Apr 11, 2019

Jack Bishop discusses the history and unique flavor of celery tonic.

Mar 21, 2019

You've seen them on labels, but what are natural and artificial flavors anyway? Reporter Sara Joyner explains.

Mar 07, 2019

How do the test cooks at America's Test Kitchen manage their cravings? Jack Bishop heads into the kitchen to find out.

Feb 21, 2019

Ketchup isn't just a popular condiment, it's also scientifically fascinating. Bridget sits down with Jack Bishop to talk about the physics of ketchup.

Feb 07, 2019

Zeppoles are a staple of the San Gennaro street fair in New York city. Jack Bishop has a special connection to the Italian fritters.

Jan 24, 2019

Do burgers need ketchup? The birthplace of the burger, Louis’ Lunch, doesn’t think so. The family-run business has maintained a strict no-ketchup policy since they opened in 1895. We infiltrate this notorious ketchup resistance cell to try to understand why ketchup is such a polarizing condiment.

Dec 20, 2018

We are living through a fascinating moment in culinary history: the swift and relentless takeover of the [blank] bowl. These days, you can go an entire week of eating all of your meals in bowl form and never overlap once. Why are we bowl happy and how (or when) did adding the word bowl to everything from grain to breakfast become a thing? In this episode, we do a deep dive into bowl culture.

Dec 13, 2018

State fairs have become the site of a novelty fried foods arms race, with vendors clamoring to outdo themselves (and each other) every year. We set out to learn why the adrenaline-seeking foodie in each of us wants to try deep-fried kool-aid at the fair, even if we eat sensibly in our real lives.

Dec 06, 2018

In part 2 of our Beanboozled story, we go inside Givaudan, one of the largest flavor houses in the world, to uncover how stinky sock flavored jelly beans are made.

Nov 29, 2018

Jelly Belly's popular "Beanboozled" game is an edible version of Russian roulette. You might score a tutti frutti bean, or you might get stuck with a stinky sock-flavored bean. But how in the world did Jelly Belly distill these disgusting flavors into a tiny, innocent looking candy? This curiosity leads us into the strange hidden world of commercial flavor chemistry, secret societies of flavorists, and so-called flavor artists. This is part 1 of an engrossing journey into the weird science of flavor.

Nov 22, 2018

Wait... the mai tai was invented in Oakland?! We follow the popular cocktail on a historical journey through the rise and fall of tiki culture in America.

Nov 15, 2018

We've all been there - the moment when an overpowering food craving descends upon you and takes possession of your body, mind, and wallet. But where do food cravings come from? Are they cultural, genetic, gender-specific? We find out if science has the answer.

Nov 08, 2018

Celery was the "it" vegetable of the Victorian era - celery tonics claimed to cure everything from overstrained nerves to a sluggish liver, and upper-class Victorians had special dishes for serving and displaying their celery. So how did celery go from fashionable to forgettable? We trace celery's fall from grace and ask the important question: is it poised for a comeback? 

Oct 31, 2018
Introducing Proof from America's Test Kitchen

Proof is a new podcast from America’s Test Kitchen that goes beyond recipes and cooking to solve food mysteries big and small.

Oct 09, 2018