Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Join as a sustainer and help unlock $10k. Just 28 sustainers to go!

Outside/In: Food, Culture, & Colonialism

Public domain
Corn in a market in Peru

Not too long ago, four Outside/In producers waged an epic fruit fight: a good-natured debate of culinary and cultural history, aimed at deciding which seed-bearing delicacy ought to be crowned the GFOAT, or the Greatest Fruit of All Time: the pepper, the gourd, the coconut, or the vanilla bean. 

The debate inspired a handful of well-argued (and listener-submitted) write-in candidates, as well as a thoughtful conversation about the deep connections between food, culture, and colonialism. 


Rice is Food, And Other Stories

Lauren Baker, Grant Bosse, and Hallie Casey

Three new listener-submitted contenders for our Greatest Fruit of All Time contest: Corn, Grapes, and Rice. 

Food, Culture, and Colonialism

Taylor Quimby and Justine Paradis

A domesticated species that produces food is almost necessarily a collaboration between the natural world and a cultural history: fruit-bearing plants and the people that tend them, export them, and ingest them, are inextricably intertwined.

So it's perhaps no surprise that behind the foods we love are human stories of migration, adaptation, and colonialism's enduring mark on cultures around the world.

FeaturingAlicia Kennedy and Coral Lee.

Further reading: 

“On Luxury” by Alicia Kennedy

“C is for Colonialism’s Effect on How and What We Eat” by Coral Lee


A 2013 Scientific American article onAmerica’s corn system.


Outside/In is a show where curiosity and the natural world collide. Click here for podcast episodes and more.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.