Food on This American Life

I (along with other white people) love This American Life.

And so when looking for audio recordings about food and family for my seminar, I naturally turned to Ira Glass and the others at Chicago Public Radio for inspiration.

I figured I'd start a running list of episodes to listen to here so that I could come back to them, and so I could ask you all for recommendations or reviews. Be in touch!

117: You Gonna Eat That? [Whole episode]
The family table is stage on which many family dramas are played out. We hear three stories...of three three meals.

110: Mapping [Act Five]
LA Weekly food critic Jonathan Gold goes to the places on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles that he visited back in the early 1980s. He tells the story of how he decided to map an entire street using his sense of taste, and how doing this changed his life. (13 minutes)

62: Something for Nothing [Act Three]
Tao Of The Dumpster. Writer Dirk Jamison, who gave up a 9-to-5 job and succeeded in getting something for nothing: he decided he'd feed the family by diving into dumpsters for free food. His father's very zen attitude about this, and how it affected the family. Dirk is the author of Perishable: A Memoir. (16 minutes)

264: Special Treatment [Act One, and Act Four]
  • Act One. Lunchtime With The King Of Ketchup. Jonathan Goldstein with a story of the kind of preferential treatment we all dream of, where waiters routinely bring us extra appetizers on the house, delivery men throw a little something special into our take-out orders, and deli owners regularly comp us free pickles and chips. He talks with his friend Howard, who lives this dream, about all the work that went into making it a reality. (16 minutes) 
  • Act Four. The Way To A Boy's Heart Is Through His Stomach. Lisa Carver's nine-year-old son, Wolfgang, was born with a rare illness that, among other things, makes it impossible for him to eat anything by mouth. He's fed through a g-tube, straight into his stomach. But he remembers fondly what food tastes like, and he misses it. And, because we eat all the time, he's constantly watching people do the one thing he wants desperately to do—but can't. Lisa talks about how the people at school—and everyone in Wolfgang's life, really—go out of their way to help him in his private war with his own desire. (10 minutes) 


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