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FROM THIS EPISODE

Ice cream headaches and what's in charcoal. Answers to nagging questions courtesy of columnist Roxanne Webber. Susan Marx lives in Afghanistan and shares the rich food culture. Be afraid of plants. Some of them can kill you says Amy Stewart.  When Barbara Kowalcyk's 2 year old son died after eating a tainted fast food hamburger she became an activist to change food safety rules.  Marion Nestle explains the unbelievable maze that makes up our food safety system.  The challenges of keeping bees in Los Angeles according to beekeeper Kirk Anderson.  Then, Armen Petrossian describes the how to enjoy the delicacy of fine caviar.  And Laura Avery shares tales of wild blueberries at the farmers market.

Ratio

Michael Ruhlman

Producers:
Bob Carlson
Jennifer Ferro
Candace Moyer
Connie Alvarez
Holly Tarson
Harriet Ells
Gillian Ferguson

Guest Interview Nagging Questions 7 MIN

Roxanne Webber is the woman behind the Nagging Questions column at Chow.com. 

Send Roxanne your nagging question.

 

Music Break: Adious by Eric Serra

Guest Interview Dining in Afghanistan 7 MIN

Susan Marx lives in Afghanistan with her husband Chris.  She works for a non-governmental, human rights organization.

Afghani Snack Shop

 

Seller of nuts and other snacks in the old city of Kabul

Roasting Chickpeas in Afghanistan

A man roasts chick peas in an open-flamed oven

 

Afghani Breakfast Bread

 

Bread dough eaten for breakfast is fried in a pan of oil

Afghani Cheese

White cheese sold on the streets on carts.

 

Pilau in Afghanistan

 

A man tosses a huge dish of Pilau in Sheberghan, Jawzjan Province

Afghani Nan

 

Afghanistan has a number of different kinds of naan, in Kabul it tends to be longer, and not shiny like this, Sherberghan has some of the best bread - almost sweet.

Fish Seller in Afghanistan

 

This man sits atop an open-flame oven in which he grills fresh river fish from the Salang Pass

 

Music Break: Alison's Uncle by Cannonball Adderley

Guest Interview Killer Plants 7 MIN

Amy Stewart is the author of Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities.  Her book is behind a new exhibit at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

Milk Sick

 

White Snakeroot (Photo Courtesy Amy Stewart)

Deadly Nightshade

Deadly Nightshade (Copper etching by Briony Morrow-Cribbs for the book Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart)

Tobacco

Tobacco (Copper etching by Briony Morrow-Cribbs for the book Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart)

 

Music Break: Beyond The 7th Moon by Kasai Allstars

Wicked Plants

Amy Stewart

Guest Interview The Fight for Food Safety 12 MIN

Barb Kowalcyk

In 2001 Barbara Kowalcyk's 2-year old son died after contracting E. coli O157:H7 from a hamburger.  The tragedy of his death propelled her into a life of food-safety activism.  She started the non-profit Center for Foodborne Illness and continues to lobby Congress for an improved food safety system.

Her fight is chronicled in the film Food Inc.  Evan is hosting a Q&A with producer Elise Perlstein on Saturday, June 13 at 7:30 pm at the Nuart Theater. 

Guest Interview Food Safety Update 5 MIN

Marion Nestle is a Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health  at New York University.  She is the author of numerous books including Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health.  Her blog, FoodPolitics.com, covers a variety of food issues including safety.

 

Music Break: Blackness Of Darkness by Cedric Im Brooks

Food Politics

Marion Nestle

Guest Interview Backwards Beekeeping 6 MIN

Kirk with Bee Hives

Kirk Anderson is a beekeeper living in Los Angeles.  He practices "backwards beekeeping," which means that he doesn't use a "foundation" in his hives.  Traditional beekeeping uses plastic or beeswax foundations printed with a hexagonal cell pattern to draw their comb.  Instead, backwards beekeepers use a strip of wood or cardboard and allow the bees to draw their own comb, naturally.  Backwards beekeepers pride themselves for being chemical-free.

Kirk with a swarm

 

Kirk raises feral bees which he collects from trapping swarms of bees.  He sells honey on his website.

 

Music Break: Blockbuster by KPM All Stars

Guest Interview Market Report 7 MIN

Blackberries

Robert and Rob Poole of Redlands bring down all varieties of blackberries. They will have them for three weeks only. Find them at the Hollywood Sunday market and the Wednesday Santa Monica farmers markets.  The boysenberry is their specialty. These can be stored in a plastic container in the fridge with a moistened paper towel. You can also freeze them. First freeze them on a cookie sheet and then place in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. That way you can pull a few out at a time rather than having to thaw them all out at once.

Zach WalterZach Walter is the Chef de Cuisine at Cube Cafe and Marketplace on 615 La Brea near Melrose. He is making his own sausage and salumi.  He buys a whole pig from farmers up north and is trying to encourage local farmers to raise humanely treated and organicly fed animals.  Find Cube at the Taste of the Nation event at Media Park in Culver City on Sunday, June 14th from 1pm to 5pm. Cube will be making a peach and tomato salad with fresh mozzarella, balsamic vinegar and basil.

 

Music Break: Aboio by Beto Villares

Guest Interview Caviar King 6 MIN

Armen Petrossian

Armen Petrossian is the President of Petrossian Fine Foods.  Armen is the son of Mouchegh who, with his brother Melkoum, began importing Russian caviar to Paris in the 1920's.

Petrossian Caviar

 

Some of Petrossian caviar offerings include farm-raised sturgeon.  Currently, Beluga Caviar, perhaps the most prized variety of caviar, is illegal in the US as their numbers have plummeted.

 

Petrossian Cafe & Boutique

321 North Robertson Boulevard

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