Food history

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?

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.

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. )

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

Jan 30, 2012

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.