Writer and Mexican culture aficionado Gustavo Arellano explains how the burrito giant Chipotle is endangering regional—and delicious—Mexican-American dishes. Lucky for us, he has some ideas for how we can bring them back.
89 – The Gangster Gardener and the Drunken Botanist
Writer and botanist Amy Stewart, author of “The Drunken Botanist,” shares fascinating facts about plants—from the deadly (she once had a poisonous plants garden) to the delicious (she’s since replaced it with a cocktail garden, and has some tasty recipes). And Ron Finley explains what it means to be a “gangster gardener.”
88 – New Coke Didn’t Fail. It Was Murdered.
In 1985, Coca-Cola debuted New Coke. It was the company’s effort to remake itself, in the face of competition from other soda companies and lagging sales. But things didn’t really go as planned. Mother Jones senior reporter Tim Murphy pulls back the curtain on what really happened during the bungled launch of New Coke in the 1980s—and how this fascinating piece of history has resonance today. Then some of our reporters do a blind taste-test to see if they can distinguish New Coke from Classic Coke and Pepsi.
87 – The Dirt on Truffles
Truffles are one of the most sought-after foods in the world. People use specially trained animals to sniff out this delectable fungus on tree roots, and a pound of white truffles can sell for thousands of dollars. But there’s a dark side to this delicacy. We talk to journalist Ryan Jacobs about his new book, The Truffle Underground. And he’s got all the dirt: theft, fraud, poisoned dogs, and even murder.
86 – Meet the Farmers Saving Your Food From Climate Chaos
Growing food in America has always been unforgiving. But this year took it to a whole new level: Storm surges and bomb-cyclones wreaked havoc on the Midwest's planting season. Tom traveled to Iowa and Illinois to get the view from the ground, and discovered how farmers are fighting back.