Serving Up Science: The Dish on Food
Theme Overview: Serving Up Science: The Dish on Food
If we are what we eat, then we are everything – besides taste and nutrition, our meals tell stories of lifestyle, culture, and surprising science. This year’s “First Fridays” explores food from our insides out. How has food changed us: our bodies and our digestion – from the feast-or-famine menus of our ancient paleo-diet relatives, to today’s processed snack culture? And how have we changed food: from the earliest cultivated grains to food production on a massive scale – and at the opposite end, the boutique appeal of locavore foods? Is access to food a given? Can our diversifying tastes support a sustainable environment? It’s a very local topic, after all: California is the market basket of the nation, and Los Angeles shapes global tastes with its ethnic influences and ethical considerations. Let “First Fridays” put five courses on the table, sampling food evolution and the science behind it. Bring your appetites for knowledge!
Moderator Bio: Patt Morrison
Patt Morrison is a Los Angeles writer and newspaper columnist who has a share of two Pulitzer Prizes. She has won six Emmys and eleven Golden Mike awards for her work hosting public television and radio programs. She also hosted the nationally syndicated television program “The Book Show with Patt Morrison,” and her seminal nonfiction book “Rio LA, Tales from the Los Angeles River” was a best-seller. Her writing appears in both fiction and nonfiction anthologies. And Pink’s, the legendary Hollywood hot dog stand, named its vegetarian hot dog “The Patt Morrison Baja Veggie Dog” in her honor.
TOUR: 5:00pm, 5:30pm, 6:00pm- “Food for Thought” with Jessie Jennewein, Gallery Interpreter
The food on our plate evolves as technology advances, alternative diets are sought, and the climate changes. Join us on a special tour and discover the connections between food and natural history. Feast your eyes on NHM’s artifacts and specimens through the lens of culture and technology.
DISCUSSION: 6:30pm- “Your Plate & Your Gut” with Elaine Y. Hsiao, Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology & Physiology at UCLA, Craig Stanford, Professor of Biological Sciences and Anthropology at USC AND Research Associate at Herpetology at NHM and description Mark Schatzker, award winning journalist and author of The Dorrito Effect and Steak
DESCRIPTION: There’s the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal, and your canal – your alimentary canal, about 30 feet of hard-working innards, from taste buds to, yes, toilet. What goes on in there? If you swapped menus with a caveman, how different would the meals and the digestive processes be? How have our changing food patterns – from wild game on the hoof to processed food on the shelf – changed human food biology? Join us for First Fridays for a scientific look at your plate and your palate as you’ve never seen them before!
Speaker Bio: Elaine Y. Hsiao, Ph.D.
Elaine Hsiao is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology & Physiology at UCLA, where she is interested in all things microbial, neural and immune. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics at UCLA, which sparked her love for molecular biology and bacteria. She went on to complete her doctorate in Neurobiology at Caltech, where she studied the neurobiological bases of autism and schizophrenia, with a focus on maternal effects on fetal development, and neuroimmune and microbial contributions to behavioral disorders. Her work in these areas has led to several honors, including the National Institutes of Health Director’s Early Independence Award, distinction as Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Science and Healthcare, National Geographic’s Emerging Explorer Award and fellowships from the National Institute of Mental Health and Autism Speaks. Inspired by the amazing and complex interactions between body systems, the Hsiao laboratory is investigating how changes in the immune system and resident microbiota impact the nervous system.
Speaker Bio: Craig Stanford
Dr. Craig Stanford is renowned authority on great ape behavior and human origins. He is Professor of Biological Sciences and Anthropology at USC, and Research Associate in Herpetology here at NHM. He has conducted field studies of primates and other endangered animals in South and Southeast Asia and East Africa, and is best known for his ground-breaking work on the hunting behavior of wild chimpanzees, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Jane Goodall. He also conducted long term research on mountain gorillas and chimpanzees in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. His research has been supported by numerous grants from the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, Leakey Foundation, and the National Geographic Society, among others. Dr. Stanford is the author of more than 150 scientific publications and 16 books, including the recent books Planet Without Apes and the forthcoming The New Chimpanzee. He lectures widely on human evolution and wildlife conservation.
Speaker Bio: Mark Schatzker
Mark Schatzker is the author of The Dorito Effect and Steak. His award-winning journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast Traveler and Best American Travel Writing. He is a field reporter for The Dr. Oz Show as well as a radio columnist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He lives in Toronto with his wife and three children.
Based in Los Angeles, but with deep roots in South and Central America, Buyepongo draw heavily from pan-Latin music culture. Taking their cues from the traditional sounds of Colombia, Haiti, Belize, Honduras and the Dominican Republic their arrangements seamlessly fuse merengue, punta and cumbia.
Growing up as Latinos in Southern California, Buyepongo were also exposed to music of the time. From teenage punk rock angst to sample-driven underground hip hop, from classic reggae and funk. Their name, which translates roughly as "to cause a ruckus,"is a nod to the Wu Tang Clan track, "Bring da Ruckus" one of their sonic inspirations.
KCRW Resident DJ: Anne Litt
Anne Litt has been anchoring weekend afternoons for NPR’s LA flagship, 89.9 KCRW since 1996, playing a seductive mix of sounds from around the world. Her goal is to take listeners on a sonic journey, telling stories of the past, present and future. She contributes regularly to NPR Music's Heavy Rotation series and is a frequent guest on the NPR syndicated radio show “Here and Now.” Outside of public radio, Anne’s projects include her ongoing music series, "Music in the Garden", voiceover work, and music consultation/supervision for TV, film, advertising and brands. She knows of no activity more satisfying, in this world, than hosting her radio show -- unless it's skiing with her young son, Guy.