Replied to a post by Jeremy CherfasJeremy Cherfas

One of the stranger aspects of RSS feeds is when a long dormant site springs back into life. Usually, I’m glad. This time, I’m not sure what to make of the fact that is now in the hands of someone else.

I remember this happening recently when a domain used by an educator was taken over by a furniture store. It is a strange experience.
Replied to Tantalising pursuit of webmentions by Jeremy CherfasJeremy Cherfas

Over the past few days I have again picked up the torch of fully implementing webmentions in Grav. It’s a maddening pursuit, mostly because I don’t really know what I’m doing (although I am getting fantastic help from the folks in the IndieWeb community). The details are pretty arcane, and although …

Jeremy, I was just looking at the Eat This Podcast siteEat This Podcast site and noticed that many of your webmentions actually come from Instagram. I did not think that
Listened 🎧 Disputations about taste by Jeremy CherfasJeremy Cherfas

Episode summary: Taste is a very curious thing. We understand that how we taste something is almost entirely subjective, that while it depends to some extent on the physical and chemical properties of the things we’re tasting, the sensation is overlaid with all sorts of cultural and personal memories. Unless you have access to all of those, there’s nothing you can say about my taste. Except, we do that all the time. We slip easily from taste being indisputable to good taste and bad taste and from there to making taste the basis of moral judgements. What’s more, this is nothing new. These thoughts, and many more, were prompted by a new book: Food Fights: How History Matters to Contemporary Food Debates. It contains two chapters that cover taste directly (and a third that considers food choice from a slightly different point of view). In an effort to straighten myself out on the subject, I talked to the two chapter authors, and they’re going to be the guests in at least the next two episodes. In the first instance, Margot Finn…

Jeremy, I was intrigued by the discussion of the taste for chilli food.
Listened Orange-fleshed sweet potato to feed hidden hunger – No-one wakes up saying ‘I crave vitamin A today’ by Jeremy Cherfas

Marketing campaign for orange-fleshed sweet potato
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 27:33 — 22.1MB)
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podcast cover artwork There is more to good nu…

Jeremy, this is another intriguing episode. You always leave me thinking and seeing the world differently.
Replied to Eat This Newsletter 118: Toot toot (

I’ve got this far, so I may as well continue to self-promote like crazy. You may remember Suzanne Dunaway telling me about how she started and then sold a fabulous artisan bakery in Los Angeles. Suzanne was one of the first authors to write about no-knead bread, so it was something of a pleasure to discover that she is also something of a no-gardening gardener. Her story of broad beans and radishes made me smile and sent me outside in search of neglected dill weed and sweetpeas.

Jeremy, I really enjoyed the piece on no-garden gardening:

In January, with faith in Mother Nature (and confident the earth under the hemp layer was alive with worms), I literally walked away from playing gardener. I threw away the two full packets of lettuce and radish seeds I’d intended to plant. I tossed a bit of cover dirt and replaced the mulch. After which I put the garden out of my mind.

This year I have stepped back. I bought a chilli plant in hope, as well as a zucchini, but in the end I just let it go. I have subsequently had tomatoes pop-up all through the garden, as well as various herbs, without the usual stress and rigour.

Replied to Another cup of coffee culture Making friends with espresso by Jeremy Cherfas

Last episode, Jonathan Morris told me about the rise of coffee culture in Italy and how that changed as it made the move to London. Even long after the first proper espresso machines appeared in Soho, the UK was not a huge coffee drinker. Not so the United States, where coffee became an essential drug for the Union during the Civil War. In this episode, Jonathan Morris tells me how the habit lingered and grew into the bottomless cup of diner coffee. Along the way, we talked about Starbucks and about Friends, and the true history of the flat white.

Another interesting conversation with Jonathan Morris about the history of coffee, including a diplomatic discussion of the difference between Expresso and Nespresso.
Listened Pushing good coffee Beyond merely fair in search of ethical trade by Jeremy Cherfas

Walking down the supermarket aisle in search of coffee, I have this warm inner glow. If I choose a pack that boasts the Fair Trade logo, or that of any other third-party certifying agency, I’ll be doing good just by paying a little more for something that I am going to buy anyway. The extra I pay will find its way to the poor farmers who grow the coffee, and together enlightened coffee drinkers can make their lives better. But it seems I’m at least somewhat mistaken. Certified coffee is certainly better than nothing, but it isn’t doing as much good as I fondly imagine. And the price premium I pay could be doing a lot more.

In this episode I hear about coffee that’s more ethical than fair, and about some of the ways in which Fair Trade falls short.

I came upon this episode via Jeremy Cherfas’ response to two podcasts exploring coffee: In Our Time and Wake Up and Smell the Coffee.
Replied to Make it easy to be followed

RSS is very definitely not dead.1 And it is not difficult to implement. Heck, I’d consider it an honour if anyone with a WordPress site asked me to do it for them, even without any of the other IndieWeb goodness. But every time a grownup says ‘I don’t believe in RSS’ there is a feed somewhere that falls down dead.

Long live RSS Jeremy. I found this post via my feed.
Listened Cashews, the World Bank, and Mozambique A misguided policy that did nobody any good by Jeremy Cherfas

Jeremy Chefas discusses the history of cashews and the arrival in Mozambique via the Portuguese. He then discusses the challenges associated with production and cheaper labour in India. The catch with ‘cheaper’ is that this comes with an often hidden cost to the women when do the processing with the support of their children.
Listened Chronicle of a Death Foretold, or What I did on my holidays by Jeremy Cherfas

Dead olive trees behind a winged skull
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 24:26 — 19.7MB)
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Map of Xylella containment zones in Puglia
The mos…

Jeremy, this is fascinating. Is this a modern issue created by globalisation or have crops and plantations always had such issues? I am reminded of a longread on the Guardian discussing boars and disease that is carried around the world.
Listened Better baking through chemistry The food fight that changed the US constitution by Jeremy Cherfas
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 27:09 — 21.9MB)
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Linda Civitello is a food historian whose latest book is Baking Powder Wars: the cutthr…

Jeremy Cherfas continues his investigation into baking and bread with this investigation into baking powder. He speaks with food historian Linda Civitello about her latest book Baking Powder Wars: the cutthroat food fight that revolutionized cooking.
Replied to Annual report: 2018 by Jeremy Cherfas

The highlight of the year was undoubtedly my podcast series Our Daily Bread. I didn’t miss a single day, though I came perilously close on occasion, and in general people seemed to like it.

That is disappointing about the book Jeremy. I really enjoyed Our Daily Bread. I found it an enthralling topic and you manage to tie together some interesting stories. Listened to quite a few episodes twice.
Replied to How Long Should a Podcast Be? by Jeremy CherfasJeremy Cherfas

Podnews has a piece that many podcasters could usefully read. The bit that resonated was this quote from Roman Mars:
If you have 100,000 listeners and you edit out one useless minute you are saving 100,000 wasted minutes in the world. You’re practically a hero.
Not quite a hero, I can at least cou…

I think that you capture something important here Jeremy. For me what matters is how much effort has been given to edit the content and remove the cruft.
Bookmarked Our Daily Bread | Eat This Podcast by Jeremy Cherfas (

A history of wheat and bread in very short episodes

Jeremy Cherfas explores how an ordinary grass became the main source of sustenance for most of the people alive on Earth. Through this month long series, Cherfas assembles a narrative combining history, biology, definition, technology, sociology, politics, religion and innovation.

Some of the questions I was left wondering were the place of Indigenous Australians and the heritage of Couscous. Maybe these ideas and more will be unpacked in a longer book version of the series?