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The Science Behind Tasty Thai Food (2.42)

By Greg Jorgensen & Ed Knuth

This week we’re talking with an honest to goodness food scientist who gives us the lowdown on the health benefits - or lack thereof - of Thai food and its sundry ingredients. But first, Evo plays Robin Hood as he recounts a pleasant encounter with a wandering sheriff. What are the odds a visitor to Bangkok would not only run into one of the hosts of his favorite podcast, but run into said favorite podcast co-host just minutes after listening? Pretty high if you happen to visit Jack’s Bar. But as cool and unexpected as that was, it’s not what we’re talking about today. Adam Yee is a food scientist who works at a billion dollar health-and-wellness company in Phoenix Arizona. He’s the kind of guy who takes his work home with him, because he’s also the host of a podcast called My Food Job Rocks!. We brought Adam on the show to dispel the rumors and myths about the healthiness of Thai Food. Adam has a lot to share about what science says about fad diets and more, including these choice bits: How gluten spreads civilization (no offence to those diagnosed with Celiac Disease) Why you shouldn’t (and practically can’t) avoid MSG in Thailand A reference to the tastiest of tastes: umami Why you can blame the American military for Thailand’s dedication to sweetened condensed milk in everything How to curry favor from a food scientist (did you see what I did there?) The curious case of tamarind and why anyone would find it a tasty food additive Since Adam is curious about Thailand (his roomie is Thai), we talked about some unique aspects of Bangkok that shows why he’s a great food scientist. Among other things, we covered: The flavors and styles of snacks are made from seaweed The Mexican food scene of Bangkok (since he’s from Arizona, right on the Mexican border) How mayonnaise contributes to the Thainization of sushi Why Thais love Red #40 like French Canadians love Yellow #6 Macro trends on Thai-centric health concerns Love, Loathe, or Leave As we’ve talked about on prior episodes, Bangkok cops are cracking down on helmetless riders. Mototaxi drivers are accommodating, offering pay passenger a spare helmet. But when you’re sporting a mellon the the size of a beachball like both of us, it’s more about fine-avoidance than safety. Listen in to find out how we deal with this reality. We Love Our Supporters! In fact, we’re considering a special meetup for anyone who lives in or will be traveling to Bangkok next month. Are you interested? Even if you can’t make it in August but do travel frequently to Bangkok, let us know. Maybe we’ll do it on a regular basis! Want More Bangkok Podcast In Your Life? If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to listen via Apple Podcasts. Android users are be able get the show any number of ways. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show. We’d love to hear from you, either on the contact form on our website or through a comment or message on our Facebook page. You can Tweet to the show @bangkokpodcast or follow Greg’s tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness. Evo chronicles his Bangkok adventures on Instagram from time to time, if that’s your thing. And as mentioned, we now have a LINE account! Yep. Just for the Bangkok Podcast. Join us over there, too! See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast! (Direct download .mp3)

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