Around the Table: Food Stories from Science to Everyday Life

Around the Table: Food Stories from Science to Everyday Life
Around the Table is a podcast from Stanley Ulijaszek, Professor of Human Ecology at the University of Oxford and Director of UBVO, and Dr. Tess Bird, an anthropologist of household uncertainty and wellbeing, and Mellon Fellow at Wesleyan University. We interview nutrition, food, and health experts as well as everyday households from around the world, filling in some of the gaps between scientific knowledge and everyday practice.

Neuroendocrinologist Giles Yeo on Covid-19 and Obesity
Aug 14 • 13 min
Giles Yeo is a neuroendocrinologist at the University of Cambridge with over 20 years experience researching brain control and body-weight (learn more). He speaks in this episode about the relationship between Covid-19 and obesity. As this research is…
Sociologist Claude Fischler on Food Studies and Commensality
Aug 4 • 27 min
Stanley interviews Claude Fischler, a French social scientist, Senior Investigator Emeritus with CNRS, the French National Science Center, and a former director of the Interdisciplinary Institute for Contemporary Anthropology in Paris. In this episode, he…
Season Two Introduction
Aug 4 • 4 min
Season 2 is here! In this season, we have bite-sized interviews with experts in food and nutrition, and other issues that impact the biological body. We will pepper these with interviews with households on the topics discussed. Write to us! DM us on…
Stanley and Tess in Conversation: Themes and Thoughts on Season 1: Lock Down Food
Jun 16 • 26 min
We cover some of the themes that came out through our interviews, from creativity in the kitchen to inequality, obesity, and Covid-19. For those of you that don’t know, Stanley is a nutritional anthropologist whose work centers on the evolutionary basis…
Dr. Amy McLennan, a human scientist and social researcher in Australia
Jun 9 • 18 min
Stanley interviews Dr. Amy McLennan, a human scientist and social researcher in Australia, who discusses how Covid-19 has impacted the meat industry, exposing issues of structural violence and inequality. She also discusses the implications for the global…
Stephanie Morphew, Researcher and Writer
Jun 5 • 14 min
Stanley talks to Steph Morphew, a food writer and service industry worker who discusses direct to consumer selling from the restaurant industry during lock down and what our future access to good food might look like.
Lou Chatey, co-owner of Westford Hill Distillers
Jun 5 • 13 min
Tess interviews Lou Chatey, the co-owner of Westford Hill Distillers in Ashford, CT. He talks about how the pandemic has impacted business, including answering the demand for hand sanitizer, as well as his spring forages and cocktail creations.
Dr. Heather Hamill, Sociologist at the University of Oxford
Jun 2 • 17 min
Stanley interviews with Dr. Heather Hamill, a Sociologist at the University of Oxford and mother of three, who discusses having covid-19 symptoms and a loss of appetite, using up the over-supply of chickpeas at the bottom of the cupboard, and her…
Dr. Giles Yeo, Geneticist at the University of Cambridge
Jun 2 • 15 min
Stanley interviews Dr. Giles Yeo, a Geneticist at the University of Cambridge and author of “Gene Eating: The Story of Human Appetite.” He talks about food insecurity during Covid19, concerns for Brexit, and posting his cooking under…
a couple in Beirut, Lebanon
May 28 • 19 min
Tess interviews a couple in Beirut, Lebanon, who discuss having a baby during the pandemic, how the pandemic came during ongoing political and economic crisis in Lebanon, and the “micro-market of sweets” that’s emerged during lockdown.
Tim Herdon in Oxford, UK
May 28 • 11 min
Stanley speaks with Tim Herdon, an editor at Oxford University Press, who says he’s eating healthier in lockdown, and making his kids chicken nuggets from scratch (we’re impressed!). This episode makes us wonder, are many of us eating healthier in…
Jon Bone, co-owner of Life Bowls in Connecticut, USA
May 26 • 17 min
Tess interviews Jon Bone, the co-owner of Life Bowls in Connecticut, known for its delicious and healthy açaí bowls. He talks about what it’s like to run a food business during lockdown, the demand for healthy takeout, plant-based eating, and what the…
Eden Henderson, a London Chef
May 26 • 14 min
Stanley interviews Eden Henderson, a chef at The River Cafe in London. He’s learning to appreciate the simple things about food during lockdown, like “cheese on toast with some obscene topping” (me too, Eden, 100% all about the cheese on sourdough).
Pallavi Laxmikanth, a medical anthropologist, in lockdown in Hyderabad, India
May 21 • 26 min
Tess interviews Pallavi Laxmikanth, a doctoral candidate at the University of Adelaide who discusses lockdown in Hyderabad, India, and how it has changed her life and the lives of her research participants. She researches metabolic health and food…
Around the Virtual Table During COVID-19: Everyday Tales from Denmark, Switzerland, and the UK
May 14 • 25 min
Tess interviews Tanja Schneider (Switzerland), Anne Katrine Kleberg Hansen (Denmark), and Stanley Ulijaszek (UK) about how their everyday food lives have changed since the COVID-19 lock down.
Maddalena Borsato, a “messy pastry practitioner with a philosophical vein,” in lockdown in Italy
May 14 • 19 min
Maddalena Borsato, a messy pastry chef and researcher in aesthetics, studies sweetness and taste from a philosophical point of view. She co-created a website,, with where she and Jacopo Giacomoni “philosophize with a spoon” and create…
Alexandra Ulijaszek Scott, on creativity, food, and cocktails in London during lockdown
May 14 • 18 min
Stanley interviews Alexandra Ulijaszek Scott, a cocktail bartender in London who talks about the creativity coming from the food and beverage industry during lockdown.
Esther González-Padilla, a nutritional epidemiologist in the Canary Islands, Spain
May 14 • 13 min
Esther González-Padilla discusses mediterranean eating, “sobremesa,” sugar and micronutrient dilution, and why over-snacking is a problem during COVID-19. González-Padilla is a PhD student at the Nutritional Epidemiology Group, Department of Clinical…
Our Vision: Tess and Stanley in Conversation
May 12 • 13 min
In our first episode, we have a conversation about our vision for this podcast and for our first season called Lockdown Food.