The episode begins with Ben and Don talking about the fall weather and Ben’s podcasting from home (possibly sans pants). The discussion turns to travel and its potential impact on Don’s jury duty. Ben has never served on a jury, but has seen many movies about trials. Don shares that he has seen some movies about trials, notably Capote and To Kill a Mockingbird. Both guys are fans of the movie My Cousin Vinny, which is not a book. The pop culture talk turns to television, and Ben mentions The Americans (spelled with a c, not k, but the c does look like a hammer and sickle in the show logo). Don has been watching Intruders, but he has barely been able to discern what the show is actually about. Last Tango in Halifax is also good TV; with season two now available on Netflix. Ben wraps up the pop culture part of the show with a mention of a Farm Aid concert he attended with some other foodie-people and mentioned that Neil Young shared about his personal views on some farming issues at the concert.
The conversation moved to politics and cable news. As a board member of the New Jersey Association for Food Protection, Don was part of a recent conference call regarding the organizing of a GMO foods discussion/debate with invited speakers, potentially including Robyn O’Brien. When Ben got his start in food safety, GMO foods were in the news and he mentioned a recent barfblog post on labeling of GMO foods and their unintended impacts on consumer choice. Ben talked about the summer reading program at NC State, and this years book Tomorrows Table, written by an organic farmer and a food biotechnologist.
Ben recently participated in an IFT sponsored twitter chat on the safety of packed lunches. Ben noted the difficulty in answering complicated questions in only 140 characters over twitter and the stress of having answered so many questions in a short period of time. The discussion turned to an article about the temperatures of school lunches, and the importance of considering both time and temperature. Don mentioned a good FightBac webinar that covered cross contamination, and plugged his recent appearance on Academic Minute that covered some of Don’s hand washing experiments.
Ben recently received a risk-type question during an interview, and he was keen to know what Don would answer (PhD students take note: Ben plans to ask this question at every qualifying exam he goes to!). The question was: What is the riskiest food-related thing that you do? Don provides two answers: 1) he sometimes doesn’t wash his hands for 20 s with soap; 2) sometimes he doesn’t take the temperature of meat on the grill and just believes it is ‘probably good enough’. Ben’s answer included eating fresh restaurant salsa with lots of cilantro and eating a lot of berries.
Don announced that he has podcast cheated on Ben by participating on another podcast, Better Know a Jackal, and the discussion moves to podcasting workflows in general. Don is now using an app to send webpage PDFs to Dropbox.
The conversation then transitioned to some humorous turns-of-phrase that Doug and Ben like to drop into Barfblog articles. Ben was disappointed no one commented on a witty double entendre he included in a posting about finding vomit on an airplane. Ben has to repeat the line to Don a few times before laughter ensues.