Recommended: Brain-Tickling Books, Podcasts and Other Food Media

At Food + City, we've always got our eyes open for new perspectives about the "to" in "farm to plate." Check out these recommendations and add your own in the comments.

Back in 2008 Clover founder Ayr Muir described his long-term aspiration: "Clover comes to define a lifestyle centered around a new cuisine and positive conscientious relationship to food." Photo courtesy Webb Chappell


Clover founder (and MIT engineer) Ayr Muir has found a way to make fast food sustainable. This chain of restaurants and food trucks in the Boston area has more than a dozen locations, uses seasonal produce that is 30 to 60 percent organic and doesn’t have a single freezer. Their menu of sandwiches and sides is based on what’s available seasonally, but they can still serve customers in an average of three and a half minutes.

Milk Eggs Vodka

On, Bill Keaggy has been showing off his quirky collector’s habits since the early days of the Internet. Shoes shaped like rocks. Chairs that look sad. In the 2000s, he collected found grocery lists and turned them into a book — "Milk Eggs Vodka" — that gives great insight into American buying (and note-taking) habits.

Kelp farmer D. J. King talks to Gastropod co-host Cynthia Graber aboard his boat for the Gastropod episode "Kale of the Sea." Photo by Nicola Twilley

Kelp farmer D. J. King talks to Gastropod co-host Cynthia Graber aboard his boat for the Gastropod episode "Kale of the Sea." Photo by Nicola Twilley

Gastropod; 99 Percent Invisible

Two excellent podcasts that touch on food in very different ways. Gastropod, from Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley, focuses on food through the lens of history and science. Roman Mars ventures into packaging and transportation in his design and architecture podcast, 99 Percent Invisible.


American Experience: Panama Canal

There’s no better way to comprehend the scale and importance of the construction of the Panama Canal than seeing some of the footage featured in this documentary, shown on American Experience. See a preview and find out how you can see the film on

Deli Man

This 2014 documentary by Erik Greenberg Anjou looks at the cultural forces that made the Jewish deli what it was in its heyday and how the remaining 150 delicatessens in the U.S. are trying to keep a uniquely American tradition alive.

The Container Guide

This wacky idea from Food+City contributor Craig Cannon and friend Tim Hwang — a waterproof field guide to shipping containers — started as a Kickstarter campaign that drew more than $20,000 in pre-orders. The book helps you track ships and their containers in ports across America so you can add them to your life list, just like birders.

Uncommon Carriers

John McPhee is known for going into the field to explain our world. Using his experience riding along with train engineers and barge pilots, in "Uncommon Carriers" he gives readers a close-up look at how these people move our stuff across the country.

The Box

Think containers are boring? Let Marc Levinson persuade you otherwise. In "The Box" he paints vivid scenes of the enormity, ubiquity, simplicity and technology of containerization. Through his eyes, it’s easy to see how the shipping container has shaped the world.

Share your recommendations with us @FoodCityOrg.

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