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Wednesday
Oct012014

128: Eat Your Veggies!

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Vegetables are filled with nutrients but they're also chock-full of weird, weird, weird trivia. Find out why the odd history behind why we associate carrots with the color orange, and what vegetable looks like a severed human head. Quiz about two funny-sounding veggies: the artichoke and the rutabaga, and the common misconceptions and origin stories behind the jack-o-lantern.

ALSO: CHRIS KOHLER BABY WATCH 2014, weird new words that just got added to the Scrabble dictionary

RUNTIME: 49 minutes 13 seconds

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Featured Interlude Music:

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References (12)

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Reader Comments (4)

Any baby news?

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTim

So you guys asked what's in the "Tuber family." This worried me since there is no "tuber family" of plants. First remember that family is one of the levels of systematic organization, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Genus, Species. You mentioned 3 different plants as member of the "tuber family," the potato, the sweet potato, and the yam. In fact these are in 3 different family. The potato is in solanaceae or night-shade family, the sweet potato is in convolvulaceae or morning glory family, and the yam is in dioscoreaceae. Both potato and sweet potato are both in the same order, solanales, and are dicots, the yam is in order dioscoreaceae and is a monocot. Effectively making the potato/sweet potato very unrelated to the yam. Also the solanales plants are native to South and Central America, the yam is native to Africa and Asia.

Let's leave the yam there and talk about the potato and sweet potato. Normally, these are both considered tubers (there is some argument here) but they are not derived from the same tissue of the plant. The potato is derived from the stem while the sweet potato is derived from the root.

I think I've written enough about systematics and tubers here.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVincenzo Averello

@Vincenzo - I should probably have just asked "What common vegetable is a tuber?" – because you're right, "family" has a very specific meaning for classification; not what I intended. thanks for listening... and tuber-ing!

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGJB Colin

Hey guys!

Thanks for a great episode! Regarding lanterns - on Saint Martin's Day children in the Netherlands and some parts of Belgium make lanterns out of sugar beets and then go door to door singing a special song about Saint Martin and get candy - so a bit like Halloween.

So another vegetable that is used for lanterns in a different part of the world!

October 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDagmara

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