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What Can Data Networks Tell Us About How We Eat?

Each node denotes an ingredient, the node color indicates food category, and node size reflects the ingredient prevalence in recipes. This map comes from an article by Yong-Yeol Ahn, Sebastian E. Ahnert, James P. Bagrow and Albert-László Barabási, published in Scientific Reports, December,2011.

On today’s show, we explore research on food pairing and flavor networks.

Earth Eats Associate Producer Alex Chambers walks us through the work of Dr. Yong-Yeol Ahn,(he goes by YY). Dr. Ahn is a professor of informatics and computing at Indiana University and co-creator of a fascinating map of flavor networks.

Anthropologists Maddie Chera and Leigh Bush talk with him about what these networks can, and cannot tell us about cultural food pairing preferences.

The Earth Eats’ theme music is composed by Erin Tobey and performed by Erin and Matt Tobey.

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Kayte Young

Kayte Young discovered her passion for growing, cooking, foraging and preserving fresh food when she moved to Bloomington in 2007. With a background in construction, architecture, nutrition education and writing, she brings curiosity and a love of storytelling to a show about all things edible. Kayte raises bees, a small family and a yard full of food in Bloomington’s McDoel Gardens neighborhood.

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