Press "Enter" to skip to content

Podcast Topic: Food Safety & Food Defense


The Leading Voices in Food

Podcast Topic: Food Safety & Food Defense

Eren Elinav podcastE210: Clinical Trial Evidence: Metabolic Effect of Sweeteners

July 24, 2023

Sugar replacements, known generally as artificial sweeteners or non-nutritive sweeteners, have been in the news a lot. Rising concerns exist about safety and the effects of the sweeteners on many key features of health, including the microbiome. We need the help of talented scientists to sort through this complex web of information. Today’s guest, Professor Eran Elinav, has done some of the seminal research in this area. He’s an expert on systems immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

Related podcasts: Diet & Nutrition | Food Policy | Food Safety & Food Defense | Zero Calorie Sweeteners |


Branca Montez podcastE207: World Health Organization’s Recommendations on Non-Sugar Sweeteners

June 28, 2023

Today’s podcast is a continuation of our series exploring the safety of non-sugar sweeteners in both food and beverages. In 2022, the World Health Organization conducted a systematic review of the most current scientific evidence on the health effects of non-sugar sweeteners. This analysis of 283 studies reveals that non-sugar sweeteners can impact health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, adiposity, bladder cancer, and preterm birth. In 2023, the WHO released a guideline on the use of non-sugar sweeteners based on this 2022 review. Our guests today are Dr. Jason Montez, scientist with the World Health Organization, and technical lead on the systematic review and guideline. And, the director of the Department of Nutrition and Food Safety at the World Health Organization, Dr. Francesco Branca.

Related podcasts: Childhood Obesity | Diet & Nutrition | Food Policy | Food Safety & Food Defense | Obesity | Zero Calorie Sweeteners |


Podcast Rob LustigE205: Here’s what sugar and zero-calorie sweeteners do to your body

May 17, 2023

Today we speak with an expert on sugar and things meant to replace it. The stakes are high. Very high. Sugar consumption in the population is astronomical and so is the use of sugar replacements. Knowing the impacts of both could help experts provide dietary guidance and help consumers make decisions. Dr. Robert Lustig is Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco. He specializes on the regulation of energy balance by the central nervous system; body weight regulation, appetite, metabolism, and is very well known for his work on sugar and their substitutes and on policies aimed at improving the diet of the population. A YouTube video on the effects of consuming sugar called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” has now been viewed 24 million times.

Related podcasts: Addiction & Food | Diet & Nutrition | Food Industry Behavior & Marketing | Food Safety & Food Defense | Zero Calorie Sweeteners |


Podcast Allison SylvestskyE204: The troubling unknowns of non-caloric sweeteners

May 4, 2023

As a society, we are eating and drinking low-calorie sweeteners more and more. Researchers are working to understand the long-term impact of such sweeteners for adults and, of course, for children. This interview is part of a series on the impact of sweeteners. Our guest today is Dr. Allison Sylvetsky, Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at the George Washington University – Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Related podcasts: Child Development & Nutrition | Diet & Nutrition | Food Safety & Food Defense | Ultra-processed Food & Additives | Zero Calorie Sweeteners |


Podcast - Jotham SuezE202: Impact of non-caloric sweeteners on the microbiome – what we know now

April 13, 2023

With the widespread presence of artificial sweeteners in the food system, scientists and consumers want to know about their safety. Safety concerns have been expressed for years, and lots of research has been done, but relatively new on the scene is work examining the effect of sweeteners on the microbiome. This interview is part of a series on the impact of artificial sweeteners. Our guest today, Dr. Jotham Suez, is doing fascinating work on this topic. He’s Assistant Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and the Public Health Johns Hopkins University.

Related podcasts: Diet & Nutrition | Food Safety & Food Defense | Zero Calorie Sweeteners |


Mattes podcastE196: Why do we need zero calorie sweeteners, and are they safe?

February 23, 2023

Artificial sweeteners, known more recently as non-nutritive or low-calorie sweeteners, have been a source of great hope. What could be better than enjoying sweetness in foods but without the calories? Sucralose, xylitol, stevia, saccharin, aspartame, there are a lot of them out there. You may add them to food yourself, you may consume them in beverages, and if not, there’s a good chance they’ll show up in foods that you buy. But, do they work and are they safe? Few know this area like Dr. Richard Mattes, distinguished Professor of Nutrition Science at Purdue University.

Related podcasts: Diet & Nutrition | Food Safety & Food Defense | Obesity | Zero Calorie Sweeteners |


Lytton podcastE194: Foodborne illness and the struggle for food safety

January 25, 2023

When I was growing up, people didn’t fret much about food safety. Trichinosis from undercooked pork was about all I heard about. But today people hear about much more: norovirus, salmonella, campylobacter, staphylococcus, listeria, and there’s much more. So what in the world is happening? Our guest, Timothy Lytton, distinguished university professor and professor of law at Georgia State University knows an awful lot about this. He’s the author of a seminal book entitled “Outbreak: Foodborne Illness and the Struggle for Food Safety.”

Related podcasts: Food Policy | Food Safety & Food Defense |


Podcast Michael JacobsonE170: Why the US Must Reduce Sodium Intake: It’s Costing Lives

June 10, 2022

Today, we’re going to talk salt with Dr. Michael Jacobson, former president and co-founder of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Dr. Jacobson is one of the authors of an important article published recently in the journal Hypertension. The article comes to a startling conclusion that delays in implementing voluntary sodium reduction targets by the food and restaurant industry may result in nearly 265,000 preventable deaths between 2017 and 2031.

Related podcasts: Advocacy & Food | Diet & Nutrition | Food Industry Behavior & Marketing | Food Policy | Food Safety & Food Defense | Ultra-processed Food & Additives |


Podcast - ultraprocessed foodsE159: Ultra-processed Foods Have Addiction Impact on our Bodies

March 17, 2022

Much has been written and said about ultra-processed foods, first in scientific circles and now more broadly in the media. This concept is relatively new, but what is even newer in this discussion is how such foods figure into the issue of food and addiction. Our guest, Dr. Ashley Gearhardt is doing pioneering work on this. So, we eat a lot of these foods. A paper published several months ago, found that as much as 80% of all calories consumed in the US and in Canada come from such foods. Such diets are high in added sugar, in fat and saturated fat and low in fiber and key vitamins and minerals. We’ve recorded earlier podcasts on ultra-processed foods, most notably with Dr. Carlos Monteiro, who created the term. But now let’s talk addiction. Ashley Gearhardt is Associate Professor in the department of psychology at the University of Michigan and as a leading expert on the issue of food and addiction.

Related podcasts: Addiction & Food | Food Safety & Food Defense | Ultra-processed Food & Additives |


Podcast - Trish Cotter Ultraprocessed FoodsE162: Ultra-processed Foods Need a Warning Label to Protect Consumers

March 3, 2022

In today’s podcast, we’re talking about ultra-processed foods. Our guest today is Trish Cotter from the global public health organization Vital Strategies. She’s the author of a new commentary published in the BMJ Global Health calling for warning labels on ultra-processed foods.

Related podcasts: Addiction & Food | Food Industry Behavior & Marketing | Food Policy | Food Safety & Food Defense | Ultra-processed Food & Additives |