Food is something you can taste, smell, see and touch. The scent of cinnamon and hot apples waft from the stove, engulfing you in the aroma of a freshly baked apple pie. Greasy oil drips around your fingers as you tear into spicy fried chicken. The platter of sushi being balanced on one hand as the waiter brings it over to your table presents you with a multitude of different colored fish and an assortment of shaped rolls. And of course, don’t forget how satisfying it is to sink your teeth into a juicy cheeseburger complete with bacon and avocado. Clearly, food offers something for many senses.
Now, thanks to a ton of food podcasts popping up on iTunes and other podcasting platforms, the experience of food can also be heard. There’s not many things in this world that can offer as much enjoyment as food and these podcasts prove that.
Many food podcasts offer recipes and interviews with chefs. Those are ok to check out if you can’t think of what to make for dinner. But, there is a whole other breed of food podcasts starting to break into the broadcasting sphere and garner even more interest. Podcasts that cover the intersection between food and technology are becoming increasingly prevalent and important. As tech continues to shape the world, it also has entered into the realm of food and is changing the way people eat and dine as well. Here is a list of five podcasts that can teach you more about the fascinating collaboration between food and technology.
1. Food Startups Podcast
First up on the list is the Food Startups Podcast with host Matt Aaron. Matt is a food entrepreneur and host of the Food Startups Podcast, a podcast that aims to help food startups find success out in the world. Every week, Matt delivers a new show with a guest that could be in the beginning stage of a startup, a food author/advisor, or head of a 8 to 9 figure revenue company. The idea for this podcast was born when Matt realized that together, tech and food could do something great.
“I come from a tech background and the great thing about the tech background is the democratization of the information for people looking to build a website, SEO, all sorts of things. You don’t need to have a Harvard education, you can be in Bulgaria, Zimbabwe wherever it is in the world. Whereas the food business, although it’s changed a little bit, it still favors the craft and the GM and the un-fun parts, like learning how to work with distributors, import export, sourcing ingredients, quality control certifications, etc. All that stuff is not that apparent and so the idea was to create a show where we build a community and people can listen and sort of hang out and learn from people, mostly interviews with really large food companies in order to get perspectives of all parts of the startup and business ecosystem,” Matt said.
Today, Food Startups Podcast gets over 10,000 downloads a month. Gaining that audience and level of success with the podcast wasn’t just done overnight, though, Matt says. Through the process, Matt learned a lot about what it takes to publish a listened to podcast.
“The main thing I did was I understood consistency and putting out an episode every week. It’s very easy to doubt yourself, you’re like, “Who am I to be interviewing all these people?” And that’s something you face in any type of profession but the one thing I focused on was putting out an episode every week. I just focus on that and then obviously you just get better as you do it just like anything else,” Matt said.
Of course, the success came with plenty of hurdles too.
“Basic challenges were getting some of the guests to open up and getting them to not give me just general advice, and that’s all on the interviewer. Also, this is my side hustle, this is not how I pay the bills. So, I guess I want to make sure I’m putting out content that my listeners need. Sometimes I’m not sure what exactly the content is that they need and that’s been a challenge for me,” Matt said.
Through all the lessons and ups and downs though, Matt now knows that storytelling is what it’s all about.
“People learn from storytelling. You see things like ’10 things to do right now’ all the time, but the problem is there’s no storytelling behind it. The recognition level, the recall is very difficult so the whole idea I realized is that by telling a story you inspire because all of this stuff is really difficult. I love taking a business that on the outside is beautiful and they’re 8 figures on their way to getting acquired but then they’re like “Yeah, we went out of business 4 times.” So I think that type of stuff is good for emotional strength because it’s inspiration and also I take the wisdom from these stories and I try to analyze and provide takeaways and we also give tips to use in your food business,” Matt said.
The Food Startups Podcast can be found at foodpodcasts.com, as well as iTunes and Overcast.
2. The Spoon
If you could look into a crystal ball and see what the future holds for the future of food, cooking and the kitchen, you’d probably encounter a lot of the same ideas, thoughts and answers that are discussed on The Spoon podcast. The Spoon gives listeners an inside look at daily analysis and coverage of the smart kitchen and food tech revolution.
According to the podcast’s website, The Spoon talks “to the innovators, disruptors and creators helping to reinvent food, cooking and the kitchen and brings those conversations to you in the form of interviews, deep dive analysis, podcasts and video.”
The podcast’s coverage is so great that they touch on everything from the business of food to food technology. Did you know that DoorDash is hiring robots to deliver meals? Me either. But after listening to The Spoon, I know all about the new innovative technology that’s disrupting the meal delivery sphere. Oh, and then there’s Nima, a portable, handheld gluten sensor that allows anyone to place a small piece of food they are about to eat into a chamber and test it for traces of gluten. Thanks to The Spoon’s coverage of the interesting device, those who deal with a gluten intolerance may finally have one heck of a handy tool.
Clearly, The Spoon interviews the biggest names and brightest creators in the world of food and you don’t want to miss out on all they have to say. Learn all about the exciting changes in food by tuning into The Spoon on the podcast’s website on on iTunes and other podcasting platforms.
3. Restaurant Technology Guys
One way in which technology and food interacts, that many people wouldn’t think of, is with technologies used by restaurants to offer customers the highest level of an experience when they dine. Jeremy Julian and Ryan Williams from Restaurant Technology Guys Podcast are experts on this specific intersection between tech and food.
Jeremy, who is second generation within the point of sale industry, said he was constantly fielding questions from restaurant owners about the future of restaurant technology. Because of this, he came up with the idea to produce a podcast that could answer all of those questions along with his coworker, Ryan.
“The podcast is a project that Jeremy and another coworker at Custom Business Solutions started about 5 years ago and it was really just filled a dry spot for leadership in the industry. Jeremy has been in the restaurant technology industry for about 30 years. So they were like, “How do we get that knowledge out and how do we become a trusted advisor to the industry- not just sell our product, but to generally move the needle on the industry? So they started a blog, then I came on board about a year later and started doing webinars, then we moved to a podcast model,” Ryan explained.
The podcasting duo say there are some very clear trends in restaurant technology unfolding right now.
“I would say the biggest topics are mobile payments and how do you implement Apple Pay and Google Wallet and all of the different ways- the contactless payments, the card-less payment, all of those different things are big hot topics that we get asked on a regular basis,” Jeremy said.
Food continues to be influenced by technology when it comes to the ways in which people can obtain their meals.
“The next probably most popular one right now is the advent of the delivery systems, the Uber eats the Doordash, that’s been one of our favorite to record because it’s not just such a relevant topic, but it is something that everybody’s having to contend with. How do they deal with all of these third party providers?” Jeremy said.
Even fast food restaurants are starting to see the advantages of advancing technology.
“You probably heard about mobile ordering 15 years ago, but just recently Mcdonald’s and Chick-Fil-A launched their app. People have been talking about mobile ordering for the past 10 to 15 years, so now when is that really hitting? And what do you need to be prepared for it? It’s the trends that are coming into the industry and how do you need to be prepared as a restaurant operator to be able to fulfill your consumer’s demands?” Ryan said.
Catch the Restaurant Technology Guys podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Overcast FM or on restauranttechnologyguys.com
4. Food Innovators
While food remains the same and an apple is always an apple, what changes within the foodie world is how, what and where people enjoy their meals. Food Innovators is the podcast that dives in to the various people who have played a role in shaping the ever changing food industry. The podcast highlights revolutionary, ingenious startup founders and their big ideas to benefit and change food.
On a recent episode of the podcast, Barley + Oats founder Ashly Yaschin discussed her million dollar idea to provide nutrient-rich meals for pregnant and breastfeeding women. During the show, Yaschin says the standard American diet is “very nutrient lacking and poor” and that is where Barley + Oats steps in to help expecting or new mothers obtain proper meals. Other innovators like Protes Co-Founder, Krik Angacian, have come up with similar ideas to enhance people’s diets as Protes is a company that offers protein snacks to easily add extra protein to a person’s diet as they munch throughout the day. Yaschin and Angacian join a growing list of guests on the Food Innovators podcast who share their ideas and stories with listeners.
If you’re interested in hearing about the future of the food industry then check out the Food Innovators podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher or YouTube.
5. Tech Bites
Tech Bites is a podcast that tells all about the ways in which food and technology are combining and influencing one another. The weekly show hosted by Jennifer Leuzzi explores how technology is impacting our culinary lives and how the ever advancing and changing digital world affects how we discover, produce and enjoy food.
The upbeat, engaging show was born from Jennifer’s unexpected love for cooking. Growing up in Hawaii, Jennifer did a lot of traveling and as a result, explored a lot of restaurants all around. She then attended NYU and found herself cooking constantly, even hosting dinner parties and poaching whole salmons for her friends to enjoy. After graduating, the host headed to Paris to start a job, but decided to attend a cooking school while waiting for the job to begin. Here, she fell in love with cooking and abandoned the job she initially moved to France for and instead started working at a 1 star Michelin restaurant.
After 80 hour work weeks, becoming fluent in French and continuing to explore her passion for food, Jennifer returned back to New York. She knew she wanted to remain in the food industry, but didn’t want to be in the hot kitchen anymore. With time, she wrote a cook book and then became a radio show host on Heritage and ever since has been telling culinary food and people stories to anyone who will listen.
“I host Tech Bites because I really want to have an opportunity to explore different stories in the food and tech space,” Jennifer said.
For the foodie, Tech Bites is also a way for her to keep listeners up to date on what’s happening in food and tech.
“There’s a part of my hosting Tech Bites which is to really to review what’s happening on a moment to moment and click by click basis for everyone,” she said.
Tech Bites is live every Thursday at 11:00 AM EST on Heritage and Radio Network. Previous episodes can be found iTunes, Stitcher Radio and Simplecast.
Don’t forget to check out our upcoming podcast, Future of Food, coming soon to SoundCloud and futurefood.fm.
Also published on Medium.