The Murky Origins of the Annual Presidential Turkey Pardon

So when exactly did presidents begin pardoning the Thanksgiving turkey? By Dr. Suzy Evans, J.D. / 06.29.2018 Historian and Attorney Some historians say that the origins of the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation date back to the 1860s, when Abraham Lincoln’s son Tad begged his dad to spare the life of a wild turkey that had been sent to the[…]

Why the Pilgrims Were Actually Able to Survive

‘Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor’ by William Halsall (1882). Pilgrim Hall Museum The Pilgrims repeatedly thanked God for their good fortune. But without two earlier developments, the entire undertaking at New Plymouth would have likely failed. By Dr. Peter C. Mancall / 11.19.2018 Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences University of Southern California Sometime in the[…]

A Brief History of the S’More, America’s Favorite Campfire Snack

Thermodynamics holds the answers to your wildest campfire dreams. (Brent Hofacker / Alamy) The gooey treat couldn’t have become popularized without the technological advances of the Industrial Revolution, which brought cheap sweets to the masses. By Dr. Jeffrey Miller / 06.28.2018 Associate Professor and Program Coordinator, Hospitality Management Colorado State University Last summer, 45 million pounds of marshmallows were toasted over a fire in America. Many were[…]

A History of Sugar – the Food Nobody Needs, but So Many Crave

Sweeter Alternative/Flickr Human physiology evolved on a diet containing very little sugar and virtually no refined carbohydrate.      By (left-to-right) Dr. Mark. Horton, Dr. Alexander Bentley, and Dr. Philip Langton / 10.30.2015 Horton: Professor in Archaeology, University of Bristol Bentley: Professor and Department Head, Anthropology, The University of Tennessee Knoxville Langton: Senior Teaching Fellow in Physiology, University[…]

The Real Paleo Diet: Early Hominids Ate Just about Everything

Very few people today live a true hunter-gatherer lifestyle – and Paleo diets likely oversimplify what would have been on the table many millennia ago. Thiery Simple characterizations of our ancestors by “Paleo diet” fads widely miss the mark. By Dr. Ken Sayers / 02.17.2015 Postdoctoral Fellow in Primate and Human Evolution Georgia State University Reconstructions[…]