Episode 156: Hard to Stomach

Blue cheese

A gourmet treat for some; a total gross-out for some others. Image courtesy of Flickr user lmnop88a.

In the book Still Life with Woodpecker, author Tom Robbins writes that there are only two mantras in life: yum and yuck. Today's episode of Distillations adopts the latter philosophy with a show inspired by one of the grossest foods we've ever heard of: body cheese. First, producer Lindsay Patterson visits South by South Swab. She shares how a biologist and smell researcher create personalized cheeses made of strains of bacteria taken from participants' armpits and feet. Then, when your stomach settles, CHF's own Jacqueline Boytim explains why the thought of body cheese can make you nauseous without having to taste the stuff.

Show Clock

00:00 Opening Credits
00:50 Introduction
01:41 South By South Swab
11:40 Distaste and Disgust
14:45 Closing Credits


Special thanks to Lindsay Patterson and Jacqueline Boytim for researching this show. 

For more information on South By South Swab participants' personalized armpit cheese, visit

Our theme music is composed by Andrew Chalfen. Music from Music Alley includes "Bad Meat or Good Cheese?," by the Vanes, and "Drive and Vlog," by Nalts. Also featured is "Great Green Gobs," from Goobers: A Collection of Kids Songs, 1994, by Penn Jillette.

Image courtesy of Flickr user lmnop88a.

Posted In: History | Society

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