Food Detectives

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Food Detectives TV Poster Image
Fun science show solves culinary mysteries.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show conducts fun, educational experiments to debunk cooking myths, explain food reactions, and solve common culinary mysteries.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Occasionally Allen fools test subjects by administering placebos and/or purposely not telling them about specific parts of experiments that could be mildly uncomfortable. Overall, he's an affable and informed host.

Violence & Scariness

The sleuthing team is often subjected to some spinning, running, biking, and/or other physical activity that causes them some temporary discomfort. But no one experiences pain.

Sexy Stuff

Popular Science magazine serves as the show's science and technology authority; issues of the magazine are often visible. The team occasionally travels to different locations -- like Coney Island -- to conduct experiments.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Discussions about alcohol are offered in an educational context, focusing on how its chemical properties react with food and the human body.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this fun, informative series features experiments designed to answer questions about food, cooking, and related issues. Although the team of food sleuths sometimes experience temporary discomfort (like dizziness and nausea while being spun around by an amusement park ride after eating), they never suffer any pain. While the experiments featured are safe and simple, it might be a good idea to remind young scientists that not all experiments should be conducted at home -- or without adult supervision.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7 and 13-year-old Written bychicklette April 23, 2009

Practical science for anybody who eats!

Finally a Science platform show that everyone can relate to! Despite how much you consider yourself to be a "Knowledgeable Foodie" or not...this progr... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 15, 2009

Fabulous show!

This show is soooooooo good. I like cooking and it has fun tips and experiments like, if you crush up cereial(sp) that has lots of iron in it, you can pick it u... Continue reading

What's the story?

FOOD DETECTIVES combines scientific experimentation with humor to find answers to some of the greatest culinary questions in today's popular culture. Host Ted Allen (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) leads a team of food techs on a series of simple, safe experiments to test things like finding the best way to cut an onion without crying and investigating the anti-nausea properties of ginger. With the help of scientists, doctors, and technical experts from Popular Science magazine, Allen offers easy-to-follow scientific explanations of the experiments' results.

Is it any good?

The show's unique combination of food science, pop culture, and experimentation creates an amusing formula that offers entertaining but teachable moments for both kids and adults. Granted, watching food techs slice, dice, eat, run, spin, and even sleep in the name of science may not sound very interesting, but Allen's quick wit adds flavor to what could be considered bland technical conversations.

Kids and adults who are interested in science and/or cooking will certainly find this show appealing. Trivia buffs will also be engaged. But while the experiments featured on the show are generally harmless, some of them do cause some mild discomfort. As a result, it might be a good idea to remind kids that not all experiments can or should be conducted at home and/or without adult supervision.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how television can promote science while still being fun to watch. Are TV shows like this one an effective way of teaching about food and science? What are some of the food and/or cooking myths you've heard of? Families can also discuss the ethics of scientific experimentation. What kinds of experiments use human beings as test subjects? Is that always OK?

TV details

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