A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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.
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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?
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