Podcast Week: Food Hacker, News Fighter, Alexa commands

+ Five podcasts recommendations from OMD’s Gemma Lasenby

Rosie Mansfield is a realistic, no-nonsense nutritionist. She grabs complicated and confusing nutrition questions and breaks them down for listeners quickly, with no heavy science or big words. She goes through the rumours and facts associated with nutritional trends and then gives hacks to help navigate through the nutritional minefield.

Although calling herself a “hacker”, Mansfield doesn’t present an unorthodox look at food. “Almost the opposite,” she told Mediaweek. “I have a broad view of food and don’t adhere to any strict views. I don’t do any fads.

“As a food hacker I hack things down. My job as a nutritionist is to look at the science, I am a bit of a digestive enzyme and then I spit it out on the podcast as simply as possible.

The point of the podcast is to stop the confusion around nutrition and I speak simply to try and comfort people who are overwhelmed by information.

Mansfield is a former personal trainer and has been a nutritionist for eight years. She is a TV cook as well working on 10’s Good Chef Bad Chef.

PodcastOne released the first season of 10 episodes of Food Hacker last year and there is another 10 episodes of season two available from today.

“This series features trending topics, things that many people are finding confusing. That includes soy and the arguments for and against, the keto diet, blue zone lifestyle, intermittent fasting, gluten free and more.”

A big attraction for the audience are the short episodes of just over and just under 10 minutes which let you binge quickly and get the information.

Everything I do – from my book to TV and these podcasts – is delivered in bite-sized chunks. We are all very busy. With nutrition we also tend to overthink it, so we don’t need too much information. The last thing I want to do is bore people!”

Listen to Food Hacker here.

Whooshkaa makes podcasts more accessible with Alexa

Podcasters hosting on the Whooshkaa platform now have access to a new skill to make listening easier on Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices.

Whooshkaa and Amazon have enabled podcast listeners to request podcasts and episodes directly from voice-activated Alexa devices without the need for a third party service like Tune-in.

The skill will be available for podcasts hosted by Whooshkaa, including Australian True Crime, Chat 10 Looks 3, SEN, The Betoota Advocate, The Health Code and all official AFL and NRL podcasts. Listeners simply ask Alexa to play the podcast or episode they want to hear. They can also give voice instructions to ask for more information about episodes, play, skip and resume from previously-played points in the episode.

More than 100 million Alexa-enabled devices have been sold worldwide.

“Our software engineers worked closely with the Alexa team at Amazon to be able to achieve this functionality for podcasters and listeners,” said Whooshkaa founder and CEO Rob Loewenthal.

“We’re the first global podcast hosting platform to enable podcasters to deploy their own Alexa skill for their podcast.”

Instead of telling the smart speaker to use a third party skill to find and stream a podcast – the listener simply tells the device to play “the first episode of Australian True Crime” or “the most recent episode of The Health Code.”

“No lazy banter” promises News Fighter Dylan Behan

News Fighters is a new fast-paced, irreverent 10 minute news summary podcast from one of the creatives behind Tonightly with Tom Ballard, A Rational Fear and The Chaser. And it’s really very funny.

“At News Fighters we aim to shove all the painful gaffes, hypocritical soundbites and wacky news clips into your earholes in every hilarious 10 minute episode!” said creator and presenter Dylan Behan.

Behan said he will avoid the usual lazy banter of most Australian political/comedy podcasts. Instead the podcast wants to emulate the feel of a late night comedy show monologue: meticulously analysing a single big news event in depth. Previous episodes have covered the first federal election leaders’ debate, the 2019 budget, NSW election night and Barnaby Joyce’s infamous Radio National “watergate” interview.

News Fighters is currently released weekly and is available on all major podcast apps Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts and Spotify. It’s also available for audio streaming on Soundcloud and in audiogram/video form (including all the TV news clips) on YouTube.

“After the cancellation of Tonightly I felt like Australia was missing an acerbic and silly summary of the day’s big news,” said Behan about why he started he podcast. “Also as an unemployed creative man in his thirties, it was legally mandatory I start a podcast.”

Listen to (and watch) News Fighters here.

My Top 5: Gemma Lasenby
OMD, Business Director, RACV/Dulux

Yes, this is technically in the crime genre but it’s actually just great journalism and is often more about the people involved. Topics have spanned flashers, capital punishment and airplane hijackings. Plus Phoebe Judge has the best voice in the game.

Sh*tting With The Door Open
The only parenting podcast I can stand is put out by two male, Australian comedians. It’s very funny and often very wrongtown. But also refreshingly honest and thoughtful on tricky topics.

Disrupt Yourself
Disclaimer: yes this is US career coach Whitney Johnston’s podcast and she is relentlessly upbeat. But it usually feels less self-help and more DIY career. She starts every interview with “Where did you grow up and what did you want to be?” Then she maps people’s career paths and you realise how rarely they are linear.

Witness BBC
Sometimes you just need to fill 7-10 minutes. These are bite-sized history lessons using the BBC’s archived interviews (going back as long as recording voice was possible). From the Nestle milk boycott to the invention of wingsuits. You’ll feel smarter afterwards I promise.

Women at Work
A spin off from the HBR ideacast and all summed up in the name really. Very honest conversations amongst real-life colleagues at HBR. They deliberately try to challenge themselves on intersectionality and not get too comfortable in their particular feminist bubble.

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