Interview with Ginger Zee – “Food Forecast”

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Good Morning America and ABC news Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee hosts a new show on ABC Digital called “Food Forecast” and the first episode focuses on Maine lobster. The show connects food and weather, explaining how weather and climate affect some of the most iconic foods in the country. In case you just moved to Maine from under a rock on Jupiter, Maine’s lobster is legendary and it’s no surprise that Ginger chose it as part of the five episode series, but it’s a little extra cool that it’s the very first one. Ginger is known for being obsessed with weather, so her being involved in a show related to that is no surprise, but I wanted to find out a little bit more about her connection to the show, food, and Maine and was fortunate to have the opportunity to do just that.

Peter Peter Portland Eater: How did you come up with the idea for the show? Obviously, the weather part was natural, but how did you come up with the food connection?

Ginger Zee: Almost a decade ago I helped a major winemaker entertain their investors in Chicago when I was a meteorologist there. I talked to them about micro climates, boundary layer meteorology and different topography that can impact a vineyard and different varieties of wine. I love wine and I love weather so I’ve always wanted to marry the two in a show that would entertain and inform. I want every line to teach you something.

PPPE: How did you make the decision about what areas and foods on which to focus the show?

GZ: Wine was a must because of the complexity of wine making regions and their impact on different varieties. Outside of that we just started researching hot topics that had some major climate or environmental impacts lately. With the eat local movement strengthening I feel like there is no better time to do a show like this. Although our focus is often on climate and weather impacts, environmental care is an immediate concern — especially in the case in southern New England. Overfishing, shell disease and predators like the Black Sea bass are all a part of the overall decline in lobster in southern New England.

PPPE: Did you get to try all the foods on which you reported?

GZ: Absolutely! I had to do my research to the fullest extent. And it was delicious!

PPPE: Had you been to Maine previously? What were your thoughts on Bar Harbor?

GZ: I had the opportunity to do GMA live from Acadia national park and I did a story in Bar Harbor a few years back so I had been before and fell in love with it. It was on that trip that a lobsterman explained the uniqueness of the ocean bottom in Maine and why it was so perfect for lobster. I never forgot our talk about the Labrador current, ocean temperatures and nutrients and I had the Maine lobster at the top of my list for items to cover on Food Forecast.

Check out “Food Forecast” on ABC Digital. The premier episode is out now and features a lobsterman and a marine biologist who explain why Maine’s lobster is the best in the world and what might cause it to go away in the future. Ginger’s added explanation of the weather conditions that affect it make it both informative and entertaining. And who doesn’t love watching as their home state’s favorite food is on display to make everyone’s mouth water? Okay, now I’ve got to go pick up some lobsters for dinner.

To watch the show – http://abcnews.go.com/US/secret-ingredient-makes-maine-lobster-delicious-threatened/story?id=40868826

Special thanks to Ginger Zee.

Stay hungry.

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