He Plays With Food

An affable biologist double-dips his chips for TV science.




(page 1 of 4)

Do Diet Pepsi and Mentos candy make a volatile combo? Mild-mannered Adam Ruben investigates. Photograph by Luigi CiuffetelliAdam Ruben last summer took a few breaks from developing a malaria vaccine to tackle more pressing issues.

Like just how much backwash is in your bottled water? Is it possible to woof down six saltines in under a minute? Does spittle wind up on birthday cake when you blow out the candles?

Wilmington-raised Ruben, a molecular biologist by day, was tapped as a guest expert in 13 segments of Food Network’s “Food Detectives,” a show hosted by Ted Allen that debunks the greatest myths, misconceptions and mysteries about food.

Ruben took on dirty bar counter snacks, diet cola and Mentos, and the famous “double-dipping the chip” faux pas.

The show’s producers needed science, so a casting call went out for scientists who have stage experience. Ruben, a standup comedian, fit the bill perfectly.

So Ruben filmed with a buddy his own segment about the saltines challenge. “I had to do it myself over and over and over again,” he says. “By the end of the day my mouth was so cut up.”

After a screen test (about preventing tears when chopping onions) and a pilot (about the 5-second rule) Food Network picked up the show. Ruben became a fixture, engineering experiments, most dealing with bacteria, to test whatever gnarly case came his way.

Ruben filmed eight segments for the first season of “Food Detectives” and five more for the second. As of June, it was not known if the show would return for a third.

The 30-year-old graduated from Concord High School in 1997, then earned his doctorate from Johns Hopkins after four years at Princeton. He works full-time at Sanaria, a biotech firm in Rockville, Maryland. His employers had no issues with Ruben’s side gig, which sometimes landed him in unsavory situations.

When filming a segment in Central Park about unsanitary water fountains, the crew encountered a man rinsing bicycle grease from his hands, another who wanted to wash his produce, and a third who lifted his little dog to the nozzle to drink.

In one of Ruben’s favorite episodes, he and Allen traveled to a Chinese restaurant in New York to debunk the myth that the additive MSG is harmful.

“I got some hate mail from a woman who is on some kind of consumer advisory council, and she’s certain MSG is the devil,” Ruben says. “I guess she thinks I’m paid off by the glutamate lobby.”

—Matt Amis
 

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January 2018

January 2 – 27 Winter Group Show A rotating group show featuring an eclectic mix of artwork including oil paintings, pastels, ornamental boxes, art glass and jewelry. Custom Framing and Gift...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

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Learn how insects help us tackle everyday problems: they inspire new technologies, help detectives solve mysteries, and play an important role in our food industry. Enjoy hands-on activities,...

Cost: $8 for adults, $6 for children between 4 and 14, and free for children under 4 a

Where:
Hagley Library and Soda House
298 Buck Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Agilent Technologies
Telephone: 302-658-2400
Website »

More information

Come join us in celebrating the mission work of the American Heart Association while raising funds to end cardiovascular disease. There will be a live and silent auction, served dinner with wine,...

Cost: $175.00

Where:
Chase Center on the Riverfront
Justinson Street
Wilmington , DE
View map »


Telephone: 302-286-5704
Contact Name: Denise Griffin
Website »

More information

On Sundays, we brunch. Imagine your best ever brunch experience. Now add some local flair, an award-winning culinary team, and a modernly chic ambiance in a brand new gastropub. On Sundays from...

Cost: varies

Where:
Hilton Wilmington/Christiana
100 Continental Dr.
Newark, DE  19713
View map »


Sponsor: Market Kitchen & Bar
Telephone: 302.631.1551
Contact Name: Katie McNally
Website »

More information

Each month, adults and children can create art together and experiment with new materials, techniques, and themes in the Bank of America Education Wing Studios—no reservations required! This...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

The Philly Home Show will inspire your inner HGTV star at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia from January 12-15 and 19-21. The show will feature highly-interactive exhibits...

Cost: 13

Where:
Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA  19107
View map »

More information

Join us for in-depth conversations in the galleries, led by University of Delaware graduate student Kristen Nassif. Image: Spring Rain, 1912. John Sloan (1871–1951). Oil on canvas, 20 1/4 × 26...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Inspired by the Delaware Art Museum’s Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art, collaborators Troy Richards and Knut Hybinette will develop a pop-up virtual reality (VR)...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

The first major retrospective exhibition of John Sloan’s work since 1988, An American Journey explores all facets of the artist’s long career: his work as an illustrator in Philadelphia, his...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Founded in 1971, the Harmony Weavers Guild is dedicated to the making of cloth—a process involving time-consuming techniques. Created by hand, the works of art highlight attention to design...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 2 – 27 Winter Group Show A rotating group show featuring an eclectic mix of artwork including oil paintings, pastels, ornamental boxes, art glass and jewelry. Custom Framing and Gift...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Learn how insects help us tackle everyday problems: they inspire new technologies, help detectives solve mysteries, and play an important role in our food industry. Enjoy hands-on activities,...

Cost: $8 for adults, $6 for children between 4 and 14, and free for children under 4 a

Where:
Hagley Library and Soda House
298 Buck Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Agilent Technologies
Telephone: 302-658-2400
Website »

More information

Come join us in celebrating the mission work of the American Heart Association while raising funds to end cardiovascular disease. There will be a live and silent auction, served dinner with wine,...

Cost: $175.00

Where:
Chase Center on the Riverfront
Justinson Street
Wilmington , DE
View map »


Telephone: 302-286-5704
Contact Name: Denise Griffin
Website »

More information

Celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the Museum in partnership with One Village Alliance and Raising Kings. Activities include gallery highlights, art making, mentorship...

Cost: Free; donations accepted

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

The Philly Home Show will inspire your inner HGTV star at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia from January 12-15 and 19-21. The show will feature highly-interactive exhibits...

Cost: 13

Where:
Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA  19107
View map »

More information

The Lighthouse Inc., Church will be holding a revival themed "Broken and Spilled Out Glory Encounter". The revival will start on Monday January 15, 2018 at 7 pm and will run through...

Cost: free

Where:
The Lighthouse Inc., Church
6 South Railroad Avenue
Wyoming, DE  19934
View map »


Sponsor: The Lighthouse Inc., Church
Telephone: 302-697-1472
Contact Name: Christopher Gore
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 2 – 27 Winter Group Show A rotating group show featuring an eclectic mix of artwork including oil paintings, pastels, ornamental boxes, art glass and jewelry. Custom Framing and Gift...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Come join us in celebrating the mission work of the American Heart Association while raising funds to end cardiovascular disease. There will be a live and silent auction, served dinner with wine,...

Cost: $175.00

Where:
Chase Center on the Riverfront
Justinson Street
Wilmington , DE
View map »


Telephone: 302-286-5704
Contact Name: Denise Griffin
Website »

More information

The Philly Home Show will inspire your inner HGTV star at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia from January 12-15 and 19-21. The show will feature highly-interactive exhibits...

Cost: 13

Where:
Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA  19107
View map »

More information

The Lighthouse Inc., Church will be holding a revival themed "Broken and Spilled Out Glory Encounter". The revival will start on Monday January 15, 2018 at 7 pm and will run through...

Cost: free

Where:
The Lighthouse Inc., Church
6 South Railroad Avenue
Wyoming, DE  19934
View map »


Sponsor: The Lighthouse Inc., Church
Telephone: 302-697-1472
Contact Name: Christopher Gore
Website »

More information

Do you want to learn how to make BEER soap? This is your chance! Join me for a fun and informative class @ Argilla Brewing Co. We will make soap from scratch, learn how to make a recipe, blend...

Cost: 45

Where:
Argilla Brewing Co
2667 Kirkwood Highway
Newark, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Rocker Soaps
Telephone: 130-254-40391
Contact Name: Rachel
Website »

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January 2 – 27 Winter Group Show A rotating group show featuring an eclectic mix of artwork including oil paintings, pastels, ornamental boxes, art glass and jewelry. Custom Framing and Gift...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Come join us in celebrating the mission work of the American Heart Association while raising funds to end cardiovascular disease. There will be a live and silent auction, served dinner with wine,...

Cost: $175.00

Where:
Chase Center on the Riverfront
Justinson Street
Wilmington , DE
View map »


Telephone: 302-286-5704
Contact Name: Denise Griffin
Website »

More information

FREE COMMUNITY EVENT: MID-WEEK WORD REFRESHER Come join us at the Mid-Week Word Refresher every Wednesday at Faith Victory Christian Center from 11:00am - 12:00pm. Refreshments will be...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Faith Victory Christian Center
301 Commonwealth Avenue
Claymont, DE  19703
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Sponsor: Faith Victory Christian Center
Telephone: 302.354.6726
Contact Name: Alvin Walker
Website »

More information

The Philly Home Show will inspire your inner HGTV star at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia from January 12-15 and 19-21. The show will feature highly-interactive exhibits...

Cost: 13

Where:
Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA  19107
View map »

More information

Clearing the mind and learning to think not thinking is Zen awareness. Taking the appropriate action in this moment is Zen. Once you know this in your body, walking, standing, sitting down,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark
420 Willa Road
Newark, DE  19711
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Sponsor: UUFN
Telephone: 302.368.2984
Contact Name: Richard Field
Website »

More information

Why not garden deliberately for the winter season? Bring together a succession of winter flowers for color and fragrance to create a dynamic scene against a backdrop of evergreens, colored stems,...

Cost: UDBG Friends: $95/series or $35/class; Nonmembers: $125/series or $45/class

Where:
132 Townsend Hall on UD's South Campus
531 South College Avenue
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Botanic Gardens
Telephone: (302) 831-4188
Contact Name: Valann Budischak
Website »

More information

The Lighthouse Inc., Church will be holding a revival themed "Broken and Spilled Out Glory Encounter". The revival will start on Monday January 15, 2018 at 7 pm and will run through...

Cost: free

Where:
The Lighthouse Inc., Church
6 South Railroad Avenue
Wyoming, DE  19934
View map »


Sponsor: The Lighthouse Inc., Church
Telephone: 302-697-1472
Contact Name: Christopher Gore
Website »

More information

Show glides through life of professional figure skater Randy Gardner with help from Tai Babilonia and Dorothy Hamill. Wilmington, DE—“It ain’t no Ice Capades,” Randy...

Where:
200 Water St.
Wilmington
, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Millard
Telephone: 302-594-1100, ext. 215

More information

The first major retrospective exhibition of John Sloan’s work since 1988, An American Journey explores all facets of the artist’s long career: his work as an illustrator in Philadelphia, his...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 2 – 27 Winter Group Show A rotating group show featuring an eclectic mix of artwork including oil paintings, pastels, ornamental boxes, art glass and jewelry. Custom Framing and Gift...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Nanticoke Health Services, in conjunction with CHEER and Care DE and the Manor House, will hold a Parkinson’s education and support group on Thursday, January 18 from 9:30 am to 11:00 am at the...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Manor House
1001 Middleford Road
Seaford, DE  19973
View map »


Telephone: 302-629-6611 x3838
Contact Name: Tara Trout

More information

Come join us in celebrating the mission work of the American Heart Association while raising funds to end cardiovascular disease. There will be a live and silent auction, served dinner with wine,...

Cost: $175.00

Where:
Chase Center on the Riverfront
Justinson Street
Wilmington , DE
View map »


Telephone: 302-286-5704
Contact Name: Denise Griffin
Website »

More information

The Philly Home Show will inspire your inner HGTV star at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia from January 12-15 and 19-21. The show will feature highly-interactive exhibits...

Cost: 13

Where:
Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA  19107
View map »

More information

Nanticoke Rehabilitation Services hosts lymphedema support groups on the third Thursday of each month from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm at the Seaford Library and Cultural Center located at 600 N. Market...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Seaford Library & Cultural Center
600 N. Market Street Extended
Seaford, DE  19973
View map »


Telephone: 302-629-6224
Contact Name: Rob Donati
Website »

More information

Arts-n-Appetizers is hands on this month! UWC will be hosting a paint party Thursday, January 18th from 6-8PM. Tickets are $55 per person and include all painting materials and buffet dinner! This...

Cost: $55

Where:
University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Telephone: 302-658-5125

More information

Dara Orenstein, from George Washington University, will lead this seminar which is free and open to the public. The seminar is based on a paper that is circulated in advance. Those planning to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hagley Library
298 Buck Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley's Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society
Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Carol Lockman
Website »

More information

The Lighthouse Inc., Church will be holding a revival themed "Broken and Spilled Out Glory Encounter". The revival will start on Monday January 15, 2018 at 7 pm and will run through...

Cost: free

Where:
The Lighthouse Inc., Church
6 South Railroad Avenue
Wyoming, DE  19934
View map »


Sponsor: The Lighthouse Inc., Church
Telephone: 302-697-1472
Contact Name: Christopher Gore
Website »

More information

Celebrate John Sloan with Mozart’s Divertimento in E-flat Major for String Trio (4th movement), selections from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (arranged by Heifitz), and Reynaldo Hahn’s Piano...

Cost: $30 for Members, $50 for Non-Members

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

The first major retrospective exhibition of John Sloan’s work since 1988, An American Journey explores all facets of the artist’s long career: his work as an illustrator in Philadelphia, his...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Show glides through life of professional figure skater Randy Gardner with help from Tai Babilonia and Dorothy Hamill. Wilmington, DE—“It ain’t no Ice Capades,” Randy...

Where:
200 Water St.
Wilmington
, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Millard
Telephone: 302-594-1100, ext. 215

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 2 – 27 Winter Group Show A rotating group show featuring an eclectic mix of artwork including oil paintings, pastels, ornamental boxes, art glass and jewelry. Custom Framing and Gift...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Glory of Stories introduces young visitors to art and the Museum through a story reading followed by an interactive tour of relevant works of art and a studio art project. This program encourages...

Cost: Free to Members, $5 per child and one adult free for Non-Members

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Come join us in celebrating the mission work of the American Heart Association while raising funds to end cardiovascular disease. There will be a live and silent auction, served dinner with wine,...

Cost: $175.00

Where:
Chase Center on the Riverfront
Justinson Street
Wilmington , DE
View map »


Telephone: 302-286-5704
Contact Name: Denise Griffin
Website »

More information

The Philly Home Show will inspire your inner HGTV star at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia from January 12-15 and 19-21. The show will feature highly-interactive exhibits...

Cost: 13

Where:
Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA  19107
View map »

More information

The Lighthouse Inc., Church will be holding a revival themed "Broken and Spilled Out Glory Encounter". The revival will start on Monday January 15, 2018 at 7 pm and will run through...

Cost: free

Where:
The Lighthouse Inc., Church
6 South Railroad Avenue
Wyoming, DE  19934
View map »


Sponsor: The Lighthouse Inc., Church
Telephone: 302-697-1472
Contact Name: Christopher Gore
Website »

More information

Meeting every Friday, Bayhealth Kent General Hospital, 640 s. State Street, Dover, 7:30 pm., Private Dining Room #3 in the basement. For those who have, or think they may have a gambling problem....

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Bayhealth Kent General Hospital
640 S. State Street
Private Dining Room #3
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Telephone: 800-855-2CALLGA
Website »

More information

Show glides through life of professional figure skater Randy Gardner with help from Tai Babilonia and Dorothy Hamill. Wilmington, DE—“It ain’t no Ice Capades,” Randy...

Where:
200 Water St.
Wilmington
, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Millard
Telephone: 302-594-1100, ext. 215

More information

The first major retrospective exhibition of John Sloan’s work since 1988, An American Journey explores all facets of the artist’s long career: his work as an illustrator in Philadelphia, his...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 2 – 27 Winter Group Show A rotating group show featuring an eclectic mix of artwork including oil paintings, pastels, ornamental boxes, art glass and jewelry. Custom Framing and Gift...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Come join us in celebrating the mission work of the American Heart Association while raising funds to end cardiovascular disease. There will be a live and silent auction, served dinner with wine,...

Cost: $175.00

Where:
Chase Center on the Riverfront
Justinson Street
Wilmington , DE
View map »


Telephone: 302-286-5704
Contact Name: Denise Griffin
Website »

More information

Dover Aglow International will be meeting on Saturday January 20, 2018 starting at 11 a.m.    The meeting will be featuring Ed Thomas, Mid-Atlantic Aglow, Anti-Human Trafficking...

Cost: free

Where:
The Lighthouse Inc., Church
6 South Railroad Avenue
Wyoming, DE  19934
View map »


Sponsor: The Lighthouse Inc., Church
Telephone: 302-593-8711
Contact Name: Barbara Allsopp

More information

The Philly Home Show will inspire your inner HGTV star at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia from January 12-15 and 19-21. The show will feature highly-interactive exhibits...

Cost: 13

Where:
Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA  19107
View map »

More information

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:     December 19, 2018   FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Dave Ruffner Rehoboth Beach Film Society 107 Truitt Ave., Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 302-645-9095,...

Cost: $18-$20

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE
View map »


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
Website »

More information

The Lighthouse Inc., Church will be holding a revival themed "Broken and Spilled Out Glory Encounter". The revival will start on Monday January 15, 2018 at 7 pm and will run through...

Cost: free

Where:
The Lighthouse Inc., Church
6 South Railroad Avenue
Wyoming, DE  19934
View map »


Sponsor: The Lighthouse Inc., Church
Telephone: 302-697-1472
Contact Name: Christopher Gore
Website »

More information

Show glides through life of professional figure skater Randy Gardner with help from Tai Babilonia and Dorothy Hamill. Wilmington, DE—“It ain’t no Ice Capades,” Randy...

Where:
200 Water St.
Wilmington
, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Millard
Telephone: 302-594-1100, ext. 215

More information

The first major retrospective exhibition of John Sloan’s work since 1988, An American Journey explores all facets of the artist’s long career: his work as an illustrator in Philadelphia, his...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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