The History Channel's 'Modern Marvels' comes to Idaho



Posted on August 15, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 24 at 3:59 PM

PARMA -- You probably take it for granted that slice of onion on your burger or in your salad.

Well, that simple condiment has a national television show marveling.

The History Channel's "Modern Marvels" was in Idaho Monday, taping a segment for its new series called "Made to Eat."

This food-focused segment is about cheeseburgers and fries. Now, you'd assume if "Modern Marvels" is in Idaho, they're here for the french fry. Actually, they're here for the onion. More specifically, the onion seed.

"We were all a bit surprised when 'Modern Marvel' said they wanted to come and do a segment on the onion seed," said Stacy Woodruff, Nunhems.

Stacy Woodruff is in charge of seed processing at Nunhems Vegetable Seeds. With its U.S. headquarters in Parma, Idaho -- Numhems is the fourth largest seed company in the world, shipping these tiny black pellets to commercial growers across the globe.

Now, he finds himself in the spotlight -- marveling over the genesis of the onion.

"They want to know any interesting tid-bit or facts about the onion seed. Something the general public doesn't know about onion seed production,"said Woodruff.

"Modern Marvels Made to Eat is trying to take it from the farm to the your plate, so you see every step of all the ingredients on your plant," said Bobby Bognar, Modern Marvels. "It's start to finish...seed to plant. It makes me appreciate a little bit more those grilled onions that are on top of that burger."

As it de-constructs the all-America burger -- the show's been to Texas for the beef, Wisconsin for the cheese, North Carolina for the pickles and now that pungent punch from Parma.

"Why not Parma, Idaho? Are you kidding me? Great onions," said Bognar. "You just can't have a good cheeseburger and fries without a big slice of onion on top of it."

After this onion episode, the camera crews will head to Washington state, ironically, to cover that Idaho staple, the potato.

The exact date hasn't been determined, but this episode of "Modern Marvels - Made to Eat" is scheduled to air in mid-October on the History Channel.