Harvest Desk

Author Interviews
7:35 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Plot To Poison Famed French Wine Makes For Gripping (Pinot) Noir

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 9:33 am

RomanΓ©e-Conti β€” a legendary French vineyard β€” produces one of the most elegant and extravagantly-priced wines in the world. In January 2010, proprietor Aubert de Villaine received a threat to his livelihood, if not his life: Pay more than 1 million euros in ransom, or his Burgundy vines would be poisoned.

Maximillian Potter first wrote about this plot for Vanity Fair and has now authored a book called Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine.

Read more
The Salt
7:12 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Forget The Fishing Boat: Alaskans Scoop Up Salmon With Dipnets

Using dipnets --€” which have nets up to 5 feet in diameter at the end --€” isn't easy, and the river can get pretty crowded. Robert Carter, a novice dipnetter, holds up the first fish he caught after a day on the Kenai River.
Annie Feidt Alaska Public Media

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 11:38 am

Fishing purists, be warned. This story is not for you.

Yes, it's about salmon fishing on a scenic river in Alaska. But no one here is hooking a prize fish in the remote wilderness. This kind of fishing is all about crowds and slop buckets and big contraptions called dipnets β€” and the lengths Alaskans will go to in order to fill their freezers with sockeye salmon.

Read more
The Salt
3:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Can Finishing A Big Bowl Of Ramen Make Dreams Come True?

At Yume Wo Katare, eating ramen is treated as a path to personal fulfillment.
Andrea Shea for WBUR

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 9:48 am

You can find ramen, the Japanese noodle soup that's meant to be slurped, almost anywhere in the U.S. these days. Ramen shops continue to pop up, and you can find renditions on the menus of restaurants and gastropubs.

But there's a truly funky noodle spot in Cambridge called Yume Wo Katare that serves more than just ramen.

There aren't many restaurants where you get praised by everyone around you for clearing your plate or bowl. But that's exactly what happens at Yume Wo Katare.

"Everyone, he did a good job!"

Read more
The Salt
3:44 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Key Chain Blood-Alcohol Testing May Make Quantified Drinking Easy

The BACTrack Vio keychain breathalyzer and app on the iPhone at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. A public health researcher says tools like this could help people make better decisions about alcohol use.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 6:36 pm

While testing whether a dash of yeast could keep you from getting drunk, we discovered that it's pretty entertaining β€” and revealing β€” to track your blood alcohol while drinking.

Using a device to test blood-alcohol levels, we watched the alcohol in our bodies soar as we drank two beers on empty stomachs. And we noticed there's a place on the curve β€” about 0.04 or 0.05 BAC β€” when the buzz is the sweetest.

Read more
Planet Money
10:00 am
Fri July 25, 2014

When Do Chefs And Doctors Buy Generic?

Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 11:41 am

Pharmacists and doctors are more likely than the general public to buy generic medicine, as we reported last year. And chefs are more likely than the general public to buy generic food.

The economists who figured this stuff out recently published a new update (PDF) to their research, which caught our eye.

Read more
The Salt
4:30 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

The Weird, Underappreciated World Of Plastic Packaging

Food companies spend a lot of time and resources coming up with the perfect plastic packaging to keep their products fresh.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 2:51 pm

Like it or not, plastic packaging has become an ingrained part of the food system.

While it's clearly wasteful to buy salad, sandwiches and chips encased in plastic and then promptly throw that plastic away, we take for granted how it keeps so much of what we eat fresh and portable.

And behind many of those packages that allow us to eat on the go or savor perishable cookies or fish imported from the other side of the globe is a whole lot of science and innovation.

Read more
The Salt
5:13 am
Thu July 24, 2014

With Help From America's Test Kitchen, Why Buy When You Can DIY?

This hazelnut-chocolate spread looks like the iconic Nutella, but it tastes more richly of hazelnuts, says Chris Kimball.
Anthony Tieuli America's Test Kitchen

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 2:49 pm

Even people who love to cook don't make everything from scratch. You might make a homemade graham cracker crust, but who makes graham crackers?

Chris Kimball, that's who.

The host of America's Test Kitchen on TV and radio says there are quite a few foods you'd never think of making for yourself that you actually can. But why would you go to the trouble of hacking things β€” balsamic vinegar, Greek yogurt, caramel, Nutella spread, dairy-free whipped cream β€” that are so easily bought in the store?

Read more
The Salt
5:15 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Can You Trust That Organic Label On Imported Food?

Investigators at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have discovered cases of organic fraud abroad as well as in the U.S. In 2013, 19 farmers or food companies were fined a total of $87 million for misusing the organic label.
Mark Andersen Rubberball/Corbi

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 12:48 pm

Maybe you've wondered, while looking at the price tag on some organic produce, whether that label is telling the truth.

Peter Laufer, a writer and professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, doesn't just wonder. He's an outright skeptic, especially because the organic label seems to him like a license to raise prices. And also because those products are arriving through supply chains that stretch to far corners of the world.

Read more
The Salt
4:14 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Summer Program For Hungry Kids Gets Creative With Food Delivery

Logan Kovach, 6, Matthew Kovach, 2, and Allyson Kovach, 5, eat a lunch distributed by the YMCA in Hopkins County, Kentucky.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 3:49 pm

More than 21 million children get free or reduced priced meals during the school year. But in the summer, that number drops to only three million.

The big question is what happens to all the other children. Do they get enough, and the right food, to eat?

Read more
All Tech Considered
2:50 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Weekly Innovation: Get Moving, While Seated At Your Desk

Cubii is a Kickstarter project that allows users to exercise β€” elliptical style β€” while sitting at their desk at work.
Cubii

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 5:04 pm

This post is part of our Weekly Innovation series, in which we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

Read more
The Salt
11:16 am
Wed July 23, 2014

The Epic 2,200-Mile Tour De France Is Also A Test Of Epic Eating

Spain's Alberto Contador eats a banana in as he rides in the pack during the sixth stage of the Tour de France on July 10, 2014. The cyclists aim to eat up to 350 calories an hour as they ride, and up to 9,000 calories a day.
Laurent Cipriani AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 3:33 pm

The famously grueling cycling race involves about 2,200 miles of furious pedaling, huge mountain climbs and downhill sprints at 50-plus miles per hour. But the Tour de France, now in its final days, is also an epic marathon of eating.

The cyclists now competing in the 101st rendition of the race are burning an average of 700 calories per hour while riding and, to keep their weight up and maintain their health through the three-week event, they must eat 6,000 to 9,000 calories every day.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:13 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Fruit Recall Hits Trader Joe's, Costco, Wal-Mart Stores

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 10:40 am

Fears of possible listeria contamination have led to a national recall of whole peaches, nectarines and other fruits packed by a California company. No illnesses have been reported, but the Wawona Packing Co. has told retailers such as Wal-Mart, Costco and Trader Joe's to pull its products.

Read more
The Salt
4:10 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Glass Or No Glass? That Is The Grill Lid Question

A still from a video showing a glass top grill.
Schott Home Tech/YouTube

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 4:11 pm

We love cooking on our grills, especially in the summertime. Keeping the house cool and avoiding the dish pile up are two major draws – not to mention the flavor of food cooked over fire.

When we saw a glass-topped grill, shining like Cinderella's slipper in a YouTube video posted by commercial glass maker SCHOTT, we were intrigued. But, we wondered, how the heck do you clean it?

Read more
Recipes
3:14 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

A Spicy Take On An Old Standby: This Ketchup's Ripe For Return

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 7:17 pm

When life gives you tomatoes, make ketchup. With those fruits of the vine in high season, All Things Considered reaches into the archives for an heirloom tomato ketchup recipe, which produces a spicy sauce you'll likely not to find anywhere else.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

Read more
The Salt
3:45 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Some Food Companies Are Quietly Dumping GMO Ingredients

General Mills' original Cheerios are now GMO-free. But you won't find a label on the box highlighting the change.
David Duprey AP

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 6:03 pm

A tour of the Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury, Vt., includes a stop at the "Flavor Graveyard," where ice cream combinations that didn't make the cut are put to rest under the shade of big trees.

Read more
The Salt
5:01 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Menage A Trois

Urban Dictionary will misinform you about the ingredients of this sandwich.
NPR

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 5:38 pm

We're in San Francisco this week, and despite an exhaustive search, we have yet to find anywhere serving a Rice-a-Roni sandwich. We're told the next best thing is the Menage A Trois from Ike's Place.

It gets its name from the fact it's chicken bathed in three sauces β€” barbecue, honey mustard and honey β€” and three cheeses: cheddar, pepper jack and Swiss.

Seth: If I only had three wishes I might wish for this sandwich three times.

Ian: The sandwich so good they named a sex thing after it.

Read more
The Salt
3:58 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

For These Vegans, Masculinity Means Protecting The Planet

Mixed martial arts fighter Cornell Ward (from left), chef Daniel Strong, triathlete Dominic Thompson, lifestyle blogger Joshua Katcher and competitive bodybuilder Giacomo Marchese at a vegan barbecue in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Courtesy of James Koroni

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 1:32 pm

Real men eat meat. They kill it and then they grill it.

That's the stereotype, or cliche, that's about as old as time.

At a recent barbecue in Brooklyn, N.Y., a half-dozen guys who resist that particular cultural stereotype gathered together. Many of them are muscled semi-professional athletes, including triathlete Dominic Thompson, competitive bodybuilder Giacomo Marchese and mixed martial arts fighter Cornell Ward.

Read more
The Salt
12:54 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

From Scratch Or Not? French Restaurant Law Stirs Controversy

A new logo that is supposed to ensure a Paris restaurant's food is homemade (fait maison in French) is already stirring up controversy.
Miguel Medina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 4:04 pm

If you go to France this summer, you might notice a new logo in restaurant windows or on menus. It's a simple graphic of a rooftop covering a saucepan, and it's supposed to designate fait maison, or homemade. It's designed to highlight places that make their own dishes rather than bringing in frozen or sous vide β€” prepared meals cooked in a water bath, sealed in airtight plastic bags and designed to be heated up later.

Read more
Food
6:52 am
Mon July 21, 2014

To Save These Pigs, Ky. Farmer Says We Have To Eat Them

Kentucky hog farmer Travis Hood with Luther, a young Red Wattle boar. Hood started raising Red Wattles five years ago after cuts to his job, and began turning a profit on the meat in February.
Courtesy of Hood's Heritage Hogs

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 1:54 pm

Robertson County has the smallest population of any county in the state of Kentucky, and it's the only one, word has it, without a stoplight.

So it's an unlikely place to find a campaign to keep the food system more genetically diverse. But that is exactly what's happening on a small farm owned by Travis Hood, called Hood's Heritage Hogs.

Read more
My Big Break
4:31 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Fitness Trainer Shaun T: 'I Understand Why You Feel Weak'

Shaun Blokker, known as Shaun T, is the man behind the fitness programs Hip Hop Abs and Insanity.
Derek Baron

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 1:43 pm

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Read more
The Salt
11:20 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Deploying Drones To Get An Overview Of Factory Farms

The drone in Potter's promotional video on Kickstarter. "Now I'm looking at other models (and a second drone) because some people have threatened to shoot it down," Potter says.
via Kickstarter

An independent journalist says he's found a way around the so-called "ag-gag" laws by flying drones over large livestock operations to document animal welfare problems and pollution.

Will Potter, a Washington D.C.-based author and blogger, recently raised $75,000 on Kickstarter to buy the drones and other equipment to investigate animal agriculture in the U.S.

Read more
Harvest Desk
1:46 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Crop Insurance Programs Subject Of Intense Farm Bill Lobbying

Mark Crawford stands at his farm near Danville, Ill. Crawford, who grows corn, soybeans and wheat on his large farm, said the crop insurance programs are important parts of the risk-management safety net for farmers. (Darrell Hoemann/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting)

After two years of debate, the U.S. Congress passed a Farm Bill this year that replaced direct subsidies to farmers with an ever increasing multi-billion dollar federal crop insurance program.

During that time, at least 80 groups spent more than $50 million in lobbying efforts that included ensuring their interests in the often criticized program were well-represented.

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
7:34 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Not My Job: French Laundry Chef Thomas Keller Gets Quizzed On Actual Laundry

Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 11:10 am

Twenty years ago, chef Thomas Keller bought a little restaurant in Napa Valley called The French Laundry and transformed it into one of the finest restaurants in the country. He's inspired countless other chefs, consulted on the film Ratatouille, opened other award-winning restaurants, and convinced people to pay $100 for a corn pudding appetizer.

Read more
The Salt
5:31 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

White House Fetes 54 Kids With Serious Cooking Chops

Cody Vasquez, 11, is from Arizona. His winning dish was shrimp tacos with watermelon jicama salad.
Jeff Elkins for Epicurious

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 2:20 am

It's not easy to snag an invite to a White House State Dinner.

So, imagine how 54 children β€” one from each state, U.S. territory and the District of Columbia β€” felt being honored in the elegant East Room by the President and first lady at an event Friday afternoon billed as a Kids State Dinner.

The pee-wee honorees were the winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a nationwide recipe contest for kids tied to the first lady's Let's Move Campaign. The event was co-sponsored by the food site Epicurious.

Read more
The Salt
11:01 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Soylent DIYers Sell Their Own Versions Of The Powdered Food

Soylent CEO Rob Rhinehart holds a bag of finished product in September 2013. Rhinehart recently discouraged members of the company's DIY online community from competing directly with Soylent.
Josh Edelson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 4:35 pm

When Rob Rhinehart first created Soylent –– a powdered, synthetic food product made of industrial nutrients and oils –– he was a San Francisco techie trying to sustain himself cheaply without the inconveniences of grocery shopping, cooking or even eating.

Read more
TED Radio Hour
8:08 am
Fri July 18, 2014

What Does It Take To Dive Into Dangerous Waters?

"When I stand on that shore, the main thing is, I want that destination, I want it" β€” Diana Nyad
Marla Aufmuth TED

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 1:35 pm

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Champions.

About Diana Nyad's TedTalk

In pitch-black, stung by jellyfish, choking on salt water, hallucinating, Diana Nyad kept swimming. She describes the journey of her historic 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida, at age 64.

About Diana Nyad

Read more
Goats and Soda
5:41 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Sizing Down Food Waste: What's The Worst Thing To Toss?

Throwing out a pound of boneless beef effectively wastes 24 times more calories than throwing out a pound of vegetables or grains. Egg and dairy products fall somewhere between the two extremes.
Morgan Walker NPR

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:11 pm

Sometimes I feel like a broken record at home: "Let's eat the leftovers for dinner, so they don't go to waste,"

But inevitably, Sunday night's pasta and meatballs get tossed out of the refrigerator to make way for Friday night's pizza.

Now scientists at the University of Minnesota offer up another reason to put those leftover meatballs in the tummy instead of the garbage: There are hidden calories in the beef that go to waste when you toss it.

Read more
The Salt
4:55 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

QUIZ: Which Of These State Fair Foods Are Faux?

Deep-fried breakfast on-a-stick is a new food at this year's Minnesota State Fair. It contains American and Swiss cheeses, a sausage patty, one egg and Canadian bacon sandwiched between two pancakes, then dipped in a light, sweet batter and deep-fried on a stick.
Courtesy of Minnesota State Fair

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

It is the season of state fairs, when you may have a chance to expand your palate or test your gag reflex at the concession stands. (Once you're stuffed, maybe you'll get to admire a butter sculpture.)

Read more
Harvest Desk
4:47 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Decatur Vies For Ag Research Center

Credit Richland Community College

Decatur is among the finalists for a national agriculture research center. Β 

The (Decatur) Herald & Review reports Thursday (http://bit.ly/1yyldBp ) that the National Corn Growers Association wants to create a facility to support and develop farming research. Β 

Richard Vierling is head of the Corn Growers research and development team. He said Thursday that Fargo, North Dakota, is the other city in the running for the National Agriculture Genotyping Center. Β 
The facility would translate scientific discoveries into production improvement. Β 

Read more
The Salt
5:07 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

This Dirty Little Weed May Have Cleaned Up Ancient Teeth

This young male, buried at a prehistoric site in Central Sudan, probably munched on the roots of a plant called purple nutsedge.
Donatella Usai Centro Studi Sudanesi and Sub-Sahariani

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 4:35 pm

The menus of millennia past can be tough to crack, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables. For archaeologists studying a prehistoric site in Sudan, dental plaque provided a hint.

"When you eat, you get this kind of film of dental plaque over your teeth," says Karen Hardy, an archaeologist with the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.

Read more

Pages