Harvest Desk

The Salt
1:29 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Why Food Pilgrims Will Wait Four Hours For A Taste Of The Sublime

Aficionados line up outside Hot Doug's, a gourmet hot dog diner in Chicago, in May. Owner Doug Sohn has announced that he will shut the doors in October after nearly 14 years.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 11:04 am

During a trip to Austin, Texas, last year, Sarah Grieco and her friends stood in line for two hours to taste the famously delicious smoked meat at La Barbecue.

Before that, Grieco, 25, says she queued up for pork belly pancakes in Seattle, and ramen burgers in New York. And she and a friend waited three hours for the flashy cronut at Dominic Ansel Bakery.

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Harvest Desk
10:01 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Farm Bureau Talks About Campaign Against Federal Water Regulations

Credit Illinois Farm Bureau

Illinois Business and Farm groups are trying to fight off some new federal water regulations.  The groups claim the regulations will be an over-reach onto farmers private property.   The proposed rules would extend regulations streams and wetlands on farms that connect to other water sources.

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Harvest Desk
9:03 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Heirloom Seeds Passed Down Through Generations

Steve Carlson handles some seeds of Trail of Tears corn. During the forced march in the 1830s from the southeastern U.S. to Oklahoma and Arkansas, Cherokee planted these seeds along the way. (Photo by Sarah Boden / Harvest Public Media)

Most vegetable seeds today are bred by seed companies to be hearty and easier to grow. They’re created by cross-breeding different varieties and selecting for specific characteristics. Heirloom seeds are different. Like your grandmother’s engagement ring, heirloom seeds have been passed down through generations. And today’s gardeners likely wouldn’t have access to For many of their favorite heirloom plants if it weren’t for the work of the Seed Savers Exchange.

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Harvest Desk
6:02 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Monsanto To Settle GMO Wheat Cases

Genetically modified wheat has never been approved for farming, so nearly all of the wheat grown in the U.S. is a conventional variety. (Lauren Tucker/Flickr)

Monsanto has agreed to settle some of the lawsuits brought by U.S. farmers who allege they lost money when an Oregon field was discovered to have been contaminated with an experimental genetically modified strain of wheat.

Most of the corn and soybeans grown in the United States is genetically modified, but GMO wheat has never been approved for farming.

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The Salt
4:35 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Could Great Lakes Fisheries Be Revived Through Fish Farms?

Opponents of Michigan fish farms say there is no room for them in the lakes because of sport fishing and other recreational activities.
sfgamchick/Flickr

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 6:20 pm

Even though Michigan is surrounded by more than 20 percent of the world's freshwater, fish farming is largely unheard of there.

But this summer, the aquaculture industry took a step forward. And that has touched off a debate over the appropriateness of fish farming on the Great Lakes.

There's only one company now in Michigan that raises fish for restaurants and grocery stores in large volumes. It's a family business, run by Dan Vogler, on a few acres near Harrietta, Mich., population 143.

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The Salt
4:06 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Sandwich Monday: Arby's Meat Mountain

No CGI. This exists.
NPR

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 5:31 pm

As you've probably heard, the fast-food chain Arby's wanted to advertise the fact that it offers more than just roast beef. So it created an ad that showed a giant pile of all its meats — turkey, ham, steak, corned beef, brisket, bacon, chicken tenders — along with Swiss cheese and cheddar cheese.

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Remembrances
3:16 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Chick-Fil-A Founder Credited His Success To Christian Principles

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 10:06 am

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Salt
1:54 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Healthy Food? Huddle House Won't Be Serving That Anytime Soon

One of Huddle House's signature dishes is the Philly Cheese Steak Tots: steak covered with cheddar cheese sauce and shredded cheese, on an open-faced omelet with Tater Tots.
Huddle House

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 4:41 pm

From IHOP to Olive Garden, most of the nation's biggest restaurant chains have come around to the fact that not every customer who walks through the door is craving country-fried steak with eggs and gravy or fried lasagna with alfredo sauce.

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Harvest Desk
12:14 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Ag & Business Joining Hands To Fight EPA Water Regs

Grass waterway, farmers say would be subject to regulation under proposed EPA rules.
Credit Illinois Farm Bureau

The state's business community is lining up with farm groups in an effort to stave off some new federal water regulations.  

The Illinois Farm Bureau has the backing the of manufacturers and the state Chamber of Commerce as it works to derail proposed rules. Rules it says would lead to the Feds getting more of a say in how farm land is used.  

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The Salt
6:50 am
Sat September 6, 2014

Better With Butter? Here's Why Americans Are Consuming More

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 1:24 pm

A growing number of Americans seem to believe that everything is better with butter.

"I love butter," says Ashleigh Armstrong, 29, as she sips coffee at a cafe in Washington, D.C.'s Union Station. Among her favorites: "Anything from Julia Child's cookbooks."

There's no margarine in Ashleigh's refrigerator. "I'm not going to have the fake stuff," she says, adding that she'd rather indulge a little in rich foods and burn it off at a spinning class.

And no, she's not worried about cholesterol. That's her grandmother's generation's concern, she says.

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Shots - Health News
3:36 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Stinky T-Shirt? Bacteria Love Polyester In A Special Way

The bacteria that stink up polyester shirts are different from the bacteria that stink up armpits.
Getty Images/Stock4B Creative

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 7:46 am

Sure, exercising can make you stronger, happier and healthier. But it can also make you stink. And that polyester workout wear isn't helping.

Anyone with a drawerful of T-shirts knows that the synthetic ones can get sour after just a brief jog, while old-school cotton T-shirts remain relatively stink-free all day. And now science explains why.

The bacteria that flourish on a sweaty polyester T-shirt are different from those that grow on cotton, researchers at the University of Ghent in Belgium found.

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The Salt
3:02 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

A Coming-Out Party For The Humble Pawpaw, Native Fruit Darling

A pawpaw ripe for the picking
Zac Visco for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 1:27 pm

If you've never tasted a pawpaw, now is the moment.

For just a few weeks every year, this native, mangolike fruit falls from trees, everywhere from Virginia to Kansas and many points westward. (We discovered them several years back along the banks of the Potomac River when we ran into some kayakers who were snacking on them.)

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The Salt
9:42 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Across The Country, Fast-Food Workers Rally For $15-An-Hour Pay

Protesters demonstrate outside a McDonald's in Chicago. Hundreds of workers from McDonald's, Taco Bell, Wendy's and other fast-food chains were expected to walk off their jobs Thursday to push the companies to pay their employees at least $15 an hour, according to labor organizers.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 9:58 am

Fast-food workers in cities across the country, from Los Angeles to Chicago to Hartford, Conn., rallied for higher wages during a day of demonstrations Thursday.

Union organizers, backed by the Service Employees International Union, are building a campaign for $15-an-hour pay.

At the corner of 87th Street and South Wabash in Chicago, an intersection that has a McDonald's on one corner and a Burger King on the other, workers chanted "$15 an hour" or sang "We Shall Not be Moved" as they blocked traffic.

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The Salt
2:48 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Chill Out, Pie-Makers. There's No Butter Shortage Looming

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 3:27 pm

As you may have heard, butter is back. Lots of us are spreading it on our toast and even adding it to our coffee. (By the way, we've both tried that, and we're not fans). We may even be thinking ahead to holiday pies.

But over the last few weeks, there have been several reports suggesting that supplies are dangerously low, creating the prospect of a butter shortage.

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The Salt
10:20 am
Thu September 4, 2014

The Science Behind Baking Your Ideal Chocolate Chip Cookie

Turns out cookie customization is easier than it seems.
Tessa Arias Handle the Heat

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 2:50 pm

You like soft and chewy. He likes thin and crispy. If only there were a way to bake chocolate chip cookies to please everyone.

There is! And, no, it's not Martha Stewart's way. It's science.

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Harvest Desk
9:04 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Farmers In Great Plains Work Through Modern Day Dust Bowl

Farmer John Schweiser, 80, has had to take shelter from recent dust storms. He also lived through the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.
Credit Harvest Public Media/Luke Runyon

When the wind picked up from the south on John Schweiser’s farm outside Rocky Ford, Colo., the sky would go black. A charging wall of dust would force the 80-year-old farmer and his wife to hunker down in their ranch-style farmhouse.

“You’d look up and here’d come this big ol’ rolling dirt,” Schweiser said. “You couldn’t see how high it was.”

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The Salt
7:42 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Russians React To Western Food Ban With Pride, Resignation

Customers shop for produce at the Danilovsky Market in Moscow. The food import ban prevents the import of almost all fresh food from the U.S., Europe and other Western countries. What's left in the market is grown locally or by Russian allies.
Karoun Demirjian

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 2:57 pm

In Moscow, apples are starting to look a little worse for wear. Soft cheeses are in shorter supply. And if you want fresh fish from the market — well, you're going to be paying a premium for it.

But one month into the food ban Russia imposed on most Western imports of produce, meat, fish and dairy, the city's grocery shelves are still stocked. And average Russians don't seem particularly perturbed about the ban, an answer to sanctions over Russia's involvement in Ukraine.

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Food
5:38 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Hankering For A Hot Dog? Try The 66-Pound Hot Dog Sundae

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 8:51 am

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

The Salt
5:16 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Perdue Says Its Hatching Chicks Are Off Antibiotics

Chicks in the Perdue hatchery in Salisbury, Md. The company says an increasing number of its chickens are now raised using "no antibiotics, ever."
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 1:42 pm

Perdue Farms says it has ditched the common practice of injecting antibiotics into eggs that are just about to hatch. And public health advocates are cheering. They've been campaigning against the widespread use of antibiotics in agriculture, arguing that it's adding to the plague of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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The Salt
1:00 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Millions Struggle To Get Enough To Eat Despite Jobs Returning

People shop in a Miami grocery store on July 8. USDA says that despite the drop in unemployment, the number of food insecure Americans has not declined because higher food prices and inflation last year offset the benefits of a brighter job market.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 2:27 pm

The number of U.S. families that struggled to get enough to eat last year was essentially unchanged from the year before, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report on "food security."

The agency says that about 17.5 million families — or 1 in 7 — were food insecure last year. That means that at some point during the year, the household had trouble feeding all of its members. In 2012, the number was 17.6 million.

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Goats and Soda
10:01 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Locusts Eat The Crops Of Madagascar — And Each Other, Too

via YouTube

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 10:45 am

For the third year in a row, skies over Madagascar are black with millions of locusts — the insects of biblical fame that gobble up crops and ravage landscapes, mostly in countries where people barely get by.

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The Two-Way
3:44 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

New U.S. Rules Protect Giant Bluefin Tuna

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 5:32 pm

In an effort to reduce the number of giant bluefin tuna killed by fishing fleets, the U.S. is putting out new rules about commercial fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and parts of the western Atlantic. The rules have special protections for giant bluefin — fish that have grown to 81 inches or more.

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All Tech Considered
3:16 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Want To Dine Out? You May Need To Buy Tickets — Or Bid On A Table

Restaurant reservations are changing with technology — now some restaurants are selling prepaid tickets, while others are considering holding auctions.
Richard Thomas iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 4:04 pm

The practice of making a restaurant reservation, outside of a tiny minority of extra snooty places, is egalitarian. Tables are given on a first-to-reserve basis, and then, at the appointed time, diners are directed to their seats and the meal begins.

But reservation technology is changing, led by a new set of companies and some of the hottest chefs in America. And as they offer alternatives to the standard method of reserving a table, the new technological possibilities force us to examine a cultural practice that first got going in 18th century France.

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The Salt
10:48 am
Tue September 2, 2014

There's Much More To Apples Than Meets The Eye

Surprise! This is what it looks like when you cut into a Redfield apple.
Clare Borboza Bloomsbury

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 6:11 pm

One of my favorite Far Side cartoons shows four triumphant cavemen with a giant carrot hoisted onto their shoulders, with the caption, "Early vegetarians returning from the kill."

That's kind of what it looks like every autumn weekend when my better half, Dan, comes home from the farmers market with a half-bushel of apples balanced on his shoulder.

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The Salt
1:25 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

These 5 Crops Are Still Hand-Harvested, And It's Hard Work

At left, a woman holds the saffron crocus during the saffron harvest in Herat, Afghanistan. At right, saffron flowers are collected in Saint Hippolyte, eastern France. Since the stigmas need to be picked from the flowers by hand, saffron is the world's most expensive spice.
Majid Saeedi/Getty Images; Maxppp /Landov

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 10:48 am

Mechanization has made the farming of many crops — lettuce and tomatoes among them — a lot less labor intensive. But some crops are still tended and harvested by hand, and it can be painstaking work.

How do you measure the labor intensity of crops? We thought there would be an easy answer to that, but there isn't. Some agricultural economists talk about labor input in terms of hours per acre, but that may not take into account the difficulty of the labor.

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The Salt
12:51 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Cutting Back On Carbs, Not Fat, May Lead To More Weight Loss

There's new evidence reaffirming that eating foods with fat€” from avocados and salmon to dairy fat€” doesn't make us fat.
eyecrave LLC iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 10:48 am

We've reported a lot this year about how there's a major rethinking of fat happening in the U.S.

Turns out, eating foods with fat — everything from avocados and nuts to dairy fat — doesn't make us fat.

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Harvest Desk
6:42 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Soybean Infection Appears In West-Central Illinois

Credit flcikr/Univ. of Delaware's REC photostream

There is evidence of the beginning of a soybean crop infection in some parts of west-central Illinois.
 
University of Illinois Extension educator Mike Roegge says some fields started
showing signs two weeks ago and affected areas rapidly expanded. He tells The
Quincy Herald-Whig (http://bit.ly/1u2B1uo ) that's ``not a good sign.''
 
The soil-based fusarium organism causes the sudden death syndrome. Roegge says
the organism keeps the plant from sending water and nutrients to the leaves. The
leaves start dying and turn yellow and brown.
 

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NPR Story
3:58 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Mugs Aren't Just For Liquids, Make A Microwave Meal In Them

Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 6:55 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Food
11:19 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Oklahoma Joe's Restaurant Comes Home

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 12:31 pm

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

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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The Salt
4:55 am
Sun August 31, 2014

The Salmon Cannon: Easier Than Shooting Fish Out Of A Barrel

Across Washington State, hydroelectric dams are blocking salmon as they migrate to their spawning grounds. Enter the salmon cannon.
Ingrid Taylar Flickr

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 5:40 pm

Ever since rivers have been dammed, destroying the migration routes of salmon, humans have worked to create ways to help the fish return to their spawning grounds. We've built ladders and elevators; we've carried them by hand and transported them in trucks. Even helicopters have been used to fly fish upstream.

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