Harvest Desk

Shots - Health News
10:25 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Scant Evidence To Support Vitamins Against Cancer, Heart Disease

Vitamin E for your heart? Don't bother, new guidelines say.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 7:27 am

If you're taking vitamins to guard against cancer or a heart attack, you've got plenty of company.

Nearly half of American adults take a vitamin of some kind each a day. About a third take a multivitamin.

But are they worth it?

For people in good health and without any special nutritional deficiencies, there isn't enough evidence to say it's a good idea — at least when it comes to preventing cardiovascular disease and cancer.

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Harvest Desk
6:01 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Changing Dairy Industry Leaves Some Farmers In The Dust

Donnie Davidson turns off the lights in his dairy parlor. His family has been producing grade A milk in Holden, Mo., since the 1930s.
Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Donnie Davidson’s family has been producing bottled milk in Holden, Mo., since the 1930s. But the 63-year-old farmer decided to sell his herd of 50 milking cows in November after the roof on one of his barns collapsed from last winter’s snow.

Rebuilding the barn would have cost about $20,000. Then there were the costs of renovating a silo and paying for hired help since Davidson’s children won’t be taking over the business. It made financial sense to close the dairy, and grow crops and build a herd of beef cattle instead.

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The Salt
3:55 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Sriracha Chemistry: How Hot Sauces Perk Up Your Food And Your Mood

Can you name the five main ingredients in Sriracha?
Reactions YouTube

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 10:33 am

Anyone who has ever drizzled, doused or — heck — drenched their food with Sriracha knows the hot sauce can make almost any dish taste better.

But could these spicy condiments also make us a little happier?

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The Salt
1:36 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Wrecking Ball

The Wrecking Ball
NPR

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 3:13 pm

A fast-food secret menu is like Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start for eating: Once you know that it exists, it changes your life for the better, forever.

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Harvest Desk
6:18 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Are Low Corn Prices Here To Stay?

Credit dok1/flickr

The days of record high corn prices are gone, at least for now, and they’re only going to continue their decline, according to projections released this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (PDF)

You can pin part of the blame on the 2012 drought, when corn hit an all-time high of $8.31 per bushel. The dry conditions made corn a limited commodity.

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Fitness & Nutrition
4:21 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Can Exercising Seniors Help Revive A Brooklyn Neighborhood?

Linda Beckford (right) exercises as part of a walking group that tries to make their neighborhood a better place to live. If nothing else, the seniors feel more confident about going outside.
Quoctrung Bui NPR

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 10:57 am

The Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., is known for many things, among them huge public housing projects, extremely high poverty and crime. Last summer, a one-year-old boy was shot in the head and killed as he sat in a stroller in the neighborhood.

But that's one side of life in Brownsville. Down the street from that murder, on weekday mornings, is another side.

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The Salt
7:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Cholent: The Original Slow-Cooked Dish

While traditional cholents feature meat and beans cooked for a whole day, some modern versions, like this one, use vegetable protein and a quick braise.
rusvaplauke/Flickr

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 2:06 pm

This chilly winter, many of us have warmed ourselves — and our kitchens — with long-cooked meals. Roasts, beans, and stews have been in heavy rotation. But there's a dish called cholent that isn't just cooked for a few hours — it's cooked for a full day.

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The Two-Way
5:49 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Alcoholics Learn To Make Their Own Beer In Canadian Program

Tyler BigChild, a board member of Vancouver's Drug Users Resource Center, is also part of its Brew Co-Op. The group teaches alcoholics how to make beer and wine, in the hopes that they'll stop risky behavior such as drinking rubbing alcohol.
Portland Hotel Society

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 6:59 pm

Call it a new twist on the old "teach a man to fish" adage. A group in Vancouver, British Columbia, is teaching inveterate alcoholics to brew their own beer and make their own wine, in an attempt to keep them from drinking unsafe liquids to get an alcoholic high.

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The Salt
3:36 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

How Tracing The Oil In Your Pop-Tarts May Help Save Rain Forests

Kellogg, maker of Pop-Tarts, announced Feb. 14 that it will buy palm oil — an ingredient in Pop-Tarts — only from companies that don't destroy rain forests where palm trees are grown.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 7:57 pm

If you think a small shareholder can't get the attention of the multibillion-dollar palm oil industry, think again.

Lucia von Reusner lives half a world away from the palm oil plantations in Southeast Asia that have become notorious for environmental, labor and human rights abuses.

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The Salt
11:47 am
Fri February 21, 2014

What Sbarro's Woes Say About Where We Get Our Fast Food Now

Customers at a Sbarro in Chicago on April 4, 2011, the day that the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 6:23 pm

In 1985, Joe Sbarro declared that he had high hopes for his cafeteria-style pizza chain, founded in 1956.

"Sbarro's dream is to be another McDonald's," he told Newsday.

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The Salt
2:37 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Trader Joe's Caught In Sticky Lawsuit Over Peanut Butter Pretzels

The Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel: The salty-sweet snack that launched a bitter lawsuit.
Courtesy of Tina Haupert

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 1:37 pm

Among the many snacks you can find in the aisles of Trader Joe's is an icon of sweet and salty goodness: the peanut butter pretzel. It's a combination so tasty, famed food writer Ruth Reichl once raved, "You haven't lived until you've tried the two together."

But the beloved treats aren't just treasures for the palate — they're a pretty lucrative business worth millions of dollars. And now, Trader Joe's is being sued for allegedly cornering the market on the snack.

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The Salt
6:26 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

'Piglet Smoothie' Fed To Sows To Prevent Disease; Activists Outraged

A screen grab from an undercover video released by the Humane Society of the U.S. shows a pig in a gestation crate at Iron Maiden Farms in Owensboro, Ky.
Courtesy of The Humane Society of The United States

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 1:37 pm

Animal welfare groups go to great lengths to show us how "the sausage" is made inside the factory-style farms that produce most of our meat. For the past few years, they've armed activists with video cameras and sent them undercover to document alleged abuses or risky practices.

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The Two-Way
6:19 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

USDA Tells Schools: Don't Refuse Food To Students Who Owe

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 2:29 pm

U.S. school systems should not take cafeteria lunches away from students whose parents have not paid their accounts, says the Department of Agriculture.

The agency is responding to a January incident in which a Utah elementary school served students food but threw it away when their accounts were found to have a negative balance.

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Found Recipes
3:21 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Festive In Purple, This Pasta's Got A Sweet Side

Julia della Croce often couples purple and gold gnocchi (made with two varieties of sweet potato) for a striking sight — and a delicious meal.
Celina della Croce and Nathan Hoyt Courtesy of Julia della Croce

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:02 pm

When you're an expert on Italian cooking, as Julia della Croce is, it's a rare pasta that will take you by surprise. Even with the Italian dumplings known as gnocchi — not exactly as common as your average spaghetti — Julia knows the ins and outs of the dish in ways that many others might not, whether it's made with squash, stale bread, semolina or potatoes.

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The Salt
2:40 am
Thu February 20, 2014

The System Supplying America's Chickens Pits Farmer Vs. Farmer

Benny Bunting, a farm advocate for Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA, in front of one of his old chicken houses in Oak City, N.C.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 8:23 am

After reading Christopher Leonard's The Meat Racket, a broadside against the contract-farming system, I decided to take a closer look at it.

I drove to North Carolina and ended up in the kind of place that supplies practically all of our chickens: a metal-sided, 500-foot-long structure near the town of Fairmont.

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The Salt
3:52 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Americans Want Antibiotic-Free Chicken, And The Industry Is Listening

Do these chickens look medicated?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 6:34 am

In an age when consumers want transparency in how their food is produced, meat producers are under the microscope.

And the meat industry is responding: Antibiotic-free chicken is showing up everywhere you look.

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

World's Largest Oyster Is Size Of A Man's Shoe

It's alive: At nearly 14 inches long, this oyster has been certified as the world's largest. It's also around the same size as a man's size 10-1/2 or 11 shoe here in the U.S.
Wadden Sea Centre

The world's largest oyster is nearly 14 inches long and resides in Denmark, according to the folks at Guinness World Records. And it's still alive and growing, according to Christine Ditlefsen, the biologist at the Wadden Sea Centre whose world record was recently certified.

The oyster was found in October in Wadden Sea National Park, a shallow area off of the North Sea on Denmark's southwestern coast. Its size and shape could be said to resemble a huge plaintain. But when they found it, the Wadden staff compared the oyster to a large and sturdy shoe.

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Kitchen Window
8:38 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Once Exotic, Now Ubiquitous, Bananas Deserve A Bunch More Respect

Laura B. Weiss for NPR

What's more American than apple pie? It's that familiar yellow-skinned fruit that, well, we all go bananas over.

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The Salt
2:44 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Is Tyson Foods' Chicken Empire A 'Meat Racket'?

Chickens gather around a feeder in a Tyson Foods poultry house in Washington County, Ark.
April L. Brown AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 1:38 pm

Christopher Leonard's new exposé on the chicken industry, The Meat Racket, doesn't devote much ink to the physical object on our plate, the chicken meat itself.

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The Salt
5:14 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Justice Scalia And Jon Stewart Concur Chicago Pizza Isn't Pizza

Comedy Central's Jon Stewart has called Chicago-style pizza "tomato soup in a bread bowl."
iStockphoto

Justice Antonin Scalia and Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, are, gasp, in agreement!

Both have rendered scorching opinions on a major national controversy — pizza. Specifically, Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza.

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Shots - Health News
4:28 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Babies Who Eat Too Well May Be On The Path To Obesity

It's great that he's going for the last piece of pasta. Or is it?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 5:48 pm

Parents love it when their babies are good eaters, whether it's polishing off a bottle or happily grabbing bits of pasta. But researchers think babies who chow down with gusto might be setting themselves up for obesity later on.

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The Salt
3:12 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Order Up! Food Businesses Find An Appetite For Bitcoin

Bitcoin isn't just for shady business — it can also buy you some delicious goodness. The Old Fitzroy pub in Sydney is one of many food and drink businesses beginning to accept bitcoins as a valid method of payment.
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:22 pm

Hungry for a Philly cheesesteak or a hot Reuben sandwich? That'll be about 0.001 bitcoin, please.

From restaurants to breweries, to even your local farmers market and lemonade stand, the popular cryptocurrency has inched its way into the food industry, as more vendors consider it a valid form of payment.

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The Salt
2:03 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

California Toasts 2013's Record Wine Grape Harvest

Chardonnay grapes are picked in the Stelling Vineyard at Far Niente winery Wednesday morning, Aug. 28, 2013 in Oakville, Calif.
Eric Risberg AP

California may be stricken by drought, but this month it's also celebrating a record wine grape harvest for 2013.

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Food
4:03 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Old London Air Raid Shelter Becomes Vegetable Farm

Zero Carbon Food is growing leafy greens, herbs and microgreens in a World War II bomb shelter in London.
Courtesy of Zero Carbon Food

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 10:30 am

During World War II, Londoners would descend spiral staircases into tunnels to escape German bombs. Now one of those long-empty air raid shelters is filled with fresh greens.

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The Salt
7:05 am
Mon February 17, 2014

What Honest Abe's Appetite Tells Us About His Life

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, used to cook alongside his wife.
Brady Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:55 am

Most people know Abraham Lincoln for his achievements as president. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation and held the nation together through the trauma of the Civil War. His Gettysburg Address is one of the best known in American history.

But what you might not know is that Lincoln cooked.

From his childhood to his days in the White House, food played an integral part in shaping Lincoln's life, food historian Rae Katherine Eighmey tells Tell Me More's Michel Martin.

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The New And The Next
4:00 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

Super-Secure, Temporary Texts Draw Interest Of Business Crowd

Image Source

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 12:00 pm

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest feature stories.

This week, Watson talks with host Arun Rath about a new texting service that promises tight security. While Snapchat has become a popular way to text photos that disappear after a number of seconds, recent hacks have raised questions about its security. A service called Privatext provides an alternative that has gained interest among some professionals.

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Food
8:54 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Performance Drinks Pour Liquid Fuel Into Olympic Athletes

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 12:13 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You know, athletes burn a tremendous number of calories in competition and training and with the Olympics underway we got to wondering just what they consume to recover from a workout and fortify themselves for upcoming events. So we're reached nutritionist Nanna Meyer in Sochi. She teaches at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and she is the U.S. Olympic speedskating team sport dietician there are the games.

Thanks very much for being with us.

NANNA MEYER: Thanks very much for having me.

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The Salt
4:15 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Drink Vodka, Eat Pickles, Repeat: Mastering The Zakuski Spread

Zakuski tables, like Slava and Luba Frumkin's, are known for their largesse. This spread includes smoked salmon and halibut, pickled green tomatoes, salted mackerel, Herring Under a Fur Coat and Georgian eggplant rolls.
Deena Prichep

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 8:43 am

As you gather with friends to watch the Olympics this weekend, why not prepare what they might serve in Sochi? Try, say, herring instead of chips.

But if you're really presenting food the Russian way, you'll need to make more than one snack. And get your libations in order.

Zakuski are often described as Russia's answer to tapas — a little bite to have with your drink.

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The Salt
5:36 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

For The Love Of Oysters: How A Kiss From The Sea Evokes Passion

Lunch with oysters and wine by Frans van Mieris, 1635-1681.
Universal Images Group UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:58 pm

Question: Which of these foods are said to stir passion? An oyster, and avocado or a turnip? (Scroll down to the bottom for the answer.)

One of these, at least, is a gimme. The stories linking oysters and other shellfish to lust go back to at least the ancient Greeks.

Think of the image of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, rising out of the sea from the half-shell.

"There's something primal about eating oysters," says oyster-lover MJ Gimbar. He describes them as creamy and velvety. "It's like a kiss from the ocean."

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The Salt
4:38 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

When Not In Sochi, Order The Khatchapuri And Eat Like You Are

Traditional foods in Sochi may be Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian or from the surrounding Krasnodar region. This table is set at Mari Vanna restaurant in Washington, D.C.
Meg Vogel NPR

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 6:57 am

We've got more snow here in Washington, D.C., than they have in Sochi, and it's colder. But still it's hard not to dream about being at the Winter Olympics, especially since reports from athletes and spectators say that the food in Sochi is beyond delicious.

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