One recent evening, some shoppers at the Countryside Market in Belvidere, Ill., were loading up on staples, like milk and eggs. Others, like Meghan Collins, were trying to plan Thanksgiving on a newly tightened budget.
"My work has been cut," says Collins. "I'm working half the hours I used to work. So yeah, I'm making half of what I made last year."
So nice, we decided to air it twice: All Things Considered's Melissa Block interviewed TV chef Alton Brown last year to get the lowdown on his tips for the best way to prepare your Thanksgiving Turkey.
Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 7:07 pm
It's been a conundrum for pregnant women: Forgo fish out of fears of mercury? Or eat it up to get the benefits of all the vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids found in many types of fish and shellfish?
Increasingly, it seems women of childbearing age are opting for a smarter option: They're eating fish, but avoiding the species that are high in mercury.
Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 1:34 pm
This year, Americans are expected to buy more than $30 billion worth of organic grains, produce, coffee, wine and meats.
Some producers of farmed fish want the chance to get a cut of those profits, and retailers, who can charge a premium price for organic farmed fish, are with them. But an organic label for aquaculture is not coming easy.
Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 11:59 am
Imagine how celery root feels at the vegetable beauty pageant. Everyone's falling over the tomato, that smug beauty queen. The cameras love elegant long carrots and parsnips, and the radishes blush in the spotlight. People coo over the potatoes even though they're not much to look at, because they're in it for the fries.
But homely celery root hovers by the concessions table with big, unremarkable rutabaga and antennaed kohlrabi.
Ordering a pizza may soon get easier in the U.S. — at least if the company iStrategyLabs has anything to do with it. The company's working on a device they call Pie Pal that allows you to order pizza with the push of a button.
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 2:28 pm
Sure, you want IHOP all the time. But what if you want the "P," without the "I" and the "H"-- at which point the "O" is just kind of hanging there? Fortunately, you can now have food from the International House of Pancakes at home, even if your house is not the slightest bit international. We sampled IHOP's new microwavable Griddle n' Sausage breakfast sandwich.
Eva: Now I have something to eat when I'm drunk at 3 a.m. alone at home.
Miles: After I finished my meal, I left a $4 tip in my microwave.
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 3:20 pm
When you think of Oregon and food, you probably think organic chicken, kale chips and other signs of a strong local food movement. What probably doesn't come to mind? Food stamps.
And yet, 21 percent of Oregon's population – that's one out of every five residents – relies on food stamps to get by. And like many people across the country, these Oregon families who have come to rely on federal food assistance program for meals are learning to make do with less as of this month.
After several knee operations, 66-year-old Marilyn Cowser of Greenfield, Wis., found herself no longer able to Rollerblade or ride her bike.
She was advised to try a recumbent bike, but when Cowser went to her local bike shop, she found they were selling for upwards of $1,500. Cowser wasn't willing to spend that kind of money, so she went to see a guy about a half-hour away who builds recumbents in his garage.
"When I got there, he had them all out," she says. "And I got on this one and took off. I mean, I just went."
Author Dana Goodyear has spent a lot of time dining with foodies who champion bugs as a meal. And horses. And brains. Whales. Leaves. Weeds. Ash. Hay. Even plain dirt.
Goodyear, a staff writer for The New Yorker, set out to document the outer bounds of the extreme food culture that has taken hold among American foodies. Their quest for ever more exotic, challenging ingredients, she says, is raising fundamental questions about the nature of food itself and the assumptions that underlie what we view as acceptable to eat.
Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 3:43 pm
New York City became a leader in pushing restaurants to be more transparent when it required calorie counts on menus in 2006. Now the city's health department has developed a new tool for those who'd like even more detailed information about restaurant food.
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 1:45 pm
If you go back to the 1970s, people with a serious coffee habit often had an accompanying habit: smoking.
And that's why early studies gave coffee a bad rap. Clearly, smoking was harmful. And it was hard for researchers to disentangle the two habits. "So it made coffee look bad in terms of health outcomes," Harvard researcher Meir Stampfer explained to me.
But fast-forward a quarter century, and the rap on coffee began to change.
A relief worker looks over boxes of aid provided by the U.S. on November 14, 2013 in Leyte, Philippines. Proponents of food aid reform say it makes more sense for the U.S. to buy food donations locally than ship them across the globe.
Emergency aid, including stocks of food, started arriving this week in cyclone-devastated areas of the Philippines; more is on the way.
The first wave of aid — high-energy biscuits designed to keep people alive when food is scarce — arrived via airlift. Huge shiploads of rice will be needed in the weeks and months to come. And exactly how the U.S. donates of that rice is a flashpoint in a long-running debate in Washington, D.C., about food aid.
Food labels have become battlegrounds. Just last week, voters in Washington state narrowly defeated a measure that would have required food manufacturers to reveal whether their products contain genetically modified ingredients.
Supporters of the initiative — and similar proposals in other states — say that consumers have a right to know what they're eating.
But there are lots of things we might want to know about our food. So what belongs on the label?
A good quince can be hard to find. And for many, they're also hard to define.
Tammy Donroe Inman, who wrote the dessert cookbook Wintersweet and blogs at Food on the Food, says the tough yellow fruits are rock hard straight off the bush, and have a strong fragrance when raw – kind of like a green apple Jolly Rancher.
"But when you cook them, the flavor is different," says . "It's more like a cross between an apple and a pear, with a little hint of an exotic flower fragrance."
One of the nation's largest and oldest children's hospitals is cracking down on parents who bring their kids herbs, extracts or other dietary supplements.
In what it describes as a break from other hospitals, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, or CHOP, last month removed most dietary supplements from its list of approved medicines, and established new policies for administering them.
This Thanksgiving, hungry families all over the country will finish off their holiday meal with a little slice of the Midwest. That’s because the vast majority of all pumpkin that comes from a can and winds up in a pie got its start on a vine in Illinois.
Pumpkin patches are popular destinations for families seeking fall fun, and you’ll find roadside farm stands all over the country. But this is big business in Illinois, where farmers feed canning factories hungry for a special kind of pumpkin that looks nothing like those you see on Halloween.
Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 7:08 am
When Copenhagen's Noma was named the world's best restaurant a few years ago, it introduced a wider audience to the concept of New Nordic cuisine. A movement that swept Scandinavia (and, subsequently, the rest of the culinary world), New Nordic combines the oft-maligned and little known local ingredients with modern technique and playful vision. Reindeer and lichen, meet Thermomix and Pacojet.