Harvest Desk

The Salt
9:31 am
Wed October 23, 2013

When Edible Plants Turn Their Defenses On Us

Rhubarb: delicious with strawberry pie, but steer clear of the leaves.
Rae Ellen Bichell NPR

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 11:39 am

Fruits and vegetables are unquestionably essential to a healthful diet.

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The Salt
2:50 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Coffee Coming Up, Nice And Hot ... And Prepared By A Robot

Briggo's Coffee Haus takes up about 50 square feet of space, has a nice exterior wood design, and accepts orders either on-site or via a website.
Courtesy Briggo

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:19 pm

A new trend is brewing in the coffee world: coffee prepared by a robot, able to be preordered via cellphone and picked up at an unmanned kiosk, perfectly adjusted to your taste and ready to go.

To some, this might seem lamentable: the beginning of the end of coffee shops as we know them. No more huddling around warm cups of coffee with friends or sipping a refreshing iced latte while reading.

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Shots - Health News
2:19 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Want Your Daughter To Be A Science Whiz? Soccer Might Help

Very few girls get the recommended 60 minutes of exercise daily. But physical activity could help with school, a study says.
evoo73 Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:22 am

Girls who were more physically active at age 11 did better at school as teenagers, a study finds. And the most active girls really aced science.

It's become pretty much a given that children do better academically when they get regular exercise, even though schools continue to cut or even eliminate recess time. But there's surprisingly little hard evidence to back that up.

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The Salt
11:51 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Chocolate Fashions Make For A Truly Sweet Little Black Dress

Breakfast of chocolate at Tiffany's? Ten pounds of the dark, sweet stuff were used to craft this Audrey Hepburn-inspired dress and matching handbag, created by master chocolatier Mark Tilling of Squires Kitchen.
Photo: Paul Winch-Furness Courtesy of Salon du Chocolat

If you find yourself sauntering down the runway wearing 40 pounds of chocolate, don't sweat it. Seriously — you might find yourself dripping on the audience.

So warns Fiona Bitmead, one of 10 models who showed off edible chocolate creations Friday night at the Salon du Chocolat in London. Five handlers helped her get dressed.

"[I] had to worry about a dress melting on me!" she says. "I can't say I've ever wanted to eat the dresses I've worn down the catwalk before."

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The Salt
11:37 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Meatless Monday Movement Gets More Veggies On The Menu

One of the meatless dishes prepared at Benson Brewery in Omaha, Neb., for Meatless Monday is zucchini ribbon salad with a dressing made from roasted garlic and tahini, and garnished with green onions and toasted pine nuts.
Courtesy of Vegan Omaha

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 2:31 pm

America's relationship with meat is an indulgent one. At 270 pounds of meat per person per year, Americans consume more than almost anyone else in the world. (Mostly, we have our livestock producers' successes to thank for making meat cheap and abundant for us.)

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The Salt
2:38 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Kansas Farmers Commit To Taking Less Water From The Ground

The long arms of pivot irrigation rigs deliver water from the Ogallala Aquifer to circular fields of corn in northwestern Kansas.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 11:38 am

If you've flown across Nebraska, Kansas or western Texas on a clear day, you've seen them: geometrically arranged circles of green and brown on the landscape, typically half a mile in diameter. They're the result of pivot irrigation, in which long pipes-on-wheels rotate slowly around a central point, spreading water across cornfields.

Yet most of those fields are doomed. The water that nourishes them eventually will run low.

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The Salt
2:07 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Two Bagger

The truth is in there.
NPR

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 4:21 pm

A food named for its size sets a certain expectation. When you order a McDonald's Quarter Pounder, or Taco Bell's Acre of Beans, you expect volume and satisfaction.

Could the Two Bagger from Lucky's Sandwich Co. here in Chicago, topped with corned beef, pastrami, cole slaw, french fries and cheese, promise even more?

Eva: Two Bags are the only clothes that fit me now.

Robert: Should I be worried they got the two bags out of the front seat pocket of an airplane?

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Shots - Health News
12:53 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Breast Milk Bought Online Has High Levels Of Bacteria

A lab technician at the Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast in Newton Upper Falls, Mass., prepares donated breast milk for pasteurization in August 2012. The process kills harmful bacteria.
Elise Amendola Associated Press

Online breast milk marketplaces can be a godsend for a mother who might not be producing enough for her baby but still wants her child to get the the health benefits of breast milk. But milk sold on one popular website had more bacterial contamination than that from a milk bank, a study finds.

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NPR Story
3:49 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Ranchers Wonder If U.S. Sheep Industry Has Bottomed Out

The changing landscape of of agriculture is leaving many sheep farms in the dust. Farms are larger and technology makes crops more economically attractive and sheep herds less.
Luke Runyon Harvest Public Meida/KUNC

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 2:37 pm

Over the last 20 years, the number of sheep in the U.S. has plummeted by half. The sheep industry has actually been declining since the late 1940s, when it hit its peak.

The sharp drop in production has left ranchers to wonder, "When are we going to hit the bottom?"

Some sheep are raised for their wool, others primarily for food. Consumption of both products — lamb meat and wool — have been declining in the U.S.

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The Sunday Conversation
10:03 am
Sun October 20, 2013

Comedian Faces His Addictions To Food And Alcohol

Comedian Jamie Kilstein
Mary d'Aloisio

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 6:24 am

In a single week, comedian Jamie Kilstein realized he was both an alcoholic and a food addict.

He has alcoholism in his family, and didn't start drinking till he was legally allowed to. But then, he became a stand-up comic — a job that often pays in drinks.

"I was like, well, I gotta get paid somehow," he tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "I earned this."

While alcoholism is a term most people understand, addiction to food can be a bit murkier. "After my first week of not drinking, I felt really proud of myself," Kilstein says, "but I still felt like there was more."

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The Salt
5:12 am
Sun October 20, 2013

Unleashed On Halloween, Monster Cereals Haunt Hoarders

This Halloween season, the three big Monster Cereals will be joined by Frute Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy, which haven't been on the market in decades.
Dan Pashman

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 2:11 pm

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The Protojournalist
5:11 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

How Women Saved Whiskey: An Instant Conversation

A woman places labels on Old Crow bourbon bottles sometime in the early 1900s.
Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History

Starter: Hello. Is that whiskey you're drinking?

Let me tell you about the debt that whiskey drinkers owe to women. Fred Minnick, a writer for the beverage industry, says so in his new book, Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch and Irish Whiskey.

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The Salt
2:58 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

A Fight Over Vineyards Pits Redwoods Against Red Wine

Environmental groups are fighting to stop the leveling of 154 acres of coast redwoods and Douglas firs to make way for grapevines.
Courtesy Friends of the Gualala River

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 5:18 pm

In the California wine mecca of Sonoma County, climate change is pitting redwood lovers against red wine lovers.

This Friday morning, a coalition of environmental groups are in a Santa Rosa, Calif., courtroom fighting to stop a Spanish-owned winery from leveling 154 acres of coast redwoods and Douglas firs to make way for grapevines.

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The Salt
11:18 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Scratch 'N' Sniff Your Way To Wine Expertise ... Or At Least More Fun

Scratch 'n' sniff technology hasn't changed much in the last few decades. So the peach cartoon still smells artificial and not what you'll find in a glass of sauvignon blanc.
Text copyright 2013 by Richard Betts. Illustrations copyright (c) 2013 by Wendy MacNaughton. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 7:58 pm

Knock wine off its pedestal. That's the goal of wine expert Richard Betts. And he has come up with a brilliant way to do it: a scratch n' sniff guide to the aromas and flavors of the wine world.

With beautiful illustrations from Wendy MacNaughton, the 10-page board book looks like it belongs with your kid's toys instead of next to The Joy of Cooking.

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The Salt
4:38 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

With Shutdown Over, The Race To Feed Low-Income Seniors Is On

Meal deliveries to some low-income seniors stopped during the shutdown, and distributors are now racing to get meals out.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 5:50 pm

The USDA is back to funding its meals program for low-income seniors. That's good news for those who depend on the weekly food deliveries, which stopped during the government shutdown.

Across Michigan, tens of thousands of seniors turn to dozens of agencies for assistance. In Grand Rapids, where we first reported on the program freeze, a local agency is playing catch-up, relying on volunteers to fill the void.

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The Salt
4:27 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Moms Petition Mars To Remove Artificial Dyes From M&M's

briser50 Flickr

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 10:25 am

If you tear open a packet of M&M's, what's the first thing you notice?

The colors: bright blue, vibrant orange, bold yellow. Kids love this visual stimulation.

But the sponsors of a new petition on Change.org — which is urging M&M-maker Mars to replace the artificial colorings used to create these distinctive hues — say these dyes can make some kids hyperactive.

"In this petition, I'm asking Mars to change to natural colorings," mom Renee Shutters told me by phone. "It's very doable."

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Found Recipes
4:03 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Found Recipes: Dr. Klaw's Authentic New England Lobster Roll

The key to Dr. Klaw's lobster roll is to keep it simple.
Gabriella Herman

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 6:00 pm

Lobster may be a sign for all things high-end these days, but there is nothing fancy about the humble lobster roll. The origins of this lobster-mayo mashup in a bun are misty and factious, but the idea is that it started as a roadside treat, a way to offload an overabundance of lobster quickly and easily.

At least, that's what Ben Sargent says.

"You didn't have to put a bib on, there was no cracking," he says. "You just stopped on the side of the road and had this unbelievable bite of something you just never knew could be so good."

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The Salt
11:21 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Pucker Up, America: Beers Are Going Sour

Hold Your Horses: The main flavor of a sour beer is tartness, like a strawberry or lemon. But many sours also have a "funky" taste that some say smells like a horse blanket or a barnyard.
Morgan Walker NPR

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 9:57 am

Move over, bitter IPAs and chocolaty stouts. There's a new kid on the craft brewing block, and it's going to knock your salivary glands into action.

It's called "sour beer." When you take a sip, it's like biting into a Granny Smith apple that's soaked in a French red wine: crisp, refreshing and a bit odd.

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Harvest Desk
7:32 am
Thu October 17, 2013

The Long, Slow Decline Of The U.S. Sheep Industry

Once a staple part of the American diet, we’re eating a lot less lamb. The U.S. sheep herd today is just one-tenth the size it was in the 1940's.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Over the last 20 years, the number of sheep in this country has been cut in half. In fact, the number has been declining since the late 1940's, when the American sheep industry hit its peak. Today, the domestic sheep herd is one-tenth the size it was during World War II.

The decline is the result of economic and cultural factors coming together. And it has left ranchers to wonder, “When are we going to hit the bottom?”

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The Salt
5:39 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

So What Happens If The Movement To Label GMOs Succeeds?

Labels on bags of snack foods indicate they are non-GMO food products.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 7:09 pm

I have a story on All Things Considered Wednesday (click on the audio link above to hear it) about the campaign to put labels on food containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The idea is gaining ground in the Northeast — Maine and Connecticut passed labeling laws this summer, though they won't take effect unless more states do the same. And GMO labeling is on the ballot this November in Washington state.

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The Salt
2:20 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Here's A Reason To Love Disco Again: Stopping Food Waste

Tristram Stuart, founder of Feeding the 5000, is helping to organize several disco soup events across Europe for World Food Day.
Courtesy of Feeding the 5000

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 5:33 pm

Wednesday is World Food Day, an occasion food activists like to use to call attention to world hunger. With 842 million chronically undernourished people on Earth, it's a problem that hasn't gone away.

This year, activists are trying to make the day a little spicier with pots full of disco soup to highlight the absurd amount of food thrown away that could feed people: one-third of all the food produced every year.

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The Salt
1:34 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Why U.S. Taxpayers Pay $7 Billion A Year To Help Fast-Food Workers

New York City Council speaker and then-mayoral candidate Christine Quinn speaks at a fast-food workers' protest outside a McDonald's in New York in August. A nationwide movement is calling for raising the minimum hourly wage for fast-food workers to $15.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 3:48 pm

If you hit the drive-through, chances are that the cashier who rings you up or the cook who prepared your food relies on public assistance to make ends meet.

A new analysis finds that 52 percent of fast-food workers are enrolled in, or have their families enrolled in, one or more public assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps) Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

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The Salt
10:32 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Banksy's Latest Work Takes On The Meat Industry ... With Puppets

Banksy's "Sirens of the Lambs" started its tour of New York City in — naturally — the Meatpacking District.
BanksyNY Youtube

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 9:55 am

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The Salt
1:58 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Arkansas Aims To Make Edamame As American As Apple Pie

An Arkansas company is trying to cash in on an edamame boom in the U.S.
Will Merydith Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 1:31 pm

Irene Adams cooks supper for husband, Luke, and 2-year-old son, Cole, at their home in Fayetteville, Ark. She used to serve lots of green beans, but switched to edamame after tasting it at a local restaurant.

"[Cole] used to split his green beans and take out the little seeds inside," Adams says. "So I told Luke we should try edamame, because it's bigger seeds and has more flavor, so that's why we decided to try it and he loves it."

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Kitchen Window
1:54 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Tickled Pink: Fresh, Young Ginger Is A Sweet Break From Gnarled Roots

Laura McCandlish for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:02 pm

That pink pile of pickled ginger that comes with your sushi is probably from China or Japan. And unless the slices are beige, chances are this garnish, next to the green wasabi, contains food coloring. So it's refreshing when you first see that cream-colored fresh "baby" ginger is naturally, yet shockingly, pink at its tips from where green stems shoot forth.

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Food
4:02 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Even Before The Shutdown, Food Supply Regulated Itself

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 5:12 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Over the past few weeks, a debate has raged here in Washington about the U.S. food supply. The big question: Is the government shutdown making our food less safe. Since October 1st, both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have had to furlough workers, and that includes some workers involved in the inspection of food processing plants and who monitor outbreaks of food-borne illness.

NPR's Allison Aubrey joins us now. Hi, Allison.

ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: Hi there, Robert.

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The Salt
2:30 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Among The Shutdown Victims: The White House Kitchen Garden

Basil, tomatoes, peppers and lettuces grow in garden beds on the South Lawn of the White House. According to the site Obama Foodorama, the government shutdown has had a dramatic effect on the garden.
Eddie Gehman Kohan ObamaFoodorama.com

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 4:18 pm

The government shutdown has forced a lot of hard-working people into idleness. That includes most of the staff that tends the famed White House kitchen garden, according to Obama Foodorama.

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The Salt
11:08 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Brooks Brothers Steakhouse: How's That For Tasteful Shopping?

The Brooks Brothers store on Madison Avenue in New York is planning to open a 15,000-square-foot restaurant next door.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 12:41 pm

Here's a way to stop hungry shoppers from leaving the store for dinner.

Brooks Brothers, the 195-year-old luxury apparel company, is looking to open a restaurant next summer next to its flagship store in Manhattan, a company spokesman tells NPR. The New York Post reports that the restaurant will be a steakhouse — a fitting culinary accompaniment for the purveyor of fine business suits for the moneyed set, we think.

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Parenting
10:57 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Dodge Ball: Causing Harm Or Teaching Resilience?

A New York school has taken soccer balls, footballs — and maybe even the fun — out of recess. Officials say hard balls are a safety concern, but critics say they're being too cautious. Tell Me More's parenting roundtable weighs in.

The Salt
9:44 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Farm Families Pick Massive Corn Harvest As Prices Shrink

Curt Friesen is a fourth-generation farmer in central Nebraska.
Grant Gerlock for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 1:39 pm

Corn prices are down and the farm bill is stalled in Congress. So there's a lot of uncertainly in the air as harvest season gets into full swing across the Midwest. But this is a time of year when farm families like the Friesens in Henderson, Neb., come together to focus on the big task at hand: the corn harvest.

Everyone in the family has a job to do.

"Like my dad — he drives auger wagon," Curt Friesen says. "He drives auger wagon only. That's all he's done since 1976, I think. ... My wife, Nancy, she drives the combine; that's her job."

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