Harvest Desk

Harvest Desk
1:38 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Shipping Containers Can Open Export Market To Farmers

Agribusiness giant ADM recently opened a 275-acre container shipping rail yard near Decatur, Ill., in part to export more grain.
Credit Bill Wheelhouse/Harvest Public Media

A huge new rail yard has been buzzing on the outskirts of Decatur, Ill. Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) recently opened the 275-acre facility that would be at home at any major port city on the coast. But it’s in the heart of Illinois farm country because farmers have been taking advantage of a new method of shipping out their products.

Read more
The Salt
1:36 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

This Isn't Your Granny Smith's Harvesting Technology

Ripe Gala apples are ready for picking at an orchard in South Haven, Mich.
spablab Flickr.com

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

In West Michigan, it's apple harvest time. That may conjure up images of picturesque orchards and old-fashioned fun: growers harvesting apples and then selecting them by hand.

Think again.

Robotic arms, computer vision and high-resolution photography are helping Michigan growers wash, sort and package apples at top speeds in the business — think 2,000 apples per minute.

With this modern technology, farmers are expanding production and getting Galas and Ginger Golds from Michigan orchards to grocery stores faster and more cheaply.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:19 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Exercise May Help Knees More Than Glucosamine And Chondroitin

With osteoarthritis, knees become swollen and stiff, and cartilage can degenerate.
Ted Kinsman Science Source

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 8:18 am

If you're among the estimated 27 million Americans who suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee or hip, then perhaps you've tried the nutritional supplements glucosamine and chondroitin. They've been marketed for joint health for about 20 years, and sales are still brisk. But do they help?

Some horses might say yes. The supplements were first tried in horses, and there's some evidence that the supplements might improve joint function for them.

Read more
Business
4:19 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Shortage Of Workers Hampers Chili Harvest In New Mexico

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 5:12 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

Let's talk chili peppers. It's harvest time in New Mexico where the iconic crop has been grown for centuries. New Mexico still produces more chili peppers than any other American state. But production in the U.S. is a fraction of what's produced in India and China, countries with large pools of labor.

NPR's Ted Robbins reports that farmers in New Mexico could increase their harvest if they had the people to do it.

Read more
The Salt
6:49 am
Sun October 13, 2013

With Each Sip Of Whisky, You're Taking A Gulp Of Atmosphere

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 3:48 pm

You know the saying about drinking early in the day: "It's 5 o'clock somewhere in the world."

Well, it turns out that the "somewhere" actually can make a difference when it comes to drinking.

Scientists at Oxford University have found that whisky has a different taste depending on where it's sipped.

Read more
The Salt
4:38 am
Sun October 13, 2013

(Cabbage) Heads Will Roll: How To Make A Food Network 'From Scratch'

According to journalist Allen Salkin, Emeril Lagasse initially opposed bringing Rachael Ray, pictured here in 2007, onto the Food Network – and, at first, Ray agreed with him. "You have this all wrong," she told executives, "I'm beer in a bottle; you guys are champagne."
Scott Gries Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 7:47 am

Mario Batali, Guy Fieri and Rachael Ray are just a few of the stars the Food Network helped create. But what the network gave, it could also take away.

In From Scratch, author Allen Salkin takes an unsparing look at the network's progression from struggling cable startup to global powerhouse, and the people — Emeril Lagasse, Paula Deen — who rose and fell along the way.

Salkin tells NPR's Rachel Martin that while the network was intended for cooks, it wasn't run by them.

Read more
The Salt
5:07 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Women, The 'First Brewers,' Lean Into Craft Beer-Making

Meg Gill is the president and co-founder of Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles. Her brewery is favored to win awards at the Great American Beer Festival.
Melissa Kuypers NPR

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:09 am

Thousands of beer aficionados are in Denver this weekend for the Great American Beer Festival. Some 600 breweries from around the country are represented at the marquee event for the craft-brewing industry.

And while this annual competition has long been male-dominated, that's starting to change.

Read more
The Salt
2:54 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Feminist Hulk Smash Shutdown, Rescue Women On Food Aid!

Courtesy Jessica Lawson

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 8:09 pm

The government shutdown is frustrating enough for furloughed workers, but for families dependent on federal food assistance, it's infuriating.

Enter the Feminist Hulk.

The Twitter monster is smashing the shutdown's threats to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Food and Nutrition program, which provides food aid to pregnant women and mothers of young children deemed to be at risk of malnutrition. And she's urging her nearly 74,000 followers to help.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:53 am
Sat October 12, 2013

More Evidence Against Vitamin D To Build Bones In Middle Age

If only it was as simple as popping a supplement and being set for life. But alas, no.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 10:51 am

It's not easy being a wonder vitamin these days. Just when it looks like you're the solution to every health problem, some doctors come along and burst your bubble. Now it's happening to vitamin D.

The supplement has been widely promoted to prevent osteoporosis and fight a host of other ills. But recent studies haven't found much benefit, for bones or for general health.

Read more
The Salt
6:27 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Shutdown Leaves Some Seniors Worried About Their Next Meal

Seniors around the country depend on weekly deliveries of nutritionally balanced food from the USDA's supplemental nutrition program.
tmarvin iStockPhoto.com

You've no doubt heard of Senior Meals on Wheels preparing hot meals delivered to the elderly. But there's a different meal program that's been put on hold because of the partial government shutdown. It's the USDA's Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

In Michigan's western Kent County alone, more than 1,300 low-income seniors depend on the program. For them, it's a nutrition lifeline: They can't just go to a food pantry for similar assistance.

Read more
The Salt
3:06 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

McDonald's President Was Caught Off Guard By Low-Wage, Single Mom

McDonald's USA President Jeff Stratton responds to an employee who burst into an event.
YouTube screengrab

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 11:11 am

Read more
The Salt
2:04 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

What's In That Chicken Nugget? Maybe You Don't Want To Know

Chicken Nuggets, from artist Banksy's 2008 installation "The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill" in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 11:19 am

Chicken nuggets: Call 'em tasty, call 'em crunchy, call 'em quick and convenient. But maybe you shouldn't call them "chicken."

Read more
The Salt
10:41 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Drinking With Your Eyes: How Wine Labels Trick Us Into Buying

When the Hahn Family switched their Pinot Noir to this label, the wine started flying off the shelves.
Tucker & Hossler Courtesy of CF Napa Brand Design

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 5:34 pm

We're all guilty of it. Even if we don't want to admit it, we've all been suckered into grabbing a bottle of wine off the grocery store shelf just because of what's on the label. Seriously, who can resist the "see no evil" monkeys on a bottle of Pinot Evil?

But the tricks that get us to buy a $9 bottle of chardonnay — or splurge on a $40 pinot noir — are way more sophisticated than putting a clever monkey on the front.

Read more
The Salt
3:40 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Starbucks Pours Money, And Health Hype, Into Pricey Juice

Starbucks'-owned Evolution Fresh says its method of processing juice delivers more of the flavor and nutrients of raw fruits and vegetables.
Courtesy of Starbucks

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 2:17 pm

Most Americans don't get the 4 to 6.5 cups of fruits and vegetables we're supposed to consume every day, per government guidelines. But companies that make juice, especially high-end, "fresh" juice, are ready to come to our rescue.

Read more
The Salt
2:17 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Catcher In The Fry? McDonald's Happy Meals With A Side Of Books

SerrNovik iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 4:12 pm

Fast-food giant McDonald's is set to become a publishing giant as well — at least temporarily. For two weeks next month, McDonald's says it will oust the toys that usually come in its Happy Meals and replace them with books it has published itself.

Read more
The Salt
11:31 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Salmonella Shutdown? USDA Threatens Closure Of Major Chicken Plants

Foster Farms, the chicken processor at the center of a major salmonella outbreak, now faces the threat of a shutdown at its facilities.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 10:17 am

Update: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013:

At 9:00 pm Thursday night, the USDA told us that Foster Farms had submitted and implemented immediate changes to their slaughter and processing systems to allow for continued operation.

"FSIS inspectors will verify that these changes are being implemented in a continuous and ongoing basis," Aaron Lavallee of USDA's FSIS told us. Additionally, to ensure that the Salmonella Heidelberg has been controlled, the agency says it will continue intensified sampling at Foster Farms facilities for at least the next 90 days.

Read more
The Salt
3:13 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Fish For Dinner? Here Are A Few Tips For Sea Life Lovers

A fishmonger tosses a just-purchased fresh salmon to a colleague behind the counter at the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 5:00 pm

If sustainability is a top priority when you're shopping at the fish counter, wild-caught seafood can be fraught with ethical complications.

One major reason why: bycatch, or the untargeted marine life captured accidentally by fishermen and, often, discarded dead in heaps. It's one of the most problematic aspects of industrial fishing.

Read more
The Salt
12:11 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Sweet. Tart. Crunchy: How To Engineer A Better Apple

The just-released Riverbelle is one of well over 100 new apple varieties to hit markets around the world in the past six years.
Courtesy of Honeybear Brands

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:04 pm

Browsing farmers markets this fall, you may find some new apple varieties mixed in with the Granny Smiths, McIntoshes and Fujis. Susan Brown, head of the apple breeding program at Cornell University, estimates that there have been 130 new apples released around the world in the past six years.

This summer, she contributed two more to that tally: the SnapDragon and the Ruby Frost.

Read more
The Salt
11:25 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Meet Dave, A 19-Year-Old Craft Beer With A $2,000 Price Tag

Hair of the Dog releases a few bottles of Dave a year. In September, the 12 bottles of Dave on sale for $2,000 apiece sold out within a few hours.
Courtesy of Alan Sprints

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 5:00 pm

Hair of the Dog Brewery in Portland, Ore., makes a beer so rare, and so sought after, that it can fetch $2,000 a bottle.

It's called Dave. And no, it's not something out of a Portlandia sketch.

Dave is a barleywine — a strong, dark beer with 29 percent alcohol content. It's been aged for 19 years, first in oak barrels and then glass bottles.

Read more
Kitchen Window
12:23 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Your Favorite Beer May Become Your Favorite Ingredient

Peter Ogburn for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 11:10 am

Craft beer is having its moment. Microbreweries and craft beer operations are thriving, and weekend warriors spend hours in the garage honing recipes and sharing test batches. Beer is what friends drink when they get together. It's fun. It's accessible. You rarely see people sipping glasses of wine at a tailgate or a backyard barbecue.

Wine is what people think of for fine cooking — steaks with red wine reduction and mussels with white wine sauce. However, beer has a place on the stove, too.

Read more
The Salt
3:49 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Amid Big Salmonella Outbreak, USDA Says It's On The Job

A salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 270 people has been linked to raw chicken produced at three Foster Farms facilities in California.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:44 am

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a health alert warning that an estimated 278 illnesses caused by Salmonella Heidelberg are associated with raw chicken produced by Foster Farms at three facilities in California.

Read more
The Salt
2:41 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Food Truck Pioneer Battles Food Deserts With High Cuisine

The Kogi BBQ truck near the campus of UCLA in 2009.
Matt Sayles AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 8:46 am

What do restaurant chefs dream of? Most would be satisfied with a great review, a full house every night, maybe a restaurant or three of their own, a television show.

Not Roy Choi.

Read more
It's All Politics
11:06 am
Tue October 8, 2013

D.C. Bars And Restaurants Feel Shutdown Squeeze

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 2:14 pm

Federal employees aren't the only ones feeling the heat in Week 2 of the government shutdown.

D.C. bars and restaurants are also getting nervous about just how long their customers will be out on furlough — and how that might dent their bottom line. While attendance at local happy hours was up in the past week, according to some reports, there are serious concerns about whether that can last with so many government workers sent home.

Read more
Harvest Desk
3:19 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Lawmaker Calls For Labels On GMO Food

A state senator from Peoria is calling for the labeling of any food available for retail sale in Illinois that's been produced with genetically engineered organisms.  
Democratic Sen. David Koehler says consumers have a right to know if the food they're putting into their bodies was made with so-called GMOs. He is proposing legislation requiring the labels and held three hearings on the issue around the state this year.  

Read more
The Salt
12:43 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Limited Edition Candy Corn Oreo

Signed, sealed, delivered, it's gross.
NPR

Nabisco has released a special edition of its classic sandwich cookie, just in time for Halloween: Oreos with candy corn filling. This beats the July 4 special, the Oreo filled with a live M-80.

Eva: I didn't even know candy corn and Oreos were dating ... now they have a kid?!

Robert: When I eat regular Oreos, I want a glass of milk. When I eat these, I want a glass of poison.

(Weirdly, the filling lacks the waxy quality of candy corn, which Robert says is because it doesn't have any quality at all.)

Read more
The Salt
11:42 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Labor-Starved Pear Farmers Buckle Under Bumper Crop

Some of this season's Comice pear harvest is rotting in Pacific Northwest orchards because there aren't enough workers to pick it.
Deena Prichep for NPR

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 12:12 pm

It's always a bit sad to say goodbye to summer corn and tomatoes, and settle into fall.

There are consolations, though — like the new crop of pears. Over 80 percent of America's fresh pears are grown in the Pacific Northwest, and this year's harvest is slated to be one of the biggest on record.

But some of the fruit is rotting in the orchards because there aren't enough workers to pick them.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:11 am
Sun October 6, 2013

School Pulls All-Beef Burgers From Menu, Citing Complaints

Advocates for healthy food in Virginia schools have met a reversal, after cafeterias changed back to hamburgers with additives due to students' complaints. The schools had been serving all-beef burgers such as these, being grilled at a farmer's market.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 1:21 pm

Students in a Virginia school system are now eating hamburgers with additives in them, after officials heeded their complaints about the appearance and taste of the all-beef burgers it had been serving. The burgers that are now being served include a reported 26 ingredients.

Read more
The Salt
6:18 am
Sun October 6, 2013

That Smoky Smell Means Chile Roasting Season In New Mexico

Fresh picked green chiles are bound for stews, burritos, enchiladas, pozole and more. Fall is chili roasting season in New Mexico.
Tim Robbins NPR

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 12:39 pm

It's chile season in New Mexico, where they take their chiles pretty seriously.

Indeed, the chile is the official state vegetable, so it's probably best to not mention it is actually a fruit. No matter what it is, the fall harvest is on, and that means it's time to fire up the grills.

Green chiles roasting over a hot gas flame give off a smoky, sweet, pungent perfume.

That smell is part of what has drawn customers like Lorenzo and Peggy Lucero to the Diaz farm in Deming, in southwest New Mexico, for the past 30 years.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

Pirate Joe's Celebrates Dismissal Of Trader Joe's Lawsuit

"I bought the stuff at full retail. I own it," says Michael Hallatt, owner of the _irate Joe's grocery in Vancouver. Trader Joe's federal lawsuit against his business was dismissed this week.
_irate Joe's

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 2:32 pm

Pirate Joe's, the grocery store that made waves — and attracted a lawsuit — for selling Trader Joe's items in Canada, has won a battle in its legal fight with the supermarket chain. A U.S. district court judge has granted the Vancouver store's motion to dismiss a trademark infringement lawsuit.

After the lawsuit was filed, Pirate Joe's took on the name _Irate Joe's. The store's owner, Mike Hallatt, says he began his enterprise on a small scale last year, driving groceries across the border from Washington State to Vancouver. Trader Joe's does not operate any stores in Canada.

Read more
The Salt
2:40 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Of Goats And Gardens: Making Sense Of Urban Agriculture In LA

A garden in Santa Monica, Calif.
Courtesy of Cultivate LA

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 9:12 am

Until recently, if you wanted to find out the rules for raising goats in Hollywood, bees in Bel Air or squash in a community garden in South Central Los Angeles, it would have been pretty tough — like standing in various lines at the DMV.

Read more

Pages