Harvest Desk

Harvest Desk
6:00 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Drones: Coming Soon To A Farm Near You?

Chad Colby shows Midwest farmers how GPS controls the high-definition camera attached to the UAV.
Peter Gray/WUIS

Unmanned aerial vehicles aren’t just for spies or for the battlefield. Farmers all over the country think drones can give them a leg up, too.

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The Salt
4:00 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Remember Fat-Free Mania? Take Our Survey

The 1990s were rife with low-fat packaged snacks, from potato chips to cookies.
Youtube and RetroJunk

If it was fat-free, it was good for us. That was the message we got from food marketers in the 1990s.

Just look back at some of the food ads from the era. Granola bars were healthy, as long as you removed the fat and added in some sugar. Same with yogurt: Skim off the fat, add sugar.

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The Salt
12:43 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

How Your Love Of Burgers May Be Helping To Drive Wildlife Extinct

Rancher Denny Johnson looks over his cattle in Joseph, Ore., in 2011. Conservationists say ranchers raising beef cattle are responsible for the decline of some wildlife.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 1:57 pm

Many animal lovers have made peace with their decision to eat meat.

But the Center for Biological Diversity has a new campaign that hopes to convince them that a hamburger habit does wildlife a disservice.

"We need to see a drastic reduction in meat consumption to protect land, water and wildlife," Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director for the Center for Biological Diversity, tells The Salt.

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Your Health
10:16 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Saturated Fat Is Back!

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 11:34 am

Americans have long been told to stay away from foods high in saturated fats. But new research suggests they might not be as bad for you as once thought.

The Salt
9:38 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Why 500 Million U.S. Seafood Meals Get Dumped In The Sea

A marlin caught as bycatch by the California drift gillnet fishery. The conservation group Oceana called the fishery one of the "dirtiest" in the U.S. because of its high rate of discarded fish and other marine animals.
Courtesy of NOAA

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 2:04 pm

Seafood often travels huge distances over many days to reach the people who eat it. And it's often impossible to know where a fillet of fish or a few frozen shrimp came from — and, perhaps more importantly, just how they were caught.

Fortunately, activists are doing the homework for us, and what they're telling us could make your next fish dinner a little less tasty.

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Food
4:43 am
Fri March 21, 2014

A Cronut By Any Other Name Is Still A Cronut

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:45 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Little Big's Bakery in South Portland, Maine worked up its version of the cronut, the croissant-donut hybrid. The Mainers tried to stand out, spelling theirs C-R-A-U-X-nut. But the original New York baker sent a letter saying he has trademarked the cronut name, no matter how you spell it. So Little Big's took another stab at it. Now they call their popular pastry C-and-Ds - standing for cease and desist. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Found Recipes
3:47 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

This Simple Stew Is A Battleground In A Bowl

John Currence and Punish Stew may share a checkered past, but so many people in his life have loved this easy, hearty soup, he can't help but love it too — or at least act like he does.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 11:10 am

Ask award-winning chef John Currence for a comfort food recipe, and you may hear him tell a story filled with a hefty share of discomfort. In his cookbook, Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey, he shares a simple, hearty soup that he's taken to calling "my purgatory on Earth — I love to hate it, and I hate to love it." For short, he calls it Punish Stew.

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Harvest Desk
2:06 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Harvest Blog: Certified Organic Food Sector Growing

Credit ams.usda.gov

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday announced new data on certified organic food, showing the industry grew just over four percent in 2013, with a record breaking 18,513 farms and businesses in the United States.

Certified organic food has seen a 245 percent increase since 2002, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service's National Organic Program.  Last year the federal government certified 763 producers.  

The following is from USDA: 

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Food
1:05 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

'Test Kitchen': Have Your (Gluten-Free) Cake, And Love Eating It Too

According to America's Test Kitchen, the best gluten-free flours to bake with contain four ingredients — brown rice flour, white rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch.
Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 10:06 am

It took hundreds of batches of muffins, cakes and cookies before Jack Bishop and Julia Collin Davison — of the public TV series America's Test Kitchen — figured out the best ways to make delicious baked goods without gluten. They also conducted taste tests of packaged gluten-free breads and pasta.

Collin Davison tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the show's normal testing procedures "really worked to help us get at the heart of what makes gluten-free things taste just as good as traditional baked goods."

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Shots - Health News
10:59 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Exercise Cuts Breast Cancer Risk For All Women Everywhere

Researchers found that the more active a woman is, the better her odds of avoiding breast cancer.
Pavel Golovkin AP

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:22 pm

This could be the simplest bit of health advice ever: Exercise reduces women's risk of breast cancer, no matter what kind of exercise they do, how old they are, how much they weigh, or when they get started.

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Food
10:20 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Soaring Lime Prices Put Squeeze On Restaurants, Food Lovers

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 2:51 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Salt
9:33 am
Thu March 20, 2014

French-Fry Conspiracy: Genes Can Make Fried Foods More Fattening

Oh, these look good! But how much the fries hurt your waistline depends not only on how many you eat but also your DNA.
angela n./Flickr

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 12:11 pm

When it comes to fried foods, sometimes I feel cursed.

My husband can eat as many spicy, crispy chicken sandwiches as he wants and never gain a pound. But for me, just smelling the chicken fryer seems to expand my waistline.

Now doctors at the Harvard School of Public Health show what we've all suspected: Some people do indeed pay a higher price for indulging in French fries and Tater Tots. And we have Mom and Dad to blame for it.

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The Salt
9:17 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Persian New Year's Table Celebrates Nature's Rebirth Deliciously

seven items – since seven is considered a lucky number. Each item begins with the letter sin (s) in Persian, and each item is a symbol of spring and renewal." href="/post/persian-new-years-table-celebrates-natures-rebirth-deliciously" class="noexit lightbox">
In every home, the haftseen table is decorated with seven items – since seven is considered a lucky number. Each item begins with the letter sin (s) in Persian, and each item is a symbol of spring and renewal.
Azita Mehran/Turmeric & Saffron

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 2:21 pm

The first day of spring is cause for a celebration, especially after the winter many of us have been having. But it's hard to top the 13-day festivities of the Persian New Year, Nowruz.

Nowruz, or "new day" in Persian, is an ancient festival that marks the beginning of spring and celebrates the rebirth of nature. And naturally, it has a lot to do with fresh, green foods just beginning to poke out of the ground that remind us winter is not, in fact, eternal.

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The Salt
4:06 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Nevada Farmers Hack The Drought By Switching Up The Crops

An alfalfa farmer on the Duck Valley Reservation in Nevada laser levels a field to more evenly and efficiently distribute water. While alfalfa is still the main crop for many farmers in northern Nevada, some are experimenting with grapes, too.
USDAgov/Flickr

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 5:37 am

Take a drive around the perimeter of Colby Frey's farm in Nevada and it's clear you're kind of on an island — an oasis of green surrounded by a big, dusty desert.

Nearby, a neighbor's farm has recently gone under. And weeds have taken over an abandoned farmhouse in the next property over.

"It's just kind of sad, because it seems like it's kind of slowly creeping towards us," says Frey, a fifth-generation farmer trying to adapt to the current drought in California and in the far West.

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Business
4:06 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Beyond Beans: Starbucks Seeks To Branch Out From Coffee

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 5:37 am

Starbucks is testing an evening menu that includes wine at more than 25 locations. Now, the company's chief operating officer says it plans to offer its nighttime fare at thousands of U.S. stores.

The Salt
2:13 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Could Our Food Supply Be A Target For Terrorists?

Few livestock owners consider their operations targets of terrorism. And that mindset could leave them vulnerable.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 6:51 pm

It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster: Villains bent on chaos set their sights on a food company — an easy target — with plans to lace its products with a chemical or pathogen. The hero finds out in time to save the day.

Sound far-fetched? Not according to U.S. regulators who have been pondering such scenarios.

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The Salt
11:31 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Why A Sweet Tooth May Have Been An Evolutionary Advantage For Kids

A new study suggests that a sweet tooth could have evolved as a way to help kids survive by leading them to more calories during key growth spurts.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 1:16 pm

It's no surprise researchers have shown again and again that kids are more likely than adults to spring for something like a bowl of Fruit Loops.

But young kids' preference for extremely sugary foods might be even more biologically ingrained than we thought. Scientists now think that kids' growing bodies may prompt them to crave more sugar — and a child's sweet tooth might be heightened during growth spurts.

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Kitchen Window
11:13 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Oranges: Secret Agents Of The Food World

T. Susan Chang for NPR

For me, the citrus fruits of winter have been bright spots in a long, frost-bound season. The lemons, the oranges, the sweet little clementines, the tart, brawny grapefruits — they glow like miniature suns on the grayest afternoons. As we — finally — turn the long, slow corner in the spring, I love them all the more for knowing they will soon be gone.

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The Salt
5:58 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

A Bittersweet Goodbye: White House Pastry Chef To Move On

Among Bill Yosses' many confectionary creations for the first family: this nearly 300-pound gingerbread model of the White House, on display in the State Dining Room in November 2012. The house featured not just Bo, the family dog, but also a vegetable garden.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 6:58 pm

The first family must be crust fallen.

Bill Yosses, the White House pastry chef, is moving to New York in June.

"Though I am incredibly sad to see Bill Yosses go, I am also so grateful to him for his outstanding work," first lady Michelle Obama said in a statement. She credited Yosses as "a key partner helping us get the White House Kitchen garden off the ground and building a healthier future for our next generation."

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The Salt
2:47 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

A Cold One For Everyone: Craft Beer Sales Surged In 2013

I'll Drink To That: Craft beer sales jumped 20 percent last year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 7:38 am

If you think craft beer is seemingly everywhere these days, there's good reason. From bars and restaurants to supermarket aisles, the selection of locally made, often quirkily named brews has grown at an exponential rate.

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The Salt
1:59 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Thank Your Gut Bacteria For Making Chocolate Healthful

Bacteria in your gut can break down the antioxidants in chocolate into smaller, anti-inflammatory compounds.
Meg Vogel NPR

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 1:50 pm

Boy, it's a good time to be a dark-chocolate lover.

We've noted before the growing evidence that a daily dose of the bitter bean may help reduce blood pressure. There also seems to be a link between a regular chocolate habit and lower body weight.

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Food
4:24 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Red Robin Adds New Adult Milkshake To Menu

A new offering from the food chain Red Robin: milkshakes made with wine. The first wine shake on the menu will be the Mango Moscato — made with wine, vodka, mango puree and vanilla ice cream.

Food
4:24 am
Tue March 18, 2014

BrusselKale: A Match Made In Heaven

A U.K. seed company has taken the leafy look and peppery taste of kale and added the flavor of Brussels sprouts. You can buy BrusselKale now in Ohio and Pennsylvania; it debuts nationally this fall.

The Salt
3:44 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Japanese Tea Ritual Turned 15th Century 'Tupperware' Into Art

Courtesy Freer Gallery of Art

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:24 am

Eight hundred years ago, tea was rare in Japan. It arrived from China in simple, ceramic storage jars. Chinese ceramists churned these jars out with little care or attention; they stuffed tea leaves into them and shipped them off.

The jars were "the Chinese version of Tupperware," says Andrew Watsky, a professor of Japanese art history at Princeton.

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The Salt
6:23 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Don't Fear The Fat: Experts Question Saturated Fat Guidelines

Eating some foods high in saturated fat is not necessarily going to increase your risk of heart disease, a study shows, contrary to the dietary science of the past 40 years.
Cristian Baitg Schreiweis iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 2:22 pm

As a culture, we tend to suffer from the angel-or-devil mindset. Especially when it comes to food.

And for 40 years now, saturated fat — found in high amounts in meat, cheese and other full-fat dairy products — has been one of our top nutritional demons.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines urge us to limit consumption because of concerns that saturated fat raises the risk of heart disease. But after decades of research, a growing number of experts are questioning this link.

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The Salt
1:05 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Subway Flatizza

"Flatizza" is not to be confused with "Flatzilla," the two-dimensional lizard monster.
NPR

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 3:40 pm

Whether it's James Franco writing novels or Pablo Picasso scrapbooking, all great artists move outside their medium. Subway has recently been experimenting with pizzas. The latest is the Flatizza, which is a combination of "flatbread" and "pizza," and is also embarrassing to say when you have to order one.

Mike: Subway pizza is a tough sell. "Five-dollar foot-wide" feels wrong.

Miles: I just don't understand why Subway demands we wash down the Flatizza with a FlatSoda.

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The Salt
11:47 am
Mon March 17, 2014

The Dark History Of Green Food On St. Patrick's Day

Green cupcakes may mean party time in America, but in Ireland, emerald-tinged edibles harken back to a desperate past.
Ro Jo Images iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 8:03 am

Green food may mean party time in America, where St. Patrick's Day has long been an excuse to break out the food dye. But in Ireland, where the Irish celebrate their patron saint on March 17, green food has bitter connotations that recall the nation's darkest chapter, says historian Christine Kinealy.

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The Salt
4:01 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Rethinking The Five-Second Rule: With Carpet, There's No Rush

Bacteria don't wear wristwatches. But they can take their sweet time hopping onto a potato chip.
Greg Williams/Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:47 pm

Many of us will happily eat a gummy bear or cookie after it falls on the floor, as long as we snatch it up quickly. Say, five seconds or less, right?

Well, science just gave us another excuse to continue this food-saving habit, especially when it comes to carpet-dusted snacks.

Biology students at the Aston University in Birmingham, U.K., measured how quickly two common bacteria hop aboard foods dropped on tiles, linoleum and carpet.

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The Salt
3:31 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Companies Tap Celebrity Power For Extreme Vegetable Makeover

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 10:31 pm

Marketing to kids may have gotten a bad rap in the past. Especially since children have been the target of so much junk food advertising.

But it's a new day.

Increasingly, companies are seeing profits pushing ultra-healthy stuff. And they're not using a finger-wagging, guilt-ridden, eat-your-veggies-because-they're-good-for-you messaging.

Birds Eye is taking a page from the playbook of other companies that have had success leveraging the power of teen pop stars: The frozen food giant is turning to Disney.

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The Salt
2:22 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

See More, Eat More: The Geography Of Fast Food

The density of fast-food joints where we live, work and commute could be a problem for our waistlines.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:16 pm

When it comes to avoiding unhealthy food, it might be that out of sight means out of mind.

The more fast-food joints people encounter around their homes and workplaces, the likelier they are to be obese, according to a study published Thursday.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge found that the people who are most exposed to fast food were almost twice as likely to be obese as those who were least exposed.

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