Harvest Desk

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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Faith Matters
11:01 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Grilled Cactus, Rice Soup, And Other Food For Lent

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 11:27 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Salt
6:03 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

States' Rebellion Against Food Stamp Cuts Grows

States are taking an out provided by Congress to avoid cutting food stamp benefits to families, many of whom already depend on food banks like the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Calif.
Antonio Mena Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 12:41 pm

When Congress passed a farm bill earlier this year, it expected to save $8.6 billion over 10 years by tightening what many say is a loophole in the food stamp, or SNAP, program. But it's not going to happen.

You see, Congress left states an opening to avoid the cuts. And so far, nearly half of the states participating have decided to take that option — a move that could erase the promised savings.

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The Salt
1:44 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Top 5 Ways Asparagus, A Rite Of Spring, Can Still Surprise

From the botanical to the economic, spring's iconic vegetable still harbors surprises.
Sharon Mollerus/Flickr

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:35 pm

As the snow melts, even in Minnesota, and daylight lingers into evening, people who like to eat with the seasons know what's coming: asparagus.

"Asparagus means the beginning of spring. It's spring!" says Nora Pouillon, chef and founder of Restaurant Nora in Washington, D.C. Later this month, she'll revise her menu, and it will certainly include asparagus with salmon, and asparagus soup.

It's an elegant vegetable, Pouillon says, and unique: "Sweet and bitter at the same time."

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The Salt
12:34 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

A Major In Coffee? UC Davis Might Be Brewing One Up

The University of California, Davis, recently founded a Coffee Center dedicated to the study of the beloved brew.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:22 pm

Many of us have those friends who insist that they're coffee connoisseurs and drink exclusively drip brews. But really, there aren't many academic programs that train people in the taste and science of coffee.

That might all change soon. The University of California, Davis, recently founded a Coffee Center dedicated to the study of the world of java. This week, the center held its first research conference.

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The Salt
9:47 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Advice For Eating Well On A Tight Budget, From A Mom Who's Been There

The Arcadia Mobile Market Seasonal Cookbook. A former recipient of government food assistance, she now teaches healthy eating skills to low-income families in Washington, D.C." href="/post/advice-eating-well-tight-budget-mom-whos-been-there" class="noexit lightbox">
JuJu Harris is the author of The Arcadia Mobile Market Seasonal Cookbook. A former recipient of government food assistance, she now teaches healthy eating skills to low-income families in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of Molly M. Peterson

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

JuJu Harris didn't set out to write a cookbook, but then again, she didn't set out to accept public assistance to feed her son, either. Harris always wanted to work with nature.

"My dream job was, I was going to grow up and be a national park ranger," she says. It didn't quite work out that way. She drifted from job to job in Oakland, Calif., where she was born. At 32, she joined the Peace Corps, traveling to Paraguay to help local farmers improve their crops.

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NPR Story
4:05 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Wake Up And Smell The Caffeine. It's A Powerful Drug

We love our morning coffee, but what's really in that piping hot cup of java? It's a powerful drug called caffeine.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 7:31 am

Many of us can barely make it through the morning without first downing a cup of hot coffee. It's become such a big part of our daily rituals that few actually give much thought to what it is that we're putting in our bodies.

To help us break down the little-known things about caffeine, NPR's David Greene spoke with Murray Carpenter, author of Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts and Hooks Us. These are the things you probably aren't thinking about as you wait in line at your local coffee shop.

Caffeine is a drug. Treat it as such.

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The Salt
1:17 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Water-To-Wine Machine Sound Too Good To Be True? It Is

Philip James, Chairman of CustomVine, and Kevin Boyer, President and CEO of CustomVine, film a video to promote The Miracle Machine, which turns water into wine with the use of an app.
Courtesy of The Miracle Machine

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 3:01 pm

Think a machine that can turn water into wine is too good to be true? Well, it turns out, it is.

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The Salt
11:39 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Who Says Food Porn Has To Be Dominated By Junk Food?

Relax with Food Porn Index's "melon meditation." Om ...
Courtesy of Bolthouse Farms

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 4:51 pm

It's one of our guiltiest pleasures on the Internet, and though some of us may not like to admit it, chances are, we've done it. Some are even addicted. That's right, we're talking about the endless consumption and distribution of food porn.

Photos of fatty foods like grease-laced bacon and glistening donuts abound to satisfy our virtual cravings, yet their healthier counterparts — fruits and veggies – just haven't been getting as much love online.

But why should the junk food guys have all the fun?

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Kitchen Window
7:37 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Spirited Sweets For St. Patrick's (Or Any) Day

Laura B. Weiss for NPR

On Saint Patrick's Day, often the first order of business is to raise a glass to the Irish with a frosty mug of green beer. You might also savor a slice of Irish soda bread, rich with raisins and caraway seeds, or tuck into a hearty dish of corned beef and cabbage.

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Harvest Desk
5:25 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Padlock The Milk! The FDA's Push To Safeguard The Food Supply

Milk is an extremely popular item on the University of Missouri campus, says purchasing coordinator Sandy Perley. "Our entire campus in a year drinks about 96,000 gallons of milk. And by our best calculation, that’s about 326 gallons a day."
Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Many of the food terrorism scenarios outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration involve liquid.

And there’s good reason for that.

Liquids like orange juice and milk go through many processing steps -- farm, bottling plant, delivery – before reaching the consumers who drink them. And these liquids are moved, manufactured and stored in huge batches that get distributed and consumed quickly. Should a toxin be injected somewhere along the supply chain, experts believe it could have devastating human health and economic consequences.

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Shots - Health News
4:53 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Obesity Linked To Lower Grades Among Teen Girls

In a British study of nearly 6,000 students, obesity — or perhaps dealing with the stigma associated with obesity — seemed to reduce academic performance.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 7:23 am

Childhood obesity has made it to the forefront of public health issues, both in the United Kingdom and in the United States.

Now researchers at the Universities of Dundee, Strathclyde, Georgia and Bristol say that not only does obesity affect a child's overall health, but it may also lead to poorer school performance among teenage girls. Among boys, the link is less apparent.

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The Salt
4:10 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Save The Escargot! Snail-Devouring Predator Rears Its Head In France

A specimen of Platydemus manokwari collected in a greenhouse at Caen in Normandy. You can see its white pharynx protruding from the underside, ingesting soft tissues of a specimen of the Mediterranean snail.
Pierre Gros/PeerJ

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 6:06 pm

Oh, no, not the escargot!

A vicious little worm with an appetite for snails has made its European debut. And that has some scientists worried about the future of France's famed mollusk appetizer.

The New Guinea flatworm (Platydemus manokwari) is the lone worm on the Global Invasive Species Database's list of 100 of the world's most dangerous invaders. And last November, it was discovered in a greenhouse in Caen, Normandy.

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The Salt
1:25 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

For A Faster-Aged Bourbon, You Need The Motion Of The Ocean

Jefferson's Ocean bourbon is aged on the high seas, a technique that takes advantage of basic physical chemistry. The bottles sell for $200 a piece.
Courtesy of OCEARCH

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 9:48 am

From its earliest days as America's homegrown whiskey elixir, Kentucky bourbon has been traveling on boats.

In fact, boats were a key reason why Kentucky became the king of bourbon. In the late 1700s, trade depended on waterways, and distillers in the state had a big advantage: the Ohio River. They'd load their barrels onto flatboats on the Ohio, which flowed into the Mississippi, taking their golden liquor as far down as New Orleans.

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Harvest Desk
12:45 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Could Our Food Supply Be A Target For Terrorism?

A bioterror attack that introduced a virus like foot-and-mouth disease could devastate the U.S. livestock industry. Regulators are proposing new rules meant to protect the food system from terror attack.
Credit Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media

It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster. Villains in trench coats scheme ways to cause the most destruction and chaos. They settle on a food company, an easy target, and plan to lace the products with a chemical or pathogen. The hero finds out the plan with enough time to save the day.

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