Harvest Desk

The Salt
2:18 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Are Farm Veterinarians Pushing Too Many Antibiotics?

Cattle crowd inside a feedlot operated by JBS Five Rivers Colorado Beef in Wiley, Colo.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:27 pm

In a barn outside Manhattan, Kan., researchers from Kansas State University are trying to solve the riddle of bovine respiratory disease. They're sticking plastic rods down the noses of 6-month old calves, collecting samples of bacteria.

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The Salt
2:17 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Can Starbucks Do For Tea What It Has Done For Coffee?

A pot of tea sits at the newly opened Teavana tea bar in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 10:59 am

Starbucks, which revolutionized the coffee industry, is now taking on tea. It has opened its first tea bar, and it's creating mixed tea beverages, some even more complex and customized than the coffee beverages we all know.

This first store, on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, has minimalist decor: gray soft seats, charcoals, chestnut browns. Teavana teas line one wall. Beakers filled with colored liquids greet you at the entrance.

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The Salt
4:08 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Heat, Drought Draw Farmers Back To Sorghum, The 'Camel Of Crops'

A test field of sorghum outside Manhattan, Kan., planted by Kansas State University.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 8:07 pm

Much of the world is turning hotter and dryer these days, and it's opening new doors for a water-saving cereal that's been called "the camel of crops": sorghum. In an odd twist, this old-fashioned crop even seems to be catching on among consumers who are looking for "ancient grains" that have been relatively untouched by modern agriculture.

Sorghum isn't nearly as famous as the big three of global agriculture: corn, rice and wheat. But maybe it should be. It's a plant for tough times, and tough places.

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Local Charities Gear Up For Cut To Food Stamp Benefits

This shop in the GrowNYC Greenmarket in New York's Union Square accepts Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), or food stamp benefits.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 5:06 am

More than 47 million Americans who receive food stamps will be getting a bit less starting Friday when a temporary benefit enacted as part of the federal stimulus expires.

The Department of Agriculture, which runs the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program, or SNAP, as the food stamp program is formally known, says a family of four receiving $668 per month in benefits will see that amount cut by $36. One in 7 Americans receives food stamps.

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The Salt
2:08 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Candy Sales Are Flat; The Industry Blames The Weather

Halloween candy is offered for sale at a Walgreens store on September 19, 2013 in Wheeling, Illinois.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Halloween candy sales have been flat over the last few years. And candy makers point to several reasons, including one I hadn't thought of: bad weather.

"The past two years have been plagued with major weather disruptions in key celebration regions," Jenn Ellek of the National Confectioners Association tells us in an email.

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The Salt
10:48 am
Thu October 31, 2013

The Secret, Steamy History Of Halloween Apples

Howard Chandler Christy's painting Halloween, as reproduced in Scribner's in January 1916.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 5:22 am

A Halloween apple bob may seem as homespun as a hayride, but that shiny red apple has a steamy past. It was once a powerful symbol of fertility and immortality.

Apple bobbing and eating candy apples are "the fossilized remnants of beliefs that ultimately go back to prehistory," British apple expert and fruit historian, Joan Morgan, tells the Salt.

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The Salt
2:58 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Why Are Kids Who Get Less Candy Happier On Halloween?

Kids might be more satisfied if they get one good treat instead of one good treat and one lesser treat.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:03 am

What makes trick-or-treaters happy is candy. And more candy is better, right?

Well, it turns out that might not actually be the case. A few years ago researchers did a study on Halloween night where some trick-or-treaters were given a candy bar, and others were given the candy bar and a piece of bubble gum.

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The Salt
4:40 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Soylent: An Offbeat Food Idea Investors Are Taking Seriously

There are people who'd rather not eat food? Yes. And Silicon Valley investors are betting they'll buy Soylent.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 2:18 pm

Back in April, we described Rob Rhinehart's experiment concocting something that could give him all the nutrition and none of the hassle of food.

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Shots - Health News
2:00 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

The Long List Of Health Apps Features Few Clear Winners

He's not checking your blood glucose levels. He's playing Words with Friends.
Anna Zielinska iStockphoto.com

Here at Shots we get all kinds of pitches about the latest smartphone app that promises a profound improvement in our health. But truth be told, Candy Crush gets a lot more exercise than all those medical apps we've downloaded. And it turns out we're not alone.

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The Salt
11:57 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Before Marathoners Had Energy Bars ...

These are food.
NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:36 pm

In its October/November issue, Running Times has a piece by distance running great Bill Rodgers. Among the most compelling of his reflections are the details on his diet while training for the 1976 New York City Marathon:

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The Salt
10:09 am
Wed October 30, 2013

How Much Water Actually Goes Into Making A Bottle Of Water?

The amount of water to make the bottle could be up to six or seven times what's inside the bottle, according to the Water Footprint Network.
Steven Depolo Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 11:22 am

Environmental activists have long claimed that bottled water is wasteful. Usually, they point to the roughly 50 billion (mostly plastic) bottles we throw away every year.

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Kitchen Window
11:03 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Black Sesame Seeds Can Be So Much More Than A Decoration

Rina Rapuano for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 11:45 am

Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines have incorporated sesame seeds into both savory and sweet preparations for centuries. Yet for many Americans, sesame seeds seem to have little more use than as something to be sprinkled atop a roll or a loaf of bread.

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The Salt
4:32 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Community Supported Canning Gets Locavores Through Winter

For $300, a share from Cheryl Wixon's Kitchen will get you 54 jars of pasta and pizza sauces, cranberry ketchups and fruit jams and butters delivered between November and April.
Courtesy of Andrea Hand

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 9:03 am

Community supported agriculture shares are moving out of the crisper and into the pantry.

That's the hope, anyway, of a growing number of farmers and small processors who are marketing local goods under the CSA model.

In traditional a CSA, a farmer sells shares of their fruit and vegetable crop ahead of the growing season to generate cash flow for the year. The farmer then provides boxes of seasonal produce on a regular basis to shareholders during the harvest.

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Shots - Health News
3:26 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

For A Longer Life, You Might Try Mowing The Lawn

Spiffing up the garden may also make your cardiovascular risk profile look better, too.
Lauren Mitchell Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:16 pm

We all know we're supposed to exercise daily, but precious few of us do. And it only seems to get harder with age.

There's a reason to try harder, though. Tacking more years of good health on to your life may be as simple as mowing the lawn more often and engaging in other everyday physical activities.

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The Salt
12:57 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

A Japanese iPhone Gadget Teases The Tummy With Food Smells

Simply plug the Scentee device into your iPhone jack and let the scent of grilled meat waft your way.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 2:35 pm

Have you ever wished that your iPhone could bring you the smell of coffee, curry or steak?

No? Well, there's a gadget for that.

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The Salt
10:55 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Startups Try To Reroute Food Waste To The Hungry

Roger Gordon (left) is offered a box of bananas from a worker who was throwing away the lightly speckled fruit at Mexican Fruits in Washington, D.C. Gordon's startup, Food Cowboy, works with truckers to divert edible produce from landfills to food charities.
Serri Graslie/NPR

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 2:19 pm

In an alley in Northeast Washington, D.C., hundreds of pounds of produce are piled haphazardly on pallets. Mexican Fruits, a discount grocer, can't sell the fruit and vegetables inside these boxes because the food has gone soft or is lightly bruised. Some will be donated, but most boxes are destined for a large, green Dumpster nearby.

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Harvest Desk
10:45 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Income Up - Revenue Down At ADM

Credit ADM

Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Co. said today that its third-quarter earnings more than doubled partly on increased profit margins on ethanol. But the Decatur-based company says its results fell short of last year when adjusted to exclude an inventory credit.  

Revenue fell 2 percent but beat analysts' forecasts.  
Net income was $476 million, or 72 cents per share, up from $182 million, or 28 cents per share, a year earlier.  

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The Two-Way
8:26 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Sriracha Factory Under Fire For Fumes; City Sues

Bill Hogan Chicago Tribune/MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:16 pm

Complaints from nearby residents about "burning eyes, irritated throats and headaches" have led the city of Irwindale, Calif., to ask a judge to order the company that makes Sriracha hot sauce to suspend production.

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The Salt
2:28 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Goodbye Paper Menus? Restaurants Test The Water For Tablets

A restaurant customer tries out the Aptito app on a digital menu.
Courtesy of Aptito

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:52 am

When you sit down at Chef José Andrés' tapas restaurant, Jaleo, in Washington, D.C., and ask to see the beverage options, as I did recently, you're in for a surprise. Instead of a traditional leather-bound menu, I was handed an iPad.

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The Salt
1:04 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Sandwich Monday: Lard Bread

Lard bread gives a bad name a good name.
NPR

There's a thing you can find, mostly in Brooklyn, called lard bread. It's bread, with cured pork baked right into it, and it's not the slightest bit embarrassed about its name. We had ours imported from Brooklyn's Mazzola Bakery.

Eva: Now I know when people call me "lard bread" they mean it as a compliment.

Miles: Hard outside with a ham surprise inside. This is the closest we'll ever come to a meat piñata.

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The Salt
9:06 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Buffett Family Puts Money Where Their Mouth Is: Food Security

Warren Buffett (left), Howard G. Buffett (center) and grandson Howard W. Buffett collaborated on a book about the challenges of feeding more than 2 billion more mouths by 2050.
Scott Eells/Bloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 1:06 pm

Oh, what a job. You've got $3 billion to address society's most intractable problems. So what do you do?

If you're philanthropist Howard G. Buffett, son of famed investor Warren Buffett, you set a deadline: 40 years.

And you move at "fast-forward" speed (that's the way Warren describes his son's pace) to steer the most vulnerable people on Earth towards a future where food production is efficient, plentiful and affordable.

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Shots - Health News
2:27 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Recipe For Strong Teen Bones: Exercise, Calcium And Vitamin D

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:03 pm

It's really only a sliver of time when humans build the bulk of their skeleton. At age 9, the bones start a big growth spurt. And by the time puberty ends, around 14 or 15 years old, the adult-sized skeleton is all but done, about 90 percent complete.

But doctors say a lot of children aren't getting what they need to do that. Calcium and vitamin D are essential, sure, but so is lots of time jumping and running.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Sun October 27, 2013

Possible Listeria Contamination Leads To Recalls In 25 States

Fears of possible listeria contamination are forcing grocery stores in 25 states to pull refrigerated foods from shelves. Taylor Farms of Jessup, Md., is recalling products that include salad kits with packets of dressing due to concerns of a possible contamination, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

NPR's Jim Hawk filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Salt
4:56 am
Sun October 27, 2013

A Sweet And Sour History Of Our Obsession With Candy

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 9:47 am

Trick-or-treaters demand it. Dentists despise it. Pop musicians have sung odes to it.

Love it or hate it, candy is a cultural fixation — and it isn't going anywhere.

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The Salt
7:07 am
Sat October 26, 2013

How A Portland Cook Became A 'Proud Copycat' Of Thai Food

Ricker's grilled eggplant salad with egg and dried shrimp.
Austin Bush

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 9:48 am

Andy Ricker is passionate about changing how Americans think about Thai food. So passionate that he was willing to go deep into debt for it.

Ricker spent the better part of a decade eating in roadside restaurants, noodle stands and home kitchens across Thailand before opening his first restaurant, Pok Pok, in Portland, Ore. Eight years later, Ricker has seven restaurants in Portland and New York City, and he's just written his first cookbook.

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The Salt
4:25 am
Sat October 26, 2013

Fish Sauce: An Ancient Roman Condiment Rises Again

Ava Gene's, a Roman-inspired restaurant in Portland, Ore., incorporates colatura, a modern descendant of ancient Roman fish sauce, into several of its dishes.
Deena Prichep NPR

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 10:19 am

Fish sauce — that funky, flavor-enhancing fermented condiment — is part of what gives Southeast Asian cooking its distinctive taste. But it turns out, this cornerstone of Eastern cooking actually has a long history on another continent: Europe. And it goes all the way back to the Roman Empire.

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The Salt
5:12 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Aging Well: Keeping Blood Sugar Low May Protect Memory

Eating right and exercise are key to controlling blood sugar. So maybe you should skip that doughnut.
Pink Sherbet Photography Flickr

There's a growing body of evidence linking elevated blood sugar to memory problems.

For instance, earlier this year, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that higher glucose may be a risk factor for dementia, even among people without type 2 diabetes.

So the question is, at what point does the risk of cognitive decline set in?

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Recipes
4:30 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Death Becomes Whimsical On Dia De Los Muertos

Melissa Block/NPR

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

On the Mexican Dia de los Muertos holiday, the living remember the dead. Some believe they are communing with the deceased. While it may sound morbid, Pati Jinich, a Mexican-born blogger, food show personality and author of Pati's Mexican Table, says it's a joyous occasion.

"People get ready to welcome people — those who have deceased and that presumably have license to visit just once a year," Jinich told All Things Considered host Melissa Block.

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The Salt
12:26 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

San Francisco Kitchen Lends Low-Income Food Entrepreneurs A Hand

Two employees of Alicia's Tamales los Mayas prepare tamales in the La Cocina industrial kitchen. Alicia Villanueva, the owner, and her team produce 3,000 to 5,000 tamales every week to sell in the Bay Area.
Courtesy of La Cocina

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 10:32 am

San Francisco's Mission District is a cultural crossroads for food, where Mexican bodegas and burrito shops meet gourmet bakeries and cutting-edge California cuisine. It's also home to a kitchen where some of the most promising food startups in the region are getting a boost.

When 52-year-old Alicia Villanueva migrated to San Francisco from Mexico in 2001, she began preparing tamales at home to make a living. She found clientele for her authentic, quality food easily, but says that she struggled to grow the business.

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Fitness & Nutrition
10:27 am
Fri October 25, 2013

How To 'Eat Good' In The 'Hood'

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 12:30 pm

Eating healthy can be a challenge, especially if you're on a tight budget. Host Michel Martin asks health guru and rapper Stic, of the rap duo Dead Prez, for his suggestions on eating well while on a so-called "hood" budget.

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