Harvest Desk

The Salt
4:21 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Hot Sauce Art: LA Museum Honors Sriracha and Tapatio

Audrey Chan's Proposal for a Mural Dedicated to David Tran.
Courtesy of the Chinese American Museum

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:46 pm

You can find bottles of Sriracha and Tapatio, two of America's most popular hot sauces, sharing space with the ketchup and mayo in millions of American refrigerators, on the shelves of supermarkets and adorning the tables of restaurants across the country.

And until July 12, the fiery condiments are conquering yet another space: the walls of a museum.

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Harvest Desk
1:07 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Is Corn Dust Killing Bees?

Bees at these hives near a corn field in Cherokee, Iowa, must pass through a yellow plastic trap that scrapes off a bit of pollen. Researchers are studying whether insecticide-coated seeds could be harming the bee population.
Credit Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Nathan Anderson stops his red pick-up truck alongside a cornfield on his farm near Cherokee, Iowa. The young farmer pulls on a heavy brown hoodie, thick, long, sturdy gloves and a beekeeper’s hat with a screened veil. He approaches a pair of hives sitting on the edge of a field recently planted with corn and adjusts a yellow plastic flap that traps some of the pollen the bees bring back to their hive.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:43 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Coming Soon: A Summer Of Ugly Fruits And Vegetables

This romaine lettuce growing in California looks pretty now. But how much of it will be discarded as waste before the unblemished plants go on display at the grocery store?
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 2:02 pm

If you're like me, when you're buying fruits and vegetables to cook or make a salad with, you seek the most aesthetically appealing examples: the unblemished apple, the bright-red tomato, the zesty looking leaves of spinach.

But I'm reforming my ways. This summer, I'll be looking for ugly produce instead.

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The Salt
8:22 am
Thu May 29, 2014

You Can Thank 150 Different Compounds For The Sweet Smell Of Bacon

A screenshot of the Why Does Bacon Smell So Good video.
American Chemical Society/YouTube

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 7:43 am

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Shots - Health News
12:13 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

American Teens Are Becoming Even Wimpier Than Before

Pickup basketball may be losing out to computer games.
johnrf2/iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 1:50 pm

If you think that teenagers are becoming weaklings, you're right.

Less than half of youths ages 12 to 15 are even close to being aerobically fit, according to data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That's down from 52 percent of youths in 1999 to 2000, the last time this survey was conducted. It measures "adequate" levels of cardiorespiratory fitness, which children need not only for sports but for good health.

And that was true regardless of a child's race and family income.

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The Salt
12:06 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Big Breweries Move Into Small Beer Town — And Business Is Hopping

John Stuart (left) of Green Man Brewery grabs a Tater Ridge mash sample from Sierra Nevada's Scott Jennings (center) at the Sierra Nevada brewery in Mills River, N.C.
Courtesy of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 2:53 pm

With more breweries per capita than any U.S. city, Asheville, N.C., has become a sort of Napa Valley of beer.

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The Salt
9:41 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Could Diet Soda Really Be Better Than Water For Weight Loss?

Better than water for losing weight? A study funded by the beverage industry says yes.
Bradley Gordon/Flickr

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 7:43 am

Answering the question of whether diet soda helps or hinders dieters' efforts to lose weight has been the focus of much research. And buzz.

Unfortunately, the answer is still murky.

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Food
5:45 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Reverse Food Truck Caters To Hunger Relief Programs

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Food trucks are becoming increasingly popular in cities across this country, as people line up on sidewalks for everything from tacos to barbecue to sushi. This summer in Minnesota's Twin Cities, a new kind of food truck is on the streets. It's the brainchild of entrepreneurs who were aiming to satisfy a different kind of hunger. From Minneapolis, Jess Mador reports.

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The Salt
2:30 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Want Your Cheese To Age Gracefully? Cowgirl Creamery's Got Tips

Sue Conley (left) and Peggy Smith, co-founders of Cowgirl Creamery, prepare their chilled leek and asparagus soup with creme fraiche and fresh ricotta at Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station, Calif.
Tim Hussin for NPR

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 10:27 am

In the world of cheese, much like in the world of wine, the ultimate mark of success is acceptance by the French. That's exactly what happened to Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, co-founders of Cowgirl Creamery in northern California.

In 2010, when they were inducted into the prestigious Guilde des Fromagers, they were among the first wave of American cheesemakers to join its ranks.

Cowgirl Creamery also put out its first cookbook in late 2013.

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The Salt
3:44 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

First Lady Fights To Keep Healthful School Lunch Law Intact

First lady Michelle Obama has been doing a lot of high-fiving with schoolchildren like these in Dallas to promote healthful lifestyles. Now she's diving more deeply into the politics of school lunch.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 6:58 pm

First lady Michelle Obama is by far one of the most popular political figures in America, because she's largely avoided appearing too political — instead devoting much of her attention to encouraging good nutrition and healthful lifestyles for America's children.

But that cause has run head-on into a congressional fight over stalling some of the nutritional gains of the school lunch program, which she helped put in place.

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Around the Nation
3:17 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

High School Coach Sports A Running Streak Even Forrest Gump Would Envy

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 6:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: And I'm Melissa Block. Every day for the last 45 years - that's 16,438 days straight - Jon Sutherland has laced up his running shoes or, sometimes, gone barefoot and run at least one mile, but often much more. Today, the 63-year-old Sutherland broke the record for the longest running streak in the U.S. He ran three miles in Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks Park in Los Angeles.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVAL RECORDING)

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The Salt
2:58 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Paleo For Dogs? Vets Say Trendy Diet Could Make Humans Sick

Kari Neumeyer feeds her dogs, Leo and Mia, a raw food diet supplemented by kibble, which she says is more natural than commercial dog food.
Rob Eis/Courtesy of Kari Neumeyer

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 7:23 am

Yesterday we told you about the people who are skipping the pet food aisle to whip up batches of homemade goodness for Fido in their own kitchens.

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The Salt
2:22 am
Tue May 27, 2014

How Soviet Kitchens Became Hotbeds Of Dissent And Culture

A typical Russian kitchen inside an apartment built during the early 1960s, when Nikita Khrushchev led the Soviet Union — what later became known as Khrushchev apartments.
Courtesy of The Kitchen Sisters

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 1:45 pm

When Nikita Khrushchev emerged as the leader of the Soviet Union after Stalin's death in 1953, one of the first things he addressed was the housing shortage and the need for more food. At the time, thousands of people were living in cramped communal apartments, sharing one kitchen and one bathroom with sometimes up to 20 other families.

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The Salt
8:45 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Why Some Pet Owners Ditch Chow To Cook For Fido From Scratch

Despite a dizzying array of dog food choices, some owners avoid the cans and bags and making their own from scratch.
Christopher Flickr

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 7:50 am

We're not only obsessed with what we eat. We're now obsessed with what our pets eat. They make us healthier and happier, so who can blame us for wanting the best?

While the pet food industry has started adding salmon, vegetables and other ingredients humans favor to its products, the store-bought stuff just doesn't make the cut anymore for some owners. They're skipping the pet food aisle altogether in favor of cooking up big batches of Fido's meals.

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The Salt
5:38 am
Sat May 24, 2014

If Local Farms Aren't Local Enough, Buy From The Rooftop

At the Mini-Farmery in North Carolina, greens grow on the walls and customers can pick their own produce.
Amy Edwards New Image Studio

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 2:07 pm

Local produce just tastes better, right? That perception is part of what's driving the rush of new farming ventures to supply cities with food grown nearby.

Some urban farmers are even experimenting with growing food a few blocks away from or even inside the grocery store. Call it über-local food.

Most of these new ventures are lead by idealistic entrepreneurs who want to part of the new food system. It's not yet clear whether they'll fit in for the long haul.

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The Salt
4:28 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Gastrodiplomacy Gives Foreign Chefs A Fresh Take And Taste Of America

Participants of the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership try different foods at the State Department in Washington during a gathering of the American Chef Corps, a network of chefs from across the U.S.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 2:05 pm

When you think of the tools of diplomacy, food isn't always high on the list. But breaking bread together can be one of the most basic ways of finding common ground. Which is why, a couple of years ago, the State Department launched the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership.

The program created an American Chefs Corps, who represent the U.S. abroad, and invited foreign chefs and culinary professionals here to taste and talk food.

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The Salt
3:01 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

California's Drought Isn't Making Food Cost More. Here's Why

Farmworkers pull weeds from a field of lettuce near Gonzales, Calif. Salinas Valley farms like this one rely on wells, which haven't been affected much by the drought.
George Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 3:48 pm

The entire state of California is in a severe drought. Farmers and farmworkers are hurting.

You might expect this to cause food shortages and higher prices across the country. After all, California grows 95 percent of America's broccoli, 81 percent of its carrots and 99 percent of the country's artichokes, almonds and walnuts, among other foods.

Yet there's been no sign of a big price shock. What gives?

Here are three explanations.

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The Salt
12:20 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Sushi's Secret: Why We Get Hooked On Raw Fish

A feast for the eyes and the mouth. Tuna swim long distances, but their muscles are still soft and tender.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 8:59 am

Raw fish is sizzling hot right now.

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The Salt
5:01 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

How Yelp Can Help Disease Detectives Track Food Poisoning

The Yelp app maps out restaurant locations in Manhattan.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Almost 50 million Americans get food poisoning every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates. But only a tiny fraction of those cases get reported, making it tough to figure out where they came from.

But health officials recently discovered a trove of data that may help them discover outbreaks of foodborne illness and as well as the restaurants responsible for them, they write in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Found Recipes
3:39 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Freed From The Sidewalk Cart, This Sauerkraut Goes Global

Don't diss the sauerkraut: It may be a hot dog staple, but it's more versatile than you think.
Courtesy of Edward Lee

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 7:21 pm

Edward Lee thought he knew sauerkraut. The chef for the Louisville, Ky., restaurant 610 Magnolia, grew up in New York City, a place where sauerkraut means one thing: "sidewalk hot dog carts — cheap, bad, overboiled sauerkraut on top of awful kosher hot dogs," he says.

He loved it, as any native New Yorker might, but it was sauerkraut -- boring, safe, standard.

Many years later, after Lee moved to Kentucky, he had a sauerkraut surprise at his then-fiance's house. When she broke out a jar of her mother's homemade sauerkraut, he didn't expect too much.

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The Salt
3:08 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Sensitive To Gluten? A Carb In Wheat May Be The Real Culprit

The wheat and grains in many breads contain gluten.
mystuart/Flickr

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 8:59 am

As late-night host Jimmy Kimmel so cleverly captured in a recent segment, some people on the gluten-free bandwagon don't know much about gluten, or why, precisely, they should avoid it. (For the record, gluten is a protein found in some cereal grains, including wheat and rye.)

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The Salt
8:50 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Amish Leave Pa. In Search Of Greener, Less Touristy Pastures

The tourism attracted by the Amish population in Lancaster, Pa., is now making it harder for Amish to maintain their traditional lifestyle. Some families are leaving the area as a result.
Mark Makela Reuters/Landov

Rolling pastures dotted with grazing cows, fields of corn and classic buggies driven by Amish in hats and bonnets — these are the images that attract visitors to Lancaster County, home to more than 30,000 of the Pennsylvania Dutch.

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The Salt
2:29 am
Thu May 22, 2014

In A Coal Town Where Jobs Are Few, Wild Ramps Are Plenty

The wild leek, or ramp, is one of the first edibles to appear in spring in Appalachia.
Wendell Smith Flickr

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 8:18 am

The air in Richwood, W.Va., is saturated with the smell of ramps — a pungent, garlicky, peppery smell so strong that it eclipses almost everything else in the room. Under this smell there's the faint aroma of bacon grease, in which the ramps have been fried. They're served with brown beans and ham.

As hundreds of people wait in line for their meal, local songwriter John Wyatt plays his Richwood Ramp Song, including this verse:

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The Salt
2:20 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

The Vegetables Most Americans Eat Are Drowning In Salt And Fat

This isn't exactly what a healthy serving of veggies looks like.
Lauri Patterson iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 4:02 pm

Popeye and our parents have been valiantly trying to persuade us to eat our veggies for decades now.

But Americans just don't eat as many fruits and vegetables as we should. And when we do, they're mainly potatoes and tomatoes — in the not-so-nutritious forms of french fries and pizza, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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The Salt
12:39 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

On The Trail Of Durian, Southeast Asia's 'Crème Brûlée On A Tree'

The inside of the Graveolens, a variety of durian that grows in the southernmost parts of Thailand, is sticky and cheese-like.
Courtesy of Lindsay Gasik

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 6:13 pm

What if a single taste of one fruit — in this case, the durian — changed the course of your entire life?

That's what happened to Lindsay Gasik and Rob Culclasure, a young couple who visited an Asian grocery store in Eugene, Ore., in 2009 in search of the football-sized fruit with thick, spiky skin. They were curious to try it after hearing that the durian's pungent smell and custard-like flesh had the power to drive people delirious with craving.

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Oregon Voters Approve Local Bans On GMO Crops

Voters in two southwestern Oregon counties voted to ban genetically modified crops on Tuesday.

"It's a great day for the people of Oregon who care about sustainability and healthy ecosystems," the advocacy group GMO Free Oregon said on its Facebook page.

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Pop Culture
11:12 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Does It 'Suck To Be A Fat Girl'?

A recent episode of FX show Louie raised some controversial questions about women, weight and body image. Did the episode miss the mark? Our panel of writers and bloggers weigh in.

Governing
2:22 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Without A Marijuana Breathalyzer, How To Curb Stoned Driving?

In an effort to make the roadways safer, Colorado set a marijuana DUI blood standard for drivers. But it's difficult to actually measure how high a person is.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 8:28 am

Like many medical marijuana patients, Greg Duran says he drives in fear, knowing he could be busted at any moment for driving under the influence.

As he merges onto Interstate 70 north of Denver, Duran explains that he's probably over the state's new marijuana limit: 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood of THC, the psychoactive chemical in pot.

"It would be devastating if I lost my car. It would change everything," Duran says.

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The Salt
2:19 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Double Trouble For Coffee: Drought And Disease Send Prices Up

A fully formed coffee berry, left, is shown next to a damaged coffee berry due to drought, at a coffee farm in Santo Antonio do Jardim, Brazil on Feb. 6.
Paulo Whitaker Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 8:29 am

If you're drinking a cup of coffee right now, treasure it. The global supply of coffee beans may soon shrink because of problems in coffee-growing areas of Brazil and Central America.

With supply threatened and demand strong, prices are taking flight. Wholesale coffee prices are up more than 60 percent since January — from $1.25 per pound of bulk Coffea arabica beans to $1.85 this week.

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The Salt
3:57 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Lawmakers Seek Delay On Healthy Lunch Rules For Schools

Some schools say they're having a tough time implementing new nutrition rules requiring more whole grains, more veggies and less fat.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 4:57 pm

How hard can it be for school cafeterias to swap white bread for whole-grain tortillas, cut sodium, and nudge kids to put more fruit and vegetables on their trays?

Tougher than you might imagine, according to some schools.

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