Harvest Desk

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.

Read more
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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Business
10:43 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Wave This Scanner Over Your Plate, Get A Nutritional Analysis

Renee Montagne reports on a tiny hand-held device that you wave over your food and find out the chemical components and calories.

Parenting
10:19 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Breaking Your Kid's Picky Eating Habits

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 11:26 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms and dads in your corner. Every week, we check in with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy advice. And today we thought we'd get some advice about food.

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Chipotle Tells Its Customers Not To Bring Guns To Its Restaurants

A Chipotle restaurant in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 11:10 am

Chipotle Mexican Grill, the fast food chain, is asking its customers not to bring guns into its restaurants.

The announcement is similar to one the coffee giant Starbucks made back in September. Both companies were thrust into the middle of the national debate on guns, when gun activists brought guns into the establishments to make a point.

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The Salt
5:59 am
Tue May 20, 2014

'Third Plate' Reimagines Farm-To-Table Eating To Nourish The Land

A view of Dan Barber's Stone Barns Center field and barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y.
Nicole Franzen Courtesy of Blue Hill Farm

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 4:56 pm

Perched on a farm along the Hudson River is Dan Barber's award-winning restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns. The food that's harvested on the farm year-round is what is served to diners daily.

But this champion of the farm-to-table movement noticed that farming and consuming foods locally still wasn't all that sustainable.

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The Salt
2:30 am
Tue May 20, 2014

How Russia's Shared Kitchens Helped Shape Soviet Politics

Anna Matveevna came to this communal apartment in St. Petersburg in 1931, when she was 8 years old.
Courtesy of European University, St. Petersburg, Russia,Colgate University and Cornell University

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 5:44 pm

In the decades following the 1917 Russian Revolution, most people in Moscow lived in communal apartments; seven or more families crammed together where there had been one, sharing one kitchen and one bathroom. They were crowded; stove space and food were limited. Clotheslines were strewn across the kitchen, the laundry of one family dripping into the omelet of another.

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The Salt
3:16 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

With Cartels On The Run, Mexican Lime Farmers Keep More Of The Green

Workers sort through key limes at a packaging house in Apatzingan, Michoacan. More than 90 percent of limes imported into the U.S. come from Mexico.
Carrie Kahn NPR

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 7:54 pm

If the prices of a margarita or guacamole have been too high for you lately, blame it on a key ingredient of the Mexican treats — the lime. Prices for limes, imported almost exclusively from Mexico, hit record highs this year, and demand remains high. But now the price is dropping and farmers couldn't be happier.

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The Salt
1:52 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The White Castle Waffle Breakfast Sandwich

The White Castle Waffle Sandwich pales in comparison with the Carl Kasell Waffle Sandwich.
NPR

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 2:37 pm

Like bacon or cupcakes before it, the waffle is enjoying a surge in popularity, showing up everywhere from the Taco Bell Waffle Taco to Chicken and Waffles potato chips.

But fame has its price, and before the waffle hits rock bottom and checks itself into rehab for exhaustion, let's try the White Castle Waffle Breakfast Sandwich.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

E. Coli Fears Spark Recall Of 1.8 Million Pounds Of Beef

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 1:05 pm

Federal authorities say a recall has been issued for 1.8 million pounds of ground beef that was shipped for use in restaurants. Detroit company Wolverine Packing issued the recall Monday; the Department of Agriculture says the beef may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

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The Salt
11:09 am
Mon May 19, 2014

'Fed Up' Portrays Obese Kids As Victims In A Sugar-Coated World

The true stars of the documentary film Fed Up are several children — including Maggie Valentine, 12 — who are trying to lose weight.
YouTube

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 3:50 pm

Just who's to blame for the childhood obesity epidemic? Over the years, the finger has been pointed at parents, video games, Happy Meals and the hamburgers in the school cafeteria.

A new documentary, Fed Up, alleges it all boils down to a simple substance most of us consume every day: sugar. The pushers of "the new tobacco," according to the film, are the food industry and our own government.

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Shots - Health News
11:06 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Less Sleep For Little Kids Linked To More Belly Fat Later On

Research suggests that young children who don't get enough sleep are more likely to be obese by the time they hit age 7.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 9:46 am

Ask anyone who's dealt with a crabby toddler at the end of the day: Little kids need a lot of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation says that 1- to 3-year-olds, for example, generally need 12 to 14 hours of shut-eye a day.

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Environment
4:00 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

Fighting Bugs With Bugs: Hatching A Solution For Troubled Trees

The invasive Asian citrus psyllid can carry citrus greening disease, which kills trees within a few years of infection.
Mike Lewis Center for Invasive Species Research, UC Riverside

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 2:11 pm

We all know about the drought in California, but farmers there have more to worry about than a lack of water.

There's also the looming threat of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), an invasive pest that flies from tree to tree, feeding on tender leaves. By itself, the psyllid is not particularly harmful, but it can carry citrus greening disease, which kills trees within a few years of infection. There is no cure.

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The Salt
3:59 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Will Soda Lovers Drink To Less Sugar?

Samples from Dry Soda, Spindrift, Q and Veri Organic, four small companies that are trying to win back soda lovers by lowering the sugar.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 2:18 pm

Who's a member of the Pepsi Generation? Anyone?

Would anyone still "like to buy the world a Coke"?

Yes, it's tough times for Big Soda in the U.S. The numbers alone make it clear. "The entire [U.S.] carbonated soft drink category has been down for nine years," says John Sicher, editor of Beverage Digest. "Diet [soft drinks] are declining at a steeper pace than sugared [soft drinks]," likely because people are concerned about artificial ingredients.

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The Salt
1:01 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Introducing Roma Cuisine, The Little-Known 'Soul Food' Of Europe

The decor at Romani Kafenava offers some local culture.
Courtesy of Epeka

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 2:11 pm

It's no secret that tensions surrounding the Roma people in Europe are running high these days.

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The Salt
4:28 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Organic Produce Is A Tough Sell In The Gaza Strip

Rami al-Naffar is the clerk at a small organic produce shop in Gaza City.
Emily Harris/NPR

Outside a small organic produce shop in Gaza City, a large sidewalk placard reads "Good Earth" in Arabic in big red letters, followed by "Organic produce, free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides." The same message is on the shop's awning.

But "people don't notice the signs, they come in and ask, 'Why these [high] prices?,' " says Rami al-Naffar, the clerk here.

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The Salt
10:47 am
Thu May 15, 2014

A Sponge Cake's Long, Strange Trip: Germany To Denver, Via Japan

A chef prepares the baumkuchen, a German layer cake made on a stick that when cut, resembles a tree with concentric rings.
LuxTonnerre Flickr.com

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 2:18 pm

For a cake the Germans call "the king of cakes" and the Japanese call "the ultimate wedding cake," the baumkuchen doesn't really look like a cake or behave like one. But it more than makes up for its oddities with rich flavor, history and symbolism.

It resembles a hollowed cross-section of a craggy tree trunk, or a planet's rings, depending on how you make it. It can have up to 21 delicate, sugary stratums, which give it a light yet chewy texture.

Read more
Shots - Health News
6:19 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Don't Salmon, Don't Shoal: Learning The Lingo Of Safe Cycling

What's that salmon doing in the bike lane?
Leif Parsons for NPR

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 8:48 am

Alec Baldwin, you were salmoning!

The actor was ticketed in New York on Tuesday for riding his bicycle the wrong way on a one-way street.

Cyclists use the term "salmoning" to describe a biker going against the stream on a one-way bike lane. Surely the definition can be broadened to include Baldwin's infraction.

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Around the Nation
2:05 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Across The U.S., Bicycle Commuting Picks Up Speed

The ranks of bicycle commuters are growing, though men are almost three times more likely than women to ride to work.
Tobias Ackeborn iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 9:55 am

As bicycling goes, America is far behind Copenhagen, the promised land where roads look like bicycle highways as people pedal to work. But commuting by bike in the U.S. is catching on — though geographic, income and gender disparities persist.

In Chicago, busy Sheridan Road is the start of the Lakefront bike trail on its north side. That's where you can find plenty of bicyclists commuting to work early in the morning.

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The Salt
5:34 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

How Food Companies Court Nutrition Educators With Junk Food

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 1:41 pm

When hundreds of California nutritionists and dietitians gathered for their annual conference in April, their Friday lunch was a bacon ranch salad, chocolate chip cookies and a pink yogurt parfait, all courtesy of McDonald's.

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The Salt
3:42 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

The Latest Food Truck Theme Is Marijuana For Lunch

The MagicalButter food truck is called The Samich.
Courtesy of MagicalButter

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 11:09 am

Food trucks have been steadily multiplying in cities across the country for a few years now. So their collision with the brave new world of marijuana edibles — from brownies to gummy candy — was probably inevitable, at least in the states where the drug is now legal.

Read more
Business
3:00 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Minimalist Shoes Smacked With Lawsuit, As Health Claims Get The Boot

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 6:59 pm

The running world's recent trend of "minimalist" shoes has earned popularity partly from idea that they're more natural than regular running shoes. Now, not so much — minimalist shoemaker Vibram has just settled a class-action lawsuit for $3.75 million, agreeing to stop making health claims. Brian Metzler, the editor-in-chief of Competitor magazine, comments on the news.

The Salt
12:22 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

For The Win(e): U.S. Passes France As World's Top Wine Consumer

Yeah, Americans drank way more than that.
Erik Schelzig AP

We don't typically pity the French, what with their pantries full of fine cheese, meats and wine.

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Kitchen Window
6:42 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Home Is Where You Hang Your Apron

A cheese-and-cracker snack is sustenance during the hard work of packing up the kitchen. And after you've moved, a meaningful meal can help make your new place feel like home.
Amy Morgan NPR

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 1:09 pm

For almost 10 years, Kitchen Window has been providing a weekly peek into the kitchens of writers, chefs and food fans from all over. I've helped produce this series for half of its life, led by its editor and Weekend Edition commentator Bonny Wolf. Today, we're shutting the window — at least a little. As the saying goes, you'll find other windows opening where one is closing (or something like that), and, indeed, NPR's food coverage continues both on-air and online.

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The Salt
4:10 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Gardeners' Gems: Designer Crops That Will Wow The Neighbors

The nearly translucent Glass Gem Corn looks more like a work of art than a vegetable.
Greg Schoen Native Seeds

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 1:40 pm

To the home gardener who says "been there, done that" to the heirloom green bean, the French breakfast radish or the Brandywine tomato, take heart.

Nurseries and seed companies are competing to bring you the most colorful and flavorful designer edibles they can come up with. They travel the world looking for the next in-vogue plant for the home horticulturist. Every few years they introduce these new chic varieties in their catalogs and websites.

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The Salt
3:05 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Ranchers Wary As U.S. Considers Brazilian Beef Imports

Cattle rancher Sharon Harvat says she's worried about how the Brazilian beef imports will impact her business.
Luke Runyon NPR

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 7:25 pm

Sharon Harvat drives a blue pickup truck through a field of several hundred pregnant heifers on her property outside Scottsbluff in western Nebraska. Harvat and her husband run their cattle in the Nebraska panhandle during the winter, then back to northern Colorado after the calves are born.

Harvat says when she heard about a proposal to open up the beef trade with Brazil, she felt a pit in her stomach.

"On an operation like ours, where we travel a lot with our cattle, that would probably come to an abrupt halt if there was an outbreak," she says.

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The Salt
9:10 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Resveratrol May Not Be The Elixir In Red Wine And Chocolate

There are more than three dozen polyphenols in red wine that could be beneficial. But resveratrol may not have much influence on our health.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 2:28 pm

If you've come to treat that daily glass of wine as your fountain of youth, it may be time to reconsider.

Read more
The Salt
2:02 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Turnspit Dogs: The Rise And Fall Of The Vernepator Cur

A turnspit dog at work in a wooden cooking wheel in an inn at Newcastle, Carmarthen, Wales, in 1869.
Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 5:45 pm

In an old hunting lodge on the grounds of an ancient Norman castle in Abergavenny, Wales, a small, extinct dog peers out of a handmade wooden display case.

"Whiskey is the last surviving specimen of a turnspit dog, albeit stuffed," says Sally Davis, longtime custodian at the Abergavenny Museum.

The Canis vertigus, or turnspit, was an essential part of every large kitchen in Britain in the 16th century. The small cooking canine was bred to run in a wheel that turned a roasting spit in cavernous kitchen fireplaces.

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