Harvest Desk

Food
3:16 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Keeping Heirloom Apples Alive Is 'Like A Chain Letter' Over Many Centuries

Goodband compares these Knobbed Russets to shrunken heads. Others say potatoes or toads. They're all gnarled and warty and brown, but don't be intimidated: They taste great when ripe. They originated in Sussex, England, in 1819.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 5:08 pm

It's apple season, and if you go to the supermarket you'll find the usual suspects: Red and Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, MacIntosh. But these big, shiny, perfect apples often look better than they taste. Thankfully, there's a whole world of heirloom apples out there — fruit that may look funky, but tastes fantastic, with flavors unlike any you've tried before.

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The Salt
2:58 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

To Foil Russia's Food Ban, Imported Ingredients Go Incognito

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 3:13 pm

It's been six weeks since Moscow slapped a ban on foods imported from the United States, the European Union and other countries that sanctioned Russia for its involvement in Ukraine. The implications of that move are just beginning to be felt.

Many of the Russian capital's trendiest restaurants have been hit hard because they get most of their ingredients from Europe. So they've had to scramble to find replacements.

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The Salt
11:41 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Women Can't Make Sushi, And Other Fishy Myths, Busted

One of the delicious tricks we picked up at sushi school: how to make this spicy salmon cucumber and crunchy shrimp roll.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 2:45 pm

The once rarefied taste of raw fish has now become an American staple.

Sushi is found at the humblest of supermarkets and on conveyor belt restaurants at the mall.

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The Salt
9:40 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Around The World In 8 Hospital Meals

Wow! This meal even looks like it's served on real china. Flickr user hewyk posted this image of a lunch from a Malaysian hospital.
hewyk/Flickr

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 12:32 pm

A hospital is probably the last place a foodie traveling abroad wants to grab a bite.

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Harvest Desk
2:24 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Climate, Space Create Challenges For Local Food

Josh Kilbane runs Yampa Valley Farms outside Steamboat Springs, Colo. (Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media)

Local food is no longer just a novelty. Farmers markets are growing nationwide and farms that sell directly to consumers brought in $1.3 billion in 2012, up eight percent from just five years earlier. Despite the demand, making local food work in some places is decidedly more difficult than others. Steamboat Springs, Colo., is one of those places.

Problem number one is infrastructure.

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Found Recipes
3:58 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

The Secret To This Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pork Is In The (Soy) Sauce

The key to authentic hongshao rou, or red-braised pork, is to use two different types of soy sauce — light and dark.
Courtesy of Oliver Wang

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 6:31 am

Oliver Wang is a professor and occasional NPR music reviewer — not a professional cook. But he's spent years trying to perfect a common Chinese dish: hongshao rou, or red-braised pork.

"It's actually more of a deep brown, made from bite-sized morsels of pork belly, layered with skin, fat and meat, all deliciously braised in a salty, sweet sauce to become melt-in-your-mouth tender," he says.

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The Salt
3:33 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Sweet: Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme Pump Up Pledge On Palm Oil

Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts have pledged to source palm oil from suppliers who are not clear-cutting rain forests.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 4:57 pm

Environmentalists say two major doughnut chains got a little sweeter this week.

Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Brands have both made new commitments to source palm oil for frying their goodies from suppliers who are not clear-cutting forests.

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The Salt
6:50 am
Thu September 18, 2014

From Coffee To Chicory To Beer, 'Bitter' Flavor Can Be Addictive

The cardoon is like "celery on steroids," says McLaglan.
Aya Brackett/Ten Speed Press

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 8:35 am

Food writer Jennifer McLagan has spent the past few years trying to win home cooks over to the ingredients they fear. She's written a cookbook on fat, one on bones and one titled Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal.

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The Salt
4:20 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And Raise The Risk Of Diabetes

Should we drink diet soda or not? The latest study doesn't really clear things up.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 4:29 am

The debate over whether diet sodas are good, bad or just OK for us never seems to end.

Some research suggests zero-calorie drinks can help people cut calories and fend off weight gain.

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The Salt
2:36 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Want To Learn About The Scientific Method? Go Bake Some Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies can be the gateway to a better understanding of the scientific method.
iStockphoto

Bethany Brookshire, aka @SciCurious, is a blogger at ScienceNews, where she covers the latest science research and develops creative science outreach projects.

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The Salt
11:20 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Mistura Food Fest Gives Peruvian Cuisine A Chance To Shine

Cuy, or guinea pig, one of the traditional dishes from the Andes.
Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 1:08 pm

Every September, Peruvian restaurants and famous chefs from around the world gather in Lima for a celebration of Peruvian cuisine. The word mistura means "mixture" in Portuguese. And the cuisine served at Mistura, the biggest food festival in Latin America, certainly reflects a fusion of cultural dishes.

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Harvest Desk
6:17 am
Wed September 17, 2014

U.S. Meat Inspection System In Disarray, Watchdogs Say

Earlier this year, U.S. Department of Agriculture unveiled the first major overhaul of the nation's poultry-inspection system in more than 50 years. (BigStock image)

HOOKER, Okla. – Jennifer Brdar’s dream job was to be a meat inspector for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, watching out for unwary consumers and making sure the meat on their dinner tables was clean and disease-free.

After earning an associate’s degree in meat science, Brdar (pronounced Ber-dar) was hired in March as a temporary federal meat inspector at a big beef packing operation just up the road in Liberal, Kan.

She lasted barely a month, walking away in frustration.

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Harvest Desk
6:00 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Environmental Group Touts Proposed Water Rules

Credit flickr/loveMeagan

Farm and Business groups have been vocal in their opposition to proposed federal water regulations.  Opponents of the rules say it will turn into regulatory over-reach on the part of the government.    Last week, we talked with the Illinois Farm Bureau about their efforts to kill the regulations.  Today... we hear from supporters of the proposed rules.   WUIS Bill Wheelhouse spoke with John Devine of the Natural Resources Defense Council:

To read differing viewpoints on the proposed rules, check out the following:

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The Salt
4:33 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Edible Packaging? Retailers Not Quite Ready To Ditch The Wrapper

A strawberry vanilla WikiPearl made with Stonyfield frozen yogurt.
Stonyfield and WikiPearl, Inc.

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:48 am

A handful of companies are trying to take an idea straight out of Willy Wonka and turn it into reality: edible packaging. I mean, why dump tons of waste into landfills when the container your food comes in could be a part of the snack?

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The Salt
3:19 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Thanks To Nutella, The World Needs More Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts, in all their glory.
Ingrid Taylar/Flickr

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:48 am

Nutella, that sinfully indulgent chocolate-hazelnut spread, turns 50 this year, and it's come a long way, baby.

There's even a "Nutella bar" in midtown Manhattan, right off Fifth Avenue, tucked inside a grand temple of Italian food called Eataly. There's another Nutella bar at Eataly in Chicago. Here, you can order Nutella on bread, Nutella on a croissant, Nutella on crepes.

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Shots - Health News
3:05 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Americans' Waistlines Are Expanding, And That's Not Good Fat

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 12:31 pm

If your belt needs to be let out a notch, you're not alone. The average American waistline is growing even though obesity rates haven't grown. And excess abdominal fat increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

The collective American waistline grew by more than an inch from 1999-2000 to 2011-2012, according to a study published Tuesday in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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The Salt
10:08 am
Tue September 16, 2014

A Scientist's Journey From Beer To Microbiology To Bourbon-Making

Ian Glomski outside his home in Charlottesville, Va., where hops grow in his garden. He quit an academic career in microbiology to start a liquor distillery.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 1:18 pm

If you have been following the various posts about beer on The Salt, you may have noticed a pattern: Many of the folks making beer have a scientific background. There's good reason for that. People don't make beer. Yeast does. Well, OK — it's a partnership.

And sometimes, it's a two-way street between the brewery and the lab.

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The Salt
3:22 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

'Language Of Food' Reveals Mysteries Of Menu Words And Ketchup

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 4:58 pm

The words we use for everyday foods contain clues to their origins and hint at their ancient travels across the globe as they merge, fuse and sometimes take on different forms altogether. Stanford University linguist Dan Jurafsky unpacked some of the history with All Things Considered's Robert Siegel and in his book, The Language of Food.

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The Salt
2:49 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Sandwich Monday: Lay's Cappuccino Potato Chips

It's spelled "potato ccips."
NPR

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 4:42 pm

Lay's Potato Chips is having some sort of promotion in which they release a bunch of new flavors and we vote on which one is best, based on flavor, crunch, and foreign policy experience. One of the finalists is Cappuccino. This proves unequivocally that democracy itself is flawed.

Miles: What a rip-off! Three-fourths of the bag is foam.

Kelsie: Can I get mine substituted with soy?

Ian: The cappuccino-potato chip combination is the culinary equivalent of a mullet.

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The Salt
10:37 am
Mon September 15, 2014

The Perfect Summer Peach Wasn't Always So Rosy

A species of peach related to the 7,500-year-old pits found in China recently (left), and today's more modern versions (right).
Courtesy of Jose Chaparro/University of Florida

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 1:04 pm

The modern peach is a work of art: rosy, fuzzy, fragrant, fragile — and, of course, impossibly sweet and juicy. But that enchanting fruit is the product of centuries of painstaking breeding that have transformed it from its humble origins. The peach of the past was much smaller, acidic and a greenish-cream color.

Where the original, wild peach came from has been a mystery, but a new clue brings us closer than ever to its origin.

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Shots - Health News
9:34 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Poets Give Voice To The Toll Of Type 2 Diabetes

Young poets Monica Mendoza (clockwise from top left), Erica Sheppard McMath, Obasi Davis and Gabriel Cortez have written about how Type 2 diabetes affects their families and communities.
Courtesy of The Bigger Picture

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 1:50 pm

It may not seem like spoken-word poetry and diabetes have a lot to do with one another, but public health educators in California are using the art form to engage young people about the disease.

"Between growing up in Colón, Panama and a tour in the U.S. army, Grandpa is a proud old soldier marching through a never-ending war," Gabriel Cortez, 24, wrote in his poem "Perfect Soldiers." "At 66, we are scared that another stroke could do what no war ever could and cut him to the ground."

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The Salt
6:03 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Reality Check For Young Farmers: It's An Expensive 'Habit'

More young people are trying their hand at farming, and consumers are buying more local produce.
Dan Charles/NPR

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 9:36 am

You know the scene: It's Saturday morning, and as you stroll to your farmers market, you sample a crisp apple or scoop up a pile of end-of-the-season tomatoes.

As you chat and pay cash for your bag of bounty everything feels right.

You're not alone. More young people are trying their hand at farming, and consumers are buying more local produce.

But take a step behind that cheerful scene at the farmers market, and you'll discover that life isn't always easy.

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The Salt
10:14 am
Fri September 12, 2014

From Cotton Candy To Cat Pee: Decoding Tasting Notes In Honey

Honey can be as golden as the sun or as dark as molasses. Researchers have identified over 100 different flavors in it, too, some more savory or stinky than others.
Ellen Webber/NPR

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 1:21 pm

If bees in France buzz around the lavender fields, foraging for nectar, what does the honey they produce smell or taste like?

Yes, a bit like lavender.

But not all the floral, spicy or woody aromas detectable in the roughly 300 varieties of honeys being produced today are so easy to name.

That's where the new Honey Flavor and Aroma Wheel, developed by a sensory panel at the Honey and Pollination Center at the University of California, Davis, comes in.

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The Salt
8:07 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Food Is Cheap, At Least Compared With 4 Years Ago

Soybeans in a field in Springfield, Neb., on Wednesday. The nation's corn and soybean farmers will bring in by far the largest harvest ever this year, driving down the price of the commodities, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 1:30 pm

Around the globe, it's become easier for people to buy food. The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization is reporting that its global food price index has now fallen to the lowest level in four years. That's because of good weather and big harvests in places like North America, Europe and China.

Almost all of the major food commodities have become less expensive: grains, vegetable oils, sugar and dairy products. Dairy prices, in fact, are down by almost 20 percent, compared with their peak a year ago.

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The Salt
11:34 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Why The U.S. Chills Its Eggs And Most Of The World Doesn't

To refrigerate or not to refrigerate? It boils down to bacteria, aesthetics and how much energy you're willing to use.
Robert S. Donovan; Flickr / Alex Barth; Flickr

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 7:12 am

Go in search of eggs in most foreign countries and you might encounter a strange scene: eggs on a shelf or out in the open air, nowhere near a refrigerator.

Shock and confusion may ensue. What are they doing there? And are they safe to eat?

We Americans, along with the Japanese, Australians and Scandinavians, tend to be squeamish about our chicken eggs, so we bathe them and then have to refrigerate them.

But we're oddballs. Most other countries don't mind letting unwashed eggs sit next to bread or onions.

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Business
3:55 am
Thu September 11, 2014

La. Shrimpers Complain Low Prices Aren't Worth Their Effort

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 7:24 am

Shots - Health News
2:59 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Women Who Eat Fish Twice Weekly Cut Their Risk Of Hearing Loss

Researchers speculate that the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish may help maintain good blood flow to the inner ear.
iStockphoto

Are you finding it tougher to follow conversations in a noisy restaurant? Or does it seem like people are mumbling when you speak with them?

These are two questions commonly used to screen for hearing loss, which affects more than one-third of people over age 65, according to the National Institutes of Health.

So, what to do to cut the risk?

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The Salt
1:00 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

The Comeback Of The Endangered Colorado Orange, An Apple

The Maiden Blush, Chenango Strawberry and Duchess of Oldenburg are heirloom apples found in old orchards across Colorado, which was once a major apple-producing state.
Adalyn Schuenemeyer Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 3:03 pm

The Colorado Orange is not an orange, in color or essence.

"It is an apple, with a unique texture and taste. It has a little bit of a citrus bite," says Paul Telck, one of the few people today to have tasted the apple – a yellow fruit with an occasional red blush, once thought to be extinct.

A few years ago, Telck, who owns an orchard in Fremont County, southwest of Colorado Springs, knew little about the Colorado Orange. Now, he's involved in an effort to bring it and other endangered Colorado apples back from the brink of extinction.

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Harvest Desk
7:18 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Monsanto Settles Some GMO Wheat Cases

Credit brdavid/flickr

Monsanto has reached a settlement with wheat farmers in the Pacific Northwest in a lawsuit over genetically modified wheat.   But plaintiffs in the Midwest and other parts of the country are still in negotiations.

The trouble started at an Oregon farm in 20-13, when some wheat plants would not die, even when they were sprayed with Roundup herbicide.

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NPR Story
4:03 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Americans Renew Their Love For Butter

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 7:01 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We now continue our coverage of the butter shortage. OK, a possible butter shortage. If you're lucky enough to have some, slather it on your toast and settle in for this encore presentation of a story from NPR's Weekend Edition by NPR's Allison Aubrey.

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