FOOD

FOOD
4:32 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

For More Local Turkeys To Hit Holiday Tables, You Need An Abattoir

The turkeys at Kate Stillman's farm don't have to be loaded on a trailer and driven hundreds of miles this year. They now meet their ends on the same farm where they lived their lives.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 9:22 am

It's a busy time of year for turkey farmers around the country. And these days, with the growth of the local food movement, small family farms are struggling to keep up with all the orders for birds. So, we went to find out what one New England farmer is doing to get her gobblers from the field to the table. Enter the "abattoir."

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FOOD
12:18 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

For The Next Food Drive, Go For The Canned Tuna, Not The Saltines

Peanut butter, canned tuna and canned fruits in natural juices are among the "superfoods" on Feeding America San Diego's list of requested donations.
Courtesy Feeding America San Diego

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 4:15 pm

When you donate to a food drive, do you ponder the nutritional labels of the can in your hand? Or do you grab a packet of ramen or a bag of marshmallows from the dark corners of your pantry and hope it hasn't expired?

Healthfulness isn't typically a well-intended food donor's top concern, says hunger advocate Ruthi Solari. The ramen and marshmallows, along with a container of Crisco and a few other items, were basically the entire contents of a food box delivered to one of her volunteer's grandmothers who received food aid, Solari says.

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FOOD
1:47 am
Mon November 17, 2014

To End Food Waste, Change Needs To Begin At Home

Sherri Erkel and her daughter, Asa, cook dinner in their kitchen in Iowa City, Iowa. The Erkel family is part of an EPA study measuring the amount of food wasted in U.S. homes.
Pat Aylward NET News

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 1:24 pm

It's a hot summer day outside Lincoln, Neb., and Jack Chappelle is knee-deep in trash. He's wading in to rotting vegetables, half-eaten burgers and tater tots. Lots of tater tots.

"You can get a lot of tater tots out of schools," Chappelle says. "It doesn't matter if it's elementary, middle school or high school. Tater tots. Bar none."

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FOOD
1:01 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

How 'Double Bucks' For Food Stamps Conquered Capitol Hill

These wooden tokens are handed out to shoppers who use SNAP benefits to purchase fresh produce at the Crossroads Farmers Market near Takoma Park, Md. Customers receive tokens worth twice the amount of money withdrawn from their SNAP benefits card — in other words, they get "double bucks."
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 10:52 am

The federal government is about to put $100 million behind a simple idea: doubling the value of SNAP benefits — what used to be called food stamps — when people use them to buy local fruits and vegetables.

This idea did not start on Capitol Hill. It began as a local innovation at a few farmers' markets. But it proved remarkably popular and spread across the country.

"It's so simple, but it has such profound effects both for SNAP recipients and for local farmers," says Mike Appell, a vegetable farmer who sells his produce at a market in Tulsa, Okla.

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FOOD
1:06 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Want To Grow These Apples? You'll Have To Join The Club

Pinatas are among the new generation of club apples — varieties that are not just patented, but also trademarked and controlled in such a way that only a select "club" of farmers can sell them.
Stemilt Growers LLC

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 7:56 am

There's an apple renaissance underway, an ever-expanding array of colors and tastes in the apple section of supermarkets and farmers markets.

Less visible is the economic machinery that's helping to drive this revolution. An increasing number of these new apples are "club apples" — varieties that are not just patented, but also trademarked and controlled in such a way that only a select "club" of farmers can sell them.

To understand the new trend, start with the hottest apple variety of recent years: Honeycrisp.

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FOOD
10:04 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Apps Aim To Guide You On 'Sustainable Food' (Whatever That Means)

Confused about all the different sustainability ratings out there? The simplest option may be to shop at your local farmer's market.
iStockphoto

If you're reading The Salt, it probably comes as no surprise to you that consumers increasingly want to make food choices based on not just their health, but their ethics. A growing number of groups are coming up with technological solutions to help them.

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FOOD
3:00 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Monsanto Hired This Guy To Help It Win Over Millennials

The headquarters of Monsanto, near St. Louis, Mo. Monsanto is the world's largest seed supplier.
Juliette Michel AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 9:08 am

As I scrolled through tweets about a panel on agricultural entrepreneurs at the SXSW Eco conference earlier this month, one caught my eye. The sender was Vance Crowe, Monsanto's director of millennial engagement.

Corporate America is currently caught up in a torrid infatuation with millennials, who befuddle and torment the companies who want their dollars.

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FOOD
6:51 am
Fri October 3, 2014

VIDEO: Glimpse The History Of Life In A Beer

NPR

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 3:04 pm

Beer is a collaboration between two species — a multicellular animal called a human and a single-celled fungus called yeast. Both descended from the same single-celled organism.

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FOOD
1:45 am
Wed October 1, 2014

From Kale To Pale Ale, A Love Of Bitter May Be In Your Genes

The roots of your hankering for hoppy beers and cruciferous vegetables may be genetic.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 2:02 pm

The word bitter can make some of us wince. In conversation, we talk of "a bitter pill to swallow" or "bittersweet" memories.

But if you're puzzled by the bad emotional rap on bitter — perhaps you even like the taste of bitter greens or bitter beer — it may say something about your genes.

Scientists have been studying a particular taste receptor gene to understand why some of us may be more predisposed to liking bitter foods and hoppy beers. And a new study sheds new light on the bitter gene connection.

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FOOD
1:38 am
Tue September 30, 2014

European Activists Say They Don't Want Any U.S. 'Chlorine Chicken'

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 11:46 am

Mute Schimpf doesn't want to eat American chicken. That's because most U.S. poultry is chilled in antimicrobial baths that can include chlorine to keep salmonella and other bacteria in check. In Europe, chlorine treatment was banned in the 1990s out of fear that it could cause cancer.

"In Europe there is definitely a disgust about chlorinated chicken," says Schimpf, a food activist with Friends of the Earth Europe, an environmental group.

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FOOD
10:27 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Everything But The Squeal: How The Hog Industry Cuts Food Waste

The rendering industry likes to call itself the world's oldest recycling system. Nearly 100 percent of processed pigs will eventually get used — as meat and in uses as varied as medicine and pet food.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 8:34 am

A tour of a pork processing plant takes a hard hat, waterproof boots and a strong stomach.

Oh, and hairnets.

Americans eat just half of the meat produced by farm animals. So what happens to the rest of the animal? I arrive at the Farmland Food plant in Milan, a factory in northeast Missouri, for a tour.

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FOOD
1:33 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Sayonara To 'Super-Size Me'? Food Companies Cut Calories, So Do We

Wouldn't this salad make a healthful addition to your pizza for dinner?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 6:48 am

It just might be the dawn of a new era in American eating. Two-thirds of us are now more likely to go for foods marketed as lower-calorie and "better for you," and that means we're finally eating fewer calories.

But all this calorie-cutting from our cookies and cupcakes isn't just benevolent behavior on the part of the big food and beverage companies. It's also good for their bottom line.

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FOOD
4:36 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

To Stop Picky Eaters From Tossing The Broccoli, Give Them Choices

Students are given healthy choices on a lunch line at Draper Middle School in Rotterdam, N.Y., in 2012. To keep students from tossing out the fruits and vegetables they're served, researchers say it helps to give them a choice in what they put on their trays.
Hans Pennink AP

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 3:11 pm

In many communities, the local school district is the largest food provider, filling thousands of hungry bellies every day. But trying to feed healthful food to some of the pickiest eaters can result in mountains of wasted food.

Now, many schools are finding that giving kids a say in what they eat can cut down on what ends up in the trash.

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FOOD
1:46 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Before You Take A Bite Of That Mushroom, Consider This

This grocery store packet of porcini mushrooms contained a surprise: three species of fungi never before named or described.
Bryn Dentinger/Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 4:03 pm

If you haven't been DNA-sequencing your dinner lately, you've been missing out. In particular, we suggest examining those spongy, wild fungi before you lay them on your pizza.

Bryn Dentinger and Laura Suz, mycologists with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Surrey, England, were curious about what was in their marketplace 'shrooms. So they bought a packet of dried Chinese porcini and took it to the lab.

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FOOD
9:36 am
Mon September 22, 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 4:08 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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FOOD
10:33 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Iconic Pabst Beer Brands Sold To Russian Company

Elizabeth Lessner stands behind the bar at Betty's Food and Spirits in Columbus, Ohio, in 2004.
Terry Gilliam AP

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 1:03 pm

The iconic American Pabst Blue Ribbon brand will soon be owned by a Russian company under a deal to sell the Los Angeles-based brewer for an undisclosed sum.

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FOOD
9:33 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 12:04 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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FOOD
10:34 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 6:12 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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FOOD
12:13 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 2:03 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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FOOD
3:28 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Craft Brewers Tweak N.C. Water To Match Western Mountain Flavor

The Sierra Nevada brewery in Mills River, N.C.
Courtesy of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 12:11 pm

Craft beer sales have been growing by double digits, even as overall beer sales have flattened. And several independent craft beer makers — all based in the Western U.S. — are expanding production to the East. But to keep the flavor true, they have to tinker with beer's main ingredient: water.

Every day, a half-dozen employees of Oskar Blues Brewery file into a small room in Brevard, N.C. It's cluttered with boxes, petri dishes and test tubes.

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