Health+Harvest

NPR Illinois Community Advisory Board identified the subject of food and health as important subjects for coverage in 2012. Health+Harvest provides for community engagement on health and food issues along with reporting on farm, field and fuel.  From seed to plate, from farmer's markets to GMOs, central Illinoisans need to know how to stay healthy and what they are eating.  In 2013, NPR Illinois joined a consortium of public media in the Harvest Public Media network.  The network provides broader coverage to Midwest food issues.

By examining these local, regional and national issues and their implications with in-depth and unbiased reporting, Health+Harvest fills a critical information void.

Support for Health+Harvest coverage comes from Central Illinois Farm Bureaus and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  If you'd like to support this initiative, please contact Nice Bogdanovich at 217-206-9847.

The average American reads at an 8th-grade level, but the patient information that doctors and hospitals provide often presumes that people have much more advanced reading skills.

So some researchers decided to see what happens when 9-year-olds write the patient guides.

Behold, the cocktail avocado. No, that's not a weird cucumber. It's the latest in avocado innovation, on offer at British retail chain Marks & Spencer.

Debra Thompson is throwing a block party. She has good weather for it — never a sure thing in Chicago — a warm and sunny autumn afternoon. Music is playing, hot dogs are grilling.

But this party isn't just for fun. Thompson is the volunteer chairwoman of Englewood Village, an organization that connects low-income older adults on the city's South Side with services from nutrition to job assistance to home repair. And this is how she is reaching out to potential new members.

Lynne's favorite tools for the kitchen

Dec 15, 2017

Lynne Rossetto Kasper is a self-proclaimed "equipment junky.&quot. In her many years spent teaching and entertaining in the kitchen, she's worked with a wide array of pots, pans, peelers, scrapers, knives and gadgets. In this Splendid Table video, Lynne discusses and demonstrates her must-have list of tools for home cooks.

Americans are big tippers.

Every year, we leave more than $30 billion in tips, mostly in restaurants but also casinos, nail salons and other service businesses.

Traditionally, the owners of those businesses have not had much control over how tips are distributed. But a proposed rule from the Trump administration could change that.

An organization representing the interests of small farmers across rural America fired a legal salvo Thursday aimed at a Trump administration they feel has let them down.

Allegations of sexual misconduct by high-profile chefs and restaurateurs, such as The Chew's Mario Batali, are revealing the wild and sometimes illegal behaviors that thrive in the pressure-cooker environments of some top American restaurants.

Favorite Blogs by Sally Schneider

Dec 13, 2017

A good blogger is like really a great editor who has selected things for you to view and think about. My favorite blogs run the gamut, but all go toward fueling interconnected ideas about lifestyle, work, home design, cooking and food.

On the 'improvised life's homepage, there's a drop down menu called "Blogs We Like", that has about 50 great blogs.

Kottke: Jason Kottke's miscellany of interesting things, much to do with innovative thinking.
Similarly: Neatorama

This has been tough year for America's west coast vineyards. Wildfires in October in Northern California and this month in Southern California have left acres of wine country scorched and black. While California's 2017 grapes have been safely harvested already, winemakers around the world are wary about a threat that is growing along with the frequency of wildfires: smoke taint.

Brendan Francis Newnam and Rico Gagliano say they don’t get invited to many parties. That’s because they’re self-made experts on the art of hosting, and folks worry they’ll be judgy guests. (Spoiler alert: they are.)

Newnam and Gagliano co-hosted “The Dinner Party Download,” a popular public radio show in the style of a dinner party, for six years. The show recently ended production, just in time for them to go public with their true feelings about the Millennial generation’s favorite meal.

Environmental groups in Illinois are renewing their push to stop fracking in Illinois before it starts. 

If you're a noted chef and invited to a holiday party, it's kind of assumed that you'll bring something homemade along. At least that's how it usually goes for Yotam Ottolenghi, who admits his success can sometimes intimidate hosts.

But you don't have to be a world-class chef to make showstopping desserts this holiday season: We asked him to suggest recipes that home cooks of all skill levels can tackle.

In Westfield, N.Y., perch, bass, catfish and trout are growing fat on the byproducts of an adjacent brewery and distillery. The fish, still young but intended to be harvested and eaten next year, are the first fruits of an innovative project aimed at turning waste into food while addressing a suite of problems associated with more conventional means of catching and farming seafood.

It’s a common story: Ambitious kids move from small towns to larger cities, never to look back. When their parents die, the family wealth that’s been built over generations through farming, ranching or agriculture-related businesses often follows the kids, draining the economic lifeblood from those rural communities.

The largest generational transfer of wealth in modern times is expected to happen in the next 10 years and rural foundations in states like Iowa and Nebraska are working hard to retain at least a bit of those hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

One of the country's best-known celebrity chefs has left day-to-day operations of his businesses after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "MOLTO MARIO")

flu shot
Senior Airman Areca T. Wilson / U.S. Air Force

Several areas throughout Illinois are experiencing heightened flu activity and one preliminary report shows the flu vaccine may only be 10% effective.  

Throughout history, being on the receiving end of anything involving cavitation, a miniscule underwater implosion, has been bad news. Millions of years before humans discovered cavitation — and promptly began avoiding it, given its tendency to chew up machinery — the phenomenon has provided the shockwave and awe behind a punch so ridiculously violent that it's made the mantis shrimp a honey badger-esque Internet mascot.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali is stepping aside from directing his restaurants and taking leave from his TV cooking show following reports of sexual misconduct over a 20-year period.

The move was apparently spurred by a report published Monday morning on the dining and food website Eater, in which four women allege that Batali touched them inappropriately:

After 22 years at the helm of The Splendid Table, Lynne Rossetto Kasper is retiring from the show at the end of 2017. In this video, Lynne looks back at the show's humble beginnings, how the food world has changed during those decades, and some of her favorite guests along the way.

blood vials
flickr/CC Chapman

After reporting by the Chicago Tribune uncovered public health officials were failing to test babies for a devastating neurological disease, the Illinois Department of Public Health Department says the tests will begin Monday. 

Editor's note, Jan. 17: Some identifying information has been removed from this report to guard the privacy of the family that is part of the probiotics test.

It's a typical hectic morning at Michele's house in Northern Virginia when she gets a knock on her front door.

In October, a bakery in Concord, Mass., made national headlines when the FDA sanctioned it for putting love in its granola. But since then, all I've really wanted was to share that recipe with my eating-disordered clients.

Just off a Houston freeway, in a strip mall with an Indian tailor and South Asian grocery store, is a small restaurant with an out-size reputation. It's called Himalaya and its chef and owner is a Houston institution.

Chef Kaiser Lashkari is a large man with a bushy salt-and-pepper mustache. He's constantly in motion — greeting clients, inspecting steaming dishes carried by busy waiters, calling out to his wife overseeing the kitchen. He offers us food before we've even sat down.

John Besh: The Key 3

Dec 10, 2017

Award-winning chef John Besh is the force behind nine acclaimed restaurants. In this installment of The Key 3, the author of My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking shares with Lynne Rossetto Kasper the techniques behind three of his favorite recipes: Fried Egg Sunny-Side Up, Cream of Any Vegetable Soup and Risotto.

Here are John's keys, as told to Lynne:

Making kombucha, an excerpt from 'The Art of Fermentation'

Dec 10, 2017

Kombucha: Panacea or Peril?
The Art of Fermentation

Bill Smith: The Key 3

Dec 10, 2017

Chef Bill Smith of James Beard award-winning restaurant Crook's Corner is known for his classic Southern dishes. In this installment of The Key 3, he shares with Lynne Rossetto Kasper the techniques behind three of his favorite recipes: Fried Oysters, Banana Pudding and Collard Greens. 

Here are Bill's keys, as told to Lynne.

10 ways to flavor whipped cream

Dec 10, 2017

As much as I adore plain whipped cream, I also love that it can be flavored. It loses its marvelous neutral character and becomes a flavor component in its own right, and sometimes that is exactly what you want.


Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts

How to improvise a vegetable pasta

Dec 10, 2017

On our show May 19, 2012, I talked about how one of those improvised waste-not-want-not suppers came about -- a pretty good one at that. So here's the story and a shorthand guide to improvising your own recipes from what's on hand.

What ended up becoming Spring Linguine began late, as in 8 p.m., with no time to shop. "Use up what is in the fridge because it's a sin to waste" was the mantra.

The Shed at Dulwich was one of the most exclusive eateries in south London for about six months — available only by reservation, the "appointment-only restaurant" could be booked for weeks in advance.

With a menu "comprised of moods," diners could devour entrees such as Comfort ("Yorkshire blue macaroni and cheese seasoned with bacon shavings and served in a 600TC Egyptian cotton bowl") and Lust ("rabbit kidneys on toast seasoned with saffron and an oyster bisque").

Except they never did eat Comfort or Lust.

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