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.

Brewing beer, it is often said, is both an art and a science. New research, however, has some in the beer industry concerned that the science of brewing could be advancing too far.

A team of beer-brewing chemists and geneticists in California has created a genetically modified yeast that produces hoppy aromas and flavors without any interaction with the fragrant blossoms themselves. In other words, they've developed a way to make beer hoppy without using hops.

Nothing says "fresh" like the flavor of spring vegetables that we're starting to see pop up now in markets and stores: asparagus, radishes, avocado, artichokes and spring greens. For many people, the go-to cooking method for these veggies is to steam or sauté them. But how about braising or roasting them? Ashley Moore is Senior Editor for Cook’s Country magazine and test cook for the Cook's Country television show. She says the idea of cooking the vegetables either low and slow or by blasting them with high heat may seem shocking, but the result is magnificent.

Above, left to right: Passport to Chile, Sidecar Called Desire.
Cocktails from The One-Bottle Cocktail | Photos: Kelly Puleio

In a much-watched case, a Michigan agency has approved Nestlé's plan to boost the amount of water it takes from the state. The request attracted a record number of public comments — with 80,945 against and 75 in favor.

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

And we are continuing to follow the news of a shooter earlier today at YouTube headquarters in Northern California. Please stay with us, and stay with your local NPR station. We will keep bringing you more details as we learn them.

In college, it's hard to learn while you're hungry.

That's a message Temple University higher education policy professor Sara Goldrick-Rab has been getting throughout her career.

She self-identifies as a "scholar activist." She has advocated for free college, and in 2013 she founded the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, which aims to turn research about low-income students into policies that improve equitable outcomes in post-secondary education.

Federal health officials say a network they set up last year to identify deadly "nightmare bacteria" is helping control these germs, but the system would be more effective if more hospitals and doctors participated.

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention focuses on particularly odious germs that live primarily in the gut and cannot be killed with "antibiotics of last resort," called carbapenems.

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is fending off multiple accusations that he misused taxpayer funds and maintained improper ties to companies regulated by the EPA.

For many Americans, retirement is no longer the long vacation they once imagined. More older adults are in the workforce than ever, either because they want to work or they need the money. Or both.

If you're 60 or older, please tell us about your experience in putting together the puzzle of work and retirement.

You may be contacted by an NPR reporter or producer, and your responses may be used in an upcoming project.

Losing your nest egg is apparently hazardous to your health — very hazardous.

An analysis involving more than 8,000 Americans found that those who suffered a "negative wealth shock" — defined as losing at least 75 percent of their wealth in two years — faced a 50 percent increased risk of dying over the next two decades.

WATCH: See How Leeches Can Be A Surgeon's Sidekick

Apr 3, 2018

Editor's Note: The video of leeches used in surgery is a bit bloody — especially after the 2-minute mark.

Leeches get a bad rap — but they might not deserve it.

For the 3 million people in America (myself included) with celiac disease — an autoimmune disorder triggered by the ingestion of gluten — culinary life is a series of intricate leaps, accommodations and back-steps. We peer at labels, know the difference between "gluten-free" and "certified-gluten free" and keep a dedicated set of dishes and pots at home to avoid contamination by flour dust, crumbs of bread and bits of pasta indulged in by family members or roommates.

Members of Congress have said they want to loosen rules for health savings accounts. Did they do it in the latest spending bill? Do people who were uncovered for one month in 2017 owe a tax penalty? And how can immigrants who move to the U.S. to retire get insurance? These are the questions I'm tackling for readers this week:

I heard that health savings account rules would be loosened under the new spending bill passed by Congress last month. Did that happen?

No. In fact, the standards have become slightly tighter this year.

Updated at 12 p.m. ET

The same-sex dating app Grindr says it will stop sharing its users' HIV status with other companies, after it was discovered the app was allowing third parties to access encrypted forms of the sensitive data.

Grindr acknowledged that information on users' HIV status, including the date they were last tested for the virus, was provided to two companies, Apptimize and Localytics, that were paid to monitor and analyze how the app was being used.

America's Test Kitchen explores three classic Asian sauces

Apr 3, 2018

Asian cuisine has many standout sauces. They come all in all forms: sweet, savory, smoky and spicy. Dan Souza, Editor-in-Chief of Cook's Illustrated for America's Test Kitchen, talks with our Managing Producer Sally Swift about the importance of three sauces that are essential to Asian cooking: oyster sauce, fish sauce, and hoisin sauce. They discuss how the sauces are made and used in the kitchen, and the winner of each sauce category in a recent taste test.

Have you ever noticed that when something important is missing in your life, your brain can only seem to focus on that missing thing?

Two researchers have dubbed this phenomenon scarcity, and they say it touches on many aspects of our lives.

"It leads you to take certain behaviors that in the short term help you to manage scarcity, but in the long term only make matters worse," says Sendhil Mullaianathan, an economics professor at Harvard University.

Today, the Chinese government announced tariffs on 128 American products, including food. Pork will be taxed 25 percent, and wine, dried fruit, and nuts are now subject to a 15 percent duty.

The announcement comes in response to the tariffs President Trump recently imposed on steel and aluminum. Trade officials from each country are negotiating, and it's not yet clear how long the duties will be in effect, or what the lasting impact will be for American producers and growers.

More than two decades after South Africa ousted a racist apartheid system that trapped the vast majority of South Africans in poverty, more than half the country still lives below the national poverty line and most of the nation's wealth remains in the hands of a small elite.

The Trump Administration today moved to weaken fuel economy standards for automobiles, saying the current ones are inappropriate and wrong.

The long-anticipated move is a win for auto manufacturers, which had lobbied for lower fuel-economy standards. It's also a rejection of one of former President Barack Obama's biggest efforts to combat climate change by curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

It was mid-morning and many chairs beside the outpatient clinic were uncharacteristically vacant.

"I think people waited because of the rain," Dr. Jacklyn Adella says. It was late January, the height of the Indonesian monsoons, and even the relatively arid island of Sumba faced daily downpours.

Adella settled into a small, air-conditioned room at Waitabula's Karitas Hospital as her first patient entered: a 17-year-old, his foot, stitched from a recent motorbike injury, had become infected.

Every week in Murfreesboro, Tenn., Zibin Guo guides veterans in wheelchairs through slow-motion tai chi poses as a Bluetooth speaker plays soothing instrumental music.

"Cloudy hands to the right, cloudy hands to the left," he tells them. "Now we're going to open your arms, grab the wheels and 180-degree turn."

Medical marijuana appears to have put a dent in the opioid abuse epidemic, according to two studies published Monday.

The research suggests that some people turn to marijuana as a way to treat their pain, and by so doing, avoid more dangerous addictive drugs. The findings are the latest to lend support to the idea that some people are willing to substitute marijuana for opioids and other prescription drugs.

The Afghan boy arrived at the U.S. military hospital in Kandahar with severe burns from the chest down. He was about 5.

"I knew as soon as I saw him it was just too much surface area," says Kit Parker, who, at the time, was an Army Civil Affairs officer working with Afghan villagers. "I knew he was going to die."

Even so, Parker and his team sergeant, Aaron Chapman, stayed at the hospital throughout that night in 2003, while military doctors worked to keep the boy alive.

Research has shown that sharp reductions in the amount of food consumed can help fish, rats and monkeys live longer. But there have been very few studies in humans.

Now, some researchers have found that when people severely cut calories, they can slow their metabolism and possibly the aging process.

Our Take A Number series is looking at problems around the world — and people trying to solve them — through the lens of a single number.

In Huntington, W.Va., the number is 10. As in, the rate of babies born with a drug dependency there is 10 times the national average.

It's a number that shows the magnitude of the opioid crisis in this blue collar city. It's also one of the numbers that has prompted two very different people in this community to say, "Enough."

A measure signed into law in Kentucky this past week would prevent federally-certified radiologists from judging X-rays in state black lung compensation claims, leaving diagnoses of the disease mostly to physicians who typically work for coal companies.

The new law requires that only pulmonologists — doctors who specialize in the lungs and respiratory system — assess diagnostic black lung X-rays when state black lung claims are filed.

One spring morning in 2015, Barbara Lipska got up as usual, dyed her hair and went for a jog in her suburban Virginia neighborhood.

But when she returned from a much longer than expected run, her husband Mirek was completely taken aback.

"I was lost in my own neighborhood," Lipska says. "The hair dye that I put in my hair that morning dripped down my neck. I looked like a monster when I came back home."

During a recent walk around the emergency room where I work, I noted the number of patients with bags of intravenous fluids hanging above them. Almost everyone had one.

Our ER in Boston isn't unique. IV fluids are among the most common medical interventions worldwide. Several kinds are available, but one called normal saline is by far the most popular. Over 200 million liters are used every year in the United States.

Coffee companies in California must carry a cancer warning label because of a chemical produced while beans roast, a California judge tentatively ruled Wednesday.

The decision was the result of a lawsuit filed in 2008 by a California-based nonprofit called the Council for Education and Research on Toxics.

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