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.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

The same people who pushed the smoking ban through in Illinois a decade ago were back in Springfield Tuesday, and they want the state legislature to bump up the legal tobacco age from 18 to 21.

Updated 6 p.m. ET

Williamson, W.Va., sits right across the Tug Fork river from Kentucky. The town has sites dedicated to its coal mining heritage and the Hatfield and McCoy feud and counts just about 3,000 residents.

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Somaliland looks to be on the verge of enacting a bill that would punish anyone found guilty of a sexual offense.

It's not that rape is legal in Somaliland, a self-declared republic that broke away from Somalia in 1991 but is not recognized internationally. The penal code recognizes some sexual offenses. Yet they're so narrowly defined that critics say women and girls remain unprotected. The current penal code refers to sexual offenses by the words "carnal violence" and "acts of lust."

In 2016, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told a radio host in Tulsa, Okla., "I believe that Donald Trump in the White House would be more abusive to the Constitution than Barack Obama, and that's saying a lot."

His comments surfaced at a routine Senate committee hearing on Tuesday, when Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., read from a transcript of the interview and asked administrator Pruitt whether he remembered it. "I don't, Senator," Pruitt replied, "and I don't echo that today at all."

When Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon get together to make an announcement (any kind of announcement), it's sure to grab attention.

Outside of Japan, sake is somewhat of a mystery, with its own terminology, styles and drinking traditions. But the country's recent push to make sake more comprehensible to non-native drinkers is making an impact, especially in the U.S.

Why Males Are Biology's Riskier Sex

Jan 30, 2018

Robert D. Martin is emeritus curator of biological anthropology at the Field Museum in Chicago, a member of the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago, and academic guest at the Institute of Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zürich.

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marijuana buds next to prescription container
eggrole / flickr

In a long-anticipated move, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in January he was rescinding the hands-off approach taken by the Obama administration regarding marijuana enforcement. Illinois has decriminalized the drug and has a medicinal program. 

Updated at 11:17 a.m. ET

Health care costs are "a hungry tapeworm on the American economy," Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett says, and now his firm is teaming up with Amazon and JPMorgan Chase to create a new company with the goal of providing high-quality health care for their U.S. employees at a lower cost.

As the story goes, Henry Schwartz's grandfather bought a herd of cows in Manhattan in the early 1900s and walked them across the Williamsburg Bridge all the way to the family farm in Elmurst, a neighborhood in Queens. By 1919, Schwartz's father, Max, and uncle, Arthur, were bottling milk under the name Elmhurst Dairy. By the 21st century, Elmhurst's milk could be found across New York City, from elementary schools to Starbucks.

Insurance coverage for colonoscopies to screen for colorectal cancer is a frequent source of frustration for consumers, including a reader who asks about his situation. In addition to his query, this week I also answer questions about Medicare premiums and delays in determining Medicaid eligibility.

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The impacts of climate change aren't a far-off possibility for the Pacific shellfish industry. Acidifying seawater is already causing problems for oyster farms along the West Coast and it's only expected to get worse.

That has one Bay Area oyster farm looking for ways to adapt. It's teaming up scientists who are studying how the local ecosystem could lend a helping hand.

"We need help," says Terry Sawyer of Hog Island Oyster Company. "That 'canary in a coalmine' analogy drives me crazy, but that's what we are."

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For the past year, the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress have led a charge to roll back the Affordable Care Act, signaling an openness to changes at the state level.

Now, Idaho has jumped in, with the insurance department saying Wednesday it will allow insurers to ignore some ACA rules on plans not sold on the marketplace. The department aims to make these state-based plans less costly. Several of the changes are viewed by the health law's supporters as hits to its core consumer protections.

The Bargaining Chip At The Border

Jan 29, 2018

With guest host John Donvan.

It seems President Trump has every intention to make good on his campaign promise to build a wall along the nation’s southern border. And it seems he’s ready to make a deal to do it.

A Crisis In Community Health

Jan 29, 2018

With guest host John Donvan.

For several months, the Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was in limbo. Its budget expired and Congress took no action to reauthorize it. Then, relief came as part of the bill that ended the government shutdown last week.

Panera Bread has announced it is preemptively recalling all of the 2 ounce and 8 ounce cream cheese products sold at its 2,000 U.S. locations. The fast-casual chain said it had made its decision "out of an abundance of caution" after samples of one of its cream cheese varieties tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

The company notes that "no illnesses have been reported."

Hundreds of thousands of Africans aren't able to get the surgery they need. And those who do undergo surgery, despite being younger and having fewer underlying health risks than patients in high-income countries, face a greater risk of dying after surgery.

It was the tiny streams of slime that stood out.

As a microbiologist who studies the rinds of cheeses like Stilton, Gruyere and Taleggio, Benjamin Wolfe had done plenty of experiments on bacteria, yeast and mold. But he'd never seen anything like this.

Marian Smith somehow missed getting a flu shot this year, which is unlike her — in the past, she always got one.

The 58-year-old Washington D.C. resident says it was easier to remember to get it when the vaccine was provided at a clinic at work. But now the clinic is a bus ride away, and getting the shot wasn't at the top of her mind.

"Of course, I could get it right here at the grocery store," Smith tells NPR, as she rushes to pick up her lunch. "But I just didn't get it — I don't know, I can't tell you why."

Two-year old Maverick Hawkins sits on a red plastic car in his grandmother's living room in the picturesque town of Nevada City, Calif., in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. His playpal Delilah Smith, a fellow 2-year-old, snacks on hummus and cashews and delights over the sounds of her Princess Peppa stuffie.

It's playtime for the kids of the provocatively named Facebook group "Pot Smoking Moms Who Cuss Sometimes."

Remembering Douglas Oliver, legendary barbecue pitmaster

Jan 29, 2018

When Douglas Oliver passed away in the fall of 2017, the food world lost someone special. For more than 30 years, Oliver cooked hogs in a small town in South Carolina and made people happy, whether or not they knew who he was. Hidden in the pits, working through the night, probably most of the customers never even saw him. It was like their succulent, smoky pork just came out of nowhere. But Douglas Oliver, like every cook, busser, server, or dishwasher in every restaurant, has a name.

The Environmental Protection Agency said in a surprise announcement Friday that it is putting on hold a plan to do away with Obama-era proposals to restrict mining at a southwest Alaska watershed. But the EPA also said it would continue to consider permit applications from those hoping to extract copper and other minerals from the proposed Pebble Mine.

The proposed Pebble Mine is located about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage and roughly 100 miles upstream from the Bristol Bay watershed, one of the world's most important sockeye salmon fisheries.

It's not often that an actor is encouraged to toss back a real cocktail while on stage. But at the nightly performances of the off-Broadway play Drunk Shakespeare, having a drink — or five — is actually required.

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Philadelphia has the highest opioid death rate of any major American city.

THOMAS FARLEY: We had about 1,200 overdose deaths in the last year.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Thomas Farley is the Philadelphia health commissioner.

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