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 column was supposed to draw attention to a crisis in a country that Americans don't often hear about in the media: the Central African Republic.

Instead, it drew fury on social media this week for its portrayal of CAR and the sources interviewed. Sarah Knuckey, a professor at Columbia University's law school and the co-director of the university's Human Rights Institute, called it "shallow" and "reckless" in its reporting.

'Beer Girls' Break Up Global Fund/Heineken Party

Mar 30, 2018

The Global Fund is pulling out of a controversial partnership with Heineken but not for the reason most cited by critics.

Public health advocates had been blasting Peter Sands, the new executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, for backing a partnership with Heineken to "fight infectious diseases in Africa." Some activists said it was inappropriate for a health agency to align with a product that can be detrimental to people's health.

Welcome to Invisibilia Season 4! The NPR program and podcast explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior, and we here at Shots are joining in to probe the science of why we act the way we do. In Episode 4, they're asking: are we destined to repeat our patterns or do we generally stray in surprising directions? - a question increasingly relevant in an age when algorithms are trying to predict everything about our behavior. Here's an excerpt from the episode.

Straddled across Ausberto Maldonado's backyard in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, a suburb of San Juan, is a nagging reminder of Hurricane Maria's destructive power.

"See, that tree broke off that branch, which is as thick as a tree — and now it's in my yard," says Maldonado, a 65-year-old retiree.

Rats scurry from under the downed tree, preventing Maldonado from hanging his laundry. To get the tree removed, he must show up in person at a local government office. But the diabetic ulcers on his feet make it painful to walk.

The U.S. electricity sector is eyeing the developing electric car market as a remedy for an unprecedented decline in demand for electricity.

Imagine this: A pesky mosquito sips some of your blood. Hours later, the blood-sucker drops dead, poisoned by the very blood it just slurped down.

A man in the U.K. has contracted a strain of gonorrhea that is resistant to the two main drugs used to treat it, according to British health officials.

This is the latest in a long history of gonorrhea developing resistance to antibiotics – in fact, the World Health Organization has warned that doctors are running out of ways to treat it.

Passover is a holiday celebrating the Jews' exodus from slavery — and also a broader embrace of the coming spring, of fresh green shoots both literal and metaphorical. But the menu? More often than not, in America, you're talking stodgy winter foods like gefilte fish and brisket, seasoned (if at all) with heavy aromatics. These aren't dishes that point to the coming spring. They're dishes that come from the root cellar.

Last weekend The Vagina Monologues was performed for the first time in Myanmar. Audiences loved it. Each performance was filled to capacity.

But right up to the opening curtain of the free event, organizers worried that the country might not be ready for a politicized play about female genitalia and empowerment. After all, when they called a sweet shop in Yangon, the country's largest city, and asked for a culinary tie-in — vagina-shaped lollipops — the proprietor hung up.

Treading into ethically and legally uncertain territory, a New York end-of-life agency has approved a new document that lets people stipulate in advance that they don't want food or water if they develop severe dementia.

The directive, finalized this month by the board for End Of Life Choices New York, aims to provide patients a way to hasten death in late-stage dementia, if they choose.

With guest host John Donvan.

Uber’s self-driving car program is still in the testing phase … but it has had to contend with a lot of negative press recently.

It's no secret that Easter, a Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, has deep ties to ancient pagan rituals celebrating the renewal of spring.

And hot cross buns, the classic Easter treat, is a perfect example of how traditional foods can be repurposed to support new ideas and beliefs.

A pipe was the only sign of drug use found near Chris Bennett's body in November. But it looked like the 32-year-old Taunton, Mass., native had stopped breathing and died of an opioid overdose. Bennett's mother, Liisa, couldn't understand what happened. Then she saw the toxicology report.

"I'm convinced he was smoking cocaine that was laced," she says. "That's what he had in his system, [it] was cocaine and fentanyl."

A dose of reality has moved two influential food gurus to reassess their preaching and write self-help memoirs on their lifelong meditative journeys.

Opioid Treatment Program Helps Keep Families Together

Mar 28, 2018

Velva Poole has spent about 20 years as a social worker, mostly in Louisville, Ky. She's seen people ravaged by methamphetamines and cocaine; now it's mostly opioids. Most of her clients are parents who have lost custody of their children because of drug use. Poole remembers one mom in particular.

"She had her kids removed the first time for cocaine. And then she had actually gotten them back," she says. But three months later, the mother relapsed and overdosed on heroin.

An Ohio fertility clinic said that the remote alarm system on its storage tank was turned off, so it didn't know that the temperature had fluctuated, and that the consequences were worse than it initially thought — all 4,000 eggs and embryos in the cryofreezer are likely nonviable.

Big cities in the Midwest are gaining ground on the rural communities that, for many decades, have thrived on the edges of urban development.

Rural medical clinics that are struggling to respond to an epidemic of a fatal lung disease plaguing coal miners received a 40 percent boost in federal funding with the passage of the omnibus spending bill last week.

A tight circle of teenagers is deep in conversation — not about movies or apps, but about ... vegetables.

It's 7 a.m. at MA'O Organic Farms, part of 24 acres nestled in an emerald mountain-ringed valley just two miles from Oahu's west shore. Under a hot sun that bathes this idyllic breadbasket, college-aged farmers harvest tons of mangoes, bananas, mizuna (mustard greens) and taro every month for the island of Oahu.

Sheila Dhand treats a lot of people who might not step foot in a health clinic or hospital — until an emergency.

"People don't want to show just anybody their wound," Dhand says. "A lot of time when talking about wounds, we're talking about drug use. And those things are so taboo."

Pollinator: Judgment Day

Mar 27, 2018

The continued decline of bee colonies — they fell by a third from 2016 to 2017 — has inspired some criminal enterprises.

A honeybee heist in California led to the discovery of a “beehive chop shop” and thieves scheming to pinch pollinators.

He owes it all to his mom — and a 25 cent loan that he used to start a candy business.

Those are the keys to the success of Cedric Habiyaremye, who's gone from a miserable youngster in a refugee camp in Tanzania to a Ph.D. student studying crop science at Washington State University.

Nearly a quarter of the residents of Baltimore lack adequate access to healthy food. For many, the nearest grocery stores are minimarts with limited produce. And lower incomes affect the ability of people to afford healthier food, according to a study by Johns Hopkins that looked at the regions of the city where the need for more healthy food options is the greatest.

kaiserhealthnews.org

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in Illinois and the number of cases is likely to jump even more in the next few years.

When journalist Maya Dusenbery was in her 20s, she started experiencing progressive pain in her joints, which she learned was caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

As she began to research her own condition, Dusenbery realized how lucky she was to have been diagnosed relatively easily. Other women with similar symptoms, she says, "experienced very long diagnostic delays and felt ... that their symptoms were not taken seriously."

The Trump administration wants to show rural communities, which voted for him by wide margins in the 2016 election, they are still on the president’s mind. It suggested a list of broad ideas in January to spark growth and carved out rural interests in an infrastructure plan.

At first glance, Broken Eggs, a 1756 oil painting by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, seems to depict a fairly innocuous domestic scene of a young woman on the floor next to a basket of broken eggs while a young man is being scolded by the family matriarch. The subtext, however, is a little different, because the broken eggs symbolize the loss of the young woman's virginity.

A lot of smart people spend a lot of time trying to predict how much oil and gas is going to come out of the ground in the future.

Lately, they've been getting it wrong.

"Unpredictability, measured as the frequency of extreme errors in ... projections, has increased in the most recent decade," according to an unusual new study by a team at Carnegie Mellon University that found analysts are getting worse at predicting both how much oil and gas will be produced and how much Americans will need.

When Allison Matthews was pregnant with her first child four years ago, her obstetrics clinic scheduled frequent appointments to make sure everything was proceeding normally.

"I was taking time off work and it wasn't doing a lot for me," says Matthews, who was considered at low risk for complications like pregnancy-related high blood pressure, also known as preeclampsia. "I kind of felt like I was almost doing it more for the clinic's benefit than for myself."

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