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.

Monday is Labor Day — the last hurrah of grilling for much of America. And at many of these summertime cookouts, you'll find veggie burgers alongside (or instead of) the traditional beef and brats. Whether for health, environmental or ethical reasons, more people are tossing veggie burgers on the grill — even carnivores.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Another holiday approaches with another opportunity for a cookout and another conundrum if you're tired of making the same old side dish.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

We can help. We actually already did. Earlier this summer, we asked a few chefs for ideas.

When it comes to bluefin tuna, it's not often we have good news to share, but spin the globe today, and there's cause for celebration in both the Pacific and Atlantic.

When a female honeybee hatches, her future holds one of two possible paths within the hive's caste system. She will become either a worker bee or a queen bee. And her fate is determined in part by the food she eats as a larva.

If you look in your cupboard and start reading nutrition labels on your favorite box of granola or your gummy vitamins, there's a good chance you'll notice a popular ingredient: fruit concentrate.

Earlier this week, as torrents of rain fell on Houston, Craig Boyan, CEO of the H-E-B supermarket chain, went on a video-taped tour of his company's emergency operations center in San Antonio, Texas. The company later made the video available online.

Over the millennia, our ancestors continuously developed new techniques and technologies that enabled them to find, eat, and cook meat and plants — and in coastal populations,

Amid the hustle and bustle of the kitchen at Marcel's, a fine dining restaurant in Washington, D.C., one member of the staff is immune to the noise. It's David Uzzell, the 28-year-old saucier responsible for such delicacies as pan-seared foie gras or mushroom mornay sauce.

Uzzell is a deaf chef — a rarity in the vast majority of restaurant kitchens. When chef and owner Robert Wiedmaier needs to get Uzzell's attention while expediting during dinner service, he pokes him in the shoulder.

The state of Washington is calling all fishermen to catch unlimited farmed Atlantic salmon with no size or weight limits after a net pen broke last week, allowing thousands of the non-native fish to escape into the open ocean.

The pen, in the state's northwestern San Juan Islands, contained about 305,000 Atlantic salmon, and is owned by Cooke Aquaculture.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

If you think that only sports are wildly popular. Think again.

There's nothing like the fair. Visitors can gorge on deep-fried Oreos, hot beef sundaes and heaps of cotton candy. There are rides, craft displays and, of course, barns full of animals that nonfarmers rarely get to see. Yet there's one day of the fair that's bittersweet and, for some, downright heart-wrenching.

In a stats-driven sport like baseball, it seems we know everything there is to know about a player. From batting average to a pitcher's power finesse ratio.

Measuring a player's ability isn't limited to his or her skill. There's also a wealth of information in an athlete's body.

In the dusty red earth of eastern Arizona's portion of the Navajo Nation, the main road stretches out beneath the massive white-cloud sky and rubs against barren, chalky mesas; sometimes it skirts the deep, dry crack of a canyon stubbled with sagebrush. Small fields of corn occasionally sprout up beside the road, the short stalks still far from ripe.

Why Are Atlantic Salmon Being Farmed In The Northwest?

Aug 29, 2017

Earlier this month, a net pen broke apart near Washington state's Cypress Island. The pen held 305,000 Atlantic salmon, a non-native fish.

If you like coleslaw — or kimchi or sauerkraut on your hot dog — you should worry about cabbage. This staple veggie has been under constant threat for decades, along with broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, kale and other leafy greens belonging to the Brassica genus. The danger? A tiny insect called the diamondback moth, an invasive marauder that has spread across the world and mutated to become immune to each new chemical pesticide designed to slay it.

More than one-quarter of serious cases of nursing home abuse are not reported to the police, according to an alert released Monday morning by the Office of Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Jason Smith, a cafeteria manager in Grayson, Ken., didn't have any formal culinary training, but he had a dream: to be a Food Network star. After 10 weeks of cooking, food demonstrations and exuding plenty of Southern charm, Smith's dream came true.

A decade ago, Nguyen Tran ran a small private company producing independent films, while his wife Thi Tran worked in advertising. When the economy crashed in 2008, Nguyen's projects began to run dry and Thi lost her job the following year. Out of desperation, they started an illegal underground restaurant in their North Hollywood apartment. They called it "Starry Kitchen," named after Thi's favorite Cantonese cooking show from Hong Kong.

The health insurer Aetna is facing criticism for revealing the HIV status of potentially thousands of customers after it sent out a mailer in which information about ordering prescription HIV drugs was clearly visible through the envelope's clear window.

For example, in a letter sent to a customer in Brooklyn, N.Y., the window revealed considerably more than the address. It also showed the beginning of a letter advising the customer about options "when filling prescriptions for HIV Medic ... "

Commercial fishing boats are scrambling to catch as many Atlantic salmon as they can after a net pen broke near Washington's Cypress Island. Fishers reported thousands of the non-native fish jumping in the water or washing ashore.

A fish farm's net pen failed Saturday afternoon when an anchor pulled loose and metal walkways twisted about. Onlookers said it looked like hurricane debris.

As Kevin Sullivan slowly rumbles his pickup truck across his 60-acre farm near the Connecticut-Massachusetts border, he leans in and asks: "What's farmland?"

"You picture [a] cow," says Sullivan. Perhaps "Farmer Joe, like me." Maybe you think about my tomatoes and peppers, he adds.

But now, Sullivan and other New England farmers are turning their farms into sources of another kind of commodity – electricity. They are allowing utility companies to set up solar panels on their land, and in the process making some much-needed extra money.

While on holiday in Rome five years ago, Devon Akmon, director of the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Mich., took a food tour in a neighborhood known for its culinary traditions. He walked around for hours, tasting samples and hearing the personal stories of shop owners. That experience sparked the idea of establishing walking food tours in metro Detroit, home to the largest concentrated Arab community in the United States.

It's a summer evening on the French Atlantic island of Noirmoutier. As the sun shimmers on the rustling marsh grasses, Hervé Zarka rakes in sea salt from shallow pools. He uses a simoussi, a 10-foot pole tipped with a flat board. Salt has been harvested this way since at least the seventh century, when Benedictine monks dug the canals that bring seawater into this marshland.

The push for renewable energy in the U.S. often focuses on well-established sources of electricity: solar, wind and hydropower. Off the coast of California, a team of researchers is working on what they hope will become an energy source of the future — macroalgae, otherwise known as kelp.

Brent Deppe is taking me on a tour of the farm supply business, called Key Cooperative, that he helps to manage in Grinnell, Iowa. We step though the back door of one warehouse, and our view of the sky is blocked by a gigantic round storage tank, painted white.

"This is the liquid nitrogen tank," Deppe explains. "It's a million-and-a-half gallon tank."

Nitrogen is the essential ingredient for growing corn and most other crops. Farmers around here spread it on their fields by the truckload.

With guest host Stephen Henderson.

Our decisions about what to eat are driven by much more than hunger. Social trends, agricultural science and multimillion-dollar industries can make certain vegetables hip or carbs passé, while concerns for overall health sit on the sidelines.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Environmental Defense Fund opened an office near Walmart's headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., 10 years ago. It was part of a carefully plotted strategy to persuade the giant retailer that going green could be good for business. If it worked, it certainly could be good for the planet — Walmart's revenues are bigger than the entire economy of most countries.

"We really saw that working with companies could be transformative at a scale that was pretty unmatched," says Suzy Friedman, a senior director at EDF.

Daniel Begay, who is Navajo, had always been told growing up that traditional American Indian foods were good for him.

But because most American Indians are lactose intolerant, "they aren't getting that same source of calcium from dairy products," Begay says.

Turns out that it's a traditional cooking method that is key to his bone health. The Navajo burn juniper branches, collect the ash and stir it into traditional dishes. The most popular: blue corn mush.

Last week, NPR had a story that garnered a huge response from listeners and Shots readers.

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