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.

Africa's big photo show is asking some big questions.

What does it mean to be an artist in Africa? And what does the future hold for the continent?

"The Bamako Encounters," the 11th African Biennale of Photography, explores the heady topics of identity and possibility through the theme of "Afrotopia."

"What I wanted to do with Afrotopia is let the artists describe or analyze or [imagine] what is for them the reality of Africa today," says Marie-Ann Yemsi, curator of the Biennale.

A few weeks ago, our family gathered for a meeting that we hope will save my sister's life. Our goal was to demonstrate to a hospital social worker that we could take care of her should she get a heart transplant.

Honeybees are amazing and adorable, and they suffer when people spray pesticides or mow down wildflowers. We've heard plenty in recent years about collapsing bee colonies.

So Jonas Geldmann, at the University of Cambridge, says he understands how the honeybee became a symbol of environmental conservation.

But he still doesn't like it.

"Lots of conservation organizations are promoting local honey, and even promoting sponsorships of honeybees and that kind of stuff, and that increasingly annoyed me," he says.

Diphtheria poses one more threat to already beleaguered Rohingya refugees.

The outbreak started in the sprawling camps in Bangladesh in November soon after hundreds of thousands of Rohingya arrived. It appeared to have peaked around New Year's but now there is renewed concern as the potentially fatal disease continues to spread.

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

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This year's nasty flu season has become deadly. The virus has spread across the country and shows few signs of slowing down. It's even getting worse in a lot of places. NPR health correspondent Rob Stein joins us. Rob, thanks so much for being with us.

Unable to walk or talk, barely able to see or hear, 5-year-old Maddie Holt of Everett, Wash., waits in her wheelchair for a ride to the hospital.

The 27-pound girl is dressed in polka-dot pants and a flowered shirt for the trip, plus a red headband with a sparkly bow, two wispy blond ponytails poking out on top of her head.

Hundreds of French citizens lost their savoir faire on Thursday, driven to desperation by a grocery chain's sudden 70 percent price drop for a jar of Nutella. Stories of "Nutella riots" began to spread; videos showed crowds of people shoving and yelling in supermarkets, trying to reach the jars.

This year's severe flu season is still pummeling the country from coast to coast. The respiratory illness appears to be unusually bad for baby boomers, federal health officials reported Friday.

While the flu appears to have started to ebb in some parts of the country, such as California, flu activity has remained widespread in 49 states for three weeks in a row. And that's unusual.

At Ayame Japanese Market, owner Akemi Eguchi surveyed the contents of one of the freezers — the one tucked behind the imported DVDs and rice cookers. She identifies red bean sweets, melon bread ("Famous with American anime kids," she notes), pickled vegetables, and daikon radish.

Spread around the store are a few more coolers stocked with dumpling skins, fresh-cut fish and meat. Then there are four short aisles packed with brightly-colored candy, hair products, curries, thin packets of instant miso soup and tea.

Last April, Fredua Agyemang, a musician in Kumasi, Ghana, was performing onstage at a funeral, which in this country is often a festive affair with hundreds of guests. Suddenly, he began to feel dizzy, then lost consciousness and collapsed.

Viral Video From A Somali Comic Conquers The Internet

Jan 26, 2018

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Updated at 10:35 a.m. ET

Cecile Richards, the longtime president of Planned Parenthood, will step down later this year, the organization announced on Friday.

I hadn't been living in London long when I attended my first Fourth of July party. The hosts, members of the U.S. Embassy staff, made their guests envious by revealing that they could request any American products they wanted through the embassy. Minds boggled with the possibilities. Dried chiles? Aged bourbon? Fancypants cereal?

Nope. These were globe-trotting sophisticates living in the tony Maida Vale neighborhood, and topping their wish lists were ... Bud Light and Cheetos.

Dr. Andrey Ostrovsky's family did not discuss what killed his uncle in 2015. The man was young, not quite two weeks past his 45th birthday, when he died and had lost touch with loved ones in his final months. At the time, Ostrovsky wondered if his uncle had perhaps killed himself.

Stethoscope
Pexels / pixabay

An effort is underway in Illinois that would let the terminally ill choose to end their life.  

Archaeologists in Israel have discovered the oldest fossil of a modern human outside Africa. The fossil suggests that humans first migrated out of the continent much earlier than previously believed.

Pamplet on concussions
Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

A new plan in Illinois aims to end youth tackle football programs with the goal of preventing Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease of the brain caused by repetitive brain trauma. 

The Bialowieza Forest, which spans 350,000 acres between Poland and Belarus, is home to a vulnerable population of about 600 bison. But this winter, the forest also became home to a reddish brown cow who decided to escape domestic life for some time in the wild. Poland's TVN24 news portal reports an ornithologist first spotted her in November, wandering the outskirts of the forest with a herd of about 50 bison.

Human skin is a cornucopia of fragrances.

The bacteria living on our skin emit more than 200 odor chemicals.

"Many of these molecules smell quite pleasant," says biologist Jeff Riffell at the University of Washington. "They smell grassy or a little bit like mushrooms. Some human scents are the same ones found in flowers."

Other chemicals — well — they aren't so nice. "They're pretty funky," Riffell says, like an overripe Brie cheese or a musty basement.

Supplies Of Valuable Ginseng Root Dwindling

Jan 25, 2018

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The root ginseng is used to treat all kinds of ailments in traditional Chinese medicine. And some of the most valuable ginseng grows wild in Appalachia. Supplies are dwindling. So as Julia DeWitt from our Planet Money podcast reports, a backup plan is taking shape.

On Wednesday, an attack on a Save the Children office in eastern Afghanistan left four employees dead and four more injured.

Afghanistan's Tolo news service, said a suicide bomber in a car detonated outside of the Jalalabad office yesterday morning. Then gunmen reportedly entered the building.

Imagine the following experiment: you choose people at random and play snippets of songs they've never heard. A grocery clerk in Illinois listens to an 8th century Berber ballad. A child in Beijing listens to Childish Gambino.

How would listeners react? Would they immediately recognize something universal, say "Oh, this song is clearly for dancing!" Or would the differences in musical style and language leave people confused?

A tobacco product that its maker claims to be safer than cigarettes won qualified support from a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel Thursday.

The advisers voted 8-1 to support cigarette giant Philip Morris' claim that its "iQOS" system "significantly reduces your body's exposure to harmful or potentially harmful chemicals." The device heats tobacco but doesn't ignite it.

Millions of tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean every year. And the trash stays there: Whether it's grocery bags or water bottles or kids' toys, plastic is practically indestructible.

Now marine scientists have discovered that it's killing coral reefs.

A new study based on four years of diving on 159 reefs in the Pacific shows that reefs in four countries — Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar — are heavily contaminated with plastic. It clings to the coral, especially branching coral. And where it clings, it sickens or kills.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Late last year, an infant elephant in the state of Kerala in India fell into a well as the baby's herd moved to cross a river.

Together, villagers and government officials mounted a five-hour rescue, using heavy earth-moving equipment to clear a path of packed-down soil that allowed the youngster to climb out.

We all know eating vegetables is a good way to improve health. And for many years, the focus has been on just eating more vegetables, be it fresh, frozen or canned.

In Converging Marches On Washington, Deep Divides Remain

Jan 25, 2018

Last Friday, advocates who oppose abortion rights flooded Washington, D.C., for the 45th annual March for Life. The next day, thousands gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial, while other groups gathered across the world, for the first anniversary of the Women's March that followed the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Update on Feb. 1: The American Red Cross' general counsel and chief international officer, David Meltzer, has resigned since the publication of this story. In Meltzer's letter of resignation on Jan. 31, he said, "the language I used at that time in association with Mr. Anderson's departure was inappropriate." The Red Cross could not be reached for comment on Meltzer's resignation, but in a Jan. 25 statement, the charity acknowledged that its "subsequent actions fell short" after Anderson's resignation.

Pages