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.

Well, it's official. Beginning today, all restaurant chains in the U.S. with 20 or more locations must post calories on menus or menu boards.

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, back in 2010, the federal calorie posting mandate was born.

Many chains, including McDonald's, Panera and Starbucks, began posting calories several years back. But the proposed regulations hit several snags as industry groups lobbied for changes. Now, there's no escaping them.

A new study from the AARP Public Policy Institute finds that dementia patients living at home or in assisted living facilities are increasingly being given antipsychotic drugs. This is despite the fact that antipsychotics are not approved to treat dementia. They're intended to treat serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

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A few months ago, Kourtnaye Sturgeon helped save someone's life. She was driving in downtown Indianapolis when she saw people gathered around a car on the side of the road. Sturgeon pulled over and a man told her there was nothing she could do: Two men had overdosed on opioids and appeared to be dead.

"I kind of recall saying, 'No man, I've got Narcan,' " she says, referring to the brand- name version of the opioid overdose antidote, naloxone. "Which sounds so silly, but I'm pretty sure that's what came out."

Lyme disease was once unheard of in western Pennsylvania, where Barbara Thorne, now an entomologist at the University of Maryland, spent time as a kid.

Thorne knew that if black-legged ticks are infected with bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, they can transmit Lyme to people and, that if untreated, symptoms can range from fever, fatigue and a rash, to serious damage to the joints, heart and nervous system.

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A new HBO documentary tells a story about families with children who have psychiatric disorders that lead to violent behavior.

Mbakumua Hengari grew up in the 1970s on a farm in southern Africa, in what is today the nation of Namibia. The arid soil around his family's homestead was sandy and grassy, a poor fit for staple crops, so he and seven siblings subsisted on a modest herd of cattle, sheep and goats.

Hengari blames systematic racism for his family's poverty — and he and his people, the Herero, are still fighting for justice.

The first crisis came in 1904. German colonists waged a brutal war of extermination — now considered a precursor to the Holocaust.

Winter in Fairbanks, Alaska can be brutal. Daylight dips below 4 hours, and temperatures regularly fall past -30F.

So spring, when it finally shows up, is a big deal. People can reel off a long list of the things that signal the season is underway.

One of them is a 93-year-old man in a custard-yellow truck.

Glenn Hackney has lived in Alaska since 1948. And every spring, he's irked by the same sight: trash that has piled up over the winter, and is slowly being uncovered by the melting snow.

Milk is not the unassuming refrigerator staple you may have thought it was. In fact, debates about milk touch on a host of topics — cultural, genetic, medicinal, and economic — that have been going on for centuries and continue today.

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro sat down with author Mark Kurlansky to discuss his new book, Milk!: A 10,000-Year Food Fracas, and unpack some of the controversies surrounding what he calls "the most over-argued food in history."

At an outpatient lab in Tifton, Ga., where Karen Williams gets her blood drawn, a clerk looked from her computer screen to Williams' printed lab order, then back again.

"This is not right," the clerk said, squinting at the lab order. There, the birthdate and address matched the ones on the screen, but the name displayed was a male one.

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On May 2, two girls, ages 10 and 12, appeared in court to testify against a man they said had raped them repeatedly at an orphanage in the Indian city of Hyderabad.

They had been rescued by the police and were sent to live in a shelter run by Prajwala, an organization that has supported rape victims in India since 1996, giving them a place to live on its campus and the skills to help them rebuild their lives.

A rare form of eye cancer has struck a group of people in two locations in North Carolina and Alabama, confounding medical experts who are trying to determine whether the cases are linked.

Ocular melanoma typically affects 6 out of every 1 million people, but doctors have found dozens of cases where those affected have ties to either Huntersville, N.C., or Auburn, Ala. Many of those diagnosed attended Auburn University between 1983 and 2001 — at least three of them were friends.

The weekly potluck started simply enough. A new intern sent a Filipino-American colleague an email titled "Filipino intern looking to find other NPR Pinoys."

"He's looking for other Filipinos in the building to hang out with," my colleague told me, forwarding the email. "You should come to lunch with us."

I'm a Filipino-Egyptian-American. In my decade of working in Washington, D.C., I had never thought to reach out to my fellow kababayan, Tagalog for "countrymen," at the workplace for camaraderie and companionship — until this intern's very earnest request.

Something happened at the funeral. Something was making people incredibly sick. And local health workers had no idea what it was.

Chapter 1: The Outbreak

In April 2017 about 150 people had gathered for the funeral of a Christian minister in the small port city of Greenville, Liberia, in West Africa. The memorial spanned April 21 and 22 and included a wake that extended late into the night of the first day.

When 47-year-old Edward Vega arrived in jail, he couldn't quiet the voices in his head. He felt paranoid, as though he was losing control. "I knew if I didn't get my medication, I was going to hurt someone," says Vega.

He was right. A week after being arrested for alleged drug possession, Vega says, he assaulted a fellow inmate and ended up in isolation, which only made him feel worse.

Finally, a doctor prescribed drugs that Vega says helped. He had been taking them on the outside but ran out just before he was arrested.

At one time in her life, Ange Branca was – and could’ve remained – a powerful and successful international business consultant. But the food and memories of her motherland Malaysia pulled her in a completely different direction, and she worked to become a chef and presenter of true, authentic Malaysian food. Branca recently joined Francis Lam live on stage at our Splendid Table Live event at WHYY in Philadelphia, where their interview began with a quick bite to eat from the kitchen of Branca’s Philadelphia restaurant Saté Kampar.

People who live in Philadelphia have known for a long time how amazing their city is when it comes to food. It’s only lately though that people outside of Philly have started to see it as a home of great chef talent. One of those amazing talents is Mike Solomonov, the Israeli-American chef-owner of Zahav, Federal Donuts, Rooster Soup Company, Goldies, Dizengoff, and Abe Fisher. Solomonov is also four-time James Beard Award winner, including Outstanding Chef in 2017 and Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic in 2011.

Philadelphia is a city that loves its sandwiches. While the Philly Cheesesteak may get all the glory and attention from tourists, locals know it’s not the official sandwich of Philadelphia. That honor goes to the Philadelphia Roast Pork Sandwich, a fresh-baked Italian roll overflowing with savory slices or chunks of pork and topped with all sorts of ingredients that differ from spot to spot. Bryan Roof is executive food editor for Cook's Country magazine and on-screen test cook for Cook's Country from America’s Test Kitchen.

Chef Eli Kulp reimagines his culinary life

May 4, 2018

Chef Eli Kulp was new to Philadelphia when his career really took off. Within two years, he was named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine, Bon Appétit called his High Street on Market the second hottest restaurant in the country, he and was ready to open a new place, two hours away in New York. But commuting home one night, the Amtrak train he was on took a sharp turn at 100 miles an hour. After that accident, Eli travels in a wheelchair and works to reinvent himself as a chef who no longer cooks in the kitchen.

A "computer algorithm failure" in the U.K. kept hundreds of thousands of women from getting notified it was time for a mammogram, potentially shortening the lives of up to 270 women, the National Health Service says.

The U.K. sends letters to women who are due for breast screening, according to British national guidelines, which call for exams every 3 years for women age 50-70. Because of the computer glitch, an estimated 450,000 women in England around the age of 70 did not receive their mammogram invitation.

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When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995, they had dramatic impacts on parts of Northwestern United States. Decades later, a wealthy landowner wants to try a limited version of that experiment — in the Scottish Highlands.

The world's largest active geyser has erupted three times in the past two months at Yellowstone National Park, leaving scientists puzzled by the sudden and relatively frequent explosions.

Earlier this spring, Saudi Arabia was put on high alert as the media reported an outbreak of Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever.

Goats and Soda jumped to cover the story. Hemorrhagic fevers, which include Ebola, are a frightening group of illnesses, and rightly so, for their ability to sometimes cause bleeding — from the eyes, nose, ears and other body parts.

With the help of a rented plane, Jerry Eisterhold found the perfect place to start a vineyard with grapes native to the Midwest — grapes that no one had cultivated for more than 150 years.

The grapes also saved the European wine industry, allowing people today to enjoy chardonnays and cabernets.

A soil scientist by training, Eisterhold liked the dirt on the Missouri River bluffs north of Kansas City, Mo.

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