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.

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.

The year was 2004, and according to certain TV ads in California, great medical breakthroughs might be just around the corner.

When chef James Syhabout set out to write his new cookbook, Hawker Fare: Stories & Recipes from a Refugee Chef's Isan Thai & Lao Roots, he sampled a recipe that is not on most American dinner tables: Fire ant salad.

It's a traditional Lao dish that he ate in his mother's home village. The ants nest in mango trees, and little children are sent into the tree to harvest the ants and their eggs.

"We got this salad, came to the table and there's like ants crawling in and out of it," Syhabout says. "You just bite them before they bite you."

The new acting director of the National Park Service is a former parks official who was reprimanded 12 years ago for pressuring employees to allow the owner of Washington's NFL team to cut down trees for a better view of the Potomac River.

Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the promotion of Paul Daniel Smith on Wednesday.

From 2004 to 2015, Smith was superintendent of Colonial National Historical Park.

The flu doesn't just make you feel lousy. A study published Wednesday finds it can increase your risk of having a heart attack, too.

"We found that you're six times more likely to have a heart attack during the week after being diagnosed with influenza, compared to the year before or after the infection," says study author Dr. Jeff Kwong, an epidemiologist and family physician with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Public Health Ontario in Canada.

What Hugh Masekela Meant To South Africa's Freedom Fighters

Jan 24, 2018

Many people have paid tribute to the musical genius of Hugh Masekela, known as the father of South African jazz. But he was not just known for his musicianship. The artist, who died on Tuesday at age 78, used his public platform to speak out against apartheid and substance abuse.

Last summer, Zac Peterson was on the adventure of a lifetime.

The 25-year-old teacher was helping archaeologists excavate an 800-year-old log cabin, high above the Arctic Circle on the northern coast of Alaska.

They had pitched tents right on the beach. Over the course of a month, Peterson watched a gigantic pod of beluga whales swim along the beach, came face-to-face with a hungry polar bear invading their campsite and helped dig out the skull of a rare type of polar bear.

But the most memorable thing happened right at the end of the trip.

A federal regulator has launched an investigation into a Baltimore hospital after a passerby shot a video earlier this month of a confused patient wearing just a hospital gown discharged at a bus stop on a cold night.

The video provoked outrage across the country, prompting an apology and an investigation by the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus.

Philadelphia is a step closer to opening what could be the nation's first supervised site for safe drug injection. But turning the idea into reality won't be easy.

A former pharmaceutical industry official who says drug prices are too high will now be in charge of buying more medications than anyone in the world.

Alex Azar, former president of the U.S. arm of Eli Lilly & Co., was confirmed Wednesday as the secretary of health and human services.

In that role, he'll oversee the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates prescription drugs including those produced by his former employer. He'll also oversee Medicare and Medicaid, which together spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year on prescription medications.

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

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

Updated at 9 p.m. ET

Larry Nassar, the USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor who has admitted to abusing girls and women who were receiving treatment from him, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison on Wednesday.

"I just signed your death warrant," Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said, in her Lansing, Mich., courtroom as she read Nassar's sentence.

President Trump will join other world leaders later this week in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum. It is a decades-old event that is roundly mocked for hosting the world's richest and most powerful people in fancy chalets while they talk about the problems that affect the world's poor.

It may best be summed up by the sign at this year's event that directs people toward a refugee exhibit and the location of private car pickups.

Chinese researchers have finally figured out how to clone a primate, using the same technique Scottish researchers devised to clone the first mammal, Dolly the sheep, in the mid-1990s.

When a journalist and chef made the decision to host a dinner party and invite members of the Illuminoshi (a not-so-secret society of San Francisco Bay Area Jewish food professionals) to eat a meal of pork and shellfish-filled dishes in the name of education, she knew that more than a few people would have some beef with the menu.

An event like that takes lots of, as the Jews say, chutzpah to put on. Which is why Alix Wall prefaced the announcement of Trefa Banquet 2.0 with an apology.

A short drive north of Fairbanks, Alaska, there's a red shed stuck right up against a hillside. The shed looks unremarkable, except for the door. It looks like a door to a walk-in freezer, with thick insulation and a heavy latch. Whatever is behind that door needs to stay very cold.

"Are you ready to go inside?" asks Dr. Thomas Douglas, a geochemist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

America's Test Kitchen equipment review: stovetop tea kettles

Jan 24, 2018

When you think of essential kitchen equipment, you most likely think of pots and pans, knives, cutting boards, and the like. But what about the tea kettle? Chances are that you use yours a lot, but when is the last time you replaced it? When looking for a new tea kettle there are a lot of things to consider. Managing Producer Sally Swift turned to Lisa McManus, the equipment review guru at America's Test Kitchen, to learn about her recent kitchen test of stovetop tea kettles.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

 

Farmers and state officials in Illinois are worried about potential cuts to a federal land conservation program. It pays landowners to set aside land for things like wildlife habitat. 

  

Summary  

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

Update: February 7, 2018 - A memo sent out to all Capitol Complex employees detailed Legionella bacteria testing came back positive in four of the 300 preliminary test results. The memo says tests are ongoing and final results are expected to come out in another two weeks.

According to Dave Druker, spokesperson for the Secretary of State's office, two of the positive tests came from the Computer Center at 201 West Adams. A women's bathroom in the Howlett Building also tested positive. Druker says a flushing program has been ongoing there since before these results came out. The fourth positive test came from the Capitol building's south end, where a humidifier has been shut off as a precaution. Another set of 300 test results are expected to come out in about fourteen days. 

Dylan Blake

During his first year in office, President Donald Trump has rescinded or repealed many of his predecessor’s policies aimed at curbing climate change and protecting the air and water from pollution.

Those rollbacks — along with funding cuts to state environmental protection agencies — have concerned Jennifer Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council (IEC).

“We’ve seen that whether it’s in Flint, Michigan, or… the lead in water in East Chicago, Indiana, these are issues states can’t necessarily deal with on their own,” Walling said. If Illinois were faced with an environmental crisis, it may not have the resources needed to address it.

When parts of the federal government ground to halt this past weekend, Linda Nablo, who oversees the Children's Health Insurance Program in Virginia, had two letters drafted and ready to go out to the families of 68,000 children insured through the program, depending on what happened.

One said the federal government had failed to extend CHIP after funding expired in September and the stopgap funding had run out. The program would be shutting down and families would lose their insurance.

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

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Pakistan's latest polio eradication drive got off to a tragic start last week when gunmen killed a mother-daughter vaccination team in the Western city of Quetta. Sakina, 38, and her 16-year-old daughter, Rizwana, were administering immunization drops to children when the assailants sped past on a motorbike and shot each woman in the head. (Like many people in Pakistan, Sakina and Rizwana only went by a first name.)

Coca-Cola introduced four new fruit-flavored versions of Diet Coke this week in an effort to entice former soda drinkers and LaCroix-guzzling seltzer lovers.

The new flavors — Feisty Cherry, Twisted Mango, Ginger Lime and Zesty Blood Orange — are sold in slimmer, redesigned cans. They were launched as part of the beverage company's endeavor to offset slumping Diet Coke sales, which have steadily declined since the height of soft-drink consumption in the mid-2000s.

Kids who vape and use other forms of e-cigarettes are likely to try more harmful tobacco products like regular cigarettes, but e-cigarettes do hold some promise for helping adults quit.

That's according to the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, which published a comprehensive public health review of more than 800 studies on e-cigarettes on Tuesday.

Mount Mayon, the Philippines' most active volcano, erupted for eight minutes on Monday afternoon, spewing a 3-mile-tall column of debris and volcanic gas. It exploded at least five more times Monday night and Tuesday morning.

In California, the state Senate is considering legislation that would ensure that students at four-year public universities in California have access on campus to medication for abortions.

Sen. Connie Leyva introduced the bill, SB 320, in February 2017. It would require all health centers within the University of California and California State University systems to stock the drugs prescribed for medication abortion and ready their campus health clinics to provide them by 2022.

Cape Town officials are tightening water restrictions amid claims the city could run out of water by April 21. After three years of intensive drought, officials say residents are bracing for "Day Zero," the day water could stop flowing.

South Africa's second-largest city would be the first major city in the developed world to run out of water, if residents do not heed new stricter water measures. The region is experiencing its worst drought in a century, which experts say has been exacerbated by climate change and in Cape Town, rapid population growth.

Forced labor, human trafficking and other rights abuses are "widespread" in the Thai fishing industry, according to a new Human Rights Watch report that provides an update on a sector that has been cited for enabling slavery conditions.

Frustrated with the Vietnam War, The Man, and the general state of the nation, hippies set out to do everything differently. They founded rural communes, dabbled in psychedelics and cultivated a laissez-faire approach to personal hygiene. But, like everyone else in the world, they had to eat.

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