9.24.15: Food Crimes Big and Small & The Amish Takeover of Evangelical Romance

Sep 24, 2015

This week, a federal judge sentenced peanut executive Stewart Parnell to 28 years in prison for his role in a deadly outbreak of salmonella…the first ever felony conviction for a food safety crime.  Today, we speak with the investigative reporter behind “Food Crimes” – a new video series examining everything from food borne illness, to the illegal saffron trade. Plus, a baffling new literary trend – why millions of Evangelical readers are snatching up Amish romance books.  

Listen to the full show.

"Food Crimes"

Christine Haughney is Senior Investigations Editor for Zero Point Zero – the production company behind Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” and, more recently, a video series called “Food Crimes,” which takes on foodie items from Iran’s illegal saffron trade to the recent sentencing of peanut mogul Stewart Parnell for his involvement in a deadly salmonella outbreak.  

Goes Together Like Cops and Donuts

Cara Giaimo is a fellow at Atlas Obscura where she wrote about the long history between cops and donuts. Producer Molly Donahue spoke with her to learn more. 

Meat Processing is Still a Human Job

Slaughterhouses and meat packing plants throughout the country employ a lot of people. About a quarter of a million workers in the US stun, kill, eviscerate and pack the animals we eat.  And while many companies have transitioned to using automated machines and robots to process and package food, today’s beef plants still rely on thousands of workers to do the job. Luke Runyon brought us the story. 

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

Bonnet Books
Credit Courtesy shelleyshepardgray.com

Amish fiction, or “bonnet-rippers” as they are popularly called, is big business in publishing. With titles like The Quilter’s Daughter and The Shunning, they sell in the millions – which is far more than the Amish population of the US. Ann Neumann is a visiting scholar at the Center for Religion and Media at NYU, and a contributor to The Baffler - where she recently wrote about the Amish takeover of the Evangelical romance market.

Sleepwalking to the Asylum

According to the National Sleep Foundation, up to 15% of Americans experience sleepwalking. While certain therapies, such as hypnosis and anti-depressants, have been shown to reduce incidents of sleepwalking, there is no specific treatment for the condition…even back in the nineteenth century there were efforts to cure it. This piece came to us from BackStory with the American History Guys and producer Eric Mennell.

You can listen to this story again at BackStoryradio.org