Food

Silicon Valley's New Product: Vegan Food

Dec 31, 2013
Hampton Creek Foods

With the world’s population growing larger every year, demand for meat, dairy and eggs is on rise. Some worry that the global demand for animal products will soon outstrip our ability to produce them. But one San Francisco startup thinks it can change the way we shop by convincing the meat-loving population that its vegan products are not only cruelty-free and environmentally sound, but cheaper and tastier than the real thing.

This month in Foodstuffs we’re talking to bakers, and today we talk with a woman in Manchester who bakes for charity.

Since 2007, Martha May Fink has used bake sales, physical and online ones, to raise tens of thousands of dollars for charities that address hunger – and all in her spare time, nights and weekends.

She talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about how she started her bakesales, and her tips for baking during the holidays.

Hane C. Lee via flickr Creative Commons

This year the overlap of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving introduces a whole new element to what's on this year's Thanksgiving menu. While we've heard plenty about how "Thanksgiv-ukkah" could change our Thanksgiving eating habits, for millions of Americans, a hybrid holiday meal is their tradition. Food writer, chef, and public radio personality, Kathy Gunst has been reaching out to friends, chefs, and food writers from across the country who incorporate foods and habits from their original lands in to the great American Thanksgiving meal.

Sean Hurley / NHPR

On September 28, 1863, Sarah Josepha Hale of Newport, New Hampshire, wrote a letter to President Lincoln.  The author of Mary Had A Little Lamb and one of America’s first female novelists wrote, "The subject is to have the day of our annual thanksgiving made a national holiday."  Lincoln, a great observer of the wisdom of others, quickly agreed and in 1863 Thanksgiving became our third national holiday alongside Washington’s birthday and Independence Day. 

NHPR’s Sean Hurley set out to discover what Thanksgiving was really like during Sarah Josepha Hale's time. His tack: participating in a 19th century re-creation at the Remick Country Doctor Museum.

kbrookes via flickr Creative Commons

Thanksgiving is no time to be a food killjoy. We’re not going there. Instead, how about considering our food behavior, especially when it comes to shopping for it, serving it, and opening a fridge full of leftovers? You won’t get any lectures from Kusum Ailawadi, who spoke at the recent Ted-X Amoskeag Millyard. She’s professor of marketing at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and has done a lot of research on what goes in people’s grocery carts using the real-life laboratory of the American supermarket. She and her team captured data from thousands of shopping trips across the country over a four year period. She’s sharing some practical knowledge from her findings before we dig in this Thursday.

Diettogo1 via Flickr Creative Commons

Admitting to eating a bowl of cereal for dinner is like disclosing that you are lonely, lazy, or waaay to busy. Similarly, not having the whole family sitting around the table for a hot dinner of protein, a vegetable, and dessert feels like some kind of failure. When did how and what we eat become codified as right, proper, and essentially American?  How did factory work, television and advertising shape the varied diets carried by centuries of immigrants into the breakfast, lunch and dinner most of us eat today?

Abigail Carroll is a food historian and author of Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal, which explores the history of America’s eating from the Colonial era to the present.

In the spirit of thinking about how we eat over what we eat, a team at Cornell University conducted a study to see how we can make the buffet—that most tempting and often fattening arrays of food — into part of a balanced breakfast.

Dr. Andrew Hanks is a researcher for the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

Michael Samuels

The Day of the Dead is celebrated from October 31st through November 2nd, from Latin America – and especially Mexico – to New Hampshire.

Aaron Joel Santos / Novus Select via Smithsonian.org

The scoville scale is used to measure how spicy as pepper or chili is. The jalapeno can have a rating as high as 8,000 units, and for many sensitive palates, that’s plenty. The world’s hottest peppers approach an incredible 1.5 million scoville units – so hot, a tribe in northeast India consumes them for sport. Best-selling science writer Mary Roach visited the Naga tribes to observe their competitive and cultural history with the scorching Naga King Chili.  Roach is author of many books – most recently is Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal… and she wrote about the Naga King Chili for Smithsonian magazine.

kiss kiss bang bang via Flickr Creative Commons

In 1994, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine confirmed what anybody who’s tried to give up coffee suspected: caffeine is chemically addictive. It’s also the world’s most popular psychoactive drug… 80% of American adults consume it in some form. Withdrawal symptoms from caffeine are so dreadful that they are cited as a mental disorder in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Here to unpack the chemical effect that caffeine can have on the human brain is Joseph Stromberg, journalist and science writer based in Washington, D.C. His work has been featured in Smithsonian Magazine and Slate.

ReneS via flickr Creative Commons

Step into any grocery store or café these days and you’re bound to be offered something pumpkin-y or apple-ish flavored, filled, or shaped. Add to that displays of cascading squashes, pumpkins, pears and apples, and you may notice the onset of fall food overload. Here to help us get a fresh perspective on fall’s rich bounty with tips and recipes for seasonal produce is J.M. Hirsch - food editor for the Associated Press and author of several cookbooks, most recently, “Beating the Lunchbox Blues.” J.M. will be at Gibson's Bookstore in Downtown Concord on Wednesday, October 23rd at 7:oo pm.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

If you’re looking for an uncommon food experience, very few are as rare as Steam Cream, a small batch of ice cream produced in New Hampshire only once a year.  


Michael Samuels

In the fields, at farmer's markets, in food pantries and schools, gleaners are proving there's plenty of local fruits and vegetables to go around.

Rakka via Flickr Creative Commons

Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder caused by a reaction to a gluten protein affecting one in one-hundred Americans. Despite the low percentage of those intolerant to wheat products, more people are experimenting with the anti-gluten diet and claim to enjoy health benefits like better skin and fewer allergies.  But is this fad just that...or is there some medical substance behind these claims?

Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

The Saturday show is jam-packed jelly-tight with the best from the Word of Mouth archives. Sit back, relax and let the sweet sounds of this public radio audio sandwich be your weekend treat. On this week's show:

  • Would a mirror change your shopping habits? Michael Moss is investigative reporter for the New York Times and winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. He told us about some interesting new tactics supermarkets are using to influence shoppers.
  • This Soylent is NOT made of people. A new 'food' product is meant to be the perfect replacment for all your daily nutrients. Lee Hutchinson is senior reviews editor at Ars Technica. He lived on Soylent for a full week, and blogged about the experience.

Brady Carlson, NHPR

This time of year is full of food fests, including a preponderance of Greek fests.

Food is, of course, a central part of Greek culture, and as we found at a festival in Laconia, that means a look at the food can reveal something deeper.

Brady Carlson, NHPR

My toddler, Owen, and I agree on most things when we go out for breakfast. We prefer booth seats over chairs, sharing is always encouraged at the table, and we always go for crayons and coloring books when they're offered.

The one difference? He, being two years old, prizes consistency in his breakfasts - the more similar they are to the last breakfast outing, the better. In fact, he doesn't use the word "breakfast" for these trips - "I wanna go out for pancakes," he says. 

Courtesy Ars Technica

Imagine a world where eating and preparing food was a thing of the past. Sounds like the stuff of science fiction, right? Well, that world might be closer than we think. A new product, Soylent, claims to provide the body with all the nutrients it needs. The creator of Soylent sees it as not only a solution to the inefficiency of producing and preparing food, but potentially the world’s hunger problems.

Lee Hutchinson is senior reviews editor at Ars Technica. He lived on Soylent for a full week, and blogged about the experience.

ratterrel via Flickr Creative Commons

With more than a third of Americans classified as obese, behavioral scientists are experimenting with ways to ‘nudge’ grocery shoppers away from the chips and dip aisle and into the produce section.

Michael Moss is investigative reporter for the New York Times and winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. He wrote about research going on in American Supermarkets. 

The Vault DFW via Flickr Creative Commons

As the summer winds down, so will demand for lobster and its market price. Maine lobstermen are bemoaning low wholesale prices, but far from shore, say New York City’s Lobster Joint, market price today for a roll is $19…a boiled lobster will cost your $34. Today, the crustaceans are coveted, and symbolic of wealth, class, and extravagant living. Not so long ago, lobster was considered lower than the ocean floor on which it dwells. Here to trace its climb up the social ladder from grub for the poor to high-class delicacy is Daniel Luzer, Web Editor at the Washington Monthly. We found his article, “Low Lobster Got Fancy,” in Pacific Standard.

The Lunch Box Blues

Aug 27, 2013
lunchboxblues.com

Associated Press Food Editor and Concord resident J.M. Hirsch talks with Morning Edition about packing quick and easy school lunches that are healthy- and that kids will actually want to eat.

Cheryl Senter

Kids Culinary Arts teaches kids cooking and nutrition during after school programs, vacations and summer camps. The organization works in school districts and towns to get kids cooking and eating healthy foods. Matthew and Nicole Heiter, 11 and nine years old, have become experienced hands in the kitchen. Their mother, Lauren credits Kids Culinary Arts.

Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

The Saturday show bring you a spectacular mix of the best of Word of Mouth. On this week's show:

  • Joyce Maynard stops by the studio to talk about her new novel After Her, and why the last thing she feels is shame when it comes to her decision to discuss her relationship with J.D. Salinger.
  • Eating Trader Joe's Trash. New Hampshire native and documentary filmmaker Alex Mannis' film Spoils gives a fly on the dumpster account of Brooklynites who forage in the urban jungle of grocery store cast offs.

In this week’s edition of The Hippo, one story begins like this: Have brunch from El Salvador, followed by a Middle Eastern snack, dinner from Thailand, and New England peach pie for dessert.

macalit via Flickr Creative Commons

Got milk tolerance? Only about one-third of adults on earth can properly digest dairy. A project uniting archaeologists, chemists and geneticist is studying the history of milk in Europe, where “lactose persistence”, the ability to digest milk as an adult, is thought to have emerged only seven and a half thousand years ago. There’s been a wave of discoveries suggesting that a number of “lactose hot spots” where ancient humans developed the genetic mutation for tolerating milk –  experienced significant advantages which allowed ancient humans to survive and changed the course of human history.  Mark Thomas is an evolutionary geneticist at University College London and co-founder of LeCHE, a collaborative research project that traces lactose persistence in early Europe.

Brady Carlson, NHPR

Has any human being ever taken part in a buffet and not eaten more than he/she intended? The very concept of "all you can eat" stacks the deck against the diner: if you're not interested in stuffing yourself like a twentysomething's hatchback before a cross-country move, you're probably going to order off of the regular menu. Otherwise, saying yes to a buffet means, as Homer Simpson once put it, "bye bye belt!"

The state is deploying its Rapid Response Team to assist over 1,100 workers set to lose their jobs as two supermarket chains close some of their stores.

Shaw’s is planning to shutter six of its 34 New Hampshire supermarkets, while Stop and Shop is closing all of its stores and gas stations in the state.

sneurgaonkar via Flickr Creative Commons

You may have heard the news earlier this week that taste-testers and scientists in the U.K. sampled the world’s first lab-grown burger.  One food researcher said that the burger tasted “close to meat, but not that juicy”. Another quipped, “what was consistently different was the flavor”. Not a great review for a patty costing somewhere around three hundred and thirty thousand dollars, but you’ve got to start somewhere.  Henry Fountain, science reporter for the New York Times, tells us about the science under the bun.

Business Insider

The NFL preseason kicks off this Sunday in Canton, Ohio, when the Cowboys take on the dolphins at the annual hall of fame game.  The game gives fans the first opportunity in months to get together, warm up the couch, and bust out the beer and snacks. Sabra hummus is making a play to sit alongside chicken wings, nachos and salsa in the billion-plus dollar football food market.  And it’s got a big backer. Sabra hummus is now the official dip of the NFL.

Food Pantry Provides What Food Stamps Can't

Jul 27, 2013
Seacoast Family Food Pantry of New Hampshire

The Seacoast Family Food Pantry began as the Ladies Humane Society in 1816 to assist families of fishermen. Now, it is still serving those in the community who need help. The pantry aids many families with children—and many elders. Jane is a widow living on a fixed income.

“There are a lot of things you can’t buy with food stamps, but down at the pantry, they cover just about everything that you would need in your household,” Jane said.

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