Food

Frances Moore Lappé

Feb 27, 2012

Today we sit down with iconic food writer and activist Frances Moore Lappé.  In the 1970's, Lappé pioneered the idea of conscientious eating with her book “Diet for a Small Planet”.  Now forty years later, she says much has changed.  There's more awareness of the connections between food, health, and the environment, yet there's also growing world hunger requiring she says a complete global re-think.  Lappé is coming up to New Hampshire at the end of the week to be the Keynote Speaker at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire (NOFA-NH) 10

One day Chris Woehrle decided to finally leave his corporate job and pursue his dream: to become an artisanal food craftsman. And so, every day at home, he'd basically pickle stuff.

"I had a refrigerator full of plastic food buckets that were full of pickles and kimchee and sauerkraut and harissa and salsa and ketchup and mustard and, you know, any kind of craft food you could make," Woehrle says.

If you think astronauts just want dehydrated dinners and freeze-dried ice cream, think again. After a few days in space, they start reaching for the hot sauce.

In fact, they may start craving foods they didn't necessarily like on Earth.

Not all that long ago, many Americans thought of Chinese food as fried rice, chow mein and orange chicken. And one reliable place to find it was at the mall, at places like Panda Express.

But food court mainstay Panda Express is now in the midst of a major transformation. That means moving from mall basements to stand-alone restaurants and keeping pace with an increasingly sophisticated American palate.

Back when refrigeration wasn't up to modern standards, Fat Tuesday was a time to clear your house of indulgent foods. This led to lots of rich recipes, from Shrove pancakes to King Cake. In Sweden, the specialty is semlor. A group of people in Portland, Ore., are keeping that dish — and a few other Swedish traditions — alive.

Picture soft, sweet rolls, sort of like brioche, piled with creamy almond filling. Now picture them being made by a room full of young, mostly blond children speaking Swedish.

Community School

Feb 18, 2012
Cheryl Senter, NHPR

The “local foods” movement is a growing trend. In South Tamworth, The Community School has embraced it – serving an open lunch for the community every week at no set charge, made of locally-produced foods. They call the program “Farmers’s Table.”

If you buy organic products, your options may be about to expand. The U.S. and the European Union are announcing that they will soon treat each other's organic standards as equivalent. In other words, if it's organic here, it's also organic in Europe, and vice versa. Organic food companies are cheering because their potential markets just doubled.

This is one of those stories that reminds us that everything really is connected to everything else.

Here's the web of connections: a threat to California's booming almond business; hard times for honeybees in North Dakota; and high corn prices.

Confused?

OK, let's start with the almonds. They come from an old-world tree that migrated to California and prospered in the hands of farmers like James McFarlane, who lives right outside the city of Clovis.

Why The Best Chocolate Is The One You Eat Last

Feb 14, 2012

It's predictable, and hokey, to bring up chocolate and romance in one Valentine's Day post, but hang on — this is fascinating.

A study suggests that your preferences in chocolate may help explain how you pick out or judge potential romantic partners.

No, it's not that people who love dark chocolate are simpatico with others who love dark chocolate. That would be far too pat.

Gene Gregory and Wayne Pacelle are the odd couple of American agriculture.

"We were adversaries. Some might say bitter adversaries,"
says Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States.

If there was a Julia Child of Japanese cooking — a witty and passionate interpreter of the cuisine — Elizabeth Andoh would fit the bill nicely.

As an exchange student back in the 1960s, Andoh came to Japan from New York to pursue anthropology. She fell in love, but not just with a local businessman. She is also devoted to parsing and explaining the finer points of Japanese cuisine to the rest of the world, as a writer for Gourmet, cookbook author and culinary teacher in suburban Tokyo.

The Soup Movement in America is based on a simple recipe: Bring a bunch of people together to eat soup. Ask each person for a modest donation — say $5. Listen to a few proposals about how people might use that pool of money for a worthwhile project. Vote on the best proposal, and give all the money to the top vote-getter. Go home full and fulfilled.

NHPR Staff Photo

The Department of Health and Human Services says that changes in the foods offered through the Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program or WIC have resulted in improved diets. 

WIC is a national program that gives nutrition education and nutritious foods to pregnant women and new mothers with income up to 185% of the federal poverty line.

It's stevia time!

Yes, we're a nation of cheese-eaters. We load it onto pizza, layer it in burritos, sprinkle it on salads, and slap it on sandwiches.

In fact, we eat about 31 pounds of it per person each year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's estimates. That's nearly triple the amount Americans were eating in 1970.

But is cheese the true culprit behind flabby thighs and paunchy bellies?

Photo by thoughtfuldev, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

This Sunday, the average Super Bowl viewer will consume twelve-hundred calories worth of snacks like chili, chips, chicken wings, and pizza, which besides sounding kind of low for junk food, got us wondering what professional cooks and foodies serve at Super Bowl parties… fois gras nachos?  Home-made Cheetos?  We caught up with cookbook author and educator Kathy Gunst.

In their books, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner use the tools of economics to explore real-world behavior. As boring as that may sound, what they really do is tell stories — about cheating schoolteachers, self-dealing real-estate agents, and crack-selling mama's boys. Those Freakonomics stories — and plenty of new ones — are now coming to the radio, with Dubner as host.

Photo by Ulterior Epicure via Flickr Creative Commons

 A warning to vegetarians and vegans, this segment is about meat. And fish. And foul. Take coffee-crusted elkstrap, pheasant marsala, or country-fried antelope...yup, gourmet game.

Colin Kearns is deputy editor of Field and Stream Magazine, and editor of the Wild Chef column and blog, where such recipes are shared with hunters and consumers of all things hunted. 

 

Tea, anyone?

Jan 9, 2012

Long before playing a role in sparking the American Revolution, tea drove history, something largely unknown to me when i took a proper afternoon tea in Boston, with a man affectionately known as “the Nose." Giles Hilton is famous for his ability to sniff out the finest tea leaves from around the world. He’s Teamaster at Whittard of Chelsea, tea merchants in England since 1886. Giles gave me the chance to steep in his knowledge of just what it takes to make the perfect cup of tea.

Giles Hilton on UK Food TV

 

 

Hemera Collection

EarthTalk®

E - The Environmental Magazine

 

Dear EarthTalk: Ever since the red dye #2 scare in the 1970s I’ve been wary of using food colorings or buying food that appears to contain them. Are there natural and healthy food colorings?

 -- Nancy McFarlane, Methuen, MA

Everyone knows Julia Child loved to cook, but not everyone knows she loved to read. Long ago she started work on a series of specials that are only just now being completed and aired -- stories about food and a little cooking, but mostly about people. "A Christmas Carol is a lovely story to read over the holidays," she says, "because it has a happy ending." Actor Peter Donat brings the story to life -- with sounds and music that stimulate the theatre of the mind.

However you celebrate the holidays, we are now in deep. Hannukah begins at sundown tonight. There are five more shopping days and umpteen things to do until christmas…the holiday parties, the food shopping, the secret santa gifts, school plays and pick-ups. Time seems to compress as our wish to enjoy each other in this dark season expands.

(Photo by Elizabeth/Table4Five via Flickr Creative Commons)

Part 1: Auto Paparazzi

Local food with a capital L: New York-based Brightfarms builds greenhouses on top of grocery stores and warehouses. So if the cucumber section is running low, just run upstairs and you're good.

The system is designed to save the grocer money - if the veggies are on your roof, shipping costs go down, and the food is fresher, with a longer shelf life, meaning storage costs go down too.

Listener Comments

Dec 14, 2011
Photo by Martin Cathrae, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Reactions to our interview with A.P. food writer J.M. Hirsch.  

A Year In Food

Dec 13, 2011
Photo by: bauhaus2010

 

Here’s one word for the food trends of 2011: bi-polar.   

Turkey Confidential is a live, two-hour, call-in program on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. EST for public radio listeners across the nation.  On Thursday, November 24, help is on the way for Thanksgiving cooks, kitchen helpers and dinner guests on this, the biggest cooking day of the year. Host Lynne Rossetto Kasper will be available to answer listener questions throughout the live, two-hour program.

Harvest

Nov 24, 2011

Autumn is harvest time. That means Iowa corn and soybeans; fruit dried in the California sun; greens, beans, and potatoes; slaughtered hogs and beef trucked to market. It also means Thanksgiving turkeys. Harvest follows the families to the grain elevator, the farmers markets and, in a welcome break from work, the State Fair. It's the time of summing up after the long growing season --- the time to decide whether the gamble of early spring planting season has paid off.  Listener information is available at www.fivefarms.org

Thinkstock

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

 

Dear EarthTalk: Given the preponderance of carcinogenic chemicals out there today, is it true that eating certain foods like garlic or onions can actually help prevent cancer?    -- M. Stone, Boston, MA

(<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/instantvantage/6108039196/" target="_blank">Instant Vantage</a> via Flickr Creative Commons)

You may recall that as President, Ronald Reagan labeled ketchup as a vegetable. On Monday, a joint House-Senate spending bill added tomato paste slathered on pizza to the vegetable group. In fact, pizza is now designated as a “supervegetable”. Julian Pecquet covers health care for The Hill and has been following the bill, and the lobbying effort behind it.

We can't help but wonder what Michelle said when she found out.

 

 

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