food

Flickr / Natalie Maynor

More cities want to take eating local food from just a hip trend to an economic generator, but as in many grassroots movements, there can be some growing pains along the way. Northern Colorado advocates are trying a new model to spur growth and they’re borrowing ideas from the tech sector.

These days, Americans are all about eating local foods. But one important local crop drops to the ground mostly unnoticed every fall. Well, unless you're a squirrel. Yes, we're talking about acorns.

Although acorns don't get the love that hazelnuts and walnuts enjoy, this wasn't always the case. Bill Logan is an arborist in New York, who traced the history of eating acorns for his book Oak: The Frame of Civilization.

Big Stock Image

Jennifer Brdar’s dream job was to be a meat inspector for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, watching out for unwary consumers and making sure the meat on their dinner tables was clean and disease-free.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Local food is no longer just a novelty. Farmers markets are growing nationwide and farms that sell directly to consumers brought in $1.3 billion in 2012, up eight percent from just five years earlier.

Jessica Naudziunas / KBIA

Food prices are up, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture isn’t forecasting a drastic surge. In spite of price spikes in the meat aisle, grocery prices are not rising any faster than they have historically.

A tour of the Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury, Vt., includes a stop at the "Flavor Graveyard," where ice cream combinations that didn't make the cut are put to rest under the shade of big trees.

Some people have had it with "natural" food.

For fifteen years, Urvashi Rangan, director of consumer safety and sustainability for Consumer Reports, has been pointing out that "natural" is just about the most misleading label that you'll ever see on a food package. Yet consumers still look for that word, food companies still love to use it and the Food and Drug Administration can't or won't define it.

Earlier this week, we told you about a school backed by director James Cameron and his wife, Suzy Amis Cameron, that may become the first vegan school in the U.S.

KBIA File Photo

With seven snow days, Columbia Public Schools has already surpassed its allotted limit of six snow days for the 2013-14 school year. For most, a snow day leads to relaxation. For people involved in the transportation and reception of food, it means exactly the opposite.

Their line of communication never ends. The Columbia Public School District has 34 schools to keep track of. That means 34 kitchens that receive food multiple times a week. Depending on what time a snow day is announced, it may be too late to stop a delivery service.

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which we talk about important issues related to food production.

Consumers increasingly want the texture and taste of white bread but the nutritional benefits of whole grains. In this week's episode of Field Notes, Harvest Public Media's Luke Runyon reports on a new variety of wheat called Snowmass that could help meet that demand.

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

A new wheat variety may have cracked the code to marry the fluffiness of white bread with whole grain nutrition.

For a long time, American bread makers have been in a bind. Many consumers like the texture and taste of white bread, but want the nutritional benefits of whole grains.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Hot-button food issues of the day, such as the use of genetically modified organisms or the treatment of livestock, tend to pit large industries against smaller activist groups. Often, both sides will claim the science supports what they are saying. That can leave consumers, most of whom aren’t scientists, in a bit of a bind.

Produce aisle of grocery store
File Photo / KBIA

Limited access to nutritious food is an issue facing rural communities in Missouri and the nation at large, according to University of Missouri specialists. 

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which reporters talk to newsmakers and experts about important issues related to food production.

Photo provided by Miller County Emergency Management.

Authorities in southern Missouri have identified a 23-year-old single mother who's presumed to have died in recent flooding that also killed her young son.

Pulaski County Sheriff Ron Long said Thursday that 4-year-old Elyjah M. Lee and his mother, Jessica D. Lee, both of Waynesville, were in a car that was swept off a roadway early Tuesday after torrential rains hit the area, flooding streets and damaging homes and businesses.

Produce aisle of grocery store
File Photo / KBIA

Walk down a grocery store aisle or open a restaurant menu.

Gluten-free labels are everywhere.

Gluten is a starchy protein compound found in products made from wheat, barley and rye. It’s what gives dough a chewy texture. But up until this point, there has been little oversight on what qualifies as gluten-free and what doesn’t.

Displaced Pinhook residents look for new home

Jul 17, 2013
Tamara Zellars Buck / KRCU

Drive along southeast Missouri’s Highway VV in Mississippi County, and you will primarily see vibrant green fields littered with farm equipment and the occasional farmer working the land.

The burned out remains of what was once a church stands sentry alongside the highway, just outside of what at first glance appears to be an ordinary rural community.

But, something seems out of place.

Interfaith gardens grow food and fellowship

Jul 12, 2013
Photo courtesy Lily Chan

 

Volunteers from different faith communities have been working together to grow food. Columbia has more than 30 community garden plots, and several of them are interfaith gardens. 

Monta Welch is the founder of a group called Interfaith Care for Creation, which has started an interfaith garden project in Columbia.  The goal of the program is to educate different faith communities about environmental stewardship, she said. 

Angie Smith/U.S. Missouri Army Corps of Engineers / Flickr

Farmers in a dozen Missouri counties could be eligible for emergency loans through the U.S. Agriculture Department for damage from severe spring weather.

If you really love your peaches and want to shake a tree, there's a map to help you find one. That goes for veggies, nuts, berries and hundreds of other edible plant species, too.

Flooding causes road closures in mid-Missouri

Apr 18, 2013
Stew Dean / Flickr

  Flooding from thunder storms has caused a large number of road closures in mid-Missouri, Thursday.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Six months ago, Kara Welter drastically changed her diet by eliminating food that contains wheat, rye or barley.

“I don’t eat gluten,” said Welter, a 41-year-old marketing executive in Kansas City. “I happened to just try it because I was having stomach issues for years. And it turns out within three days, I stopped having stomach issues.”

Welter’s gluten decision stemmed from what she read online. Medical tests showed that she did not have a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, the disorder that causes the immune system to reject the gluten.

Melanie Cheney / Flickr

Two freshman Congressmen from southern Illinois want the Army Corps of Engineers to start thinking of ways it can coordinate river management to keep cargo traffic flowing during droughts or floods.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Just south of Hermann, Mo., Swiss Meat and Sausage Co. processes 2 million pounds of meat a year -- everything from cattle to hogs to buffalo to elk.

And everything gets a label.

“No antibiotics added, raised without added hormones, all natural, minimally processed," Glenn Brandt, the production manager for Swiss Meat, reads from a hefty roll of hickory smoked beef sausage stickers.

What this label does not indicate, however, is whether or not the sausage contains genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Mississippi Passes 'Anti-Bloomberg' Bill

Mar 12, 2013

Mayor Mike and his public health edicts are having a rough ride.

On Monday, a state judge in Manhattan struck down New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's rule capping soda sizes. And lawmakers in Mississippi are taking the backlash against government regulation on food marketing one step further.

Sure, we know that gluten-free is the Jennifer Lawrence of food trends. But we were still startled to hear that one-third of Americans say they're trying to avoid gluten. Really?

Mansoor Khan for Harvest Public Media

Can a watermelon be grown in the shape of a square? What do Olympic athletes like Michael Phelps eat for breakfast? Which island nation produces the most lamb in the world? Consumers interested in pulling back the curtain on our food system will get these and many other questions answered at “Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture.” The exhibition, on view now at the American Museum of Natural History, explores how our food is produced, distributed and eaten.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Raw milk cheese — which is made from unpasteurized milk — has gathered a small but fervent following for its taste, nutritional benefits and freshness.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

This blog is part of ongoing coverage from Harvest Public Media, a public radio reporting project in the Midwest that focuses on important issues related to food production and agriculture.

When I dig into a burger, I might think about how the cow the beef came from was raised -- whether it was grass or grain fed, locally raised or imported -- but rarely do I consider what breed of cow the meat came from.

Nuclear Winter/flickr

California voters defeated Proposition 37 [PDF] on Tuesday night, the ballot measure that would have required labels to indicate the presence of genetically modified foods. At the polls, 53 percent of Californians voted against the proposition, while 47 percent voted for it. 

Pages