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Where other chefs might see kitchen trash, Tim Ma finds treasure — for his culinary creations, and his bottom line.

In a big grass pasture in the shadow of Mount Rainier, hundreds of chickens are crowded around a little house where they can get water and shelter from the bald eagles circling overhead. This is the original location of Wilcox Family Farms, an egg farm that also has locations in Oregon and Montana.

East of the Cascades, wheat farmers say there has been plenty of moisture over the winter and all things point to a good harvest. But the price and demand for that crop is very much in question.

Last Christmas, Matthew Bamsey was in Antarctica with a giant item on his wish list.

As a systems engineer at the German Aerospace Center, Bamsey was hoping the greenhouse he had helped design would arrive at Neumayer Station III, Antarctica, around Dec. 25. His gift was a bit late — icy weather delayed the greenhouse's arrival until Jan. 3, but he didn't mind. After three years of preparation, it was fine that it got there eventually.

Photo courtesy of Mac Witt

Most Seattle bakeries have employed graduates from South Seattle College’s Pastry and Baking Arts program. The school is a pipeline for notable restaurants and bakeries like Macrina, Bakery Nouveau, and Grand Central.

But now the college is looking to cut $1 million, and the baking program is a target.


Earlier this month, nearly half the inmates at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla staged a hunger strike. It ended after five days. The inmates were protesting the quality of prison food.

It’s an issue that has been simmering in Washington prisons for years.

Doctors encounter all nature of odd things in their daily lives. Sometimes the stories end up as more than coffee-room chatter. Consider a case that spills over from the clinical to the culinary: the hot pepper and the horrible headache.

Last summer’s wildfire season had the distinction of being one of the smokiest in Oregon’s history. And you might see evidence of that showing up in an unusual place: your glass of pinot noir.

The aroma and taste of smoke can make it into nearby grapes and linger in the wine, even after it’s been fermented and distilled. That’s worrying growers and winemakers here in Oregon.

Coffee companies in California must carry a cancer warning label because of a chemical produced while beans roast, a California judge tentatively ruled Wednesday.

The decision was the result of a lawsuit filed in 2008 by a California-based nonprofit called the Council for Education and Research on Toxics.

Flickr Photo/The West End (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/fqqMid

Bill Radke talks to Naomi Tomky, Seattle food writer about a dish that she thinks is a strong contender to be Seattle's 'signature dish.' Hint: there is seafood involved. No, not geoduck. Seattle TV critic Melanie McFarland joins the conversation. 

FILE: Schools lunches at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia on Wednesday, October 19, 2011.
Flickr Photo/USDA (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ayDFwg

Last fall Giovanni Inton's second-grade son came home from school and told his dad he was hungry.

So Inton asked what all parents ask: “What did you guys have for lunch?”

A piece of bread and a carton of milk, his son answered. “They took my lunch away. I guess you guys didn’t pay.”

Wondering which beverages get hit by Seattle's new sweetened beverage tax?
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

I don’t normally pick fights.

But I had just gotten the last of four rabies shots at Bartell Drugs, and I was feeling punchy. And thirsty. I wanted a diet ginger ale – you know, something to take away the sting of the needle and the memory of getting attacked by wild dogs on a recent trip to Thailand.

In the sunny colonial city of Oaxaca, Mexico, diners at the upscale restaurant Los Danzantes might notice their fellow patrons drinking a brown, carbonated soda. It looks like Coca-Cola and it tastes — almost — like Coca-Cola. But Coca-Cola it is not.

It's a drink called Zega-Cola, an all-natural substitute to the ubiquitous soft drink. It's made in the nearby village Santa Ana Zegache, and these days, many Oaxacans are clamoring for it. Its creator, a carpenter named Antonio Ambrosio Salvador, sold more Zega-Cola last month than in his entire first year of production.

Edouardo Jordan poses for a portrait on Wednesday December 6, 2017, at JuneBaby in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When you think of cities known for southern cooking, you might think of Savannah, Georgia or Nashville, Tennessee. You wouldn’t think of Seattle.

But Seattle chef Edouardo Jordan is putting Seattle on the map with his southern cooking.

People might not think of winter as a fruitful season for foraging wild edibles, but nutritionist and expert forager Debbie Naha says there's actually a lot out there that you can find year-round.

Something has gone sour between Washington State University and a Seattle-based biotech company. It's over a new, highly-prized apple variety that has not yet hit the market.

It's March 14! The day before the Ides of March, three days before St. Patrick's Day, but 3.14 is a special day all its own: Pi Day.

This year is the 30th anniversary of a whimsical holiday that celebrates the irrational, infinite, transcendent excellence of the universal constant.

When I was growing up in a village in India's then-smallest state, Goa, my family had a Sunday tradition. We love to eat and we have the hips to show for it.

Located on India's west coast, Goa is known for its sun, sand and beaches. A typical Goan meal is xitt-koddi-nustem (rice, curry and fish). A long coastline meant a lot of wealth came from the sea; an easy availability of coconuts meant they often found their way into the food – which, like all aspects of Goan life, is heavily imprinted by four-and-a-half centuries of Portuguese rule.

Courtesy of Anne McTiernan

Bill Radke speaks with Anne McTiernan about her new memior called, "Starved: A Nutrition Doctor's Journey from Empty to Full." McTiernan is a research professor at the University of Washington Schools of Public Health and Medicine and a member of the public health sciences division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

An oyster tray at Seattle restaurant Westward.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Pacific oysters are a mainstay in the Northwest.

A little known fact: They’re native to Japan and have been cultured there for hundreds of years.

Family photos, including one of 2-year-old Jerry Yamashita with his father, Masahide Yamashita, are shown on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Oysters are a cornerstone of Pacific Northwest cuisine. But there was a time when our region’s oysters were in trouble, all but obliterated by over-harvesting and pollution.

Then a Japanese immigrant helped turn things around.

An imagined conversation between two yeast cells appears in Kurt Vonnegut's 1973 novel Breakfast of Champions. "They were discussing the possible purposes of life," Vonnegut writes. If that's not absurd enough, their existential discussion takes place against a weird, dismal backdrop, "as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement." Little did they know, their little yeasty lives had an important, human-centric purpose.

Author Jonathan Kauffman.
Courtesy of Jonathan Kauffman

Carob. Some see it as a heroic stand-in for chocolate. Others, like one Twitter wag, see it as "chalky nonsense." Whatever your thoughts, it's a food that evokes a strong response. 

Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe is a University District coffee shop and a source of vegan dishes.
Facebook Photo/Chaco Canyon

Signs of public drug-taking are all over Seattle’s University District.

But an overflowing container of used needles proved too much for one restaurant customer.

Rep. Joan McBride worries about what she's helping her children put in their bodies whenever she takes them to get a hamburger and fries.

And it's not the fatty meat or processed carbs that has her so concerned.

"Potentially those little pieces of paper wrapping up the hamburger had chemicals that potentially migrate into our bodies," said McBride, a lawmaker whose Washington House district includes the city of Kirkland.

Investigative journalist Maryn McKenna
COURTESY OF DAVID-TULIS

We take for granted living in a post-antibiotic world. Go ahead: climb that ladder to hang Christmas lights, get a stent to open a blood vessel, let your kids slide into home plate. We don’t have to fear scratches and minor injuries.


A Japanese farm introduced a new crop this winter: an organic banana with a peel that's thin enough to eat. In a nod to this appealing outer covering, Setsuzo Tanaka, the banana's inventor, has named his creation the Mongee ("mon-gay") banana — which means "incredible banana" in Japanese.

berries
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

More women are speaking out about sexual abuse and harassment as part of the renewed #MeToo movement.

But for the women picking the fruits and vegetables we buy at local supermarkets, talking about daily abuse isn’t easy.

Seattle folk singer and restaurateur Ivar Haglund
Courtesy of Ivar’s

Kim Malcolm gets advice from KUOW reporter David Hyde on what seafood to order to lower your carbon footprint as a part of our series "The Burning Question: What would a climate friendly Seattle actually look like?" 

The Washington state House Environment Committee hosted public hearings Tuesday on two bills that would restrict a class of chemicals found in everything from firefighting retardant to food wrappers.

Perflourinated (PFAS) chemicals have been linked to numerous health problems, from endocrine disruption to cancer.

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