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food

When you buy cheap, someone pays

Oct 12, 2017
Author Raj Patel said that, among other things, we don't pay enough for our food.
Flick Photo/Jo Ann Deasy (CC BY ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/7E5ZEP


Seattle (or Amazon-town, if you prefer) is ground zero for cheap things. Amazon has built a world-altering business out of discounting products online.

 

And author Raj Patel says that’s not a good thing.

Nathan Cultee dumps 16 farm-raised Atlantic salmon into a container on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, at Home Port Seafood in Bellingham.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to Lynda Mapes, The Seattle Times environment reporter, about Washington's disappearing salmon population and what it says about the health of our coast and Puget Sound.  

Just in time for fall, a new heavyweight champ of the botanical variety — tipping the scales at more than one ton — has squashed the competition.

A giant green squash broke the world record Saturday at the Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Growers Pumpkin Weigh-off at Frerichs Farm in Warren, R.I.

Joe Jutras of Scituate, R.I., grew the 2,118 pound fruit. After the number appeared on the scale, the other growers lifted Jutras onto their shoulders.

KUOW PHOTO/ Kara McDermott

This week one man killed 58 and wounded hundreds of people in Las Vegas using legal weapons — semiautomatic rifles modified with devises that make them act more like machine guns. Will this shooting change our gun laws? 

When you push through the pumpkin-orange door into the cozy, diner-shaped Florence Pie Bar, you're likely to find a table of new moms with their babies or another of old friends: Groups delighting in neighborly conversation, old-fashioned community and a slice of comfort.

 The Natte Latte coffee stand in 1999, which launched the Pacific Northwest's sexy espresso stand trend.
Courtesy of Mary Keller Wynn

Bill Radke talks to Amelia Powell, a barista in Everett who works at Hillbilly Hotties, about the lawsuit she and fellow baristas are filing against the city of Everett over the new ordinance that would restrict the type of clothing they wear at work. The new ordinance passed unanimously in the Everett City Council and would effectively put an end to the bikini barista stands in Everett.

Pollinators such as bees play a key part of producing the beans that go into your morning cup of coffee.

In fact, they are responsible for about 20 to 25 percent of coffee production by increasing the plants' yield, Taylor Ricketts, the director of the University of Vermont's Gund Institute for Environment, tells The Two-Way. Bees actually increase the quality of the beans by making their size more uniform.

On a clear day, Jocelyn Bentley-Prestwich can see Mount Adams from the vineyard where she works in Hood River. But lately, she’s had difficulty seeing to the end of her property line. 

With the Eagle Creek Fire burning along the Columbia River Gorge, Hood River has been cloaked in heavy smoke for more than a week. 

Has Salt Gotten An Unfair Shake?

Sep 3, 2017

For such a simple compound, salt is complicated.

Sodium is a key element in table salt, and it's also essential for life. It helps regulate our blood volume. It shuttles nutrients into our bodies and brains. It allows our muscles to contract and our nerves to pulse with electricity. Yet for decades, we've been told to avoid it.

Flickr Photo/USDAgov (CC-BY-NC-ND)

With the new school year just around the corner, one Seattle school lunch advocate has plenty to celebrate. 

Amazon is cutting the prices of bananas, butter, organic eggs, and other best-selling staples at Whole Foods' 470 stores, promising customers lower costs and targeting the grocer's "Whole Paycheck" nickname. The online giant also says its Amazon Prime members will get special prices and perks.

A wild Pacific salmon, left, next to an escaped farm-raised Atlantic salmon, right, on Aug. 22 at Home Port Seafoods in Bellingham.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Jeannie Yandel talks to Renee Erickson, Seattle chef, author and owner of The Walrus and The Carpenter, and Barton Seaver, author, chef and the director of the Sustainable Seafood and Health Initiative at Harvard University, about farming seafood and the future of salmon consumption. 

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods is another step closer to reality, after the Federal Trade Commission decided the grocery deal would not hamper competition or provide an unfair advantage.

It's a summer evening on the French Atlantic island of Noirmoutier. As the sun shimmers on the rustling marsh grasses, Hervé Zarka rakes in sea salt from shallow pools. He uses a simoussi, a 10-foot pole tipped with a flat board. Salt has been harvested this way since at least the seventh century, when Benedictine monks dug the canals that bring seawater into this marshland.

On Aug. 21, a 70-mile-wide ribbon from Oregon to South Carolina called the "path of totality" will experience a total solar eclipse. Large swaths of farmland in the Great Plains and Midwest will be plunged into darkness for 2 1/2 minutes, and temperatures will drop about 10 degrees in the middle of the day.

But as millions of people look up at the sky, many Midwest scientists will turn their eyes and cameras toward the plants and animals on the ground. And they're not sure what will happen.

'Weird' food? More like weirdly good food!

Aug 15, 2017
KUOW photo

Food can be such a mystery to young and old. RadioActive's Abay Estifanos and Jessie Nguyen lead their audience through the unknowns of food, and discuss how it relates to who we are as people.

You might think of summer as a time for family cookouts and lazy days at the lake, but for 13.1 million American kids who are food insecure, the reality is very different.

For them, being out of school doesn't mean hot dogs and s'mores; it means not being sure when they're going to get their next meal.

For Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst, the grill is a great way to add slow-cooked flavor to meat. She brings Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson slow-smoked brisket, pork ribs with a rub created by her husband John Rudolph, her “best barbecue sauce” and Asian-style coleslaw.


Slow-Smoked Texas-Style Brisket With Best Barbecue Sauce

This is long, slow grilling at its best.

Rising carbon dioxide levels could have an unexpected side effect on food crops: a decrease in key nutrients. And this could put more people at risk of malnutrition.

Why We All Scream When We Get Ice Cream Brain Freeze

Jul 31, 2017

Ah, the brain freeze — the signature pain of summer experienced by anyone who has eaten an ice cream cone with too much enthusiasm or slurped down a slushie a little too quickly.

But have you ever stopped mid-freeze to think about why our bodies react like this?

Well, researchers who study pain have, and some, like Dr. Kris Rau of the University of Louisville in Kentucky, say it's a good way to understand the basics of how we process damaging stimuli.

But first, a lesson in terminology.

Reusing (@AndreaReusing) is the James Beard award-winning chef at Lantern in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Novel and thrilling in earlier days, today's farm-to-table restaurant menus have scaled new heights of supposed transparency. The specificity can be weirdly opaque, much like an actual menu item that recently made the rounds: Quail Egg Coated in the Ashes of Dried Sheep's S***. Farm-to-table fatigue is most evident in those of us who cook in farm-to-table restaurants — Even We Are Sick of Us.

Businesswoman Mary Keller Wynn came up with the Natte Latte coffee stand in 1999, which launched the Pacific Northwest's propensity for sexy espresso stands.
Courtesy of Mary Keller Wynn

Are bikini baristas a Pacific Northwest phenomenon?

Jake Koukel from Puyallup asked KUOW’s Local Wonder team to investigate.

Flickr Photo/Kate (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/Km6ZXK

Bill Radke talks to Kathleen Flinn, cook and author of "The Sharper the Knife the Less You Cry," and Naomi Tomky, food and travel writer, about the pros and cons of the meal kit delivery service industry. 

Suham Albayati, right, originally from Baghdad, arranges items on her table at the Kent East Hill Farmer's Market on Friday, June 30, 2017, at Morrill Meadows Park in Kent.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

It's not easy to find quality produce in the East Hill neighborhood in Kent. For the low-income immigrants who live in the community, it's a trek to ride a bus or walk to and from a grocery store.

So Living Well Kent came up with the idea to start a farmer's market. Once a month the community-led organization partners with groups like Washington's Tilth Alliance to offer organic produce and locally made crafts.

Katherine Banwell of our Race and Equity team visited the market recently and has this audio postcard.


The last few months have not been easy ones for the small companies that supply Whole Foods with quinoa and kale. As big investors demanded a shake-up at the company, maybe even a takeover by a much bigger supermarket chain, Janey Hubschman felt that the fate of her own company, Epicurean Butter, was also at stake.

"The fact that their sales have not been great affects every single product that is in Whole Foods, and their reputation affects everything that is on the shelf," says the Colorado businesswoman, who has been selling to Whole Foods since 2005.

What local chefs think about food appropriation

Jun 27, 2017
Chefs Edouardo Jordan and Rachel Yang
KUOW Photo/Shane Mehling

Bill Radke speaks with Edouardo Jordan and Rachel Yang, chefs and Seattle restaurant owners. In light of two Portland women shutting down a burrito cart after being accused of food appropriation, Jordan and Yang discuss how they view culture and the sanctity of food. They also explain how they have been inspired by other cultures to create their signature dishes. 

More than 1,500 dairy cows embarked on a long voyage Friday from the Pacific Northwest to Vietnam. 

El Balcon, Bremerton. The city ousted the tiny restaurant during the recession but invited it back after its owners and their five children became homeless.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When Mario Amaya first set foot in Bremerton in 2009, he fell in love.


Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET on June 19

Amazon is buying Whole Foods, in a merger that values Whole Foods stock at $42 a share — a premium over the price of around $33 at the close of trading on Thursday. The Internet retailer says it's buying the brick-and-mortar fixture in a deal that is valued at $13.7 billion.

Whole Foods, which opened its first store in Austin, Texas, back in 1980, now has 465 stores in North America and the U.K.

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