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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


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.

About 20 percent of baby food samples tested over a decade-long period had detectable levels of lead, according to a new report from Environmental Defense Fund, a nonprofit group.

The group evaluated data collected by the Food and Drug Administration from 2003 to 2013. This included 2,164 baby food samples. They found 89 percent of grape juice samples, 86 percent of sweet potatoes samples and 47 percent of teething biscuits samples contained detectable levels of lead.

Lattes themselves will not be taxed under the sweetened beverage distribution tax. However, the syrups going into them will be.
Flickr Photo/Cairns Dining

Even though it’s been days since Seattle officials passed the new soda tax, it’s unclear what specific drinks will be affected.

Specifically, lattes.


A proposal to tax sugary drinks like soda pop in Seattle passed Monday.
Flickr Photo/Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/JwCQyB

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is scheduled to sign off on a new tax for sugary drinks Tuesday. The City Council passed the bill earlier this week.


A brand new flight will send fresh cherries from Seattle to Shanghai, China, several times a week starting June 18.

Northwest And Nation’s Wheat Farmers Battling Fungus 



“Rust” is a four-letter word that makes wheat farmers shudder. The dusty orange fungus called stripe rust cut wheat yields in half. Especially this year—when there’s been an abundance of snow, rain and cool weather.

Would you drink diet soda to avoid a tax?

May 31, 2017
A proposal to tax sugary drinks like soda pop in Seattle passed Monday.
Flickr Photo/Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/JwCQyB

The Seattle City Council revised a bill that would impose a tax on sweetened beverages at about 1.75 cents per ounce.

Will diet drinks be included in that tax?

In a South Dakota court room, ABC News will defend a series of stories it reported five years ago in a defamation law suit. Jury selection started Wednesday.

It's a trial that could prove to be a measure of public attitudes toward the media.

Back in 2012, ABC Correspondent Jim Avila reported on a practice of a South Dakota-based company called Beef Products, Inc.

Portland's Bike-Powered Mill Delivers A Low-Carbon Beer

May 26, 2017

Portland's Baerlic Brewing has teamed up with the Oregon Environmental Council to brew a low-carbon beer using a bike mill to grind the malt for its “Bike Crush Saison.”

The beer, scheduled to be released June 15, will be made with locally grown hops from Crosby Hop Farm in Woodburn. It will only be distributed within a mile of the brewery by bike or hybrid vehicle.

What AmazonFresh means for traditional grocery stores

May 25, 2017
The AmazonFresh Pickup site in Ballard.
KUOW Photo/Angela Nhi Nguyen

Amazon Prime members can now pick up their groceries without getting out of their cars. This is part of a new service they’re trying out called AmazonFresh Pickup.

But what does that mean for traditional grocery stores?

U.S. Bureau of Land Management

The Trump administration has given an initial thumbs-up to a plan to dig holes throughout a meadow of rare wildflowers inside the San Juan Islands National Monument.

It’s not part of any effort to eliminate the monument: It’s part of local tribes’ efforts to improve their diets and revive old traditions.

Ronnie Schmidt once volunteered for Food Lifeline. Then he saw a posting for a job driving a truck for the organization. 'You see a lot of seniors that need this help. So it's nice doing it.'
KUOW Photo/Posey Gruener

Most of the poor people in our region live in the suburbs. That can create problems for organizations like Food Lifeline, a nonprofit food distribution center. One solution for getting perishable food to needy people spread over a large area? A truck.

Browse through some turn-of-the-century American cookbooks, and it's obvious that popular tastes have changed (such as the presence of fried cornmeal mush and the absence of cilantro). But more striking than the shift in flavors and ingredients is the focus on feeding those who are sick — or, to use the parlance of the time, "cooking for invalids."

alcohol beer taps
Flickr Photo/Arvind Grover (CC BY SA 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1SmmftY

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Kendall Jones, from the Washington Beer Blog, and Robyn Schumacher, co-owner and brewer at Stoup Brewing in Ballard, about Washington's longstanding love story with beer. We have more craft beer makers here than any other region in America — 174 of in the Seattle-Tacoma area, according to market researcher Datafiniti. 

Apple growers in Washington state, who dominate American apple production, are starting to plant a new kind of apple. It's the fastest launch of a new variety in history.

Herring Gets No Respect. This Man Wants To Change That.

May 3, 2017

Small oily fish get no respect—but as climate change reshapes the food landscape and sustainable foods gain currency, it may be time to change the way we eat.

Driven by respect for the sea, Warner Lew is on a crusade to bring herring back to your dinner table.

Get ready for a new kind of apple. It's called Cosmic Crisp, and farmers in Washington state, who grow 70 percent of the country's apples, are planting these trees by the millions. The apples themselves, dark red in color with tiny yellow freckles, will start showing up in stores in the fall of 2019.

Scott McDougall is one of the farmers who's making a big bet on Cosmic Crisp.

"It goes back to believing in the apple," he says.

"You believe?" I ask.

"I believe!" he says, and chuckles.

Hunger in America can often seem invisible, but recent studies have shown that it is a problem that affects millions of people, many of them children.

Hops pickers at Titus Farm, on the site of modern-day Kent (formerly known as Titusville). Titus farm and Titusville were named after the same prominent family of settlers. Everett E. Titus in white shirt.
White River Valley Museum Collection, Gift of Erle Titus.

When Kent, Washington, was first settled by Europeans, it was called Titusville. So why the name change? Because of beer.

Or, to be more precise, because of hops.

Or, to be even more precise, because of western Washington's great 19th-century hops craze.


A proposal to tax sugary drinks like soda pop in Seattle passed Monday.
Flickr Photo/Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/JwCQyB

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's proposed soda tax will now include diet beverages.

Murray's original plan only included sugary drinks and received pushback. He said Thursday that the addition of diet drinks comes out of a desire for equity.

An unusually cold and wet spring has Northwest asparagus growers anxious because the crop isn’t coming up. Large asparagus packing houses say they’re down hundreds-of-thousands of pounds so far this spring from normal.

Dan Charles

Jeannie Yandel speaks with NPR food reporter Dan Charles about a new apple variety coming to Washington state known as the Cosmic Crisp. Washington grows 70 percent of the apples in the United States, and Red Delicious is the largest single variety grow in the state.

But Americans don't really buy Red Delicious apples anymore. Only half of the 2016 crop has been sold. And the majority of those have gone overseas. Most American shoppers like other varieties - the Honeycrisp, the Gala, the Pink Lady. So apple growers are changing things up. They're hoping Cosmic Crisp will be a big hit among apple lovers. 

Bill Radke speaks with Dr. Joth Davis, a marine biologist and owner of the Baywater Shellfish Company on Bainbridge Island. Joth explains why raw oysters are considered the reason for the spreading of norovirus in King County and how sanitation issues and heavy rainfall lead to these issues.

He also offers some tips on how to enjoy shellfish without getting sick. And for more info, here are some other tips from King County. 

Kobe beef is supposedly the finest steak in the world. It’s very hard to get -- and very expensive -- in the United States. But it's getting easier and easier these days to find more affordable “American style Kobe beef" or “American Wagyu” at your neighborhood steak house or upscale grocery.

A plane flies over a field in South Sudan. Out of the sky drops a cascade of pallets, sacks or boxes filled with emergency food supplies that, once they reach the ground, can make the difference between sustenance and starvation.

A Canadian investigative consumer program ordered DNA analysis of several fast-food chicken sandwiches and concluded that Subway chicken was only half meat — with the other half soy.

The sandwich chain strongly rebuts the allegations, with a spokesman calling them "absolutely false" and calling for a retraction.

The system that delivers fresh salad greens like clockwork to the nation's grocery stores is breaking down slightly. In about three weeks, consumers may get a reminder of two things. First, vegetables really are fragile living things, and most of them have to survive outdoors. Second, we depend to a remarkable degree on just a few places to grow them. (That's a lesson U.K. lettuce lovers also recently got.)

Starbucks has come full circle.

More than three decades ago, during a trip to Milan, Howard Schultz was inspired to turn the coffeehouse chain into a space that served as a community gathering place. Now Schultz, the company's CEO, has announced Starbucks is opening its first location in Italy, in the heart of Milan's city center.

One might think Italian coffeehouses would be shaken by the looming arrival of this global java giant. But many are saying, bring it on.

When it comes to climate change, we often think of the cars we drive and the energy we use in our homes and offices. They are, after all, some of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. But what about the toast you ate for breakfast this morning?

A new study published Monday in Nature Plants breaks down the environmental cost of producing a loaf of bread, from wheat field to bakery. It finds that the bulk of the associated greenhouse gas emissions come from just one of the many steps that go into making that loaf: farming.

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