food

During a severe drought in 2011, JennaDee Detro noticed that many trees on the family cattle ranch in Cat Spring, Texas, withered, but a certain evergreen holly appeared vigorous. It's called a yaupon.

"The best we can tell is that they enjoy suffering," Detro says with a laugh. "So this kind of extreme weather in Texas — and the extreme soil conditions — are perfect for the yaupon."

Detro began researching yaupon — a tree abundant in its native range, from coastal North Carolina to East Texas — and discovered that the plant contains caffeine and has a remarkable history.

Halibut catch in Alaska.
Flickr Photo/Jay Cross (CC BY 2.0)

Jeannie Yandel talks with Lee van der Voo, a Portland-based investigative reporter for Investigate West, about her reporting on how some sustainably-certified pollock and sole fisheries are actually harming small, Native halibut fishing communities in western Alaska. 

Do Fish Names Encourage Fishy Business?

Jul 30, 2015

Order a rockfish at a restaurant in Maryland, and you'll likely get a striped bass. Place the same order in California, and you could end up with a vermilion rockfish, a Pacific Ocean perch or one of dozens of other fish species on your plate.

This jumble of names is perfectly legal. But it's confusing to diners — and it can hamper efforts to combat illegal fishing and seafood fraud, says the ocean conservation group Oceana.

Eggs
Flickr Photo/A.Davey (CC BY NC ND 2.0)

The perfect egg has dark orange yolk and a thick white. And when you crack it open, it acts as its own sauce.

Not, in other words, your typical grocery store egg, with a pale yolk that tastes like nothing.

Grapes on the vineyards of Cave B Winery in Quincy, Washington.
Flickr Photo/Samantha Levang (CC BY 2.0)

Marcie Sillman speaks with Dick Boushey, a grower and vineyard manager in the Red Mountain area, about the impact of heat on Washington's $1 billion wine industry. 

At Hack the CD this weekend, the focus was on problems facing Seattle's Central District.
KUOW Photo/Jamala Henderson

Damon Bomar wants to create an app that would help people find local odd jobs.

“For me personally it would work because I have a job, but at the same time I need a little more money on the side,” Bomar said. He presented his idea at the second Hack the CD conference in Seattle.

Federal Bill Could Trump Oregon GMO Bans

Jul 23, 2015

Supporters of Jackson County’s proposed genetically-engineered crops ban were ecstatic when it was announced Measure 15-119 had passed by a two-to-one margin.

Organic farmer and campaign organizer Elise Higley said the vote was a strong statement of local values.

“I’m just so grateful that the community stepped up in supporting local farmers and showing that they really care about their food security and want to protect family farmers against the threats of genetically engineered pollen and crops,” she said.

RadioActive Bites Into Food Culture

Jul 23, 2015
Julia Furukawa enjoying the RadioActive potluck
KUOW photo

In today's podcast, we explore the deep connection between food and culture. Jon Rubin of the Conflict Kitchen in Pittsburgh and the rest of the RadioActive team provide insight into that connection.

Detox diets come and go, like any other fad. In South Korea, one popular diet has staying power. It has been around for at least 1,600 years, ever since the founding of the Jinkwansa temple in the mountains outside of Seoul.

This Buddhist monastery sits at the convergence of two streams, amid twisting leafy trees and soaring peaks. It's one of many temples in the countryside outside of South Korea's capital. Each temple has its own specialty. Jinkwansa is famous for two reasons.

The next time you pop a Popsicle in your mouth, think about this: You're enjoying the fruits of an 11-year-old entrepreneur's labor.

Back in 1905, a San Francisco Bay Area kid by the name of Frank Epperson accidentally invented the summertime treat. He had mixed some sugary soda powder with water and left it out overnight. It was a cold night, and the mixture froze. In the morning, Epperson devoured the icy concoction, licking it off the wooden stirrer. He declared it an Epsicle, a portmanteau of icicle and his name, and started selling the treat around his neighborhood.

Green beans at the Ballard farmers market.
KUOW Photo/Ross Reynolds

Ross Reynolds goes to the Ballard Farmers Market with author, blogger and restaurateur Molly Wizenberg to find what's fresh  this week --green beans! -- and learn a simple recipe.

As Dan Charles reported on Monday, yogurt has a way of igniting passions. In his story of arson, the flames were literal.

Once you start looking, it's really not hard to find people — even entire countries — deeply attached to this nourishing and calming food.

Shoppers peruse produce at the University District farmers market.
KUOW Photo/Ross Reynolds

Ross Reynolds interviews Chef Edouardo Jordan of Salere about picking tomatoes at the University District Farmers Market and making a warm tomato salad.

Jordan says  he likes them "just ready to explode in your hand." Farmers come to his restaurant to sell him produce, but Jordan explains why it's important to come to the market to meet them instead.

Two years ago, in the middle of the night, a fire broke out in a commercial building on the northern edge of the city of Dallas. It destroyed a small yogurt company called Three Happy Cows.

Two months later, Edgar Diaz, the founder of Three Happy Cows, confessed that he'd set the fire. Yet people who knew Diaz, and had worked with him, could not believe it.

"I was like, Edgar did that? No way! No way. No way," says Ruth Cruz, who worked at Three Happy Cows.

"No. No. It was his baby. Couldn't imagine," says Don Seale, who supplied milk to the factory.

This summer, NPR is getting crafty in the kitchen. As part of Weekend Edition's Do Try This At Home series, chefs are sharing their cleverest hacks and tips — taking expensive, exhausting or intimidating recipes and tweaking them to work in any home kitchen.

This week: A stress-free way to make a classic — and unruly — French sauce that's a variation of hollandaise.

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