food

You may think Jewish cooking can be summed up with a few dishes like chicken soup, knishes, chopped liver and gefilte fish.

But there once were Jewish communities all over the world — most of which no longer exist and all of which had a distinctive cuisine.

Northwest potato farmers are cheering a small provision tucked into the newly passed federal spending package.

pie food
Flickr Photo/sea turtle (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman and Kate Lebo, baker and author of "Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour And Butter," discuss the best way to make a pie crust.

This week, school districts in Los Angles, New York, Chicago and several other big cities announced they would ban the purchase of chickens that have been raised on antibiotics to use in school lunches. The districts are part of the Urban School Alliance, which feeds about 3 million students every day.

When it comes to food assistance, a family’s home address can determine whether it can receive help from the government. In Oregon, for example, there are rural school districts where there is no free lunch.

But in Portland, needy students can get free lunch and breakfast — and now free dinners, too. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Rob Manning of Oregon Public Broadcasting reports.

A 47-year-old woman was caught stealing eggs in Tarrant, Ala., over the weekend. But instead of arresting Helen Johnson, police officer William Stacy bought her a carton of eggs in exchange for a promise never to shoplift again.

That wasn't the end of it. The story garnered so much attention, that offers of donations of money, food and clothes poured in from around the world.

Americans eat more seafood than just about anyone else. Most of it is imported from abroad. And a lot of it — perhaps 25 percent of wild-caught seafood imports, according to fisheries experts — is illegally caught.

The White House is now drafting recommendations on what to do about that. Fisheries experts say they hope the administration will devote more resources to fight seafood piracy.

Hikers who complete the whole 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail say the only thing they talk about more than their aching feet is food. They have to carry it all, except when they get surprised by a little trail magic – like what happens near California's Sonora Pass.

Some kids know they want to be doctors or pilots or professional sports players— Andrea Nguyen knew by the time she was 10 she wanted to be a sandwich maker. She says she's been making sandwiches and fooling around with the recipes and the ingredients since elementary school.

The sandwich she fell for first and that she still loves the most? Banh mi. (It's pronounced "bun-mee.") Her latest cookbook, The Banh Mi Handbook, is a guide for home cooks who want to make banh mi of their own.

Dave Arnold can work some serious magic with a cocktail shaker. But he's no alchemist — Arnold, who runs the Manhattan bar Booker and Dax, takes a very scientific approach to his craft.

salmon
Flickr Photo/jpellgen (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of The Splendid Table, about Pacific Northwest-inspired seafood alternatives to the traditional Thanksgiving turkey.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

The Thanksgiving menu might seem static, but it's changed a lot over the years. The Pilgrims brought eel. The Wampanoag brought venison. Caribbean cooks introduced sweet potatoes. And the French brought us pie crust. 

So what might this most American feast look like in the future? The Record invited two cooks to the studio to propose some ways Seattle might mix up the Thanksgiving menu. They're both graduates of Project Feast, a program at the Tukwila Community Center that teaches refugee and immigrant cooks the skills they need to work in commercial kitchens. 

It's like the start of a bad joke: a vegan, a gluten-free and a paleo walk into a bar — except it's your house, and they're gathered around your Thanksgiving table.

More and more Americans are passing on gluten — some for medical reasons, most by choice. Others are adopting diets that exclude meat, or insisting on the kinds of unprocessed foods that early man would have hunted and gathered.

All of this is a challenge to the traditional Thanksgiving feast.

Food compost.
Flickr Photo/szczel (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Karen May, program manager of King County's Food: Too Good To Waste program, about food waste. 

Only 5 percent of meat sold in the U.S. is raised without antibiotics, but that number is growing quickly. Big companies like Tyson Foods and Perdue are now offering lines of antibiotic-free poultry and meats.

Late last year, the Food and Drug Administration asked drug and meat companies to refrain from using antibiotics to animal speed growth, due to concerns about the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But that was a voluntary move, rather than a ban.

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