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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.

Frustrated with the Vietnam War, The Man, and the general state of the nation, hippies set out to do everything differently. They founded rural communes, dabbled in psychedelics and cultivated a laissez-faire approach to personal hygiene. But, like everyone else in the world, they had to eat.

Mary Haddish, 14, left, shops with her father, Daniel Ghebre at Amazon Go on Monday, January 22, 2018, on 7th Ave., in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Nobody likes to wait in line. So today, Amazon removed that unpleasantness from the neighborhood grocery store. At Amazon Go, you walk in, pick up your groceries and walk out.

Listen up, night owls: If you're sleeping six or fewer hours per night, you're not doing your health any favors.

A new study finds that getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night may help you tame your sweet tooth.

Photo courtesy of Leslie Coaston

Holidays often evoke family traditions and food memories. So we asked Leslie Coaston and Laurie Minzel, the former owners of the Kingfish Café, about theirs.

The sisters' Kingfish Café was a favorite fixture in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood before it closed in 2015. And it all started out as a dream.

Behold, the cocktail avocado. No, that's not a weird cucumber. It's the latest in avocado innovation, on offer at British retail chain Marks & Spencer.

Hiwot Taddesse, left, and Executive Chef Lisa Nakamura laugh while cooking at the Ubuntu Street Cafe on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, in Kent.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

On a quiet side street in Kent sits the Ubuntu Street Cafe. Ubuntu, which means humanity toward others, is the brainchild of Veena Prasad, executive director of Project Feast. 

The delivery of federal food benefits for millions of low-income people is likely to change after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday it'll allow states more flexibility in how they dole out the money.

This is the final part in a series on the future of fish farming in the Pacific Northwest. Read part 1 here.

Inside a chilly warehouse on the north end of Vancouver Island, eight giant tanks are lit with swimming pool lights. These are fish tanks — some of the biggest fish tanks around. Every so often the glistening back of a fish surfaces.

The first Thanksgiving pie that Lauren Ko made was a disaster.

M
Vincent Kessler/Reuters

In the US, and throughout the globe for that matter, the private sector is increasingly being looked to as a source of leadership for combating climate change. And many companies are stepping up, especially with the lack of leadership coming from Washington.

Consider the family-owned company Mars, the world’s largest candy maker — it produces iconic brands like Snickers, Skittles and M&M’s.

Courtesy of Heather Malcolm

It’s Thanksgiving week, and among the many things one might be thankful for, pie and whiskey could be high on your list. A group of writers led by Kate Lebo and Sam Ligon certainly thought so. They thought so much of that duo that they created the anthology “Pie & Whiskey: Writers under the Influence of Butter & Booze.”

It's the season of sinful eating. In just four days we'll be piling our Thanksgiving plates high with buttery mashed potatoes and MSG-laden turkey.

And good news, gobblers: All those forkfuls of goodness may not be as bad for us as we think.

For the past almost-50 years, I've been sharing an old family Thanksgiving recipe with NPR listeners. Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish comes from my late mother-in-law Marjorie Stamberg, who served it in Allentown, Pa., when I was brought there to be inspected by my future in-laws.

Cooking curry is my mom's feminist act

Nov 15, 2017
Neelima Musaliar (L) learned to cook as a prerequisite for an arranged marriage. Now she's teaching her daughter Aliyah (R) to cook to show her that she doesn't need to stir the pot for anyone other than herself.
KUOW Photo / Aliyah Musaliar

I’m the worst cook.

Actually, I'm worse than the worst. I’m the kid who burnt cereal because I thought microwaving Cocoa Puffs would result in a more melty-chocolate flavor.


October's California wine country wildfires damaged more than 30 wineries. Now, the Northwest wine industry and wine drinkers are stepping up to with their wallets to help.

Jill Davenport

Nearly half the anchor lines on an Atlantic salmon farm snapped one evening in July, a month before an even worse accident caused the aging pens to collapse completely.


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