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food

The battle of the Joes isn't over yet.

On one hand, you have Trader Joe's — the U.S. grocery chain with a bit of a cult following for its quirky, exclusive products.

On the other hand, you have Pirate Joe's — the Canadian "gray market" grocery shop that sells Trader Joe's goods picked up in America and trucked across the border to Vancouver. There, at a significant markup, they're sold to Trader Joe's enthusiasts who don't fancy the thought of a border-crossing grocery run.

If the popularity of quinoa has taught us anything, it's that Americans are increasingly open about exploring grains besides the familiar wheat and rice. Now, researchers at Tennessee State University are hoping consumers are ready to give another ancient grain a try: amaranth.

Amaranth was revered by the Aztecs in Mexico. Today in the U.S., it's mostly grown in people's backyards or on research farms, like an experimental field at Tennessee State University.

Teriyaki is a Seattle staple, but it may be disappearing.
Flickr Photo/Sam Pangan (CC BY ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/hi9mhb

Bill Radke talks to Naomi Tomky, local freelance food and travel writer, about the "slow death" of teriyaki in Seattle. 

Sylvia and Ernie would have made a prettier pie, but this one, made by a crust novice, was amazingly delicious.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

My parents almost always have a pie in the cupboard: apple in the fall, pumpkin in the winter, rhubarb in the spring and blackberry in the summer. My mom makes the crust. My dad makes the filling. I’ve never had a pie approaching the quality of theirs.

Growing up in Seattle I spent summer evenings like this picking blackberries.

These days I spend more time trying to fend off blackberry vines in my garden.

If you’ve tried to do that, you’ve probably found that following one long blackberry vine to the source leads to another heading a different direction.

Todd Bishop of GeekWire
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Bill Radke talks to Todd Bishop of Geekwire about this mysterious "Project X" in Ballard and why he thinks it's the home of a new drive-through grocery store. 

Portland Public Schools is putting a virtual “do not eat” sign at the gates to about 75 community gardens. The Oregon Health Authority says it didn’t directly advise Portland, but the district found elevated lead levels in water spigots that may be used for gardening.

Officials at Portland Public Schools are warning against eating produce grown in school gardens. It’s based on advice from state health officials.

Artisanal Food Waste: Can You Turn Scraps Into Premium Products?

Aug 19, 2016

Many efforts to address the food waste crisis hinge on getting consumers to buy fruits and vegetables that are adorably ugly — the bumpy tomato, the bulbous carrot, the dinged apple. Taste and nutritional value aren't compromised by their irregular appearance.

Although Family Circle magazine's quadrennial presidential cookie competition sounds like it might have started with Mamie Eisenhower back in the 1950s, it actually got its start with Hillary Clinton.

Every presidential election cycle since 1992, the magazine has published a cookie recipe from the candidates' wives. The latest recipes were released Thursday morning, of course with a twist this year: Since Hillary Clinton is the first female nominee of a major party, it was her husband, Bill, who was asked to furnish a cookie recipe, along with Melania Trump.

In the 1500s, an Italian scientist named Giambattista della Porta made a discovery near and dear to many a frozen dessert lover's heart: By mixing salt and snow, you could lower the melting point of ice.

Della Porta used this discovery to freeze wine in a glass of salt and ice. Specifically, he took a vial of wine, added a dash of water and immersed it in a wooden bucket full of snow mixed with saltpeter, then turned the vial round and round. The saltpeter made the snow colder than it would have been otherwise, allowing the wine inside the vial to freeze.

Bill Radke talks to Martha Bellisle, investigative reporter for the Associated Press, about the trial of Roman Seleznev. He is the son of a Russian parliament member who is accused of stealing over a million credit card numbers, including many patrons of local pizza restaurants and small businesses. 

In 1977, Deborah Barsel, a bored assistant registrar at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, N.Y., decided to try a fun side project. She would create a cookbook made up of recipes and images from famous photographers of the day. She sent letters to various artists and put an ad in the museum's magazine asking for submissions. In return, she received 120 photos, recipes and even a postcard from urban photographer John Gossage saying simply: "I eat out."

Now, you can love your seafood and eat it, too. But first, you'll have to catch it. Fisherman Kirk Lombard's new book, The Sea Forager's Guide to the Northern California Coast, teaches the art, science, ethics and wisdom of fishing for your next meal in the ocean. Through wit, poetry and anecdotes, Lombard makes the case that the sincerest stewards of wild sea creatures are often those who intend to have them for dinner.

Teresa, an immigrant from Mexico has worked at a pork processing plant in Lincoln, Neb., since 2011. She didn't want to use her last name because she feared that a family member, who still works at a plant, might get in trouble.

Teresa worked on the line, or "the chain," as workers call it. It is the heartbeat of any meat processing plant. It's the mechanized driver of eviscerated hogs, cattle and chickens, hung up on hooks and quickly moving down a line at these massive meat factories.

These pickles spent weeks on the counter in the KUOW break room, which doubles as the place where our guests wait to be interviewed. The descriptions muttered about them were decidedly NSFW. CLICK ON THIS IMAGE TO SEE MORE WEIRD STUFF.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

The subject line read: "There is fresh, raw Nigerian pygmy goat's milk in the fridge."* 

And beneath it: "I'm not going to drink it all, so feel free." 

In most newsrooms, free food is usually day-old pizza or stale Skittles. But at KUOW, the free counter in our break room is practically a dare. 

Flickr Photo/Jun Seita (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ct1wT3

Bill Radke talks with Dan Pashman, host of The Sporkful podcast about summer barbecue etiquette.

On the latest episode of The Sporkful, Pashman's listeners submitted questions on the topic, including whether it is problematic to host a bring-your-own-meat barbecue, or if it is ever OK to flip someone else's meat and more. Pashman shared some of his insights on the topic as well as specific rules Seattle barbecuers should be wary of.

Nestle’s plans to build a commercial water bottling plant in another Northwest town is stirring up more controversy. Waitsburg, Washington's mayor resigned this week amid accusations of backroom deals and protests of the plan by many area residents.

Nestle wants to build a water bottling plant in the Northwest. It first looked to Cascade Locks, Oregon, but voters in Hood County effectively blocked that plan.

Hans Lienesch, also known as the Ramen Rater, made a career out of reviewing instant noodles, starting in 2002. The 41-year-old used to eat two packs a day, every day — but afterwards, he got sweaty, stressed out, and felt his heart rate go up. His doctor told him he was close to having high blood pressure, so, after a thousand reviews, he decided to cut back to just one pack of instant noodles a day.

I did a little experiment the other day. I stood outside a Whole Foods Market in Washington, D.C., with two cartons of large brown eggs. One carton had the words "Non-GMO Project Verified" on it, with a little orange butterfly. It also said cage-free. The other carton had a different label; a green and white circle with the words "USDA Organic." One other crucial difference: the organic carton cost 50 cents more.

I asked shoppers which carton they would buy.

We're living at a time when more than 80 percent of Americans fail to eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. At the same time, many Americans overeat refined grains and sugar.

This may help explain why the obesity rate seems stuck. The most recent estimate is that 36 percent of adults in the U.S. are obese.

Courtesy of MOHAI, Milkie Studio Collection

Bill Radke talks to writer Heather Wells Peterson about the history of revolving restaurants. She wrote an article about it for Lucky Peach. The restaurant on top of the Space Needle, SkyCity Restaurant, is the world's oldest operating revolving restaurant, but they date back all the way to the Roman Empire when the emperor Nero had one. 

Revolving restaurants enjoyed their heyday in the U.S. during the Cold War, but have largely fallen out of fashion since then. But, Peterson explains, they are gaining traction in some Asian countries and in the Middle East.

The farm-to-table movement has caused oyster farming on the East Coast to double in the past six years, and the industry has shown no signs of slowing. But not only is the mollusk's mighty comeback good for consumers and fishermen — it's also good for waterways.

Jimmy Parks, longtime chef and owner of the Butcher Station in Winchester, Va., says the way we eat oysters has changed in the past decade.

Hop growers are raising a glass to craft brewers. The demand for small-batch brews has helped growers boost their revenues, expand their operations, and, in some cases, save their farms.

"Without the advent of craft brewing, a few large, corporate growers would be supplying all of the hops and local, family-owned farms like ours would have gone bankrupt," says Diane Gooding, vice president of operations at Gooding Farms, a hop grower in Wilder, Idaho. "It's saved the industry."

Organic blueberries are really hard to grow west of the Cascades -- too many bugs and too much disease. And east of the mountains, growers must battle the desert. But one company growing blueberries in south central Washington state may have a solution.

Giant tents.

There was a time when Sandra Gologergen's freezer never ran out. Packed with traditional Inuit foods like whale, walrus, seal and fish, her freezer has been an essential lifeline, ensuring her husband, three kids and grandson make it through the long harsh winters of Savoonga, Alaska.

"Then that changed," she says.

The baristas have spoken, and Starbucks is listening: The company says it's loosening its dress code for in-store employees. Yes, the green aprons remain, but you may begin noticing more personal flair underneath.

A company announcement invites baristas "to shine as individuals while continuing to present a clean, neat and professional appearance."

Helen Gurley Brown, the tiny, tough and influential editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, who transformed the staid family magazine and took circulation to giddy heights, did so by lubricating its pages with one word: sex.

Make that extra-marital sex.

'If, for my birthday dinner, I could order anything I wanted, I'd request a Maine lobster or a tarantula spider. ' - David George Gordon
Courtesy of Chugrad McAndrews

Deborah Wang speaks with Seattleite David George Gordon, author of the "Eat-a-Bug Cookbook," about his favorite insects to eat and why. Plus: what he serves to trick-or-treaters at Halloween.

Want to get started with entomophagy? See Gordon's recipe for deep-fried tarantulas. Or head over to Central Co-op in Seattle to pick up some crickets.

Medical residents Bryn Chowchuvech, Bari Laskow and Stephanie Ngo discuss strategy for making their spaghetti dish.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

You don’t expect to see doctors in a kitchen.

Normally you’d find newly minted doctors at Swedish Cherry Hill hospital seeing patients. Instead, a group of them is spending an afternoon chopping onions, red bell peppers and mushrooms under the instruction of Dr. Tanmeet Sethi.


Jonathan Martin, Gyasi Ross, Bill Radke and Lorena Gonzalez made up our Week In Review panel today.
KUOW/Bond Huberman

This week, Ron Smith, the leader of Seattle’s Police Officers’ Guild, resigned. His resignation came after the fallout from a comment he posted to Facebook that read, “The hatred of law enforcement by a minority movement is disgusting … #Weshallovercome.”

However, according to Smith, his resignation has more to do with his approach to police reforms. So what does the city need to do next to keep police reform moving forward under new leadership?

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