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food

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?

Neanderthal Dinner: Reindeer With A Side Of Cannibalism

Jul 14, 2016

They were Neanderthals living roughly 40,000 years ago in a cave in Goyet, Belgium — and they were eaten by their own kind. That's the finding of a recent study published in Scientific Reports. The authors report that Neanderthal bones found in this cave show signs of being butchered, cracked to extract marrow, then used to shape tools.

These are undeniable signs of cannibalism, says anthropologist and study author Hélène Rougier of California State University, Northridge.

After months of bargaining and backroom arguments, the Senate has voted in favor of a new national standard for labeling food that contains ingredients from genetically modified crops. The essence of the deal: Companies will have to disclose their GMO ingredients, but they won't have to put that information right on the label.

Many food companies are fiercely opposed to such GMO labels because they believe consumers will perceive them — incorrectly — as a warning that those products are nutritionally inferior or even unsafe to eat.

Summer break for many students is a time to kick back, play outside, and hang out with friends. For a significant portion of public school students in the United States, however, the end of school also brings a familiar question—what's for lunch?

For 12 years, Chester, Pa., had no supermarket. In an effort to end this so-called food desert, a local food bank plunked down a nonprofit grocery store in the impoverished Delaware County city in October 2013.

Area food bank Philabundance opened the new store, called Fare & Square, in the same footprint as a former supermarket at the corner of Trainer and 9th streets.

The start of this year’s cherry season in May is the earliest growers have ever seen in Central Washington. Yakima Valley grower Mark Roy said the harvest usually runs from June 20 to July 20.

This winged water beetle at Nue on Capitol Hill tasted like a salt lick chased by an apple Jolly Rancher. Click through for images of reporter Ruby de Luna tasting the water beetle (which isn't on the menu, by the way.)
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

You can order water bugs the size of a Post-It note at Nue, a trendy restaurant on Capitol Hill. They’re full-bodied, winged, and you have to suck the meat from their abdomens.

Nearby at Poquitos, an upscale Mexican restaurant, are spicy chapulines, or grasshoppers, that taste vaguely of flour.

Audio Pending...

Nothing Says 'Hip' Like Ancient Wheat

Jun 27, 2016

Forget bold stripes and mule flats — could the next big fad be super-old wheat?

Consumer interest in healthy grains could sow the seeds for some long-forgotten bread wheats to make a comeback, according to an opinion article released Monday in Trends in Plant Science — presumably the Vogue of botany.

Just as the U.S. is battling diet-related diseases, obesity and climate change, so, too, is China.

And among the proposed strategies to combat these problems is this: Eat less meat.

During his daily bus commute in the bustling Indian city of Hyderabad, there was something that really bothered Narayana Peesapaty.

"Everybody was eating something on their way to work," says Peesapaty, who was working as a sustainable farming researcher for a nonprofit organization at the time. But it wasn't his fellow bus riders' snacking habits that troubled him. It was their plastic cutlery.

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