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food

No chemical used by farmers, it seems, gets more attention than glyphosate, also known by its trade name, Roundup. That's mainly because it is a cornerstone of the shift to genetically modified crops, many of which have been modified to tolerate glyphosate. This, in turn, persuaded farmers to rely on this chemical for easy control of their weeds. (Easy, at least, until weeds evolved to become immune to glyphosate, but that's a different story.)

Robin Everett, a Sierra Club organizer, says that Trump sees that workers and the environment are not being protected through these trade deals.
KUOW Photo/David Hyde

Last month in Everett, Donald Trump called the Trans-Pacific Partnership a “disaster.”

Hillary Clinton opposes it, too. So what does the rise in anti-trade politics mean for Washington – the most trade-dependent state?

Courtesy of Julia Harrison

Bill Radke speaks with food anthropologist Julia Harrison about how Washington state became the king of apple production in America. 

Sugar shocked.

That describes the reaction of many Americans this week following revelations that, 50 years ago, the sugar industry paid Harvard scientists for research that shifted the focus away from sugar's role in heart disease — and put the spotlight squarely on dietary fat.

What might surprise consumers is just how many present-day nutrition studies are still funded by the food industry.

First, a confession: I've never liked gefilte fish. The slimy, grey balls of fish from a jar have always struck me as icky.

Turns out, I am not alone.

"I had the same experience as you. I never ate gefilte fish," says Liz Alpern. "It was disgusting to me. I literally think I never ate it, until I started making it."

That's a remarkable statement coming from someone in the gefilte fish business. Alpern is half of the team behind the Gefilteria, which makes artisanal gefilte fish. Yes, that is a thing. Alpern gave me a demonstration at a catering kitchen in Brooklyn.

In the 1960s, the sugar industry funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat, according to a newly published article in JAMA Internal Medicine.

I fell for pho in Saigon in 1974, when I was 5 years old. When my family came to America in 1975, my mom satisfied our family's cravings for the aromatic beef noodle soup with homemade batches, served on Sundays after morning Mass. As Vietnamese expatriates, we savored pho as a very special food, a gateway to our cultural roots. When we didn't have pho at home, we went out for it in Orange County, California's Little Saigon, patronizing mom-and-pop shops that welcomed us with the perfume of pho broth.

A legendary South Asian dish has suddenly found itself in the midst of a war in India. Made up of layers of meat and rice and cooked with fragrant spices, the dish is the much-loved biryani. And the latest battlefield is in the northern Indian state of Haryana.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

West Seattle’s Delridge neighborhood has been struggling for years to get a grocery store in the area. It hasn’t been able to attract major retailers for various reasons. 

Like so many brilliant innovations, the idea seems obvious in hindsight. Just combine college, coffee, and chemical engineering. Of course!

The boats are owned by Americans. They fly American flags and work in American waters. The fish they catch — like premium ahi tuna and swordfish — is sold at American grocery stores, on shelves at Whole Foods and Costco.

But the men who catch those fish can't set foot on American soil, The Associated Press reports — and they aren't protected by American labor laws.

Say you want to escape the doldrums of daily life — but you can't quite afford a trip to Hawaii. Why not to head to your local tiki bar for a sample of the South Seas?

Canvas bags may have a worse effect on the environment than plastic ones.
Flickr Photo/Karin Beil (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/5R6Qsb

Bill Radke speaks with Noah Dillon, author of a recent Atlantic article about the perils of owning (and not using) canvas grocery totes.

Can we interest you in some elk tartare? Or how about venison crash-ciatore? Oregon still firmly forbids people from collecting roadkill, but Washington state has now joined Idaho and Montana in allowing individuals to salvage dead deer and elk from the roadside.

Top brass at PepsiCo has talked for months about the introduction of an organic line. And now, according to Bloomberg, the company is rolling out G Organic — yep, an organic version of the famously technicolored sports drink Gatorade. (Think crimson red, electric blue and neon green shades.)

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.

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. 

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