food

The story of how kale went from frumpy to trendy is a great inspiration to Gabriela Bradt, a fisheries specialist at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.

"Nobody cared about kale. Then it became the green du jour," says Bradt.

The region's recent stretch of warm weather means Northwest sweet cherries will likely be going early to market this year.

Walk into a row of greenhouses in rural Britain, and a late English-winter day transforms to a swampy, humid tropical afternoon. You could be in Latin America or sub-Saharan Africa, which is exactly how cocoa plants like it.

"It's all right this time of year. It gets a bit hot later on in the summer," says greenhouse technician Heather Lake as she fiddles with a tray of seedlings — a platter of delicate, spindly, baby cocoa plants.

For many years, if a public school district wanted to serve students apples or milk from local farmers, it could face all kinds of hurdles. Schools were locked into strict contracts with distributors, few of whom saw any reason to start bringing in local products. Those contracts also often precluded schools from working directly with local farmers.

Customers line up at Starbucks, all the way outside.
Flickr Photo/oinonio (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Starbucks is set to expand mobile ordering to its Pacific Northwest stores. KUOW's Kim Malcolm talks with retail analyst Brian Sozzi of Belus Capital Advisors about why the not-just-coffee company wants to move you out of the line and onto your phone.

Flickr Photo/Debbie R

Ross Reynolds talks with Kristi Heim, executive director of Washington State's China Relations Council, about local exports to China and the growing demand for fresh fruit and baby products. 

For decades, sharks have gotten a raw deal on the high seas, where fishermen have butchered them alive by the hundreds of millions and thrown their carcasses overboard, keeping only the prized fins to sell to Asian markets. This gruesome practice — called finning — has come under fire from conservationists, who say the shark fin trade has decimated species like silky, oceanic whitetip and dusky sharks around the world.

An Idaho lawmaker and farmer said the state should press the federal government to establish a national labeling system for genetically engineered foods -- before states create their own.

A Closer Look At The Non-Browning Apple

Feb 20, 2015

You may have heard the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a genetically-engineered apple that apparently does not turn brown.

There’s been a lot of media coverage, including some negative feedback about the apples, which will be marketed as Arctic Granny and Arctic Golden.

Some of America's most popular chocolate bars — including the Baby Ruth and the Butterfinger — are about to get an ingredient makeover. Nestle USA announced it is removing artificial flavors and colorings from all of its chocolate candy products by the end of 2015.

As the 500-year-old bell tower tolls, about 25 students from the University of Oxford cross a medieval cobblestone street. They duck under a stone archway and slip into a room named after T.S. Eliot, who studied here a century ago.

The students drop their backpacks and get ready for practice. They're here to hone their tongues. This week, an elite team of Oxford's six best tasters will battle the University of Cambridge to see which group has the most refined palate.

China's Pork Feeds People And Economies

Feb 11, 2015

More than half of the world’s pigs are in China. In 2012, farmers there produced more than 50 million metric tons of pork – five times the amount produced by the United States.

The growing industrialization of pig farming is putting small farmers out of business and it’s creating soil and water pollution.

The demand for grain to include in animal feed dramatically increased exports to China from South America and around the world.

Marcie Sillman talks with food safety attorney Bill Marler about his lasting impact on food safety after he got his start in the E-coli outbreak of 1993.

How did bone broth become the magic elixir du jour?

We're not sure, but in the past three months, breathless stories about its umami depth and super nutrition have ricocheted through food media. Meanwhile, restaurants like New York's Brodo, Portland's JoLa Cafe and Red Apron in Washington, D.C., have begun selling it, to much fanfare.

At a time when Americans consume, on average, only about one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetables a day when we're supposed to consume five to 13 servings, the appeal of juice and smoothies is pretty obvious.

Juice can be a convenient way to get more servings of fruit and veggies. And, hey, making your own juice concoctions at home can be fun.

So, here's the question: What's the better gadget, a juicer or a blender? Does one do a better job of boosting the nutrients in the fruit (and veggies)?

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