food

The idea that eating cocoa-rich, dark chocolate may offer greater health benefits than milk chocolate is not new.

Cocoa is loaded with compounds called polyphenols that have been shown to help our bodies fend off inflammation and maybe even improve our moods.

And now a small study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association offers evidence of another possible benefit: improving vascular health by increasing blood flow.

Marcie Sillman interviews author Adam Rogers about his new book, "Proof: The Science of Booze." In it, he explores topics like what makes an excellent glass of whiskey, when humans first started to consume fermented fruits, and how we've developed the process of creating a good cocktail over the centuries.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. As Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns hailed Scotland's national dish, haggis, as the great chieftain of the pudding race. But the U.S. has banned the import of haggis for decades because it contains sheep's lung. Today, Britain will make the case to the U.S. agricultural secretary to lift that ban so Americans, too, can enjoy a dish made of lungs, heart and liver encased in sheep's stomach. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

We eat first with our eyes. When strawberries are perfectly red, they seem to taste sweeter. When chicken is painted blue, it's disturbing. The ancient Romans understood that, and certainly today's top chefs exploit it when they plate their food.

What Climate Change Could Mean For Your Grape Juice

Jun 23, 2014

PROSSER, Wash. -- The sun beats down as researcher Markus Keller leans in to inspect his experimental vineyard.

“As you can see here, there’s a lot of flowers forming on the different shoots,” Keller says.

The grape leaves hang down like a curtain over the rows of vines. This year’s crop looks to be strong.

For connoisseurs of fine grape jellies and juices, this is a reason to rejoice. For collectors of fine wines? Not so much.

These are Concord grapes -- which make up 99 percent of the variety that go in to juice and jelly production, Keller says.

Flickr Photo/Rob Bixby (CC-BYC-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with Bill Daniell, an associate professor at the UW's School of Public Health, about Washington's fish consumption rate — a little number that has a big impact.

From red to white to orange to blue, fish flesh can land almost anywhere on the color spectrum.

What's behind this huge variation? A lot of things — from genetics to bile pigments. And parsing the rainbow can tell us something about where a fish came from, its swimming routine and what it ate.

Red yellowfin tuna: A classic of the sashimi counter, the yellowfin tuna is also the Michael Phelps of the fish world. And its athletic prowess has a lot to do with its ruby red flesh.

Marcie Sillman speaks with Sharon Lerman, food policy advisor for the City of Seattle, about efforts to get healthy, fresh and affordable food in reach of all Seatttleites.

Flickr Photo/Werwin15 (CC BY 2.0)

Bill Radke talks with news analyst Joni Balter about how Washington and Colorado officials are packaging marijuana edibles to keep people out of the emergency room.

When searching for ingredients to cook with, Irish chef Darina Allen sometimes has only to make a short trip — to her yard. There, she's sure to find a constellation of bright yellow dandelion flowers.

"Where other people see weeds, I see dinner!" she says.

Allen's the founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School and an advocate of organic farming. She says that with a quick transplant from the yard to the kitchen, the humble dandelion might shed its bad rap.

David Sax' book "Tastemakers."

Marcie Sillman talks with food writer David Sax about the evolution of food trends in North America. Sax has written the book, "The Tastemakers: Why We're Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue," which answers such questions as: Why are kale salads on every restaurant menu? And why has bacon moved from a breakfast item to become part of every meal, even dessert?

Can You Taste An Old Growth Forest In This Beer?

Jun 3, 2014

You can see some of the differences between an old growth forest and one that's been logged.

On a hike through an old growth forest near Portland, Matt Wagoner of the Forest Park Conservancy points out some of the most obvious ones: Older, taller, coniferous trees, dead trees both standing and fallen, and a wide variety of plants and animals living inside of and on top of that dead wood.

"One of the things that really defines old growth forests is biodiversity," Wagoner says.

Answering the question of whether diet soda helps or hinders dieters' efforts to lose weight has been the focus of much research. And buzz.

Unfortunately, the answer is still murky.

Ruth Reichl's book "Delicious!"

Marcie Sillman talks with author and former Gourmet Magazine editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl about her new foray into fiction.

When Nikita Khrushchev emerged as the leader of the Soviet Union after Stalin's death in 1953, one of the first things he addressed was the housing shortage and the need for more food. At the time, thousands of people were living in cramped communal apartments, sharing one kitchen and one bathroom with sometimes up to 20 other families.

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