food

Spirited Sweets For St. Patrick's (Or Any) Day

Mar 12, 2014

On Saint Patrick's Day, often the first order of business is to raise a glass to the Irish with a frosty mug of green beer. You might also savor a slice of Irish soda bread, rich with raisins and caraway seeds, or tuck into a hearty dish of corned beef and cabbage.

From its earliest days as America's homegrown whiskey elixir, Kentucky bourbon has been traveling on boats.

In fact, boats were a key reason why Kentucky became the king of bourbon. In the late 1700s, trade depended on waterways, and distillers in the state had a big advantage: the Ohio River. They'd load their barrels onto flatboats on the Ohio, which flowed into the Mississippi, taking their golden liquor as far down as New Orleans.

Every year, Americans send millions of tons of food to the landfill. What if you could use all of those pizza crusts and rotten vegetables to heat your home? That's already happening in one unlikely laboratory: the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn.

Sally McKenney is a self-described "sprinkle lover" and author of a new cookbook based on her popular blog Sally's Baking Addiction. She says baking doesn't have to be intimidating and wants her followers to experiment along with her.

That compound found in commercially baked bread — yep, the one that's in yoga mats, too — is in the news again.

A report from the Environmental Working Group finds that the compound, azodicarbonamide, is found in close to 500 food products, from Pillsbury Dinner Rolls to Little Debbie products to Wonder Bread.

By most measures, David Kesten's hens are living the good life.

"They can act like chickens, they can run around," says Kesten, who's raising hens in an old wooden shed in the open countryside near Concordia, Mo. "They can go out and catch bugs, they can dig in the ground."

But most U.S. hens live crammed into very close quarters, according to Joe Maxwell, with the Humane Society of the U.S. And he says that's just wrong.

Peanuts: From Hog Food To Gourmet Spread

Mar 6, 2014
Jon Krampner's book "Creamy and Crunchy."

Steve Scher talks with Jon Krampner, author of "Creamy and Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food," about how peanuts went from hog food to the organic peanut butter that we spend $8 on today.

What's in a name? It's an age-old question Juliet once asked Romeo in Shakespeare's famed play.

Today, it's a serious question between the U.S. and the European Union, which has said it wants U.S. food makers to stop using European names.

But depending on what food you're talking about, a name could be a lot, says Kyle Cherek, the producer and host of a TV show called Wisconsin Foodie.

Northwest potato growers say they've been snubbed in a federal nutrition program.

The morning of Mardi Gras calls for something a little hardier — and a little more indulgent — than your average bowl of Wheaties. After all, a long day lies ahead, thick with flying beads, outlandish parade floats and food in every form and function. When partying in New Orleans starts as early as dawn, a good breakfast is crucial.

And don't forget, Poppy Tooker adds: "This is the one city in America where breakfast drinking is totally socially acceptable." Why let such a splendid opportunity go to waste?

Flickr Photo/Mayhem Chaos (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with Dr. Adam Drewnowski, director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington, about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's proposal to update the Nutrition Facts labels on food and drink packages.

Maybe BPA isn't so bad after all.

The plastic additive has been vilified by environmental advocacy groups. But the chemical had no effect on rats fed thousands of times the amount a typical person ingests, government scientists are reporting in the journal Toxicological Sciences.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Winter is winding down, but spring vegetables and fruits haven't arrived quite yet. Food writer and chef Sara Dickerman shows KUOW's Marcie Sillman a new way to use the old winter standby: butternut squash.

Among the many snacks you can find in the aisles of Trader Joe's is an icon of sweet and salty goodness: the peanut butter pretzel. It's a combination so tasty, famed food writer Ruth Reichl once raved, "You haven't lived until you've tried the two together."

But the beloved treats aren't just treasures for the palate — they're a pretty lucrative business worth millions of dollars. And now, Trader Joe's is being sued for allegedly cornering the market on the snack.

Dr. Deborah Cohen's book, “A Big Fat Crisis."

Candy by the cash register, 24-hour drive-throughs and constant food advertisements have all contributed to America’s obesity epidemic. More than one-third of Americans are obese, and natural scientist Dr. Deborah Cohen has some new ideas for solving this problem.

In her new book, “A Big Fat Crisis: The Hidden Influences Behind the Obesity Epidemic — and How We Can End It,” Cohen argues in favor of government regulation of unhealthy foods and stricter restaurant guidelines. She spoke at Town Hall on January 22, 2014.

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