9:31 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Food Is Cheap, At Least Compared With 4 Years Ago

Soybeans in a field in Springfield, Neb., on Wednesday. The nation's corn and soybean farmers will bring in by far the largest harvest ever this year, driving down the price of the commodities, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 2:30 pm

Around the globe, it's become easier for people to buy food. The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization is reporting that its global food price index has now fallen to the lowest level in four years. That's because of good weather and big harvests in places like North America, Europe and China.

Almost all of the major food commodities have become less expensive: grains, vegetable oils, sugar and dairy products. Dairy prices, in fact, are down by almost 20 percent, compared with their peak a year ago.

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12:34 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Why The U.S. Chills Its Eggs And Most Of The World Doesn't

To refrigerate or not to refrigerate? It boils down to bacteria, aesthetics and how much energy you're willing to use.
Robert S. Donovan; Flickr / Alex Barth; Flickr

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 8:12 am

Go in search of eggs in most foreign countries and you might encounter a strange scene: eggs on a shelf or out in the open air, nowhere near a refrigerator.

Shock and confusion may ensue. What are they doing there? And are they safe to eat?

We Americans, along with the Japanese, Australians and Scandinavians, tend to be squeamish about our chicken eggs, so we bathe them and then have to refrigerate them.

But we're oddballs. Most other countries don't mind letting unwashed eggs sit next to bread or onions.

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Weeknight Kitchen
12:00 pm
Sun September 7, 2014

Weeknight Kitchen: Chicken with Artichokes in Creamy Mustard Sauce

Jenny Rosenstrach is channeling Julia Child this week with her recipe for Chicken with Artichokes in Creamy Mustard Sauce fromΒ Dinner: The Playbook. The recipe, which is a riff on a classic French pan sauce, will teach you a technique you can use with any protein -- be it beef, pork, chicken or fish.

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8:54 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Want To Dine Out? You May Need To Buy Tickets β€” Or Bid On A Table

Restaurant reservations are changing with technology β€” now some restaurants are selling prepaid tickets, while others are considering holding auctions.
Richard Thomas iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 5:04 pm

The practice of making a restaurant reservation, outside of a tiny minority of extra snooty places, is egalitarian. Tables are given on a first-to-reserve basis, and then, at the appointed time, diners are directed to their seats and the meal begins.

But reservation technology is changing, led by a new set of companies and some of the hottest chefs in America. And as they offer alternatives to the standard method of reserving a table, the new technological possibilities force us to examine a cultural practice that first got going in 18th century France.

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5:12 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

When Zero Doesn't Mean Zero: Trans Fats Linger In Food

About 84 percent of food products that contain trans fats still carry a "zero gram" label, which may mislead consumers, researchers say.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 2:44 pm

Last we heard, the once ubiquitous trans fats had mostly disappeared from packaged cookies, muffins and french fries.

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Weeknight Kitchen
2:43 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Weeknight Kitchen: Fattoush

I first tasted this wonderfully fresh salad years ago in a Lebanese restaurant and then recreated my own version. It's a winner for me, as anything with pomegranates or pomegranate molasses makes my mouth water. And it's a lovely change from all the cakes that I have come to know so intimately over the decades.Β 

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9:58 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Do-Rite Fried Chicken Doughnut Sandwich

Fried upon fried.

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 1:48 pm

True story: The first time we went to get this sandwich, they told us they couldn't make it because they were out of glazed doughnuts. We said we'd take it on any kind of doughnut; they said only glazed will do. When we went back to try again, there was a woman at the front of the line having the exact same discussion with them. The third time was the charm β€” the fattening, fattening charm.

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3:40 am
Tue August 26, 2014

The 'Greening' Of Florida Citrus Means Less Green In Growers' Pockets

An orange showing signs of "citrus greening" this spring in Fort Pierce, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 3:42 pm

Orange juice has been an important part of breakfast tables since the 1950s, after development of frozen orange juice concentrate made it both convenient and affordable. Back in the 1960s and '70s, TV spokeswoman Anita Bryant even told Americans that "breakfast without orange juice is like a day without sunshine."

But today, sales are the lowest they've been in decades.

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3:29 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Grocers Lead Kids To Produce Aisle With Junk Food-Style Marketing

A kids healthy snacks display at Giant Eagle.
Courtesy of Giant Eagle

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:09 pm

Despite all the cheerleading for healthy eating, Americans still eat only about 1 serving of fruit per day, on average. And our veggie consumption, according to an analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls short, too.

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12:53 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Deford: Frankly, Hot Dogs Best Served At The Ballpark

Between innings, racing sausages entertain Milwaukee Brewers fans.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 11:52 am

Let's boldly confront the greatest mystery in all of sport: Why do hot dogs always taste better at the ballpark?

Baseball food has, of course, taken on a much greater variety since 1908, when "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" only celebrated peanuts and crackerjack. But it is another enduring mystery of sport why fans eat during a baseball game, while the preferred mode of cuisine for football is before the game, out in the parking lot β€” tailgating.

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12:34 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Nestle Nudges Its Suppliers To Improve Animal Welfare

Nestle, the world's biggest food company, manufactures and markets a wide range of food products including dairy, meat, poultry and eggs.
Susana Gonzalez Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 2:27 pm

Chances are you haven't considered the tail of the cow that made the milk that goes into your Nestle Crunch bar or the cheese in your (Nestle-made) Lean Cuisine frozen dinner.

But as animal welfare groups report, many dairy cows have their tails partially amputated, or docked, to help keep their udders clean. Not only is docking painful, but it also pretty much disables the cow's personal fly switch, making it more susceptible to fly attacks.

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3:40 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Seeking Proof For Why We Feel Terrible After Too Many Drinks

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 3:02 pm

It can be nice to relax with a glass of wine, a beer or a shot of whiskey. But one drink too many, and you may be paying the price.

To understand why drinking can make us feel so good and so bad, you have to know a little about science, says journalist Adam Rogers, author of Proof: The Science of Booze.

As Rogers notes, researchers have only just begun to explore the mystery of the hangover and share a common language around it.

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3:04 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Roman-Style Burger

It may look like a stack of sandwiches. It is.

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 4:13 pm

During World War II, bun rationing meant that burger joints had to find replacements to hold their ground beef patties.

One of the more creative solutions β€” using grilled cheese sandwiches β€” lives on at M Burger in Chicago. It's called the Roman-Style Burger, and it's a secret menu item.

Peter: Why it is called Roman style? Is it because like Gaul, it is divided into three parts?

Miles: We came, we saw, we were conquered.

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3:53 am
Mon August 18, 2014

More Military Families Are Relying On Food Banks And Pantries

Volunteers at the Maryland Food Bank in Baltimore sort and box food donations on a conveyor belt. The bank started working with groups like the USO in 2013 to provide food aid to families affiliated with nearby military bases.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 10:58 am

Despite the economic recovery, more than 46 million Americans β€” or 1 in 7 β€” used a food pantry last year. And a surprisingly high number of those seeking help were households with military members, according to a new survey by Feeding America, which is a network of U.S. food banks.

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3:47 am
Mon August 18, 2014

For Food Startups, Incubators Help Dish Up Success

Whisked bakery founder Jenna Huntsberger (right) and baker's assistant Lauren Moore prepare pies in Union Kitchen, a food incubator in Washington, D.C. Huntsberger says the shared kitchen space and the business know-how she's honed there have played a big part in her success.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 8:08 pm

If you want to get in shape, you can join a gym. But if you want to start a food business, where do you go?

Try a culinary incubator.

Just as gym members share workout equipment, members of many food incubators share commercial kitchen space.

Incubators also offer business support and technical assistance β€” like branding, sales and distribution β€” to help "foodpreneurs" get off the ground.

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5:25 am
Sun August 17, 2014

Fighting (Tasty) Invasive Fish With Forks And Knives

Asian carp, battered and fried. As the fish makes its unwelcome way up the Mississippi River, chefs are trying to get people to eat to beat it back.
Louisiana Sea Grant Flickr

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 11:39 am

Add kitchen knives to the list of weapons that humans are using to fight invasive species. I'm talking about fish who've made their way into nonnative waters.

How do they get here? Sometimes they catch a ride in the ballast water of ships. Or they're imported as live food or dumped out of aquariums. Once here, they can wipe out native fish, trash the ecosystem and wreck the beach business.

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3:26 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Startups Pitch Cricket Flour As The Best Protein You Could Eat

Exo's peanut butter-and-jelly bar contains about 40 ground-up crickets and has a familiar nutty, sweet flavor.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 12:56 pm

If you heard crickets chirping in your backyard, would it occur to you to grind them into a powder to mix into a protein shake?

That could become the next foraging trend if several edible insect companies can convince consumers that pulverized crickets are the next "it" protein.

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3:30 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

'Shark Week' Fuels Shark-Meat Feeding Frenzy At Restaurants

Take a bite β€” or or maybe don't β€” of this beer-battered mako shark taco with cabbage, pico de gallo, avocado, arbol chile and cream from Guerilla Tacos in Los Angeles.

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 4:31 pm

Discovery Channel set viewership records in 2013 as millions of people tuned in to watch sharks feed, sharks attack, extinct giant sharks and researchers catch and tag sharks. Discovery's "Shark Week" returned on Sunday, and this year, to the dismay of conservationists, restaurants and markets nationwide are feeding the frenzy with a slew of shark meat promotions.

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9:51 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Chermoula: From North Africa To The White House To Your Table

Chermoula is a friend to a fish dish β€” but also goes well with meat, poultry and vegetables.
a_b_normal123 Flickr

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 12:14 pm

If you weren't on the guest list for Tuesday's U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit dinner, no need to feel left out. We've got the inside scoop β€” and a few recipes β€” for one of the meal highlights.

The White House served tender slabs of Wagyu beef, with a side of sweet potato puree and braised collard greens. To add a bit of African flair, the chefs rubbed on a marinade native to North Africa: chermoula.

Born in Morocco, chermoula is a blend of spices like coriander and cumin along with fresh chilies, giving it a rich herby and spicy taste. Olive oil turns the combo into a paste.

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8:20 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Your Waiter Wants You To Put Down Your Phone

Seriously, do you need to send that text right now?
Anna Bryukhanova iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 3:28 pm

You know how frustrating it is when you can't catch your waiter's eye? He may be thinking the same thing about you.

Diners distracted by their phones have become a real pain in the restaurant business, interfering with the flow of transactions and generally slowing things down.

"I would say probably 7 out of 10 people play with their phones throughout their meals," says Catherine Roberts, general manager of Hogs and Rocks, a ham and oyster bar in San Francisco's Mission District. "People are definitely on their phones excessively. It does gum things up."

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