11:59 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Your Brain May Want That Bottle Of Soda Because It's Easy To Pick Up

You want that soda bottle. But it may not be because you crave soda. It might just be that you love the idea of wrapping your fingers around its enticing shape.
Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 12:41 pm

Here at Goats and Soda, we can't resist a good story about goats. (See our story about how you know if your goat is happy.) The same goes for soda.

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2:35 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Gardener's Twofer: First Ketchup 'N' Fries Plant Hits U.S. Market

The plant is an early tomato grafted to a late-producing potato. The two can be harvested throughout the season.

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 6:35 pm

Love growing potatoes and tomatoes? This spring, gardeners in the U.S. (and Europe) will be able to get both tuber and fruit from a single plant.

It even has a catchy name: Ketchup 'n' Fries.

"It's like a science project," says Alice Doyle of SuperNaturals Grafted Vegetables, the company that's licensing the variety for U.S. markets from the U.K. company that developed it. "It's something that is really bizarre, but it's going to be fun [for gardeners] to measure and see how it grows."

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5:18 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Forget Beads: Cajun Mardi Gras Means A Grand, Drunken Chicken Chase

The annual Courir de Mardi Gras in Mamou, La., in February 2008. In the Cajun country tradition, revelers go house to house, collecting ingredients for gumbo from local families. Here, the host tosses a live chicken from a rooftop for the participants to catch — which can be tricky, considering the festivities often begin with early-morning drinking.
Carol Guzy Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 6:38 pm

Mardi Gras is about ephemera, the thrill of the chase. In New Orleans, that's cajoling a strand of special glass beads or a glittered coconut from the hands of a stranger high up on a parade float. But the moment that trinket is nabbed, the recipient might think: Now what am I going to do with this?

Cajun Mardi Gras, however, in the small towns south and west of New Orleans, raises no such question. Because what you aim to catch is very useful. And edible.

It's a squawking, flapping live chicken.

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2:49 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Why Hot Chocolate Might Be More American Than Apple Pie

George Washington would probably approve of hot chocolate on a cold winter's day.
Larry Crowe AP

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 12:14 pm

In this frigid month of February, it may be comforting to know that hot chocolate might just be more American than apple pie.

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5:06 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

California's Strawberry Feud Ends, But Who Will Breed New Berries?

The future of strawberry breeding at the University of California has been secured. Perhaps.

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3:54 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Taking Stock Of Bone Broth: Sorry, No Cure-All Here

Poultry bone broth is typically simmered for 24 hours or more. It can be consumed as a hot beverage, or incorporated into gravies, sauces or soups.
Amy Blaszyk for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 11:10 am

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.

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3:32 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Cancer Patients And Doctors Struggle To Predict Survival

Find other stories in the Living Cancer series at

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 6:56 pm

When a doctor tells a patient that she has cancer and has just a year left to live, that patient often hears very little afterward. It's as though the physician said "cancer" and then "blah, blah, blah."

Anxiety makes it difficult to remember details and the worse the prognosis, the less the patient tends to remember. Recent studies have found that cancer patients retain less than half of what their doctors tell them.

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Valentine's Day Treat
1:22 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Bolognese Hot Chocolate - The Splendid Table

Bolognese Hot Chocolate

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8:25 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Are Farmers Market Sales Peaking? That Might Be Good For Farmers

A customer shops for produce at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on March 27th, 2014 in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

After more than a decade of explosive growth, sales of local food at U.S. farmers' markets are slowing. A January report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that while more farmers are selling directly to consumers, local food sales at farmers markets, farm stands and through community supported agriculture have lost some momentum.

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5:27 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Scientists Want To Trick The Gut Into Burning Fat Without Food

Scientists say a drug that's been effective in mice acts like an "imaginary meal" in the body.

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 2:42 pm

Forget the so-called "miracle" diet pills that claim to rev up metabolism.

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4:31 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Would You Eat At A Restaurant That Skipped The Hand-Washing?

Hand-washing: one of public health's most powerful weapons, or undue regulatory burden?

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 8:17 am

Apparently, making restaurant workers wash their hands before exiting the bathroom is a sign of regulation gone overboard.

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12:34 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Cooking 101: Stanford Adds Healthful Eating Skills To The Curriculum

Chef David Iott explains the perfect way to prepare risotto to Stanford students.
Courtesy of Stanford's Residential and Dining Enterprises

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 4:13 pm

College is in many ways a time to learn life skills. But students often get so bogged down building up their resumes and studying for that Rocket Science 101 midterm that they've got no time left for the basics — like cooking.

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1:37 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

How Fish Could Change What It Means For Food To Be Organic

At Troutdale Farm in Missouri, farmhand Vince Orcutt pulls out rainbow trout ready to harvest.
Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 2:58 pm

When it comes to organic certification, food producers must follow strict guidelines.

For an organic steak, for instance, the cow it came from has to be raised on organic feed, and the feed mix can't be produced with pesticides, chemical fertilizers or genetic engineering.

Now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering a set of rules for organic farmed fish. Several consumer groups, though, say the recommended rules don't go far enough to meet the strict standards of other organic foods.

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2:01 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Sandwich Monday: Meow Parlour

One of these is up for adoption.

This week, my friend Allie and I went to New York City's first cat cafe, Meow Parlour. Parlour is spelled the European way, because cat hair in your coffee is very a la mode in Paris.

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5:44 am
Sun February 1, 2015

College Life Doesn't Have To Mean Crummy Cuisine, Says Dorm Room Chef

No oven necessary: Hu makes her pumpkin cake in the microwave.
Courtesy of Emily Hu

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 12:22 pm

Emily Hu is a veritable master chef of the dorm room.

No oven? No problem. The college student is skilled at navigating the cooking limitations of campus living — she can whip up cakes with just four ingredients and a microwave, and make muffins in a toaster oven.

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7:37 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Rod McKuen, The Cheeseburger To Poetry's Haute Cuisine

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 1:14 pm

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4:56 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Food Industry Drags Its Heels On Recyclable And Compostable Packaging

Environmental groups cited Wendy's as "Poor" in the area of packaging sustainability. One reason is that the chain still uses black plastic bowls, which cannot be recycled.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 6:46 pm

Let's face it: We are people who consume many of our meals on the go. That means we're not eating on real plates or bowls but out of plastic containers and paper boxes. And perhaps daily, we drink our coffees and sodas out of plastic or plastic-lined paper cups.

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6:13 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Why Some GMO Foods Don't Have Genetically Modified DNA

While reporting my story on how foods earn a label certifying them as "non-GMO," I came across a comment that struck me – and it might surprise you, too.

The comment came from Ken Ross, the CEO of Global ID. (He didn't make it into the final story.) Global ID is the parent company of FoodChain ID, one of the companies that traces ingredients to determine whether they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

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6:18 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Would Kids Eat More Veggies If They Had Recess Before Lunch?

A baked potato with toppings on a lunch tray at a school in Wisconsin. Students are less likely to eat fruits and vegetables if they're rushing to get to recess, researchers say.
Micheal Sears MCT/Landov

Schools are offering more and more healthy foods for lunch. And schools that participate in the National School Lunch program require students to choose a fruit and a vegetable side. Yet plate waste is a big problem in schools; as The Salt has reported, kids throw away anywhere from 24 to 35 percent of what's on their trays.

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12:48 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

How Your Food Gets The 'Non-GMO' Label

Demand is growing for GMO-free labels on food products, according to the Non-GMO Project, one of the principal suppliers of the label.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 2:41 pm

Demand for products that don't contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, is exploding.

Now many food companies are seeking certification for products that don't have any genetically modified ingredients, and not just the brands popular in the health food aisle. Even Cheerios, that iconic cereal from General Mills, no longer contains GMOs.

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