Food

The Salt
1:09 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Does Your Gas Tank Hold Enough Food To Feed 22 People?

Robert Byron iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:35 am

Here's a little math problem for you: How many calories go into the ethanol that's in your tank of gas?

Enough to feed 22 people, if you're talking the bare minimum calories needed in a single day, according to researchers at the New England Complex Sciences Institute.

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The Salt
3:16 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Shake It Up, Baby: Are Martinis Made The Bond Way Better?

One martini; shaken, not stirred.
Karen Castillo Farfan NPR

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 8:12 am

In the movie Goldfinger, a minion of bad guy Auric Goldfinger asks 007: "Can I do something for you, Mr. Bond?"

"Just a drink," Sean Connery's Bond replies, deadpan. "A martini. Shaken, not stirred," he intones.

From Connery to Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, this preference is repeated again and again in 007 flicks. (Check out this video montage for the full Bond effect.)

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Kitchen Window
6:19 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

It's Time To Pick A Peck Of Peppers

Sheri Castle for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 9:10 am

Ripe sweet peppers are seasonal ambassadors, offering color, flavor, goodwill and diplomacy during the transition from summer to autumn cooking. Sweet peppers surge into ripeness in late summer and flourish into fall. Supplies wind down about the time trees let go of their leaves.

Now is the time to pick up a peck of them for what a single sad specimen will cost come January. When in season and plentiful, peppers are a bargain.

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The Salt
1:59 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Grieving Pet Owners Want Imported Dog Treats Pulled From Shelves

Rita Desollar believes chicken jerky treats imported from China killed her German shepherd, Heidi.
Rita Desollar

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 4:52 pm

The Food and Drug Administration isn't sure, but Rita Desollar of Pekin, Ill., feels she knows what killed Heidi, her 7-year-old German shepherd. She feels it was the chicken jerky strips she bought at her local Walgreen's.

Desollar says on the Wednesday before Memorial Day, she gave two pieces of Waggin' Train jerky to Heidi as a treat. A few days later, Heidi was throwing up and "in a lot of distress," she says. By the time the holiday rolled around on Monday, Desollar says, Heidi was convulsing in her bed. She died that day, before Desollar could even take her to the vet.

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The Salt
10:07 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Some Grumble About Change As School Lunches Get Leaner And Greener

Michelle Kloser, School Nutrition Director for the West Salem School District in Wisconsin took this picture of Thursday's lunch, which includes baked chicken and rosemary potatoes.
Michelle Kloser for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 1:16 pm

This fall, the more than 38 million kids who get their lunches through the National School Lunch Program are seeing big changes on their trays.

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Kitchen Window
11:11 am
Wed September 26, 2012

A Roll For All Seasons, Wrapped In Rice Paper

T. Susan Chang for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 7:42 am

It all started several months ago, when I was fishing around for something not-too-unhealthy for lunch. Spring was over — the once-tender lettuces now milky-hearted and stiff-leaved — and I was bored with salad. I love sandwiches, but every time I gorged on bread I stepped a little heavier onto the scale. "If you're going to eat constantly," I said to myself, knowing that I would, "you simply can't afford to pack on that many carbs at a time."

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The Salt
2:23 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Billionaires Fund A 'Manhattan Project' For Nutrition And Obesity

Billionaires John and Laura Arnold are betting that the country's top nutrition researchers can get to the bottom of the obesity epidemic.
Courtesy of the John and Laura Arnold Foundation

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 9:46 am

Why would a billionaire energy trader-turned-philanthropist throw his foundation's dough behind a new think tank that wants to challenge scientific assumptions about obesity?

John Arnold, 38, whose move from Enron to a spectacularly successful hedge fund got him on the list of wealthiest Americans, isn't crazy about talking to the press. But certainly his decision with his wife Laura to back a newly launched operation called the Nutrition Science Initiative, or NuSI, is an intriguing one.

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Kitchen Window
10:59 am
Wed September 19, 2012

How To Upset The Apple Cart, Deliciously

Michele Kayal for NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 10:28 am

Apples are the onions of the fruit world: abundant, versatile and a friend to almost any flavor. Apples and onions even go well together.

As we enter the thick of fall, apples will tumble from their bins, a harmony of flavors, textures and hues — reds, yellows, browns and greens — that capture the very essence of the season. But when was the last time you thought of using an apple for anything besides pie, applesauce or cider? Maybe you tossed one into a salad. Maybe.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:44 am
Wed September 19, 2012

U.S. Explodes Atomic Bombs Near Beers To See If They Are Safe To Drink

National Technical Information Service via Alex Wellerstein

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:34 pm

So you're minding your own business when all of a sudden, a nuclear bomb goes off, there's a shock wave, fires all around, general destruction and you, having somehow survived, need a drink. What can you do? There is no running water, not where you are. But there is a convenience store. It's been crushed by the shock wave, but there are still bottles of beer, Coke and diet soda intact on the floor.

So you wonder: Can I grab one of those beers and gulp it down? Or is it too radioactive? And what about taste? If I drink it, will it taste OK?

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The Salt
3:05 am
Wed September 19, 2012

So What Happens If The Farm Bill Expires? Not Much, Right Away

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., talk to reporters about the farm bill at the U.S. Capitol in June.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:53 pm

Congress is set to make a brief appearance in Washington this week, then recess until after Election Day. That means a farm bill is likely to be left undone, just one of the many items on lawmakers' "to-do" lists that won't happen anytime soon.

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The Salt
12:51 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Nordic Cuisine: Moving Beyond The Meatballs And Pickled Fish

The Nordic Food Lab experiments with garum, a form of fish sauce familiar to the ancient Romans.
courtesy Nordic Food Lab

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:42 pm

For many people, the phrase "Scandinavian food" probably doesn't bring much to mind beyond the Ikea food court. For those who do have a connection with these Northern European countries, the mental image is probably smothered in gravy with a side of potatoes. But if you're coming to Copenhagen's noma restaurant expecting the same old meatballs and pickled fish, think again.

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The Salt
7:53 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

A Little Patience, A Lot Of Salt Are Keys To A Lost Pickle Recipe

There's more than one way to make a pickle.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:45 pm

Here's a new mantra you might consider adding to your list of daily kitchen chants: "It takes patience to perpetuate pickles."

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The Salt
3:39 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Five Ways To Spot A Fake Online Review, Restaurant Or Otherwise

One sign that a restaurant review is a fake is if it gives a very high or very low rating without many specifics.
Bill Oxford iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:47 pm

Thinking of going to a nice restaurant? Before you decide, you probably go online and read reviews of the place from other customers (or you listen to these actors read them to you). Online reviews of restaurants, travel deals, apps and just about anything you want to buy have become a powerful driver of consumer behavior. Unsurprisingly, they have also created a powerful incentive to cheat.

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The Salt
3:29 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Low And Slow May Be The Way To Go When It Comes To Dieting

Eating low-glycemic foods, or foods that take longer to digest, may help you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
Robyn Mackenzie iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:09 pm

If you're dieting, you know you've got to count calories, carbs and fats. But if you really want to take off the weight and keep it off, you might want to pay more attention to the glycemic index, which is essentially a measure of how quickly foods are digested.

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Achtung Beer Drinkers: Munich's Brewers Need Bottles, Kegs For Oktoberfest

Ahead of Oktoberfest, Munich's brewers say they're running short of bottles and kegs for the festival's beer. Here, glass beer steins are seen at last year's Oktoberfest.
Johannes Simon Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 12:29 am

German beer drinkers are eagerly awaiting Sept. 22, when the first Oktoberfest beer barrel will be tapped in Munich and two weeks of revelry begin. But when that happens, they might want to drink up — because the city's brewers are worried they won't be able to supply enough beer for the massive party and its huge beer tents.

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Kitchen Window
4:33 am
Wed September 5, 2012

No-Bake Desserts? No Sweat

Dave Scantland for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 7:26 am

I was once known among my friends as the queen of desserts. OK, maybe that's an exaggeration, but I was at least the bringer of desserts. My circle of friends hosted frequent dinner parties, but my tiny apartment made entertaining any more than a couple of guests impossible. To make up for that, I always offered to bring a contribution. While I preferred appetizers, the day came when a friend asked for a dessert. With some trepidation, I complied. I have no idea what that first dessert was, but it was a hit. My fate was sealed.

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The Salt
3:22 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Why Organic Food May Not Be Healthier For You

A shopper surveys the produce at Pacifica Farmers Market in Pacifica, Calif., in 2011.
AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:13 pm

Yes, organics is a $29 billion industry and still growing. Something is pulling us toward those organic veggies that are grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

But if you're thinking that organic produce will help you stay healthier, a new finding may come as a surprise. A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds scant evidence of health benefits from organic foods.

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The Two-Way
5:48 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

Four More Beers? Well, Here Are Two From The White House

President Obama drinks a beer — that's presumably not from the White House — as he watches the U.S. men's basketball team play Brazil in an Olympic exhibition game in July.
Alex Brandon AP

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Kitchen Window
9:00 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Zucchini You Actually Can't Resist

T. Susan Chang for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 11:56 am

"Ugh," my sister exclaimed one evening as we were making dinner. It was supposed to be an easy poached chicken with a ginger-scallion sauce, eaten with cold cucumber wedges, and we had just discovered that what we had bought at the store was not cucumber, but zucchini. It was an easy mistake to make — they were the precise same shade of green. But where the zucchini's skin was mostly smooth, the cucumber's was lumpy. We were not happy.

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Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty
10:57 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Maine's Needhams: A Sweet Treat Of Earthy Potatoes

A traditional sweet treat from Maine, needhams are made with coconut, chocolate and real Maine potatoes.
Courtesy of Jones Franzel

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 12:32 pm

If you're from Maine, odds are you've heard of needhams — a traditional sweet with a surprising ingredient.

While Maine is famous for its sweet blueberries and maple syrup, it has another, more earthy, local crop: potatoes.

Jon Courtney, a friend who lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, first stumbled on needhams a few years ago. Now, he's hooked.

"Basically it's coconut and sugar dipped in chocolate," Courtney says. "So if you were to pick one up, you'd be like, 'Oh! This is a homemade Mounds bar.' "

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