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National Public Radio's stories on food, nutrition, recipes, cooking, cookbook reviews, and health (updated daily).

Stories on food, nutrition, recipes, cooking, cookbook reviews, and health. Download Food and Hidden Kitchen podcasts and subscribe to RSS feeds. Food

The Organic Consumers Association maintains an excellent feed of the latest articles on matters of world food integrity updated here daily.

  • There is an "urgent need" to restore mangroves in Myanmar to stem saltwater invasion of farmland and shoreline erosion due to sea level rise, as well as to protect lives and property from storms and floods in coastal areas.Drones could plant trees 10 times faster and cut costs by half, according to UK-based start-up BioCarbon Engineering (BCE).

  • Monsanto is on the attack. In its fight to keep its blockbuster weedkiller glyphosate on the European market, the American agrichemical giant has spent the last six months fighting accusations that it suppressed negative findings or even ghostwrote key research about whether the herbicide causes cancer.

  • Betalain reduces toxins surrounding your cells and allows essential nutrients to make needed improvements, which reduces inflammation implicated in numerous diseases. As a “highly bioactive group of pigments,” betalain has been shown to exert antihypertensive, anticancer, chemopreventive and hypoglycemic activities due to its bioavailability and impact on inflammation. People who eat beets, cactus fruit and other foods containing betalain are also getting the benefits of polyphenolic anthocyanins such as resveratrol, carotenoids and chlorophylls, all playing parts in improving health.

  • The Impossible Burger is a meat substitute made from soy, wheat, coconut oil, potatoes and plant-based “heme,” the latter of which is derived from genetically engineered (GE) yeast. Documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request reveal the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected the safety claims of the product, noting the company’s assessment of possible allergenicity is lacking.

  • In 2015, the last year for which statistics are available, California’s growers applied more chlorpyrifos than farmers in any other state — mainly in the Central Valley, according to the U.S. Geological Survey and California’s pesticide usage database

  • Conventional wisdom says that weight gain or loss is based on the energy balance model of "calories in, calories out," which is often reduced to the simple refrain, "eat less, and exercise more." But new research reveals a far more complex equation that appears to rest on several other important factors affecting weight gain. 

  • What do foods like natto, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, lassi and kefir all have in common? Hint: It’s not an ingredient. Rather, it’s actually how all of these are made: fermentation. According to the George Mateljan Foundation, fermentation refers to an enzyme-controlled chemical process that breaks down an organic substance into simpler parts, typically with help of bacteria, yeasts or carbon dioxide.

  • Mercury is a pernicious poison that should never be placed in your mouth. Yet half of the dentists in the U.S. still use dental or “silver” amalgam, 50 percent of which is mercury, not silver. Mercury is the most volatile and toxic of the heavy metals, and the vapors released when chewing or brushing pose a clear and present danger to health — especially your brain and kidneys, as mercury is a neuro- and nephrotoxin.

  • A new study has found that those who enjoy the occasional cigarette in social situations are risking their health just as much as the person who smokes a pack or more a day.

  • In Todd Miller’s prescient new book, Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security, the Tucson journalist and author travels the globe to document how climate disasters are uprooting people from their homes.

  • A story that appeared in the leading  inside-Washington political journal The Hill last week bore a headline that ought to send a chill down the spine of anyone who believes in democracy: “Half of Republicans Would Back Postponing 2020 Election if Trump Proposed It.” Read the report’s opening 90 words and let them sink in.

  • It seems that nuking (microwaving) used sponges does kill some of the bacteria, but not the worst ones, according to a study published in Scientific Reports and titled “Microbiome analysis and confocal microscopy of used kitchen sponges reveal massive colonization.

  • This year, small producers’ organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean have experienced the effects of climate change in a number of different ways. First of all, the rapid spreading of diseases such as coffee rust in coffee fields in southern Mexico, Central America and Peru has diminished productivity in the region and increased production costs. In Brazil, drought and intense sun when coffee berries are being formed, followed by heavy rains during the drying period for the berries, have reduced the quality and size of coffee berries.

  • Glyphsate is a good non-selective plant killer, but then, so are many other herbicides. All of them kill both the crops and the weeds. The specialty of glyphosate and its very extensive use is only in relation to its use on genetically modified “Roundup Ready” crops that are so engineered not to die of glyphosate sprayed indiscriminately over farmland by airplane, helicopter and massive crop sprayers. Another dangerous use of more recent origin is to use glyphosate as a desiccant even on non-GMO seed, and cereal crops, cotton and sugarcane – purely for convenience of harvesting.

  • The entry into force of the Minamata Convention on Mercury Aug. 16 will spur companies worldwide to restrict their use of mercury and pursue alternatives to mercury added products. The convention seeks to protect human health and curb environmental contamination by obligating its parties to broadly limit the use and export of mercury and restrict mercury emissions into the air, soil, and water.

  • Newly released government email communications show a persistent effort by multiple officials within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to slow a separate federal agency’s safety review of Monsanto’s top-selling herbicide. Notably, the records demonstrate that the EPA efforts came at the behest of Monsanto, and that EPA officials were helpful enough to keep the chemical giant updated on their progress.

  • Recent research shows the longer a person slept, the smaller their waist and lower their BMI were likely to be. People who slept for an average of six hours a night had a waist circumference more than 1 inch (3 centimeters) larger than those who slept for nine hours a night. Shorter sleep was also linked to lower levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol, disruptions to thyroid hormones and increases in inflammatory markers.

  • Sugar increases your risk of depression by contributing to insulin and leptin resistance, suppressing BDNF, affecting dopamine, damaging your mitochondria and promoting chronic inflammation. Studies have linked high-sugar diets to a higher risk of depression and anxiety, showing a low-sugar diet is an important part of the prevention and treatment of common mental health problems. 

  • A decision by the European Court of Justice on Wednesday in favor of disclosing confidential safety tests by large pesticide companies has sent shockwaves through the wider chemical industry.The court’s decision dealt with two cases in which non-governmental organizations had been denied access to documents about pesticides on the grounds that the information was commercially sensitive.

  • You’ve always supported our joint struggle for an organic and equitable food system. For a chemical-free environment. For corporate accountability. For peace, justice and sustainability. That mission requires us to strike at the heart of the absolute worst manifestation of our degenerative, exploitative, extractive industrial food and farming system—the $1-trillion factory farm industry. Late yesterday, a New England donor, inspired by our campaign to force Ben & Jerry’s to go organic, made a generous offer. We’re grateful because this generous offer validates our strategy: To erode Ben & Jerry’s brand so much that the company begins the long-overdue transition from Dirty Dairy to an organic regenerative system that respects and rewards farmers and farmworkers, doesn't abuse animals, no longer pollutes waterways or degrades soil, and produces a safer, organic consumer product. The donor, who asked to remain anonymous, will match up to $25,000 in donations raised between now and midnight, Monday, August 21. That means your donation today will be worth twice as much. Can you pitch in today to help us take advantage of this matching gift offer? Details here.  


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