NPR food

A Thanksgiving menu that goes back to the roots

Nov 21, 2012

Everyone knows the schoolhouse version of the first Thanksgiving story: New England pilgrims came together with Native Americans to share a meal after the harvest. The original menu was something of a joint venture, but over the years, a lot of the traditional dishes have lost their native.

For those who want to create a feast that celebrates the flavors that Native Americans brought to the table, Chef Richard Hetzler has an entire menu of options from his award-winning cookbook, The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook.

The Food and Drug Administration has confirmed that it received five reports in the past past three years suggesting that people died after drinking caffeinated energy drinks.

But the agency also cautions that these reports do not add up to proof that the beverages actually caused those deaths. These reports — called adverse event reports — are considered unconfirmed allegations, and the FDA doesn't usually release them.

When you go into a restaurant, you probably give some thought to whether you're ordering a small, regular or large sandwich.

That makes sense.With widening waistlines across the land, many of us want to make a health-conscious choice. But are we really getting a small portion when we order a small sandwich?

Well, that depends.

University of Michigan marketing professor Aradhna Krishna has studied how labels impact how much we eat. In one experiment, she gave people cookies that were labeled either medium or large, and then measured how much they ate.

Harvest season is upon us, but in the U.S.'s northern lakes, it's not just the last tomatoes and first pumpkins. Through the end of this month, canoes will glide into lakes and rivers for the annual gathering of wild rice, kick started with the popular Wild Rice Festival in Roseville, Minn., on Saturday.

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.

Last month we heard that a farmer in Kentucky was feeding his cattle discarded chocolate because corn was too expensive. Things are getting weird, we thought.

Do vegetarians and vegans think they are better than the rest of us? Judging from personal experience, a good number of people who aren't vegetarian or vegan would offer a resounding "Yes" to this question.

Those individuals who publicly tout eating no meat, especially when their stated reason has to do with caring about animals, are thought to be telegraphing a message of superiority: My dietary choices make me a better person than you.

When you hear the word chia, you probably think of chia pets. Maybe you even mutter that catchy slogan: "ch-ch-ch-chia."

Or maybe not, but lately, chia seed has been getting buzz beyond those terra cotta figurines. It's becoming a popular health food. Rich in fiber, protein and the highest plant source of Omega 3s, the little seeds pack a major nutritional punch.

Wayne Coates grows and sells chia seeds and has a book called Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood.

Here's some good news about Americans' diets: Most of us are getting sufficient amounts of key vitamins and minerals. That's the finding of a nutrition report just out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

Vitamins A and D, folate, iron and iodine are just a few of the nutrients assessed in the nationwide survey, which uses data collected between 1999 and 2006. Overall, less than 10 percent of the population appeared deficient in each nutrient.

Community supported agriculture sounds so simple. Support a local farm, get to know your farmer, enjoy weekly deliveries of fresh produce, and rest easy knowing that you've voted for the local economy with your food dollars.

For most of American history, early spring meant a feast of shad. That tradition has faded, but young chefs are trying to slip the ritual back onto plates.

The earliest Americans from from Florida to Nova Scotia caught shad by the basketful as they swam back from the sea to spawn in their home rivers. The fresh, silvery fish was most certainly a delight after winter's dreary fare. The American shad's Latin name is clue to its allure: Alosa sapadissima, or most delicious herring.

Here's a pie in your eye: A brief history of food fights

Jan 30, 2012

Last week, 500 tacos appeared at the mayor's office in East Haven, Conn. But they weren't intended for a casual luncheon.

Instead, this truckload of tacos was meant to be a symbol of discontent. An immigration reform group sent the fare in protest to what they said was an insensitive comment from Mayor Joseph Maturo in reference to Latinos and tacos.