Ongoing Coverage:

Food

Food
12:08 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Feeding the Homeless on the Holidays

hungry people waiting for the food Sister Ludmilla Benda serves on Sundays and holidays line up around the block
Dean Borg Iowa Public Radio

For those who are apprehensive about preparing holiday meals for family guests, consider Sister Ludmilla Benda, a nearly ninety-year old woman who does it weekly for a hundred-or-more hungry strangers. 

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Food
1:11 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Making Old Thanksgiving Recipes New

a Thanksgiving table
Wikimedia Commons

There are foods in every family that have to make it to the Thanksgiving table. If you want to experiment with traditional dishes, where do you start?

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Battle of the Chefs
2:06 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Six Chefs Battle Thursday

Last year's champions, Tacopocalypse, will return for this year's battle.
Iowa Public Radio

Six Iowa chefs will compete Thursday at West End Salvage in Des Moines for the second annual Iowa Public Radio Battle of the Chefs. They're all out to win. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
8:02 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Like food, yarn goes local, too

Lorrae Moon of Yampa Valley Fiberworks coils alpaca fiber into a neat stack.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

 

Northwestern Colorado has a rich heritage of raising sheep – either for their meat or for wool.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
2:00 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Get Ready for Cheaper Meat at the Grocery Store

Agriculture economist Chris Hurt said in 2007, the average pork price was $2.87 a pound. Now, we're paying a record high price of $4.20 a pound on average.
Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

Farmers are harvesting a record corn and soybean crop this year causing the price of grain commodities to tumble, which is great news for livestock producers and people who love bacon.

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Food
4:59 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

PBS New Show “Food Forward” Features Iowa “Food Rebels”

Bison roaming on Bob Jackson's farm near Promise City
Screenshot

There are lots of opinions about how to eat and grow healthy food. The new PBS show Food Forward takes a look at some of them. 

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Horticulture
12:58 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Organics Growing in Iowa

an organic vegetable garden
Wikimedia Commons

Demand for organic produce in Iowa is growing.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
9:35 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Farm Bill Programs Target Aid for Smaller Farms

The new farm bill includes more money to promote local food and farmers markets.
Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media file photo

The Farm Bill was passed in February. But now, piece by piece, it’s taking effect. We’re beginning to see how parts of the farm bill are doing more to help farmers go small.

The Farm Bill contains about half a trillion dollars in spending over five years. The vast majority of that pays for huge programs like food stamps and subsidized crop insurance. But this time around, Congress carved out a little more room for local and organic foods, and it’s starting to show.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Tue September 9, 2014

U.S. meat inspection system in disarray, watchdogs say

Jennifer Brdar worked as a temporary federal meat inspector at a big beef packing operation in Liberal, Kan.
John McGrath/Hale Center for Journalism

Jennifer Brdar’s dream job was to be a meat inspector for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, watching out for unwary consumers and making sure the meat on their dinner tables was clean and disease-free.

After earning an associate’s degree in meat science, Brdar was hired in March as a temporary federal meat inspector at a big beef packing operation just up the road in Liberal, Kan.

She lasted barely a month, walking away in frustration.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
8:26 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Climate, Space Create Challenges for Local Food

Josh Kilbane runs Yampa Valley Farms outside Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Local food is no longer just a novelty. Farmers markets are growing nationwide and farms that sell directly to consumers brought in $1.3 billion in 2012, up eight percent from just five years earlier. Despite the demand, making local food work in some places is decidedly more difficult than others. Steamboat Springs, Colo., is one of those places.

Problem number one is infrastructure.

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The Salt
4:23 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

High Prices Aren't Scaring Consumers Away From The Meat Counter

Meat is displayed in a case at a grocery store in Miami in July. Pork and beef prices are up more than 11 percent since last summer.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 7:41 pm

You may have noticed when grilling steaks or hot dogs this summer that they cost more than they did last year. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pork and beef prices are up more than 11 percent since last summer.

Supply and demand determine price, and the pork supply comes from places like Riley Lewis' hog farm near Forest City, Iowa.

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Food
9:13 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Barbecuing an “Art,” with Lots of Rules…

Kansas City Barbeque Society Master Judge Dave Compton in Iowa Public Radio's Des Moines studios
John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

For Phil Cummings, Iowa Farm Bureau Cook Off State Fair Barbeque Grand Champion, barbecuing is a family affair. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:05 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Bug-Infused Food Companies Fight 'Yuck Factor'

Robert Nathan Allen of Austin, Texas-based Little Herds is a high-profile advocate for eating insects in the United States.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Insects can be a great source of protein, and in many parts of the world, people gobble them up.

But here in the United States, a certain “ick factor” has kept consumers from eating crickets, locusts and mealworms. To combat the ickiness and convert skeptical consumers, bug-food advocates are trying a specific marketing tactic: be clever and cute.

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River to River
5:07 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Small Town of Cherokee Prepares for Tyson Plant Closure

Cherokee is the county seat of Cherokee County, Iowa
J. Stephen Conn

In this segment of River to River, we discuss the situation in the Northwest Iowa town of Cherokee, home to about 5000 Iowans.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
3:29 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Fresh Yogurt, Really Fresh

An observation window in the store allows customers to watch while yogurt is being made
IPR's Pat Blank
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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Chef Camp Teaches Basics of Food Production

Farmer Marty Travis shows off one of his fields to the chef campers on June 8, 2014.
Sean Powers for Harvest Public Media

With farm to table restaurants springing up left and right, cooks are having to go beyond the grocery store. That’s why about a dozen chefs from Chicago and central Illinois recently gathered for a two-day crash course on where their food comes from – the farm.

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River to River: From the Archives
11:43 am
Mon June 16, 2014

An Unexpected History of Carnivore America

The deli counter at Hy-Vee
Emily Woodbury

The battle surrounding meat and livestock production ranks among the longest-waged and hardest fought in American history. Today on River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with historian and author, Maureen Ogle. Her new book is titled In Meat We Trust.

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Horticulture Day
12:31 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Pecans in Iowa? Yes!

Pecan trees being irrigated in New Mexico

Everyone knows you can grow black walnuts in Iowa.  But, there are actually a lot of other nuts we can grow too, and some of them may surprise you.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Jeff Jensen of Trees Forever, and Tom Wahl of Red Fern Farm in Wapello about hickory nuts, pecans, chestnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts and more.  Horticulturist Richard Jauron answers non-nut related questions.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:05 am
Fri May 23, 2014

"Fed Up" Links Obesity Epidemic to Sugar, Industry and Government

A shot from the movie "Fed Up".
Courtesy RADiUS-TWC

Just who’s to blame for the childhood obesity epidemic? Over the years, the finger has been pointed at parents, video games and vending machines, to name a few.

To the makers of the new activist documentary, “Fed Up,” the bottom line of blame lies with a simple substance poured into our diets every day: sugar. And the pushers of what this film calls a drug and “the new tobacco” are the food industry and our own government.

“What if our whole approach to this epidemic has been dead wrong?” the film’s narrator, TV journalist Katie Couric, says in the film’s open.

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News Buzz
5:30 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Whiskey Flavored Pigs?

Templeton Rye's Heritage Pork Project pigs
El Photography and Design

If you drink whiskey, and if you eat pork, you’ve probably come to understand them as a pretty good pairing. Scott Bush, President and Founder of Templeton Rye Whiskey in Templeton, Iowa, says he's always enjoyed the combination. Recently, he's taken it one step further.

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Talk of Iowa
12:22 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

"Pie is Not About Perfection"

A strawberry pie baked by Beth Howard
Katherine Perkins IPR

Pie.  Everyone loves to eat it, but when it comes to making it a lot of us would rather leave that to the professionals.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Robust System Can Grow Local Market

In the kitchen at Decorah High School, Chad Elliott ladels out tomato soup. The school system sources many ingredients locally.
Amy Mayer/IPR

The smell of baking dinner rolls fills the kitchen at Decorah High School in northeast Iowa. As two kitchen workers mix a fresh broccoli salad, another, Chad Elliott, ladles tomato soup from a large metal pot on the stove into white plastic buckets for delivery to the town’s elementary schools.

Elliott says most of the food served in the district is made from scratch and many ingredients come from local farms and dairies.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Farmers Try to Tap Bigger Local Markets

Samara Davis shops at the small Harvest Learning Center market in the basement of her Kansas City, Mo., church. It’s part of an effort for local farmers to expand their customer base.
Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media

Farm stands and farmers markets remain really important for many local farmers, but U.S. consumers barely buy any food directly from farms. That’s why local farmers are trying to crack in to the big institutional markets such as grocery stores, work cafeterias, schools and hospitals.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Public, Private Partners Key to Local Food Success

Ashley Turk is a member of Food Corps, a service program that supports local food systems. In northeast Iowa, Turk and other organizers maintain a robust network that connects growers with clients.
Credit Amy Mayer/IPR

As Food Corps service member Ashley Turk navigates her way through a brand-new greenhouse in the courtyard at Waukon High School in the northeast corner of Iowa, she points to a robust supply of red and green lettuce leaves growing neatly in rows.

“It’s huge,” she says. “We cut it off and it just keeps growing.”

The greenhouse lettuce is among the offerings in the school’s salad bar. And students will soon be growing carrots, tomatoes and other vegetables, Turks says.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
10:00 am
Wed April 16, 2014

What You Should Know about Our Food System

Despite certainty on the farm bill finally coming down from Washington, Midwest farmers still face plenty of unknowns.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media file photo

Food doesn’t just come from a grocery store. Millions of farmers spend their lives producing the crops and raising the livestock that we eat and use.

So it makes sense: If you’re interested in what’s on your plate, you’re interested in what’s going on in the field.

With that in mind, here are four things you should know about today’s food system:

The new farm bill became law in February

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Vertical Farming: Towering Vision, Uncertain Future

Large banks of fluorescent lamps provide the spectrum of light that keeps the floating beds of plants alive year-round in The Plant Chicago, a vertical farming facility.
Peter Gray/Harvest Public Meeting

Farmers are making inroads supplying local food to hungry city foodies, but many producers are trying to grow more food inurban centers. City real estate is at a premium, so some producers are finding more space by using what’s called “vertical farming,” and going up rather than spreading out.

Growers across the country are heading indoors, using greenhouses and hydroponics – growing plants in a water and nutrient solution instead of soil and using lamps to replace sunlight. Vertical farming takes that to a new level.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
8:52 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Hog Farmers Differ on Packer-Owned Pigs

A proposal in the Nebraska Legislature would allow meatpacking companies operating in the state to own hogs from birth to slaughter, a change that some say would take market share from farmers.
Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

 

Nebraska hog farmers aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on a proposal that would allow meatpacking companies more control over the state’s hog industry. And farmers all over the country are watching.

Currently, a 1998 state law bans meatpacking companies from owning and raising the hogs the process. But lawmakers have proposed an end to the ban, which would allow for more vertical integration of the hog industry.

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Talk of Iowa
8:14 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Before the Chefs Battle

Central Iowa chefs Tag Grandgeorge (Le Jardin,) Michael Baily (Des Moines Embassy Club West,) Tawnya Zerr (Cupcake Emporium,) and Sam Auen (Tacopocalypse) spoke with Talk of Iowa from the Des Moines studio, March 20, 2014.
John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

Before the chefs do battle at Iowa Public Radio’s Battle of the Chefs they sit down with host Charity Nebbe to talk about the food and recipes that inspire them. Chefs Sam Auen of Tacopocalypse, Le Jardin's Tag Grandgeorge, The Des Moines Embassy Club West's Michael Bailey and Tawnya Zerr from Cupcake Emporium join the show.

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Health
2:07 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Surviving and Thriving After a Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis

Dr. Terry Wahls: on the left, second stage MS (2007) - on the right, out of the wheelchair (2008)
http://terrywahls.com/

She was a marathoner and a mountain climber, but when Dr. Terry Wahls was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she faced a bedridden life.

This hour, we learn how she beat progressive MS.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Pig Virus Now Impacting Pork Prices

Illinois hog farmer Phil Borgic lost eight percent of his annual yield to the procine epidemic diarrhea virus.
Peter Gray/Harvest Public Meeting

A virus that has devastated piglets for nearly a year is now responsible for lower pork supplies and higher prices.

Phil Borgic of Nokomis, Ill. knows first hand what happens when porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus infects a hog barn. He walked through one in late January pointing out the differences among litters.

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