Ongoing Coverage:

Regulations

Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
4:00 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Foodborne Illnesses Could Cost Us $15 billion a Year

Pathogens that can cause foodborne illness are often ingested by incorrectly cooked meat.
taryn/Flickr

Americans had to dig deep into their wallets to cover costs associated with foodborne illnesses, according to new estimatesfrom the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Environment
4:36 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Environmentalist Heads Agriculture Water Initiative

The head of a major environmental organization will lead  a new initiative to get farmers to comply with water quality standards.     But other  environmentalists are skeptical the new standards will work as long as they remain voluntary.    

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Mixed Reception for Poultry Inspection Rules

ISU animal science professor Dong Ahn says consumers could benefit from mandatory microbial testing in the new poultry inspection rule, intended to reduce foodborne illnesses.
Amy Mayer/IPR

Change is coming to the poultry industry, but not everyone is happy about it.

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Pink Slime Returns
1:10 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Controversial Hamburger Product Returns

Photo by pointnshoot

A much-maligned beef product that’s sometimes added to  hamburger is making a comeback after a sharp decline  two years ago.    Processors cut back  on the production of  what they call finely textured beef when a nasty  nickname “pink slime” caught on in the media.   Now  demand for the product is on the rise because of high beef prices.   

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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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News Buzz
1:53 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

"Unprecedented" Settlement Could Mean Jail Time for Elder DeCoster

freefoodphotos.com

Host Ben Kieffer talks with Seattle, Washington food safety lawyer Bill Marler, who represented some of those sickened in a 2010 salmonella outbreak caused by contaminated eggs.  This week a settlement was reached with Quality Egg and two of its top executives, Jack and Peter DeCoster.  Marler says Jack DeCoster comes to the court with a "checkered past," that could make jail time more likely in this case.

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Food
4:10 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

An Unexpected History of Carnivore America

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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Environment
4:15 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Urban Wetlands Play a Part in Improving Iowa Water Quality

The Raccoon River in Des Moines.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

 Iowa homeowners and municipalities can use urban wetlands to capture nutrients that pollute state waterways and improve water quality. That’s according to a new report out Wednesday. But researchers say it would only be a small part of improving the state’s water quality.

The amount of pollution municipalities put into the state’s rivers and streams are regulated. This new report from the Iowa Policy Project documents what else cities and homeowners to reduce polluted storm runoff. 

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Environment
2:59 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Environmentally Sensitive ‘Driftless’ Region Highlights CAFO Concerns

Chris Wasta fly fishes on Bear Creek in Winneshiek County, Iowa. The trout stream is a region of the Midwest known as the 'driftless' region.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

   

Thanks to tight competition, hog farmers are feeling a push to expand or get out of the business. That means indoor confined animal feeding operations – or CAFOs – are growing even in the most environmentally sensitive areas.

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Talk of Iowa
2:19 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Regulating Iowa's Water Quality [Talk of Iowa]

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Bill Northey (left) and Governor Terry Branstad (right) reenact a bill signing in front of a wetland at a farm in Winterset, Iowa, south of Des Moines.
Clay Masters IPR

The Gulf of Mexico is the largest hypoxic zone currently affecting the United States. Today on Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe hosts a discussion on water quality in Iowa and the connection our state has with the Gulf. We take a look at Iowa's Nutrient Reduction Strategy as a conservation plan.

Today's guests include: Iowa Public Radio reporter Clay Masters, Bill Stowe, the CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works, Iowa's Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey, and John Lawrence, the Associate Dean in the Department of Economics at Iowa State University.

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Environment
6:00 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Farmers, Policymakers Debate Water Quality Regulation

Farmer Tim Smith stands by a creek that cuts through his property near the north central Iowa town of Eagle Grove. He does several water quality conservation practices on his land including a bio-reactor, strip tilling and cover crops.
Clay Masters IPR

This summer, officials in Iowa have been asking farmers to voluntarily reduce the amount of fertilizer they use. That’s because the fertilizer contains nitrates that are being washed into state waterways and creating environmental concerns locally and nationally. The runoff has been particularly bad this year, and the outcry over typical crop practices is growing. To find if Iowa farmers are complying with the government’s request, Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters followed the water trail.

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River to River
2:29 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Top Iowa News Stories of 2012

A crowded precinct location in Coralville for the 2008 Iowa caucuses
Stephen Cummings / Flickr

2012 was another big year for news in Iowa.  The headlines ranged from pink slime and spaceships, to the presidential election and financial scandal.  Ben Kieffer counts down the top 10 news stories of the past year, plus some honorable mentions.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
6:59 am
Thu September 13, 2012

Manager of Iowa Egg Farm Linked to Salmonella Admits Bribery

Shannon Miller

The manager at an Iowa Egg Farm implicated in a national salmonella outbreak will admit he tried to bribe a federal official to sign off on unsafe eggs.

In 2010 a salmonella scare spread across the country—500 million eggs were recalled and 2,000 people fell sick.

Now a federal prosecutor says the manager of the farm the bacterial outbreak was traced back to—Tony Wasmund—has agreed to plead guilty to attempting to bribe a public official. Wasmund apparently offered $300 to a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector to let eggs that didn’t pass muster go to market.

Health
4:43 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Salmonella found again on Iowa farm

The bacteria salmonella heidelberg found on an egg farm in Clarion, Iowa.
Shannon Miller

It’s been two years since a salmonella outbreak was traced back to several Iowa farms—including Centrum Valley Farms. As Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports, another strain of the deadly bacteria has re-appeared on that same farm.

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River to River
1:05 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Governor Branstad & Doctors Without Borders in South Sudan

One of the key issues that have yet to be resolved in the Iowa legislature this session is education reform.  The House and Senate have passed dueling plans and the Governor says the Senate’s version is “watered down.”  Join host Ben Kieffer as he’s joined by Governor Terry Branstad.  We’ll ask him about education reform and about the debate over finely textured lean beef – or what critics are calling “pink slime.”  Later, Ben talks with Elizabeth Wentzel, who after raising five children decided to chase her life-long dream to travel to a far away land to work and support others less fortun