food

First we heard on Morning Edition that a clam scientists had opened up turned out to have been 507 years old.

That led us to stories with headlines like this: "Scientists accidentally kill world's oldest animal at age 507."

Rich Bowen/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: We think you deserve the very best pumpkin pie recipe to dazzle your family and guests. This is my favorite dazzler, from a 2009 Bon Appétit magazine, because this pie combines the spicy quality of pumpkin with just the right amount of caramelized brown sugar, cinnamon, and toasted walnuts. Think pumpkin pie, coffee-cake style! (And you know we love our streusel-topped morning coffee cake.)

Washington State Says 'No' To GMO Labels

Nov 7, 2013

Voters appear to have defeated another attempt to require labels on genetically modified foods in Washington state. In early counts, the "no" campaign has what appears to be an insurmountable lead with 54 percent of votes.

The ballot initiative would require labels on the front of packages for most food products, seeds and commodities like soy or corn if they were produced using genetic engineering.

Kelly The Deluded/flickr creative commons

Fried Deviled Eggs
(From Southern Fried by James Villas) 
Serves 6

These melt in your mouth -- nicely seasoned traditional deviled eggs, dipped in bread crumbs, a little egg and flour, then fried in peanut oil to give them a crispy exterior.

What makes trick-or-treaters happy is candy. And more candy is better, right?

Well, it turns out that might not actually be the case. A few years ago researchers did a study on Halloween night where some trick-or-treaters were given a candy bar, and others were given the candy bar and a piece of bubble gum.

Addison Berry/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: Great for Thanksgiving and eight other months of the year—Corn Bread Stuffing Muffins baked in a muffin tin. How about passing that around at your holiday table? I found this recipe in the November issue of Cooking Light magazine, and had to give it a whirl.

A Scrutinization of Salt

Oct 29, 2013
DaGoaty, Flickr Creative Commons

Salt! It's the only rock we eat!

That gets us into some touchy territory. Some say that salt is a major factor for high blood pressure, and some say that it's more complicated than that. We can't NOT eat salt, but in the grand scheme of things, are we eating more now than ever, or way less?

A Sweet And Sour History Of Our Obsession With Candy

Oct 27, 2013

Trick-or-treaters demand it. Dentists despise it. Pop musicians have sung odes to it.

Love it or hate it, candy is a cultural fixation — and it isn't going anywhere.

Kristin Wall/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

This simple, flavorful spice rub is one of my favorites, and will transform your roast turkey as it cooks sitting atop a bed of fresh rosemary sprigs. The best part is that you can make the rub ahead, then freeze it or store it for when you need it.

Rachel/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

The queen of slow cooking gives us Beer-Braised Brown Sugar Brisket with Bacon; Cajun Shrimp Chowder; Artichoke Chicken Lasagna; and Thai Peanut Butter Pork Roast. Throw the ingredients in a slow-cooker in the morning, and return hours later to a house full of comforting aromas. Honestly, it's like having staff! 

New York Times Connecticut restaurant critic Rand Cooper endorsed Staropolska in New Britain, where one can drink Bison Grass Vodka and eat bigos (pictured).

BrokenSphere / Wikimedia Commons

News has been pretty rough lately, between the government shutdown and the debt ceiling. Now comes word that America’s favorite cookie can produce similar effects on the brain as addictive drugs. New research from Connecticut College finds that the Oreo cookie is just as addictive as cocaine, at least for lab rats.

D. Sharon Pruitt/flickr creative commons

With scientific research, her own chemistry background, and the traditional diets of our not-so-distant ancestors as her guide, Dee McCaffrey casts new light on an age-old wisdom: Eating foods in their closest-to-natural form is the true path to sustained weight loss and, in fact, the remedy for almost any health problem. We are so far removed from foods in their natural state that we now call them “health foods,” a sad admission that we’ve compromised our health for the sake of convenience.

Robert S. Donovan/flickr creative commons

When blogger Jennifer Reese lost her job, she began a series of food-related experiments. Economizing by making her own peanut butter, pita bread, and yogurt, she found that “doing it yourself” doesn’t always cost less or taste better. In fact, she found that the joys of making some foods from scratch—marshmallows, hot dog buns, and hummus—can be augmented by buying certain ready-made foods—butter, ketchup, and hamburger buns. Tired? Buy your mayonnaise. Inspired? Make it.

Flickr Creative Commons, AndrewBrownNWA

Consumer activism is older than the nation. The colonists’ rejection of British imports started a tradition of voting with your knife, fork, teacup and credit card. But it’s complicated! Whole Foods isn’t perfect. And maybe you should reward Wal-Mart for at least trying to improve.

Robyn Lee/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

If your schedule is rushed, have we got a cookbook for you! The Good-to-Go collection of about 300 recipes is a winner with adults and children. It's also the perfect cookbook for transitioning kids in a first apartment, or for kids in college.

Miranda Granche/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

Yale University Preventive Medicine expert Dr. David Katz says he has a four-step approach to keep disease away. His technique involves a change in diet, exercise, no smoking, and weight-control. Master the skill-set to bring these areas in line, and we'll have longer and healthier lives. If you believe genes play the leading roll, or that environmental factors mean we're probably going to die younger than we thought, Dr. Katz says he has data to show you otherwise.

flowercarole/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton  

Here's the mission—to inspire kids to cook and eat real food with their families. And we have the recipes to help you do just that. From French toast to frittatas, chicken soup to classic burgers, banana-peach frozen yogurt to mango lassis. 

Connecticut Historical Society, 1980.43.2

An old myth maintains that you should only eat oysters during those months with the letter “R” in their names. This was both because of the higher bacteria content—and therefore the greater chance of disease—during summer months, and because of the health hazards associated with shipping raw seafood in an age before refrigeration.

Jack Newton/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

Traditions can be fun and make life feel better. Join our brainstorming session to become inspired to start your own traditions, from apple-picking; the holiday party; the army buddy reunion; the Vermont Mud Race; to maple syrup on the first snow; and sampling away at The Faith Middleton Show's annual Martini Competition. (Do you know how strange it is to refer to yourself in the third person?)

paddy patterson/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton  

Faith's Thanksgiving Cosmo Sparkler

You know me—I love easy, delicious cocktails, and I have a festive seasonal sparkler this time to get your Thanksgiving rolling. Pair together cranberry juice, vodka and champagne, and your guests will be having too much fun to notice you forgot to defrost the turkey. Serve your drinks in chilled martini glasses; simply run your glasses under water, then pop them in the freezer for an hour or two, pulling each one out as you pour from your cocktail pitcher. Then you top off each glass with a splash of champagne, or an affordable dry sparkler, like a Spanish cava.

Worldwide, roughly 1 in 8 people suffered from chronic hunger from 2011 to 2013, according to a new report from three U.N. food agencies.

They concluded that 842 million people didn't get enough food to lead healthy lives in that period, a slight drop from the 868 million in the previous report.

The modest change was attributed to several factors, from economic growth in developing countries to investments in agriculture. And in some countries, people have benefited from money sent home by migrant workers. But the gains were unevenly distributed, the report's authors say.

Cosasdebeas / Wikimedia Commons

Just as wine lovers want complexity in a great vintage wine, olive oil fans expect purity in their favorite extra virgin. But high-end olive oil is expensive to produce. And in the mid-2000s, fraud was a growing problem.

When Connecticut officials discovered that some imported olive oil was really a cheap knock-off, they leapt into action. Jerry Farrell was commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection at the time.

Editor's Note: This post is part of All Things Considered's Found Recipes project.

Although Heinz may dominate the ketchup scene, 100 years ago it wasn't uncommon to make your own at home. So why bother doing so now, when you can just buy the bottles off the shelf? At least one man, Jim Ledvinka, was motivated by nostalgia.

"Oh, yes — we remember my grandmother making ketchup. And it was quite a sight to behold," Ledvinka says.

Americans have a longstanding love affair with maple syrup. According to the USDA, production of the sticky stuff in the United States totaled 3.25 million gallons this year. However, it isn't the only tree syrup that's available to drizzle on your short stack or sweeten your latte.

Wheat has been getting a bad rap lately.

Many folks are experimenting with the gluten-free diet, and a best-selling book called Wheat Belly has helped drive a lot of the interest.

"Wheat is the most destructive thing you could put on your plate, no question," says William Davis, a cardiologist in Milwaukee, Wis., who authored the book.

Justin Smith/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

What makes a chili unforgettable? When the meat and the right combo of spices are cooked slowly enough to make them melt into the sauce. This is the recipe that makes that happen, and the unsweetened cocoa powder addition is masterful, adding dark, dusky flavor.

William Wootton/flickr creative commons

Why do grownups and kids fight about food? Is there a way around it? I talk with New Haven psychologist Dr. Nancy Horn about re-framing the food fight strategy. Maybe you've had a food fight… or two million. No? Think about it…

erin_can_spell / Flickr Creative Commons

Welcome to autumn in New England. The weather is getting crisper, you can get pumpkin flavored lattes, beer and donuts, and it's prime apple-picking season. 

Most apple pickers do it the legal way. You get a bag, pick the ripest, biggest apples you can find, and then you pay for them. Apparently, some people are forgetting that last step.

No doubt most of you reading this post have looked at Yelp or Google+ Local to check the user reviews before you tried that fish store, bakery or even dentist. On occasion, you may have wondered if some of those reviews were too good to be true.

It turns out that some of them were.

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