Health+Harvest

NPR Illinois Community Advisory Board identified the subject of food and health as important subjects for coverage in 2012. Health+Harvest provides for community engagement on health and food issues along with reporting on farm, field and fuel.  From seed to plate, from farmer's markets to GMOs, central Illinoisans need to know how to stay healthy and what they are eating.  In 2013, NPR Illinois joined a consortium of public media in the Harvest Public Media network.  The network provides broader coverage to Midwest food issues.

By examining these local, regional and national issues and their implications with in-depth and unbiased reporting, Health+Harvest fills a critical information void.

Support for Health+Harvest coverage comes from Central Illinois Farm Bureaus and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  If you'd like to support this initiative, please contact Nice Bogdanovich at 217-206-9847.

For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that a controversial new kind of genetic engineering can rapidly spread a self-destructive genetic modification through a complex species.

NPR is looking at when and why obstetricians and gynecologists put their patients on bed rest. If you've been pregnant in the past year and were advised to stay on bed rest, we would like to hear from you.

A reporter may reach out to you to follow up on your response. Share your thoughts with us below.

If you've ever tried to ripen a piece of fruit by sticking it in a bag with a banana, you've harnessed the power of ethylene.

Ethylene is an important plant hormone. In bananas and many other fruits, production of ethylene surges when the fruit is ready to ripen. This surge triggers the transformation of a hard, green, dull fruit into a tender, gaudy, sweet thing that's ready-to-eat.

The empty field behind Mahlodumela primary school in Chebeng village doesn't look like much. It's an anonymous stretch of scrubby grass, punctuated by a lonely metal goal post.

But what happened in this field in 2014 sparked a debate in South Africa that is still simmering today. That January, Michael Komape, a 5-year-old student who had just started school three days earlier, wandered out to the field to use the school toilet.

About a hundred years ago, something devious started happening in our homes and offices, in our cars and at restaurants — and our backs have never been the same.

For hundreds — even thousands — of years, chairs were made of wood. Maybe the seat was covered with cord or cattail leaves, and if you were rich, you could afford some padded upholstery, which began to take off in the 17th and 18th centuries.

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Jill Biden Talks Biden Cancer Initiative

22 hours ago

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Let's head now to a Las Vegas strip mall to taste some chocolate.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hello.

MELISSA COPPEL: Hi, how are you? (Speaking Spanish).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Speaking Spanish).

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Within three days of starting high school this year, my ninth-grader could not get into bed before 11 p.m. or wake up by 6 a.m. He complained he couldn't fall asleep but felt foggy during the school day and had to reread lessons a few times at night to finish his homework. And forget morning activities on the weekends — he was in bed.

New Book: Vaccines Have Always Had Haters

Sep 23, 2018

Vaccinations have saved millions, maybe billions, of lives, says Michael Kinch, associate vice chancellor and director of the Center for Research Innovation in Business at Washington University in St. Louis. Those routine shots every child is expected to get can fill parents with hope that they're protecting their children from serious diseases.

But vaccines also inspire fear that something could go terribly wrong. That's why Kinch's new book is aptly named: Between Hope and Fear: A History of Vaccines and Human Immunity.

There's a lot of talk about how to make our food supply more sustainable. And, increasingly, eaters connect the dots between a healthy diet and a healthy planet. One line of evidence? A shift on grocery store shelves.

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Throughout the western U.S., water conservation is in the toilet.

And that's a good thing.

During hurricanes like Florence, many people find themselves trapped and needing rescue. Sometimes volunteers step in to help — but emergency managers say some may be creating problems of their own.

Editor's Note: This story contains descriptions of alleged sexual assault.

Guiding her cart down an aisle of a Virginia grocery store, Leigh Michel attracts more attention than the average shopper.

"Do you know where the dog food is?" one man asks her. This kind of attention makes her uneasy.

"No, I don't," Michel answers. "Sorry."

The man assumes Michel would know the answer because her service dog, an English black Labrador named Lizzy, is walking at her side.

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With the full extent of the damage done by Hurricane Florence still being assessed, environmentalists and health officials are expressing concern over the pink shaded ponds on hog farms that have overflowed into surrounding flood waters.

No, those ponds aren't hogwash, they're actually hog waste.

Technically, the pools of waste are hog lagoons. They're used to collect waste from the animals that then mixes with water in order to break the feces down.

Workplace wellness programs that offer employees a financial carrot for undergoing health screenings, sticking to exercise regimens or improving their cholesterol levels have long been controversial.

For generations, R. Elamparithi's family farmed rice paddies in a lush corner of southeast India that's also dotted with coconut palms and banana groves.

But 10 years ago, a representative from a nearby palm oil production plant visited, and convinced him to switch over to oil palms.

Oil palms grow bunches of fruit that look like dates or small plums, flanked by prickly fronds. The fruit is pressed, yielding palm oil — which is used in all sorts of processed foods, cosmetics and even biofuel.

Walter Mischel, a revolutionary psychologist with a specialty in personality theory, died of pancreatic cancer on Sept. 12. He was 88.

Earlier this week, firefighters finally contained the Mendocino Complex Fire. It burned more than 400,000 acres and has been called the largest wildfire in California history.

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Children registering for school in Florida this year were asked to reveal some history about their mental health.

The new requirement is part of a law rushed through the state legislature after the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Young people around the country are among those joining the debate over Christine Blasey Ford's accusation of sexual assault against Judge Brett Kavanaugh in 1982, when both were teenagers.

What are teens learning from all this? And how should adults be handling this conversation?

One night during the summer of 2017, a teenager named Francesca in Virginia was assaulted by a classmate: "I was pinned down and he fondled my breasts and sexually assaulted me." We're only using her first name because she's 15 years old.

Rejection By The King Of Nepal Was Not The End Of The Road

Sep 21, 2018

Kul Chandra Gautam was born in a rural village with no electricity or running water, no doctors and schools. The nearest town with a market was a five-day walk away.

He left home at age 7 to study — and study he did. He was one of the first people in the world to learn English from a Peace Corps volunteer, and his outstanding grades eventually won him a full scholarship to Dartmouth.

But getting there wasn't easy.

Cecile Richards is one of the most powerful, accomplished, activist leaders of her generation. She helped her mother, Ann, get elected governor of Texas, she was a labor organizer for migrant women, and she was the president of Planned Parenthood for over a decade. She’s also a serious cook and baker with an intense passion for pies and Southern food. Richards talked with Francis Lam about the ways in which food bridges the divide we often feel in politics, and passed down to Francis three essential skills in cooking.

Carmen Lugo has lived in Puerto Rico her whole life, and her whole life she has feared the water that comes out of her tap.

"When I was a child, we used filters," she says, leaning on the doorjamb with her 11-year-old in front of her and two teenage sons sleepy-eyed behind her on a morning in July.

"The water here," she says, pausing as she purses her lips in a tight smile. She chooses her words carefully. "We want to be in good health," she finally says. "My husband, he buys water from the Supermax," referring to a local grocery store.

Scientists say they have taken a potentially important — and possibly controversial — step toward creating human eggs in a lab dish.

A team of Japanese scientists turned human blood cells into stem cells, which they then transformed into very immature human eggs.

The eggs are far too immature to be fertilized or make a baby. And much more research would be needed to create eggs that could be useful — and safe — for human reproduction.

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