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.

California is convening an international summit this week to push for global action on climate change. As the Trump administration has rolled back federal climate policies, California has partnered directly with other nations and cities.

On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown set the stage by signing a new state goal for 100 percent clean energy by 2045.

Chris Johnson knows all too well how a promising crop can suddenly be ruined — by poor weather, an economic downturn or bad luck.

This year, he and other soybean farmers in North Dakota are contending with something less common but potentially just as destructive: a trade war between the United States and China that has already driven down the price of soybeans sharply.

"Oh, it's a devastating loss. Soybeans are my largest acreage crop," says Johnson, who farms 3,300 acres in Great Bend, in the southern part of the state.

States serve as "laboratories of democracy," as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously said. And states are also labs for health policy, launching all kinds of experiments lately to temper spending on pharmaceuticals.

No wonder. Drugs are one of the fastest rising health care costs for many consumers and are a key reason health care spending dominates many state budgets — crowding out roads, schools and other priorities.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut

Sep 12, 2018

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Hurricane Florence isn't the only big weather threat out there right now. In the Western Hemisphere, a storm named Mangkhut could affect more than 40 million people.

FEMA Under Trump

Sep 12, 2018

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A new Apple Watch and software with advanced heart-monitoring capabilities could boost the detection of abnormal heartbeats in millions of people, but it could also raise the chance of false positives, a cardiologist and researcher says.

Apple unveiled three new iPhones, including two with bigger displays, but perhaps the more dramatic announcement from Cupertino, Calif., on Wednesday was its new Apple Watch, with the new health-related tools.

Updated at 7:45 p.m. ET

Dr. Leana Wen, the health commissioner for the city of Baltimore, has been named the new president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

It will be the first time in nearly five decades that a doctor is the head of Planned Parenthood, according to the organization. She's replacing longtime President Cecile Richards, who announced in January that she would be stepping down.

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For more on how Puerto Rico heard the president's comments about the response to Hurricane Maria, we're joined by the minority leader of the Puerto Rican Senate, Eduardo Bhatia. Welcome to the program.

Mexico City: Thirsty And Sinking

Sep 12, 2018

Mexico City is draining even more water from the ancient lake bed on which the city sits, causing it to sink. Climate change, political inaction and poor infrastructure are intensifying the problem.

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The largest insurer in Tennessee has announced it will no longer cover prescriptions for what was once a blockbuster pain reliever. It's the latest insurance company to turn against OxyContin, whose maker, Purdue Pharma, faces dozens of lawsuits related to its high-pressure sales tactics around the country and contribution to the opioid crisis.

When you're blind, it can be hard to do things on your own that sighted people take for granted. This includes picking your seat on an airplane, matching your socks, or finding a specific brand of cereal on a grocery store shelf stocked with dozens of selections.

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The Food and Drug Administration announced a set of major new enforcement actions Wednesday aimed at reducing the sales and marketing of electronic cigarettes to teenagers.

Saying vaping among teenagers has reached "an epidemic proportion," the agency said it was taking a "series of critical and historic" measures to curb the alarming trends.

Cristina Rivell has been struggling with an opioid addiction since she was a teenager — going in and out of rehab for five years. The most recent time, her doctor prescribed her a low dose of buprenorphine (often known by its brand name, Suboxone), a drug that helps curb cravings for stronger opioids and prevents the symptoms of withdrawal.

On the Atrai River in the northwest of Bangladesh, a small beige boat is tied up in tall grass that lines the riverbank.

The interior of the boat is packed with narrow benches which in turn are jammed with children.

There are 29 students in this third-grade class and it would be hard to fit any more into the narrow vessel. The kids sit shoulder-to-shoulder facing a blackboard at the back of the boat.

When the teacher asks for a volunteer to recite a multiplication table, 8-year-old Nila Khatun's hand shoots straight toward the unpainted ceiling.

More Older Americans Are Turning To Marijuana

Sep 12, 2018

Members of the generation that came of age in the era of marijuana are reaching for weed in their golden years.

A study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence this month suggests that increasing numbers of middle aged and older adults are using marijuana — and using it a lot.

An intriguing study published this week suggests that bonobos, among the closest relatives to humans, are surprisingly willing to hand over food to a pal. But they didn't share tools.

The discovery adds a new wrinkle to scientists' efforts to understand the evolutionary origins of people's unusual propensity to help others.

Just inland from the North Carolina coast, right in the path of Hurricane Florence, there's an area where there are many more pigs than people. Each big hog farm has one or more open-air "lagoons" filled with manure, and some could be vulnerable to flooding if the hurricane brings as much rain as feared.

It's one of the most basic humanitarian goals — make sure no one goes hungry. And for decades the world has been making steady progress to ensure not only that people don't starve but that children have enough nutrients to grow and thrive.

But since the year 2014 global progress against hunger hasn't just stalled. The war against hunger is in fact moving in the wrong direction.

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Kids with ADHD are easily distracted. Barn owls are not.

So a team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore is studying these highly focused predatory birds in an effort to understand the brain circuits that control attention.

The team's long-term goal is to figure out what goes wrong in the brains of people with attention problems, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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Corn and soybean fields as far as the eye can see are the typical sights of summer throughout rural areas of Illinois. But next year, 'fields of green' will take on an entirely different meaning as farmers will soon be allowed to grow industrial hemp. 

Around the world, people are struggling for access to drinking water. All Things Considered is examining the forces at play in separating the haves from the have-nots — from natural disasters to crumbling infrastructure and corruption.

There's a distinct sound to summertime in Switzerland. I first heard it driving up a winding mountain road at night. A curious tinkling sound was coming from the darkness around me. It got louder and closer, until I realized it was the clanging of cow bells in the surrounding pastures.

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