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.

Do most consumers know that imitation meat products like "ground beef style" veggie burgers don't actually contain beef? Lawmakers in Missouri say maybe not.

The state enacted a law Tuesday requiring that only products that come from slaughtered, once-breathing animals can be marketed as meat. Specifically, the law defines meat as something "derived from harvested production livestock or poultry." The law's proponents say it protects consumers by letting them know exactly what's in their product.

Pssst: Parenting Twins Can Be Depressing

Aug 29, 2018

In 2014, when Crystal Duffy found out she was pregnant with twins, she felt shocked and overjoyed. "Twins run in our family," says the Houston resident, who was 33 at the time, and already the mom of a 2-year-old. "But we still weren't prepared for the news."

Duffy had hoped for a joyful twin pregnancy. But during her second trimester, she began having complications.

"I had a very high-risk pregnancy, and my twins were born premature," she explains. "They spent five weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit. It was a very stressful time. I felt anxious and traumatized."

A hospital in Texas has cut ties with a nurse who apparently posted about a young patient with the measles in a Facebook group dedicated to "anti-vaxxers," people who reject the scientific evidence of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

Screenshots show a self-identified nurse saying the sick child's symptoms helped her understand why people vaccinate their children, but that "I'll continue along my little non-vax journey with no regrets."

In a surprising reversal, a Wisconsin board has voted to again offer insurance coverage to transgender state employees seeking hormone therapy and gender confirmation surgery.

Members of the Group Insurance Board, which manages the insurance program for Wisconsin's public workers and retirees, last week voted 5-4 to overturn its current policy barring treatments and procedures "related to gender reassignment or sexual transformation."

The change will take effect Jan. 1, allowing insurance to defray the cost of care deemed medically necessary.

Angel Benavides, a lanky 14-year-old, dribbles down the basketball court of his school gym in Manvel, N.D. It looks like he's going for a layup, but when he realizes he's unguarded, he stops in his tracks and takes a three-pointer. It's a nice arching shot, but the ball bounces tenuously on the rim and doesn't go in.

It's late June and Angel is already thinking about playing for his high school basketball team in Texas, 1,700 miles away. But he doesn't know if he'll get there in time for November tryouts.

On Mike Pink's potato farm at dawn, the sun is an angry red ball low in the sky.

This summer, wildfire smoke has blanketed much of the West for days and weeks. And that smoke has come between the sun and ripening crops.

Pink watches as his year's work tumbles onto a fast-moving belt and into a waiting semi truck. He's got most of his 1,600-acre potato fields yet to harvest on his 3,000-acre farm, spread over about 40 miles between Burbank and Basin City, Wash. And this thick smoke makes him nervous.

The illnesses started appearing in late March. Here and there, across the country, people were checking themselves in to hospitals, sick from toxic E. coli bacteria. At least 200 people got sick. Five of them died.

French and British fishing crews skirmished in the English Channel on Tuesday, throwing stones and ramming each other's boats — the latest in a long-running row over scallop catches.

A new study suggests that ketamine, an increasingly popular treatment for depression, has something in common with drugs like fentanyl and oxycodone.

The small study found evidence that ketamine's effectiveness with depression, demonstrated in many small studies over the past decade, comes from its interaction with the brain's opioid system. A Stanford University team reported their findings Wednesday in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

The death of a toddler is renewing concerns about the quality of medical care that immigrant families receive in federal detention centers.

Eighteen-month-old Mariee Juárez died after being detained along with her mother Yazmin Juárez at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas. Her mother says Mariee was a happy, healthy child when they arrived at the U.S. border in March to seek asylum.

Then they were sent to Dilley. Six weeks after being discharged, her mother says, Mariee died of a treatable respiratory infection that began during her detention.

flickr/medicalmarijuana-information.com

Governor Bruce Rauner signed a measure on Tuesday that will allow medical cannabis to be used as an alternative treatment for conditions often treated with opioids, such as cancer, HIV, Alzheimer’s and more.

For the fourth year in a row, federal health officials report that there has been a sharp increase in sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tallied nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in 2017 — an increase of 200,000 cases over the previous year, and a record high.

Tales of corruption in Nigeria are legion. And like many analysts of the country, Matthew Page has his favorites. There's the case of the clerk at the state examinations board who was called to account for the disappearance of $100,000 in exam fees. While news accounts of her explanations varied, according to some reports, "she claimed that a magical snake had slithered into the safe and eaten the money," chuckles Page, who spent more than a decade studying Nigeria as an intelligence officer for various U.S. agencies.

Shortly after the U.S. announced its withdrawal from the Paris accord, a global pact to combat climate change, French President Emmanuel Macron assumed the mantle of environmental crusader with a pointed rebuke of the Trump administration: "Make our planet great again," he declared just hours later.

Sarah Anne, a 59-year-old chimpanzee, is famous enough to have her own Wikipedia page. That's because she was captured from the wild as an infant and raised in the home of a language researcher who taught her to use symbols for words. These days, she lives at Chimp Haven, a wooded sanctuary for former research chimps in Louisiana, along with a new pal named Marie.

EpiPen
CC BY-SA 3.0

The EpiPen can be a lifesaver in cases of extreme allergic reactions, but there is a shortage of them across the country and Illinois is being impacted. 

If you're in an Atlanta-area Chick-fil-A this week, you might notice something different on the menu: raw chicken and other ingredients packaged to take home and cook yourself.

Chick-fil-A is the first fast food-chain to sell meal kits. The Atlanta-based company is testing the idea at 150 local locations for a few months before deciding whether to expand nationally.

And the food industry is watching the experiment closely.

Updated at 9:25 p.m. ET

Puerto Rico's governor updated the island's official death toll for victims of Hurricane Maria on Tuesday, hours after independent researchers from George Washington University released a study estimating the hurricane caused 2,975 deaths in the six months following the storm.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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It has been a year now since Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. There was widespread damage, including to several toxic waste sites that were flooded during that storm. NPR's Rebecca Hersher reports on one of the largest of them.

Leave it to California to combine high-end cuisine with the kind of ingredients that might actually get you high. It's an increasingly lucrative niche for chefs in San Francisco and Los Angeles — cities already well known for trendy food culture.

Chefs and entrepreneurs making cannabis-infused foie gras and "stoner souffles" have been featured on not one but two series devoted to gourmet ganja: the Netflix competition program, Cooking On High, and the Viceland show Bong Appetit.

As we near the end of summertime, we have two things on our mind: watermelon and tomatoes. Thankfully, Vivian Howard is right there with us. Vivian is a terrific chef, author of a best-selling cookbook Deep Run Roots, and the star of the PBS show A Chef’s Life. But most importantly, she’s a Southern cook with a lot of ideas for cooking with these summer beauties.

A consumer advocacy organization is asking federal health officials Tuesday to halt a large medical study being conducted at major universities nationwide.

Public Citizen says that the study, involving treatment for sepsis, puts patients at risk and will at best produce confusing results.

Researchers investigating the effects of air pollution conducted math and verbal tests over the course of multiple years on more than 25,000 people in 162 Chinese counties. They matched those results with pollution conditions at the time of each test, and found sobering results.

Two years ago, James Klenk of Freehold, N.J. suffered a heat stroke and went into renal failure after several days sorting and unloading heavy boxes in the back of a UPS truck. He had been a driver for UPS for 14 years and almost died that day.

Klenk is one of countless workers across the country enduring symptoms of heat stress. High temperatures can pose health threats on a daily basis, including confusion, fatigue, and dehydration. More extreme heat can lead to heat stroke and organ failure, depending on a worker's environment and how quickly treatment is administered.

Scientists have taken another step toward understanding what makes the human brain unique.

An international team has identified a kind of brain cell that exists in people but not mice, the team reported Monday in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

In March, I interviewed Cedric Habiyaremye, a 31-year-old Ph.D. student at Washington State University who is trying to get Rwandan farmers to grow and eat quinoa. How's his project going?

Cedric Habiyaremye, 31, wanted Rwandan farmers to get excited about quinoa because of its nutritional punch. But now, he says, they're a little too excited.

Everybody loves a winner — even toddlers, according to a study published Monday. But even though kiddos tend to like high-status individuals, they don't like those who win conflicts by using force.

"It seems like toddlers care about who wins, but they also care about how they win," says Ashley Thomas, now a researcher in cognitive development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard.

It was the news they'd been dreading. Last week, world health officials learned that a doctor's wife had contracted Ebola. She is from Oicha, a town in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo that is surrounded by a violent insurgent militia called the Allied Democratic Forces.

Her case is one of many in an outbreak that's been ongoing since the start of August. But it was the first to be confirmed in a location that is difficult for health workers to reach because of the conflict raging in that part of the country.

The world of social science got a rude awakening a few years ago, when researchers concluded that many studies in this area appeared to be deeply flawed. Two-thirds could not be replicated in other labs.

Some of those same researchers now report those problems still frequently crop up, even in the most prestigious scientific journals.

But their study, published Monday in Nature Human Behaviour, also finds that social scientists can actually sniff out the dubious results with remarkable skill.

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