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.

A protest is mounting over one of the recipients of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Goals Award, to be presented next week in New York City, as part of events surrounding the U.N. General Assembly. The award is given to individuals who have contributed to efforts to improve the lives of the poor.

Poachers killed almost a third of the African elephant population between 2007 and 2014, a recent census found. Researchers hope artificial intelligence can help stop poachers and other threats, too.

For the first time in half a century, the U.S. government just revised the way that it inspects pork slaughterhouses. The change has been long in coming. It's been debated, and even tried out at pilot plants, for the past 20 years. It gives pork companies themselves a bigger role in the inspection process. Critics call it privatization.

What's The Deal With Cults?

3 hours ago

What exactly is the definition of a cult? How and why do people join them? And why are Americans so fascinated by them?

These are surprisingly difficult questions to answer despite the media saturation of cults in the United States. Cults are often thought of as inextricably tied to religion. However, the meaning of the word “cult” has shifted over time. Today, the term means a group with socially deviant behaviors.

In 2015 the world's leaders committed to a sweeping set of targets to lift the world's poorest citizens into a decent life by 2030. Four years later, it's clear that the world is nowhere near on track to meet these 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and millions of children still face a lifetime of inequality because of factors such as where they are born, their gender and their race.

For Carlos Marroquín, the chickens are all that's left.

For the past several years, Marroquín has struggled to feed his wife and five children with the proceeds from their 10-acre corn farm. They live in a mud-brick house with a sloped terra cotta roof, nestled among pines, acacias and prickly pear cactus in Guatemala's mountainous northern Quiché region, part of the country's Dry Corridor that has been gripped by a multiyear drought.

This year marks 300 years since the publication of Daniel Defoe's blockbuster novel Robinson Crusoe. And while its hero is rightly hailed as fiction's most famous castaway, he can just as equally stake his claim to another — more culinary — title.

Robinson Crusoe: patron saint of the kitchen hack.

This is the man who grew, ground and baked his own organic, artisanal bread from scratch — with nary a Kitchenaid mixer in sight.

Austin is about to become the first city in the U.S. to fund groups that help women who seek abortions pay for related logistical costs, such as a babysitter, a hotel room or transportation.

The move is an effort to push back against a new Texas law that went into effect Sept. 1. The state law bans local governments from giving money to groups that provide abortions — even if that money doesn't pay for the actual procedure.

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Walking around a park near Allentown, Pa., I didn't even notice the bugs at first. Then Heather Leach arrived. She's an insect expert from Penn State University.

The State Of American Labor

Sep 16, 2019

Labor in the United States faces myriad challenges in 2019. For one, the market for it is slowing down. Job postings in the U.S. decreased for the second month in a row in July compared to a year earlier.

The federal minimum wage hasn’t risen in a decade and many workers also do not have paid time off.

Updated 5:01 p.m.

More than 3 million women experienced rape as their first sexual encounter, according to a new study, which surveyed women ages 18 to 44 in the U.S. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that most respondents were adolescents when they were raped. It also found that these women were more likely to suffer worse long-term health outcomes than women who had sex voluntarily the first time.

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Bridget Desmukes was surprised when Dr. Rita Driggers, Desmukes' OB-GYN in Washington, D.C., recommended low-dose aspirin at her first prenatal appointment this past spring. She knew about daily low-dose aspirin being prescribed to people recovering from a heart attack or stroke. But for pregnant women?

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sunday night, just days after striking a settlement with more than 2,000 local governments over its alleged role in creating and sustaining the deadly opioid crisis.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday he will push for a ban on some electronic cigarettes amid a health scare linked to vaping — a move that would follow a similar ban enacted by Michigan and a call from President Trump for a federal prohibition on certain vaping products.

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The Job You Wish You Had: Taco Editor

Sep 15, 2019

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This Wednesday, Jose Ralat will begin working your dream job. That's when he joins the staff of Texas Monthly to serve as the magazine's new taco editor - sound delicious? He's also the author of the forthcoming book titled "American Tacos: A History And Guide."

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Vaping And Cigarette Ads

Sep 15, 2019

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About 80% of the world's vanilla is grown by small holding farmers in the hilly forests of Madagascar. For a generation the price languished below $50 a kilo (about 2.2 pounds). But in 2015 it began to rise at an extraordinary rate and for the past four years has hovered at 10 times that amount, between $400 and $600 a kilo.

Can you see it? The fire in the photo above?

A single tree burning doesn't put up much smoke.

There's a flash of lightning, sizzling across the sky. Then a pause as bark smolders and flames creep, building heat until poof: a signal in the sky.

Philip Connors, gazing outward from a tower, sees it as a new dent on the crest of a distant ridge. He's spent thousands of hours contemplating the contours of southwest New Mexico. The fuzzy smudge is out of place.

Copyright 2019 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.

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The Revolutionary History Of Mooncakes

Sep 14, 2019

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People across East and Southeast Asia celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival yesterday. It marks the full harvest moon. And people mark the holiday with mooncakes.

BERNICE CHAN: They're not like your Western spongecake at all. They're quite dense.

Residents are desperately trying to conserve water in the Native village of Nanwalek, located on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage. The village, home to the Sugpiaq tribe, is currently in a severe drought.

Nina Kvasnikoff's family is eating off paper plates, collecting water from the ocean to flush toilets and washing themselves with sponges.

"It doesn't feel like you're clean. You feel like you're just splattering a little bit of water," she says.

On a hot June day in Fort Scott, Kan., as the Good Ol' Days festival was in full swing, 7-year-old Kaidence Anderson sat in the shade with her family, waiting for a medevac helicopter to land.

A crowd had gathered to see the display prearranged by staff at the town's historic fort.

"It's going to show us how it's going to help other people because we don't have the hospital anymore," the redheaded girl explained.

A closely watched but controversial treatment for peanut allergies took a big step closer to becoming widely available.

On Friday, an advisory committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted 7-2 to approve Palforzia, a standardized peanut powder product, to help reduce allergic reactions to peanuts for patients ages 4 to 17 as part of oral immunotherapy protocol. The treatment was developed by pharmaceutical company Aimmune Therapeutics.

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