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.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Today in a courtroom in Manhattan, disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of rape and sexual abuse. The convictions come from charges made by two women, but dozens more have accused him of being a sexual predator. Actress Rosanna Arquette was one of the first women to come forward. When I spoke with her earlier today, I asked her reaction to the verdict - guilty on two counts but acquitted of the most serious charges.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

Despite worrisome new outbreaks in Iran, Italy and South Korea, the coronavirus disease called COVID-19 is not currently a pandemic, the World Health Organization said today.

In fact, there are some encouraging trends, especially in Hubei Province, where most of the cases have been reported.

The epidemic there appears to have plateaued in late January and is continuing on a good trajectory. Dr. Bruce Aylward led a WHO trip to China with a scientific delegation that just concluded. On Sunday, he told reporters in Beijing that trend is real.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

South Korea's government says it is in a critical struggle to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus from the disease's epicenter in Daegu. It has given itself four weeks to stabilize the situation in the city of 2.5 million, some 150 miles southeast of the capital, Seoul.

"If authorities fail to contain the spread of the COVID-19 in Daegu, there is a high possibility that COVID-19 could spread nationwide," Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip told reporters on Monday.

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

Italy reported a total of 229 novel coronavirus cases on Monday, leaping ahead of Japan (156 cases) on the list of worst-hit countries. Six people have died from the respiratory disease COVID-19 in Italy, and 27 more are in intensive care.

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET

The coronavirus contagion has spread to Wall Street.

U.S. markets fell sharply Monday amid widening concern that the continuing spread of cases could lead to a global pandemic. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled nearly 1032 points, or 3.56% All of the major market indexes were down more than 3%.

Stock markets in Europe and Asia were also down sharply.

"This is not a health pandemic yet, but it's rapidly becoming an economic pandemic," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Parker Smith grows corn and soybeans on land near Champaign, Ill., together with his father and uncle. But Smith Farms doesn't own most of the land it uses. "About 75 percent of what we farm is rented ground," he says.

This is common. Across the Midwest, about half of all the farmland is owned by landlords who live somewhere else. Farmers compete to rent that land. "There's only so much ground, and most of the farmers out there want more, so obviously it gets pretty competitive," Smith says.

Sudeep Taksali, an orthopedic surgeon, became worried that his 8-year-old daughter had already grown taller than his 12-year-old son. And sometimes she had an attitude that seemed more fitting for a teenager too. Something seemed wrong.

Taksali and his wife, Sara, realized their daughter had grown 7 inches in two years and she was showing signs of puberty. They took her to the doctor, who referred her to a pediatric endocrinologist for a work-up.

She was in medical school. He was just out of prison.

Sarah Ziegenhorn and Andy Beeler's romance grew out of a shared passion to do more about the country's drug overdose crisis.

Ziegenhorn moved back to her home state of Iowa when she was 26. She had been working in Washington, D.C., where she also volunteered at a needle exchange. She was ambitious and driven to help those in her community who were overdosing and dying, including people she had grown up with.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The coronavirus is spreading in ways that make it even more mysterious.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Hong Kong is fighting an epic battle to keep the new coronavirus from exploding in its territory.

As of Sunday, the city of 7.5 million had only 70 confirmed cases. But with thousands of cases being reported just across its border posts in mainland China, the threat of this virus is forcing Hong Kong health officials to work frantically to try to keep the disease at bay.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

In Hong Kong, the coronavirus outbreak is placing huge additional strains on the local government. Thousands of people are in quarantine, and doctors are trying to figure out who to test for the new virus, who to isolate and who to send home. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports from Hong Kong on how the city is trying to cope.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

In Hong Kong, the coronavirus outbreak is placing huge additional strains on the local government. Thousands of people are in quarantine, and doctors are trying to figure out who to test for the new virus, who to isolate and who to send home. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports from Hong Kong on how the city is trying to cope.

A new berry variety described as melt-in-your-mouth creamy is tingling taste buds in New York.

Chefs at high-end restaurants in Manhattan are dropping $50 on an eight-pack of the Japanese designer variety known as the "Omakase berry." At $6.25 per berry, that's about 10 times more expensive than an average pack found at an American grocery store that contains at least twice as many berries.

Hiroki Koga, co-founder of the Oishii Farm in New Jersey — the only place in the U.S. where the variety is grown — says his buyers are paying for the quality.

Updated at 6:02 a.m. ET, Feb. 23

The number of new coronavirus cases in South Korea had a major spike over the weekend.

By Sunday, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the total number of confirmed cases in the country rose to 556.

As of Tuesday, the number of confirmed cases was just 31.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Trump leaves this weekend for India, where he's set to get a warm welcome from the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi. The visit is likely to be followed closely by Indian Americans, especially those who consider themselves Hindu. Many American Hindus are big supporters of Prime Minister Modi, in part, because of his embrace of Hindu nationalism. Here's NPR's Tom Gjelten.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Trump leaves this weekend for India, where he's set to get a warm welcome from the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi. The visit is likely to be followed closely by Indian Americans, especially those who consider themselves Hindu. Many American Hindus are big supporters of Prime Minister Modi, in part, because of his embrace of Hindu nationalism. Here's NPR's Tom Gjelten.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Lydia Denworth wants you to make more time for your friends.

We don't fully appreciate our friendships, says the science writer and author of the new book Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond. If we did, we'd take cultivating those intimate bonds as seriously as working out or eating well. Because, she writes, a new field of science is revealing that social connections play a vital role in our health.

In the weeks following Iran's Jan. 8 ballistic missile attack on the Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq, 110 American service members deployed there were diagnosed with what has been the signature, albeit invisible, wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: traumatic brain injury caused by concussive blasts from exploding weapons.

Where there was a white ice cap, there are now brown blotches of land; melted snow and ice have created ponds of water. Those are the effects of the recent record high temperatures in Antarctica, according to NASA, which on Friday released stunning before-and-after satellite images of the northern Antarctic Peninsula.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Horn of Africa, one of the world's most impoverished regions, is being ransacked by billions of tiny invaders.

Farmers look on in horror as desert locusts moving in vast cloud-like swarms darken the sky. The insects blast through fields of crops at an astonishing pace, decimating livelihoods in the process.

The Appalachian Trail – the 2,200-mile hiking stretch that goes from Georgia to Maine — is at the center of a legal battle that has risen to the Supreme Court.

The case involves a proposed pipeline that would connect natural gas fracked in West Virginia to population centers in Virginia and North Carolina. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would cross the Appalachian Trail within the George Washington National Forest in Virginia, and some environmental groups are challenging the legality of the permit the U.S. Forest Service issued allowing that to happen.

Updated on Feb. 24 at 5:54 p.m. ET to include comments from Twitter and Facebook.

The coronavirus outbreak has sparked what the World Health Organization is calling an "infodemic" — an overwhelming amount of information on social media and websites. Some of it's accurate. And some is downright untrue.

China has put more than half a billion people under partial or total lockdown in what it is calling an all-out "people's war" against the spread of the new coronavirus. It's equivalent to restricting the movement of the entire population of North America.

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