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.

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People across southern Louisiana are spending the weekend worried about flooding. The water is coming from every direction: the Mississippi River is swollen with rain that fell weeks ago farther north, and a storm called Barry is pushing ocean water onshore while it drops more rain from above.

It's a situation driven by climate change, and one that Louisiana has never dealt with, at least in recorded history. And it's raising questions about whether New Orleans and other communities are prepared for such an onslaught.

When Michael Howard arrives for a checkup with his lung specialist, he's worried about how his body will cope with the heat and humidity of a Boston summer.

"I lived in Florida for 14 years and I moved back because the humidity was just too much," Howard tells pulmonologist Mary Rice, as he settles into an exam room chair at a Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare clinic.

Overhauling Kidney Care

Jul 13, 2019

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Americans with kidney disease got some encouraging news when President Trump signed an executive order aimed at improving their care.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Those who suffer from kidney disease experience a significant toll on their daily lives.

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Manuel Sastre can't even believe what's about to happen. He's hot, he's covered in sweat, and he's about to walk out of this Hartford, Conn., liquor store with two six packs of ice cold Medalla Light. It's been way too long.

"Eighteen years," Sastre tells me. "I haven't been in Puerto Rico in 18 years."

But now?

Sastre says it's like "I'm back on my island."

In a waiting room at the Banner Alzheimer's Institute in Phoenix, a 74-year-old woman named Rubie is about to find out whether she has a gene that puts her at risk for Alzheimer's.

"I'm a little bit apprehensive about it, and I hope I don't have it," she says. "But if I do, I want to be able to plan for my future."

The gene is called APOE E4, and it's the most powerful known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's after age 65.

Imagine a world in which pregnant women and little kids get regular home visits from a health worker — and free health care.

That's the ground-breaking approach that's being adopted in one of the world's poorest countries: the West African nation of Mali.

And it's already underway in a pilot program. Nana Kadidia Diawara is one of many community health workers who do daily rounds through the sprawling, dusty streets of Yirimadio, a neighborhood on the outskirts of the capital city of Bamako.

We already know how to stop many cancers before they start, scientists say. But there's a lot more work to be done.

"Around half of cancers could be prevented," said Christopher Wild in the opening session of an international scientific meeting on cancer's environmental causes held in June. Wild is the former director of the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Seattle is grappling with a crisis of what is sometimes called "visible homelessness" — people who live in the street and struggle with mental illness or drug addiction. It's a population that often commits small crimes, such as disorderly conduct or shoplifting to pay for drugs. And public frustration is growing.

Some accuse a reform-oriented local criminal justice system of becoming too tolerant.

Updated at 7:35 a.m. ET Friday

Thousands of people who were evacuated from parts of central Maui on Thursday after a large fire broke out over parched land are returning to their homes following the blaze, which scorched 10,000 acres. The fire fed on large swaths of fallow, former sugar cane fields and dry brush, Hawaii officials told NPR.

Yet the fire is still burning on the island, according to Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino.

As the author of Dining In and the soon-to-be-published Nothing Fancy, Alison Roman is the queen of recipes that are both delicious and designed for maximum ease with fewer steps than you think, a philosophy that applies to all four seasons.

Homemade ice cream sandwiches are a cool summer treat

Jul 12, 2019

Making a homemade ice cream sandwich sounds easy, right? What could be so difficult about putting a scoop of ice cream between two cookies and smashing them into the form of a sandwich? Turns out there's a lot of small things to consider in order to get the perfect firmness of ice cream with the toothsome texture of cookie (read: not rock solid). Luckily for us, Cook's Illustrated Senior Editor Lan Lam spent a lot of time in the test kitchen at America's Test Kitchen perfecting a cookie recipe that lays the foundation for the most wonderful homemade ice cream sandwich.

Maura Judkis Photo: The Washington Post

Sheela Prakash Photo: Emily Delameter

Summertime means evenings and weekends spent at the grill, where everything is fair game for the menu: meat, veggies, fruit, and seafood. However, for even the most experienced grillers fish and seafood can often be difficult to work with, resulting in a less-than-ideal meal. Andy Baraghani wants to help.

Heart disease is the leading cause of disability and death worldwide. About 2,200 people in the U.S. die per day due to cardiovascular problems, or one every 40 seconds.

With that in mind, if you knew that you could help keep your heart healthy by eating just a little bit less every day — about six standard-size Oreos' worth of calories — would you?

British company Reckitt Benckiser has agreed to pay $1.4 billion to resolve all U.S. government investigations and claims in what is the biggest drug industry settlement to date stemming from the nation's deadly opioid epidemic.

In a statement Thursday, Reckitt Benckiser denied wrongdoing but said the settlement deal "avoids the costs, uncertainty and distraction associated with continued investigations, litigation and the potential for an indictment."

Copyright 2019 WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio. To see more, visit WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio.

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Now the story of a family reunited. They're originally from Yemen, and the Trump administration's travel ban had separated the parents from the children. The mother and father were back in Djibouti while their children were here in the U.S. NPR's Leila Fadel saw them brought back together this week.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Ahlam Alsoufi drops to her knees in tears in baggage claim at the Detroit Metro Airport. She opened her arms, and her 3-year-old son, Muslim, rushes into them and hugs tight.

MUSLIM: (Speaking Arabic).

When children suffer from severe malnourishment, they don't just lose weight.

The condition wreaks havoc on biological systems throughout the body — including the microbiome, the healthy bacteria and other microbes that live in our digestive tracts. Those bacteria number in the trillions in every person and include hundreds of different species. They're essential for metabolism, bone growth, brain function, the immune system and other bodily functions.

The Trump administration has dropped one of the meatiest portions of its plan to reduce drug prices.

The Department of Health and Human Services said it will no longer pursue a rule that would have prohibited the payment of certain rebates on drugs in Medicare Part D and Medicaid plans.

The idea was to target the middlemen, pharmacy benefit managers, whose negotiations with drugmakers and insurers influence the costs consumers pay for drugs.

For years, Beatriz Basurto's family has had to make hard choices about when to pay for medical care, and who should get treatment.

"To me, it was always the doctor would be the last resort," she says. "But for my parents, the doctor was never a choice. No matter how sick they got, they had to suck it up."

Norwegian researchers have completed a survey of a sunken Soviet-era nuclear submarine that went down 30 years ago. The research team found that the sub is leaking a small amount of radiation from its reactors, but that it poses no threat to the surrounding environment.

Mussels may be popular among seafood lovers, but many boaters consider them pests. They colonize ship bottoms, clog water pipes and stick to motors.

Top officials from 13 states are joining Philadelphia in urging a federal court to allow a site to open where people can inject illegal opioids under medical supervision, the latest escalation in a legal battle with the Justice Department that may determine whether such facilities, known as supervised injection sites, can start to operate in America.

What kind of person are you?

That's the question that a personality test called the Big Five seeks to answer. You respond to a series of statements about yourself – everything from "I have a kind word for everyone" to "I get chores done right away" – by agreeing, disagreeing or being neutral. Your final score gauges you on a quintet of characteristics: openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extroversion and neuroticism (or emotional stability, depending on which version of the test you take).

Why these five traits?

Foresight 2020: Governor Jay Inslee

Jul 10, 2019

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is running for president. His main issue is the fight against climate change. He told BuzzFeed News that he’s “the only candidate in the race who is saying that [climate change] has to be the first priority of the new president. If it’s not job one, it won’t get done.”

Updated 6:30 p.m.

The Trump administration has announced an ambitious plan to change treatment for kidney disease in the United States.

President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday directing the Department of Health and Human Services to develop policies addressing three goals: reducing the number of patients developing kidney failure, reducing how many Americans get dialysis treatment at dialysis centers and making more kidneys available for transplant.

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