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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Massive wildfires on the West Coast, a record number of hurricanes making landfall in the U.S., scorching heat waves and severe flooding around the country. Climate change is here and so is anxiety about it.

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Wisconsin is one of the states seeing a dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases. My co-host, Ari Shapiro spoke with the state's lieutenant governor, Mandela Barnes, yesterday about a new emergency hospital the state has set up on the fairgrounds near Milwaukee.

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What are the biggest drivers of human suffering?

Every year an international team of researchers aims to answer that question by assembling a mammoth data set called the "Global Burden of Disease." It has become the go-to source for tracking and ranking the impact of virtually every disease or condition that is killing, sickening or otherwise disabling people in virtually every country on the planet.

Pfizer, the apparent front-runner in developing a COVID-19 vaccine for the United States, says its results won't be ready until mid-November at the earliest. That dims any lingering expectation that there could be a vaccine by Election Day, as President Trump has asserted.

Coronavirus cases are rising rapidly in many states as the U.S. heads into the winter months. And forecasters predict staggering growth in infections and deaths if current trends continue.

It's exactly the kind of scenario that public health experts have long warned could be in store for the country, if it did not aggressively tamp down on infections over the summer.

President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden have very different views on how to tackle America's pressing issues.

That much is clear. But what specifically are they proposing?

NPR Politics has sifted through Trump's and Biden's plans, as released by their campaigns, and narrowed in on a few key issues to show what they're promising and how each man's priorities differ from his opponent's.

Read all of the plans here.

Key Priorities: COVID-19

Joe Biden

  • Testing: Improve testing capacity and accessibility,
  • PPE: Expand access to personal protective equipment, or PPE.
  • Vaccine: Establish a plan for effectively producing and safely distributing a vaccine.
  • Race: Address disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on communities of color.

Key priorities

Joe Biden

  • Combat climate change by pushing the United States on a path toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, with an intermediate goal of ridding the power sector of carbon pollution by 2035.
  • Invest $2 trillion over four years in green areas, including infrastructure, transportation and auto industries, housing and construction practices, nature conservation efforts and work in environmental justice.

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Sound And Silence

Over 30 million people in the U.S. have hearing loss. Neuroscientist Jim Hudspeth explains how the ear's thousands of hair cells function to amplify sound—and how they can be damaged but not repaired.

About Jim Hudspeth

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Sound And Silence

As a deaf person, Rebecca Knill is anti-noise and "neutral" on sound. She explains how technology allows her to hear what she wants to hear, and asks why our mindset about ability hasn't caught up.

About Rebecca Knill

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Sound And Silence

For years, NPR host Mary Louise Kelly found ways to do her job and manage hearing loss. But now she can no longer rely on reading lips or leaning-in. She describes how she's adapting all over again.

About Mary Louise Kelly

Copyright 2020 Boise State Public Radio News. To see more, visit Boise State Public Radio News.

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Life is hard for everyone during a pandemic. But in a global crisis, it is women who carry extra burdens, says Raquel Lagunas, director of the gender team at the United Nations Development Programme. "Because of their reproductive role in society, they are ones taking care of the kids, the house, the food, the survival of families."

Updated at 1 pm, to include comment from the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services

Even the most effective, safest coronavirus vaccine won't work to curb the spread of the virus unless a large number of people get immunized. And getting a vaccine from the manufacturers all the way into people's arms requires complex logistics — and will take many months.

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How much should you pay for a home that is likely to be inundated by rising seas in the decades ahead?

It's a tough question — and an increasingly common one for homebuyers along the Florida coast. That's according to new research that finds the risk of sea level rise appears to have begun affecting residential real estate prices in the state's most vulnerable coastal areas.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a huge financial toll on the travel industry, airlines are trying to shift their focus from stopping the bleeding to planning for a recovery.

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby is expressing confidence, saying a recovery is "now visible on the horizon," even though that recovery still appears to be a long way off.

"The light at the end of the tunnel is a long way away, but this is the turning point," Kirby told reporters and analysts on a conference call on Thursday.

Health officials in Illinois on Thursday announced the largest number of COVID-19 deaths for a single day since June.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 53 new deaths, the largest daily increase since 64 people were reported as having died from the virus on June 24.

Historically, tobacco plants are responsible for their share of illness and death. Now they may help control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two biotech companies are using the tobacco plant, Nicotiana benthamiana, as bio-factories to produce a key protein from the coronavirus that can be used in a vaccine.

Last week, craving sweets, Colin Purrington remembered the Twinkies.

He'd purchased them back in 2012 for sentimental reasons when he heard that Hostess Brands was going bankrupt and Twinkies might disappear forever.

"When there's no desserts in the house, you get desperate," says Purrington, who went down to the basement and retrieved the old box of snack cakes, fully intending to enjoy several.

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The coronavirus is now spreading through more than a dozen states, including Wisconsin. On Wednesday alone, there were more than 3,000 new infections and more than two dozen deaths. The state is averaging 2,840 new cases per day, an increase of 22% from the average two weeks earlier.

In total, 158,578 people in Wisconsin have tested positive for the virus and 1,536 people have died.

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When I was growing up, I marveled at how my single mother was able to come home after a long day of work, make dinner, iron our school uniforms and help me and my sister with our homework.

I can't imagine how she would have managed during this pandemic.

What would she have done if she was laid off from her job at the airport? Would she be able to figure out — or afford — virtual school? How would she keep us safe from the virus?

London, Birmingham and other U.K. cities are now at a high alert for COVID-19, as officials tighten restrictions on people and businesses in a huge swath of England. The alert level rose Thursday as part of a new system meant to tamp down regional outbreaks.

"Things will get worse before they get better," U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said as he announced the changes in Parliament. Europe is seeing a huge spike in new cases, Hancock said, "And here, we certainly saw the highest figure for daily deaths since early June."

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Today, a tale of two town halls.

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