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.

Ever since childhood, author Kevin Wilson has lived with disturbing images that flash through his mind without warning.

"I've always had this kind of agitation and looping thoughts and small tics," he says. "Falling off of tall buildings, getting stabbed, catching on fire — they were these just quick, kind of violent bursts in my head."

Not that Wilson would ever harm anyone else — the harm in these quick, intrusive thoughts was strictly internal. The images fed off of his own anxiety, and left him feeling terrified.

Updated at 1:50 a.m. ET on Wednesday

Firefighters knew their respite would not last in Northern California.

The bowhead whale hunt is an essential cultural and subsistence tradition for the Inupiat of Alaska's North Slope. It dates back at least 1,500 years, and annual harvests can supply families with hundreds of pounds of meat.

"It is the way of our life, and it's why we are who we are," said Deano Olemaun, a top official at the North Slope Borough.

Everything old is new again. As open enrollment gets underway for next year's job-based health insurance coverage, some employees are seeing traditional plans offered alongside or instead of the plans with sky-high deductibles that may have been their only choice in the past.

Some employers say that in a tight labor market, offering a more generous plan with a deductible that's less than four figures can be an attractive recruitment tool. Plus, a more traditional plan may appeal to workers who want more predictable out-of-pocket costs, even if the premium is a bit higher.

Orange, black — and now teal? Yes, teal. There are teal plastic pumpkins, paint-your-own pumpkin kits, and trick-or-treating buckets. It's all part of a campaign to make the culmination of Halloween festivities, trick-or-treating, more food-allergy friendly.

Having a teal pumpkin on the doorstep (teal being the color of food allergy awareness) is a way to signal to people with food allergies that this is a safe home for trick-or-treating, says Jennifer Norris, president of the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET), which started the project.

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Q breaks into song, and the lyrics reflect something of himself: "My heart aches, my heart aches and my heart aches," he croons. The 10-year-old hopes to go professional one day, but his mother says that first, he has to break his addiction to heroin.

Q began smoking his father's heroin in the summer, unnoticed by his parents, both addicts whose lives revolved around getting high and staying high. "I felt really happy. I felt free," he said. (Q is only referred to by his first initial because of his young age.)

November 2019 Giveaway

Consider the almond.

Almonds and other nuts are often touted as healthy snacks, because they can help you maintain a healthy weight and are linked to a lower risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

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Updated at 11:50 p.m. ET

Firefighters in Northern California on Monday tried to take advantage of a break in the historically high winds whipping the region to battle the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County wine country before the another round of winds arrives in force on Tuesday.

When Nathaly Sweeney launched her career as a pediatric heart specialist a few years ago, she says, it was a struggle to anticipate which babies would need emergency surgery or when.

"We just didn't know whose heart was going to fail first," she says. "There was no rhyme or reason who was coming to the intensive care unit over and over again, versus the ones that were doing well."

All this month, we’ve been marking the hundred-year anniversary by re-airing some of our most thought-provoking shows on drinking, sobriety, and everything in-between.

For more than a decade, alcohol was illegal in the United States – a so-called “noble experiment” that collapsed under the weight of organized crime and public pressure.

Alexandra Chen was a trauma specialist working in Lebanon and Jordan when she noticed that a specific group of kids were struggling in schools.

Chen kept getting referrals for refugee students who had fled the war in Syria. They were having trouble focusing and finishing schoolwork. Some had even dropped out of school.

The fate of the last remaining clinic that provides abortions in Missouri is set to be decided after a hearing beginning in St. Louis this week. If the clinic is forced to stop performing abortions, Missouri would become the first state in the nation to be without at least one such clinic.

A state commission is reviewing a licensing dispute between Republican Gov. Mike Parson's administration and Planned Parenthood, which operates the clinic in St. Louis.

Jennifer had a rough start to her pregnancy. "I had really intense food aversion and really intense nausea," says the 28-year-old mother of a five-month-old girl. "I wasn't eating at all."

She was losing weight instead of gaining it, she says, and couldn't even keep down her prenatal vitamins or iron pills, which she needed to deal with anemia. (NPR is only using her first name to protect her privacy.)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has built a reputation as the presidential candidate with a plan for almost anything. Plans are her brand, so much so that her campaign shop sells T-shirts proclaiming "Warren has a plan for that."

If you often hit that midafternoon slump and feel drowsy at your desk, you're not alone. The number of working Americans who get less than seven hours of sleep a night is on the rise.

And the people hardest hit when it comes to sleep deprivation are those we depend on the most for our health and safety: police and health care workers, along with those in the transportation field, such as truck drivers.

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Updated at 11 p.m. ET

California's governor declared a statewide emergency on Sunday to free up state aid as extreme winds continued to fan wildfires, prompting mandatory evacuations of nearly 200,000 residents.

The raging fires have engulfed thousands of acres in both Northern and Southern California. And as firefighters race to control the blazes, those who have not been forced to evacuate are dealing with other effects from the flames — including rolling blackouts and poor air quality.

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MIT's Very Old Milk

Oct 27, 2019

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If you want to get students fired up about climate change, poop is a good place to start.

When Arthur Mosely moved to East Austin in the 1980s he didn't worry about flooding. His property was not in a designated floodplain, and he thought of the creek that ran behind the house as an amenity. It guaranteed privacy and a green space full of muscadine grapes and pecan trees.

But over the years more houses went up and the creek flooded repeatedly, almost reaching his house twice. "All of this was water," he explains on a recent windy morning, gesturing to a wide swath of his backyard.

On a cold, sunny day in early February, Raphael Wright and his business partner, Sonya Greene, check out a vacant building in Detroit's Linwood neighborhood. Inside, wood panels are on the floor, and drywall is being placed over exposed brick. The only clue to the building's past is a sign out front, with the words "Liquor, Beepers, and Check Cashing."

Pacific Gas and Electric has expanded its power blackout zone to 940,000 customers across Northern and Central California as extreme weather forecasts threaten to increase the risk of wildfires.

The projected wind gusts of up to 70 mph, combined with dry vegetation, create prime conditions for wildfire.

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