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.

Uganda explicitly bars government officials from accepting gifts of any kind from cigarette-makers. French and British officials must publicly announce any encounters with representatives of the industry. Thailand and the Philippines won't even let officials take a meeting except under the narrowest of circumstances.

These are some of the measures deployed by countries around the world to limit influence over their anti-smoking policies, according to the first-ever Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index.

October marks the start of a new flu season, with a rise in likely cases already showing up in Louisiana and other spots, federal statistics show.

The advice from federal health officials remains clear and consistent: Get the flu vaccine as soon as possible, especially if you're pregnant or have asthma or another underlying condition that makes you more likely to catch a bad case.

In France, McDonald's is often a symbol of everything that's despised about American capitalism and fast-food culture. One Paris neighborhood battled for years to keep the golden arches from settling in between its traditional butchers and bakers (it eventually lost). And the actions of an anti-globalization farmer named José Bové, who tried to dismantle a McDonald's 20 years ago, are legendary.

But for the last year, a group of McDonald's employees in the southern French city of Marseille has been fighting to save its McDonald's restaurant.

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Tackling Low Oxygen In An Oregon Lake

Oct 20, 2019

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NPR was on the scene when the first genetically modified mosquitoes were released in a lab in Italy.
Rob Stein, Pierre Kattar and Ben de la Cruz, / YouTube

An intern

"There's a white man at the door."

In the new CBS comedy Bob Hearts Abishola, those words cause a flurry of concern for an immigrant Nigerian family living in Detroit.

"Tell me, when has that ever been good?" demands Auntie Olu, played by Shola Adewusi.

A few times a month, Marhana leaves the village of Krui in southern Sumatra and journeys deep into the woods. Then she finds a tree, lined with triangular holes, each hole dripping with crystalized sap.

Marhana (like many Indonesians, she uses only a first name) takes a woven rattan rope and lassos up the tree, climbing higher and higher, chipping away at the sap using a tiny pickaxe.

"This is the damar," she says in Indonesian, as she looks at the golden droppings.

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Editor's note: This story includes images that some readers may find disturbing.

Before the members of Congolese music collective KOKOKO! take the stage at Washington, D.C.'s Rock & Roll Hotel, they slip into bright yellow jumpsuits.

The fashion choice, they explain, has utilitarian roots: That's what a lot of workers in Congo wear. Their instruments have a similar no-frills style — they were crafted from kitchen pots, tin cans and air-conditioner parts.

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Black applicants to a prestigious research grant program at the National Institutes of Health are awarded funding at a significantly lower rate than their white peers. The NIH has been intensively investigating this funding gap since a 2011 report revealed the extent of the problem, looking for underlying mechanisms to use as opportunities for corrective intervention.

Every morning, just as the sun rises in Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, men, women and children walk miles to collect water.

They walk gingerly into Lake Kivu — its blue waters lapping against the hills surrounding it.

Pascal Bitasimwa, 12, is a boy with a big smile and a small frame. He carries a yellow jerrycan that is half his size and when he walks into the lake, he has to use all his weight to wrestle the jerrycan underwater.

"This takes me much of my time," he says. "Instead of going to study, I come first to take water."

Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, one of the United States' oldest and most respected nonprofit health insurance plans, is accused of bilking Medicare out of millions of dollars in a federal whistleblower case.

Japanese Home Cooking

Oct 18, 2019

We are talking about Japanese home cooking this week, and not ramen or sushi! Think curry, omelets, and quick fried noodles. Tomoko Imade Dyen, culinary director of Japan House in Los Angeles, shares the everyday foods enjoyed by Japanese families. Sonoko Sakai, author of Japanese Home Cooking, tells us about the origins of the Japanese curry everyone makes at home.

E-cigarette maker Juul Labs announced Thursday it will suspend sales of most of its flavored products, including mango, fruit and cucumber. These types of flavors are considered an on-ramp to vaping for teenagers.

The move comes as the industry faces immense scrutiny. Several states have instituted bans on flavored products, and the Trump administration has signaled that a federal ban may be in the works.

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As a teenager, Katie Gruman was prescribed one mental health drug after another. None seemed to help her manage symptoms of anxiety and bipolar disorder, so she self-medicated with alcohol and illicit drugs.

It would take five years, and trying more than 15 different medications, before she found meds that actually helped.

Now 28 and in recovery, Gruman has been on the same drugs for years. But when a clinician recommended a genetic test to see which drugs work best for her, she took it.

A protest by environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion sparked violence and disruption at a train station on Thursday. Before the sun had come up, some trains were at a standstill. Protesters had climbed atop the railcars; at least one grandfather had glued his hand to one.

Chad Dechow, a geneticist at Pennsylvania State University who studies dairy cows, is explaining how all of America's cows ended up so similar to each other.

He brings up a website on his computer. "This is the company Select Sires," he says. It's one of just a few companies in the United States that sells semen from bulls for the purpose of artificially inseminating dairy cows.

Dechow chooses the lineup of Holstein bulls. This is the breed that dominates the dairy business. They're the black-and-white animals that give a lot of milk.

High rates of childhood obesity are a problem in a rising number of low- and middle-income countries, according to a new global assessment of child malnutrition by UNICEF. It's the agency's most comprehensive nutrition report in two decades.

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The number of children and young adults dying by suicide continues to rise, and a new report says the trend affects children as young as 10. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published that report. Here's NPR's Rhitu Chatterjee.

When scientist Giulia Poerio was a little girl, she says she would experience this very peculiar — and distinct — feeling: "a warm, tingling sensation that starts at the crown of the head, almost like bubbles on the scalp."

Sutter Health, a large nonprofit health care system with 24 hospitals, 34 surgery centers and 5,500 physicians across Northern California, has reached a preliminary settlement agreement in a closely watched antitrust case brought by self-funded employers and later joined by California's Office of the Attorney General.

The agreement was announced in San Francisco Superior Court on Wednesday, just before opening arguments were expected to begin.

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Educators refer to teens like Alex as "twice exceptional."

"I have a large degree of skill in almost every subject of learning," says Alex, who is 16. "But I also have autistic spectrum disorder."

For Alex, this dual identity has meant both opportunity and frustration.

He has skipped two grades so far, and began taking college math courses last year, when he was still 15. But when he was younger, Alex's underdeveloped social skills caused him a lot of grief.

"I was constantly getting into fights and normally losing them," he says.

Researchers around the world hail Germany for its robust health care system: universal coverage, plentiful primary care, low drug prices and minimal out-of-pocket costs for residents.

Unlike in the U.S., the prospect of a large medical bill doesn't stand in the way of anyone's treatment.

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