The Salt

The Salt
3:10 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Your Grandparents Spent More Of Their Money On Food Than You Do

In 2013, Americans on average spent 5.6 percent of their disposable personal incomes on food they consumed at home.
April L. Brown ASSOCIATED PRESS

When admiring such enticing items at the grocery store as an avocado for $1.50, an $8 chocolate bar or fresh wild Alaskan salmon for $20 a pound, you've probably experienced sticker shock.

Indeed, retailers and restaurants offer myriad opportunities to blow your food budget in one fell swoop.

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The Salt
5:56 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Italian Cheese Lovers Find Their Bovine Match Through 'Adopt A Cow'

In exchange for a fee of 60 euros, members of Adopt A Cow get an assortment of aged and soft cheeses made from the milk of cows like Mery.
Christopher Livesay for NPR

Originally published on Sun March 1, 2015 2:26 pm

Foodies have long savored the cheeses of the Italian Alps. Dairy farmers still make it by hand, but unless you live in the region or can travel there, you'll have a hard time getting your hands on it. Much of this precious cheese isn't exported.

As you might imagine, this has not been good for business and the Alpine cheese makers have been slowly disappearing. That is until some farmers banded together — with the help of the Internet — and came up with an unusual adoption program called Adopt A Cow.

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The Salt
9:37 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Silly, Saucy, Scary: Photos Show The Many Faces Of Ugly Fruit

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 2:09 pm

When it comes to nutrition, fruits and vegetables are usually the most virtuous denizens of the dinner plate.

But it turns out, wholesome produce can also get pretty raunchy — like the randy tomatoes in this image, which our standards editor deemed too "saucy" for us to embed here.

Or needy, like this eggplant, clearly shopping for a hug ...

Or moody, like this forlorn-looking apple ...

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The Salt
1:52 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

When Food Is Too Good To Waste, College Kids Pick Up The Scraps

Student volunteers with The Campus Kitchens Project evaluate produce. The initiative gets high-school and college students to scavenge food from cafeterias, grocery stores and farmers' markets, cook it and deliver it to organizations serving low-income people in their communities.
Courtesy of DC Central Kitchen

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 4:57 pm

Back in 2011 when I was a student at the University of Maryland in College Park I once noticed a massive pile of trash in front of a dining hall. A closer look revealed that it was mostly food — a half-eaten sandwich, a browning apple and what appeared to be the remains of the day's lunch special.

The heap was gross, but intriguing. Turned out it was a stunt to get students thinking about how much food they throw out each day.

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The Salt
3:38 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Stone Age Britons Were Eating Wheat 2,000 Years Before They Farmed It

A field of unharvested wheat is seen in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, England, in 2012. Wheat wasn't cultivated in Britain until some 6,000 years ago, but DNA evidence suggests early Britons were eating the grain at least 8,000 years ago.
Darren Staples Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 10:45 am

Scientists have learned a lot about our distant ancestors from DNA that's thousands of years old. Like the fact that we've inherited some Neanderthal DNA, so apparently our ancestors mated with them. Now there's new research from DNA that moves on from paleo-mating to paleo-eating.

About 10,000 years ago, hunter-gatherers in the Near East figured out how to grow cereal crops like wheat. The farming culture spread, and wherever it went, people traded in their spears for plows.

That's the conventional view. Apparently, it was more complicated than that.

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