The Salt

The Salt
5:07 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Can Wal-Mart Really Make Organic Food Cheap For Everyone?

Wal-Mart is promising to drive down the prices of organic food by bringing in a new company, WildOats, to deliver a whole range of additional products.
Wal-Mart/Flickr

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 11:40 am

It could be another milestone in organic food's evolution from crunchy to commercial: Wal-Mart, the king of mass retailing, is promising to "drive down organic food prices" with a new line of organic food products. The new products will be at least 25 percent cheaper than organic food that's on Wal-Mart's shelves right now.

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The Salt
6:13 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

In The Land Of Razor Clams, Dinner Hides Deep Within The Sand

Clams this fresh taste like tender calamari.
Martin Kaste/NPR

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

As soon as you drive into town, it's pretty clear that Long Beach, Wash., is all about the razor clam. The first clue is the giant frying pan. It's 14 feet tall and a relic of the clam festivals of the 1940s. And then there's the clam statue that spits when you insert a quarter.

But if you really want to see how much people here love their clams, you'd have to be like Karen Harrell and get up before dawn and drive out onto the blustery beach to go clam digging.

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The Salt
4:03 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Like Ham? There's A Festival For That In French Basque Country

Visitors look at Bayonne hams displayed on the first day of the yearly ham fair.
Gaizka Iroz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:52 pm

In Bayonne, they take their ham very, very seriously.

This medieval fortress of a town is minutes from the French seaside ports of Barritz and St. Jean de Luz, and not far from Spain's St. Sebastian. It has reigned as a cultural and commercial center for a millennium, according to historian Mark Kurlansky in The Basque History of the World.

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The Salt
2:08 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Hunting For The Tastiest Egg: Duck, Goose, Chicken Or Quail?

Quail, chicken, duck, goose.
Meg Vogel/NPR

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 6:44 pm

The chicken clearly rules the roost of American egg production. Our hens laid 95.2 billion eggs in 2013, according to government figures.

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The Salt
6:31 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Tabasco And Beer-Flavored: Not Your Easter Bunny's Jelly Beans

Jelly Belly says its most popular flavors include the savory-sweet Buttered Popcorn and Very Cherry.
Meg Vogel/NPR

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 1:11 pm

This Easter, you can drown your sorrows in a glass of Jellybean milk — or with a pile of beer-flavored jelly beans.

The new twists are a sign that jelly beans are continuing their march to candyland domination. Americans buy 16 billion beans in the Easter season alone (mid-February until the actual holiday), according to the National Confectioners Association. The candy even has its own holiday on April 22.

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The Salt
2:59 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Chili Say What? Linguistics Help Pinpoint Pepper's Origins

New research has traced chili peppers back to their origin in eastern Mexico.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 7:29 pm

Count us among those who just can't get enough chili pepper news.

These spicy fruits are beloved around the world for their ability to sex up nearly any cuisine. They're the world's most widely grown spice crop, so it's hard to imagine that their reach was once limited to the early farmers in what is now eastern Mexico.

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The Salt
3:30 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'

Backers of the new Open Source Seed Initiative will pass out 29 new varieties of 14 different crops, including broccoli, carrots and kale, on Thursday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 10:29 am

A group of scientists and food activists is launching a campaign Thursday to change the rules that govern seeds. They're releasing 29 new varieties of crops under a new "open source pledge" that's intended to safeguard the ability of farmers, gardeners and plant breeders to share those seeds freely.

It's inspired by the example of open source software, which is freely available for anyone to use but cannot legally be converted into anyone's proprietary product.

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The Salt
3:25 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Sichuan Pepper's Buzz May Reveal Secrets Of The Nervous System

It's the Sichuan peppercorn in dishes like spicy ma po tofu that makes your mouth buzz. Researchers wanted to know if that buzz is connected to the tingling you feel when your foot falls asleep.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 8:19 am

The Sichuan peppercorn is known to give some Chinese dishes a pleasant tingling feeling.

What's not so pleasant is that pins-and-needles feeling we get when our foot falls asleep — or when people who suffer from paresthesia experience constant tingling in their limbs.

Diana Bautista, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley, wondered: Could these sensations be connected?

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Food
4:58 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Arab Israeli Celebrity Chef Aims To Foster Peace Through Cooking

Microbiologist Nof Atamna-Ismaeel took the top prize in the fourth season of Israeli reality cooking show Master Chef.
Courtesy of Channel 2

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 12:25 pm

Reality cooking shows have propelled many an aspiring chef to foodie stardom in the U.S. — Harold Dieterle, Jeff Mauro and Mike Isabella, to name a few.

But unlike her American counterparts, the most recent winner of Israel's Master Chef does not aspire to launch her own show or even open her own restaurant.

At first blush, the Arab Israeli cook Nof Atamna-Ismaeel has smaller ambitions: opening a Jewish-Arab cooking school. But her ultimate goal — to create common ground between Arab and Jewish Israelis — is anything but modest.

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The Salt
4:54 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Denmark Kosher and Halal

Originally published on

In a conflict that pits animal welfare against religious rights, Denmark has ruled that all animals must be stunned before being killed, a move that effectively bans ritual slaughter in its purest form according to Muslim and Jewish tradition.

Before you ask...yes, this is the same country that recently made news for killing a giraffe at the zoo and dissecting it in public.

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