The Salt What's On Your Plate

Gayland Regier carries buckets of feed to his cattle in southeast Nebraska. Imported cattle make up a small portion of the American beef supply, but many American farmers and ranchers are concerned that foreign-sourced meat could distort their markets. courtesy of Grant Gerlock/NET News/Harvest Public Media hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of Grant Gerlock/NET News/Harvest Public Media

Three years ago, Air Force veteran Sara Creech quit her job as a nurse and bought a 43-acre farm in North Salem, Ind. She named her farm Blue Yonder Organic. John Wendle for Harvest Public Media hide caption

itoggle caption John Wendle for Harvest Public Media

Tim Meyers on his four-acre vegetable farm in southwestern Alaska. Behind him: an endless sea of tundra, and a glimpse of the town of Bethel. Eugenie Frerichs for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Eugenie Frerichs for NPR

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Nahun Villagomez Sanchez washes freshly dug Red LaSoda potatoes at T&D Willey Farms near Madera, Calif. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Dan Charles/NPR

Freight Farms are shipping containers modified to grow stacks of hydroponic plants and vegetables — anywhere, 365 days a year. Courtesy of Freight Farms hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Freight Farms

Oranges sit in crates at the Rancho Del Sol Organics farm in San Diego County, Calif., in 2014. A labor dispute at major West Coast ports has left millions of pounds of California oranges stranded in warehouses and on half-loaded boats. Sam Hodgson/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Sam Hodgson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In 2013, the U.S. imported about 2 million tons of Coronas and Modelos, making beer Mexico's largest agricultural export to the U.S., according to a USDA report. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Scott Olson/Getty Images

Albion strawberries, a variety created at UC Davis, grow on the Chino family farm in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., on March 7, 2013. Mike Blake/Reuters/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Mike Blake/Reuters/Corbis

A cereal rye cover crop grows (at left) in a field where corn was recently harvested. Cover crops can capture nutrients such as nitrate and prevent them from polluting nearby streams. Courtesy of Paul Jasa/University of Nebraska-Lincoln hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Paul Jasa/University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The founder and chairman of Shake Shack, Danny Meyer, visits the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Cattle in holding pens at the Simplot feedlot located next to a slaughterhouse in Burbank, Washington on Dec. 26, 2013. Merck & Co Inc is testing lower dosages of its controversial cattle growth drug Zilmax drug in an effort to resume its sales to the $44 billion U.S. beef industry. Ross Courtney/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Ross Courtney/Reuters/Landov

Workers prepare burritos at a Chipotle Mexican Grill in New York. The restaurant chain has stopped serving pork in about one-third of its U.S. locations. Richard Levine/Demotix/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Richard Levine/Demotix/Corbis

Charlie Wicker of Trailhead Coffee Roasters makes all of his deliveries within the 6-mile radius of urban Portland, Ore., on one of his custom-built cargo bikes. He can also pull over to brew and serve coffee. John Lee/Courtesy of Trailhead Coffee Roasters hide caption

itoggle caption John Lee/Courtesy of Trailhead Coffee Roasters

The city of Des Moines, Iowa, sits on the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers. The city's water works says it will sue three neighboring counties for high nitrate levels in these waterways. iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto

With so many craft breweries now in operation, just about every beer name you can imagine is taken. That's making it harder for newcomers to name that brew without risking a legal fight. Leif Parsons for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Leif Parsons for NPR

These "enriched cages" from the JS West farm in Atwater, Calif., in 2011 comply with the state's new law. They are larger and allow chickens to perch and lay eggs in enclosed spaces. Jill Benson/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jill Benson/AP

Kelvin Cooperage, owned by brothers Kevin and Paul McLaughlin, is making white oak barrels for the newly-rising craft distillers. Here, oak scraps are burned inside the finished barrels to char them. Noah Adams/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Noah Adams/NPR

Women at a whiskey tasting at the W South Beach Hotel & Residences on May 3, 2012, in Miami Beach, Fla. Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for W South Beach Hotel & Residences hide caption

itoggle caption Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for W South Beach Hotel & Residences