The SaltThe Salt

What's On Your Plate

Nat Bradford holds a Bradford watermelon, known for its sweet, fragrant red flesh. The melon was created by Bradford's forefathers around 1840 and was once one of the most important and coveted melons of the South. Heather Grilliot/Courtesy of Bradford Watermelons hide caption

itoggle caption Heather Grilliot/Courtesy of Bradford Watermelons

Mchezaji "Che" Axum stands in a hoop house at the University of the District of Columbia's Muirkirk Research Farm, a resource for urban farmers in the city. Whitney Pipkin for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Whitney Pipkin for NPR

Support NPR

Support NPR

NPR Shop

Support The Programs You Love

© NPR

Elena Biamon holds coffee berries grown on her farm near Jayuya, a town in Puerto Rico's mountainous interior. Greg Allen/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Greg Allen/NPR

Sheep are sold in small lots like this one at the Centennial Livestock Auction in Fort Collins, Colo. Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media/KUNC hide caption

itoggle caption Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media/KUNC

Coca-Cola cans on a production line at a bottling plant near New Delhi in 2013. The company decided in April 2015 not to build an $81 million bottling plant in southern India because local farmers said it might exhaust groundwater supplies. Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images

A woman shops at the Whole Foods Market in Woodmere Village, Ohio, on March 27, 2014. The grocery chain has become known for its high-priced food and says its new chain will offer "value prices." Tony Dejak/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

itoggle caption Tony Dejak/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Author Barry Estabrook says pigs can be taught to play computer games and recognize themselves in a mirror. W. W. Norton & Company hide caption

itoggle caption W. W. Norton & Company

Tyson Foods says it has already reduced its use of human-use antibiotics by 80 percent over the past four years. Here, Tyson frozen chicken on display at Piazza's market in Palo Alto, Calif., in 2010. Paul Sakuma/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Paul Sakuma/AP

Chipotle's announcement that it has removed all GMOs from its menu items is part of a growing food industry trend. From left: Nestle chocolates, Chipotle tortillas, Diet Pepsi, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner, a Subway sandwich. All of these companies have dropped ingredients over the past year in response to consumer demands. Meredith Rizzo/NPR; iStockphoto; PepsiCo; iStockphoto; iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption Meredith Rizzo/NPR; iStockphoto; PepsiCo; iStockphoto; iStockphoto

Donnell Brown and another cowboy move a grouping of bulls from one pen to another on rib-eye ultrasound day in March at the R.A Brown Ranch. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

A cherry tree and its blossoms are covered with snow in an orchard near Traverse City, Mich. Three years ago, almost every fruit crop in Michigan was frozen out when cold temperatures followed some 80 degree days in March. John L. Russell/AP hide caption

itoggle caption John L. Russell/AP

Chickens stand in their cages at a farm near Stuart, Iowa, in 2009. This week, bird flu hit a large poultry facility in Iowa. It's not clear how the virus is evading the industry's biosecurity efforts. Charlie Neibergall/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Charlie Neibergall/AP

Near the Danish city of Ikast, some 1,500 spectators gathered on April 19 to celebrate what has become something of a national holiday at organic dairy farms around Denmark. Courtesy of Organic Denmark hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Organic Denmark

Blue crabs brought back to Tony Goutierrez's dock in Hopedale, La. For the past few years, his traps have been coming up empty. "It's sad to see it go, but it's going — this way of life is going to disappear," he says. Laine Kaplan-Levenson for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Laine Kaplan-Levenson for NPR

Dead almonds on a drought-stricken tree near Fresno, Calif., on April 10, 2015. Michael Nelson/EPA/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Nelson/EPA/Corbis

Workers pick asparagus in early April at Del Bosque Farms in Firebaugh, Calif. This year, some farmers in the state will get water, others won't, based on when their land was first irrigated. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Leif Parsons for NPR

Fields of carrots are watered March 29, 2015, in Kern County, Calif. Subsidized water flowing in federal and state canals down from the wet north to the arid south helped turn the dry, flat plain of the San Joaquin Valley into one of the world's most important food-growing regions. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Produce is often accompanied by signs like this one at a King Soopers grocery store in Fort Collins, Colo. But customers are often confused by their meaning, which is one reason the Organic Trade Association is trying to raise money for a "checkoff" to pay for consumer advertising and research. Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media/KUNC hide caption

itoggle caption Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media/KUNC