January 16, 2012 Food twines its way through the history of the civil rights movement. Sit-ins at lunch counters helped galvanize the movement. Proceeds from bake sales supported bus boycotters; many of the customers were segregationists unaware they were making the movement they opposed stronger with every fancy cake they bought.
January 10, 2012 Metal detectors just don't cut it when it comes to keeping shards of bone or plastic and other nasty stuff out of food. Enter the X-ray. Costco and other big retailers now require food processors to X-ray food to screen for foreign objects. The process is more automated than airport baggage screening.
January 7, 2012 Why would a cat crave mushrooms? A scientist says it's the umami. Though cats can't taste sweetness like people can, they are aces at sniffing out the amino acids that signal protein-rich foods.
January 4, 2012 The cost of budget-friendly foods like ground beef, potatoes, and eggs soared 10 percent over the past year, pinching household budgets even harder. Blame bad weather, export competition, and the fact that more people are cooking at home to save money. This year may be a bit better, but not much.
December 29, 2011 Working nights is bad for your health. But scientists haven't really looked at whether the poor food available is really to blame. New studies ask whether providing better food to shift workers would be an easy fix for a big public health problem.
December 27, 2011 In Russia, New Year's reigns supreme as the food holiday, even though Christmas returned with the end of the Soviet Union. Russian immigrants in the United States continue the tradition, which demands a nightlong feast of herring, caviar, pickles, salami, and — well, that's just for starters.
December 21, 2011 If you think all American food tastes alike, you may be on to something. A chemical analysis of flavors around the world found that Americans cook with flavors that are chemically similar, like eggs, milk, and vanilla, while East Asians go for chemical contrast. Think shrimp and lemon.
December 20, 2011 All I want for Christmas is some toffee and navel oranges. Dry-aged steaks wouldn't be bad, either. NPR's science desk denizens share the mail-order foods they'd be happy to see land on the doorstep this week, from traditional to outrageous.
December 16, 2011 Teenagers were less likely to buy a sugary soft drink if they knew it would take 50 minutes of jogging to burn off the calories. Researchers in Baltimore slapped signs on the drink coolers in corner markets to see what information would encourage healthier drink choices.
December 14, 2011 The cause of the butter blackout on the eve of the year's biggest baking holiday isn't entirely clear. But some Norwegians say the country's biggest dairy cooperative didn't import butter even when it became clear it might run out.
December 12, 2011 Pears sound like a healthful school lunch treat, but not if they're Comice pears. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says they don't qualify for kids who get free lunches, but a senator wants to change that.
November 28, 2011 Soybeans have fueled Asian civilizations for centuries, but the origins of the noble bean remains shrouded in the mists of history. Now a Korean archeologist says China may have to share bragging rights as the birthplace of soy.
November 26, 2011 With Paula Deen, it's not really about the butter, the mayonnaise or the fried cheesecake. For fans, it's about that feeling that you're sitting around the kitchen table with a friend.
November 25, 2011 The honey on supermarket shelves is probably real honey, after all. But claims that illicit Chinese honey was being sneaked into the U.S. market reveal how quick we are to assume the worst about supermarket foods — and imports. Closer analysis reveals a more complex tale.
November 23, 2011 WRVOAt a farm in upstate New York, the only worry turkeys have around Thanksgiving time is which dishes they want to dig their beaks into. They're the guests of honor at a feast honoring the birds. Sponsors pay $30 to keep the turkeys happily fed and far from the slaughterhouse.