The Salt The Salt is a blog from the NPR Science Desk about what we eat and why we eat it. We serve up food stories with a side of skepticism that may provoke you or just make you smile.
The Salt

The Salt

What's On Your Plate

Seedlip, a distilled nonalcoholic spirit, was created when Ben Branson came across a 17th-century book that contained nonalcoholic remedies for a variety of maladies — from epilepsy to kidney stones. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images hide caption

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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

For certain species, a market preference for plate-sized whole fillets is driving fishermen to target smaller fish, like these juvenile Malabar snappers. That means some wild fish aren't getting the chance to reproduce before they're caught. Andre Brugger hide caption

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Andre Brugger

Nationwide, there are too few farmers to populate market stalls and too few customers filling their canvas bags with fresh produce at each market. Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

A study found that consuming two eggs per day was linked to a 27 percent higher risk of developing heart disease. But many experts say this new finding is no justification to drop eggs from your diet. Westend61/Getty Images hide caption

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Westend61/Getty Images

A biomechanical model of producing an "f" sound with an overbite (left) compared with an edge-to-edge bite (right). Some linguists are arguing that the advent of softer food thousands of years ago led to changes in biting patterns and, eventually, to more frequent use of sounds like "f" and "v" in human languages. Scott Moisik hide caption

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Scott Moisik

Last year, the author set about reducing her reliance on single-use disposables in the kitchen. Above are some of the tools she has adopted for food storage: a heavy-duty reusable silicone zip-top bag, bamboo towels, silicone disks that slip over the ends of cut pieces of fruits and vegetables, and beeswax-covered fabrics. Kristen Hartke for NPR/ hide caption

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Kristen Hartke for NPR/

Members of the Oregon Solidarity project include (from left) Ed King and Justin King of King Estate Winery; Christine Clair and Joe Ibrahim of Willamette Valley Vineyards, and Brent Stone and Ray Nuclo, also of King Estate Winery. Carolyn Wells Kramer for NPR hide caption

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Carolyn Wells Kramer for NPR

It's well-known that junk food ads on TV can strongly influence what kids want to eat. A study finds social media influencers can have the same effect on kids --but not when it comes to healthy foods. Jessica Lee Photography/Getty Images/Image Source hide caption

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Jessica Lee Photography/Getty Images/Image Source

Social Media May Sway Kids To Eat More Cookies — And More Calories

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Sebastiano Ridolfi tries on the costume of Papà del Gnoco, or "Gnocchi Dad," the Santa-esque figure who's the symbol of the gnocchi-themed pre-Lent celebration in Verona, Italy. Although Ridolfi didn't win the election to be Papà del Gnoco, he was received warmly by the crowd and remains committed to challenging traditions. Andrea Di Martino hide caption

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Andrea Di Martino

A pesticide warning sign in an orange grove warns in English and Spanish that the pesticide chlorpyrifos, or Lorsban, has been applied to these orange trees. Jim West/Science Source hide caption

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Jim West/Science Source

Will An Appeals Court Make The EPA Ban A Pesticide Linked To Serious Health Risks?

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Several U.S. cities have enacted taxes on sweetened drinks to raise money and fight obesity. But the results are mixed on how well they curb consumption. Daniel Acker/Getty Images hide caption

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Daniel Acker/Getty Images

U.S. Soda Taxes Work, Studies Suggest — But Maybe Not As Well As Hoped

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A satire of women's social discourse in the Queen Anne period depicts six women taking tea in a parlor, with figures on the left signifying hidden emotions and power struggles behind a genteel facade. Circa 1710. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Bret Adee, a third-generation beekeeper who owns one of the largest beekeeping companies in the U.S., lost half of his hives — about 50,000 — over the winter. He pops the lid on one of the hives to show off the colony inside. Greta Mart/KCBX hide caption

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Greta Mart/KCBX

Massive Loss Of Thousands Of Hives Afflicts Orchard Growers And Beekeepers

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At Colonial Williamsburg's garden and nursery, which is open to guests, staff grow items that would have been found in gentry pleasure gardens: herbs, flowers and seasonal greens. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation hide caption

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Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Gulls were eating more juvenile salmon than biologists realized, which meant fewer of the fish were making it to the ocean. Gary Hershorn/Getty Images hide caption

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Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

Pastry chef Katlyn Beggs and chef Patrick Mulvaney plan desserts for an upcoming dinner at his B&L restaurant in the Midtown neighborhood of Sacramento, Calif. Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio hide caption

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Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Focusing less on the meat-free or health aspects of plant-based dishes, like this jackfruit burger — and more on their flavor, mouthfeel and provenance — could go a long way toward getting meat lovers to choose these options more often. That's according to research by the World Resources Institute's Better Buying Lab in conjunction with food chains, marketers and behavioral economists. Westend61/Getty Images hide caption

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Westend61/Getty Images

How To Get Meat Eaters To Eat More Plant-Based Foods? Make Their Mouths Water

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