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

Slow carbs like whole-grain breads and pastas, oats and brown rice are rich in fiber and take more time to digest, so they don't lead to the same quick rise in blood sugar that refined carbs can cause. fcafotodigital/Getty Images hide caption

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fcafotodigital/Getty Images

You Don't Have To Go No-Carb: Instead, Think Slow Carb

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The key to making the quintessential biscuit of the American South, like these from Callie's Charleston Biscuits Bakery in Charleston, S.C., is more about technique than a specific flour, some bakers say. Brett Flashnick/The Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

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Brett Flashnick/The Washington Post/Getty Images

California home cooks like Akshay Prabhu are excited about the prospect of selling food from their kitchens to supplement their incomes. Ezra David Romero/NPR hide caption

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Ezra David Romero/NPR

Sriraja Panich is the brand name of one of two Sriracha sauces created by Saowanit Trikityanukul's family. The family sold the brand to Thaitheparos, Thailand's leading sauce company, in the 1980s. The brand has struggled to gain a foothold in the U.S., where the Huy Fong Rooster brand of Sriracha, created by Vietnamese-American David Tran, reigns supreme. Michael Sullivan/for NPR hide caption

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Michael Sullivan/for NPR

In Home Of Original Sriracha Sauce, Thais Say Rooster Brand Is Nothing To Crow About

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When Corsair Distillery in Nashville, Tenn., wanted to start experimenting with alternative grains, there wasn't a playbook to follow. Now, it makes a quinoa-barley whiskey. Ashlie Stevens/WFPL hide caption

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Ashlie Stevens/WFPL

Costco Wholesale requires its food suppliers to undergo annual inspections and requires some produce suppliers to hold shipments until tests come back negative for disease-causing bacteria. Mark Peterson/Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

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Mark Peterson/Corbis via Getty Images

Don't Panic: The Government Shutdown Isn't Making Food Unsafe

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People were more likely to try mealworms — such as these mealworm chocolate truffles sprinkled with coconut — when the ad focused on taste and experience, a study showed. Oliver Brachat/for NPR hide caption

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Oliver Brachat/for NPR

Beloved in eastern Asia, especially Japan, persimmons get little respect in the United States, where many tree owners don't bother harvesting their crop. Alastair Bland/for NPR hide caption

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Alastair Bland/for NPR

This granary weevil has set up shop inside a kernel. Even without wings, these stealthy stowaways — with the help of humans — have managed to infest grains all over the world for thousands of years. Biophoto Associates/Getty Images/Science Source hide caption

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Biophoto Associates/Getty Images/Science Source

Artist Stephanie Shih remembers making pork-filled dumplings with her family and started her art project by sculpting six of them out of porcelain. She's now made 600. Courtesy of Robert Bredvad hide caption

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Courtesy of Robert Bredvad

Scientists have re-engineered photosynthesis, the foundation of life on Earth, creating genetically modified plants that grow faster and bigger. Above, scientists measure how well modified tobacco plants photosynthesize compared to unmodified plants. Haley Ahlers/RIPE Project hide caption

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Haley Ahlers/RIPE Project

Scientists Have 'Hacked Photosynthesis' In Search Of More Productive Crops

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Nepal native Indra Sunuwar's vegetarian chow mein is a favorite order of regular customers to the café. Sunuwar arrived in Memphis with her family as a child refugee. Global Café hide caption

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Global Café

This is the original Old Taylor Distilling Co. castle in 2016. At the time, the property was still under renovation. Ashlie Stevens/WFPL hide caption

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Ashlie Stevens/WFPL

Coconut oil's potential health benefits are outweighed by its heavy dose of saturated fat, most nutrition experts say. Saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Russ Rohde/Getty Images/Cultura RF hide caption

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Russ Rohde/Getty Images/Cultura RF

Is Coconut Oil All It's Cracked Up To Be? Get The Facts On This Faddish Fat

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There is a whole subset of people who can't imagine popcorn without a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, which is naturally full of B vitamins that are harder to come by in meat-free diets. Getty Images hide caption

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Getty Images

Chef Dominique Crenn recently was awarded three Michelin stars for her restaurant Atelier Crenn in San Francisco. She is the first female chef in the United States to achieve a top ranking. Cayce Clifford for NPR hide caption

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Cayce Clifford for NPR

Chef Dominique Crenn: 'Everything I Do Could Have ... Impact' For Other Women

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At the restaurant Siren by Robert Wiedmaier, pastry chef Maddy Morrissey uses marigold as the base for a Japanese dessert served with nasturtium leaves, flower petals and pineapple sage shortbread. Brian McBride/RWRestaurant Group hide caption

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Brian McBride/RWRestaurant Group

An employee at Grand Traverse Pie Co. in Michigan makes cherry pies. The company has been shipping pies since 1998, when people still had to phone in their orders. Beryl Striewski/Grand Traverse Pie Co. hide caption

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Beryl Striewski/Grand Traverse Pie Co.

For this year's grand prize winner, the judges were impressed by the intricate, working gingerbread gears of the clock inside Santa's workshop. Kristen Hartke/NPR hide caption

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Kristen Hartke/NPR

Sorrel, a festive drink made by steeping hibiscus flowers, is the taste of the holidays throughout the Caribbean. It is also a close cousin to the African-American red drink, described as "liquid soul." Andrea Y. Henderson/NPR hide caption

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Andrea Y. Henderson/NPR

Michael Durand (left), husband of Kitchn Editor-In-Chief Faith Durand, and friend Chris Gardner (right) carve turkey while guests hang out in the Durands' kitchen, dirty dishes and all, at a recent party. Kitchn/Rachel Joy Barehl hide caption

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Kitchn/Rachel Joy Barehl

Like Moths To A Flame: Why Modern-Day Guests Always Gather In The Kitchen

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Rosogolla, also known as rasgulla, is a simple white spongy ball, made of chhena, an Indian version of cottage cheese, dunked in syrup. Above, newer, colorful iterations of this classic sweet are for sale during Rosogolla Day in Kolkata, India. Sandip Roy for NPR hide caption

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Sandip Roy for NPR