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 Trump administration has proposed a new rule that would give owners of restaurants and other service businesses more control over workers' tips. Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

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Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images

Rule Change Could Give Restaurants More Control Over Workers' Tips

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James Dinklage, a cattle rancher from Nebraska, is one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed Thursday. The suit accuses the USDA of "arbitrary and capricious" behavior in rolling back two Obama-era rules designed to protect small farmers, who say they are being exploited by the meatpacking companies they supply. Courtesy Dinklage Family/Organization for Competitive Markets hide caption

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Courtesy Dinklage Family/Organization for Competitive Markets

Many people who have worked in kitchens say the restaurant industry's problem goes far beyond high-flying personalities and celebrity chefs. Even when harassment is not sexual, abusive work environments flourish in the industry. byakkaya/Getty Images/iStockphoto hide caption

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byakkaya/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Smoke from wildfires, like this lingering cloud in Sonoma County, Calif., in October, may be responsible for creating an off taste in wine. George Rose/Getty Images hide caption

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George Rose/Getty Images

Step by step visual instructions for rolling the pavlova with peaches and blackberries. We use plums instead of peaches for our holiday version. Peden + Munk hide caption

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Peden + Munk

Showstopping Holiday Desserts For Home Cooks Of All Skill Levels

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Forage fish like these at a Chilean processing plant are often used for fish meal used in aquaculture. But critics consider this inefficient and wasteful and worry it could deplete fish populations. Now several companies are developing protein substitutes to replace fish meal. Julio Etchart/ullstein bild via Getty Images hide caption

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Julio Etchart/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Cavitation produces a bubble that rapidly collapses and becomes hotter than the sun's surface. The mantis shrimp uses it, and now so do food and drink firms, to improve flavors — from yogurt to beer. Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images hide caption

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Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images

The FDA infamously sanctioned the Nashoba Brook Bakery for listing "love" as an ingredient in its granola, but our writer went on a quest to get that recipe. What she found was a treasure of another sort, one of value for those with eating disorders. Courtesy of Nashoba Brook Bakery hide caption

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Courtesy of Nashoba Brook Bakery

Lashkari gives us a tour of his kitchen. He's known for some of the best Pakistani and Indian food in Houston. His cooking borrows happily from other cultures. Peter Breslow/NPR hide caption

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Peter Breslow/NPR

A Visit To Houston's Himalaya: Pakistani And Indian Food With Deep Texas Roots

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Oobah Butler created an imaginary London restaurant, The Shed at Dulwich, which he successfully got verified on TripAdvisor after providing a phone number, address and website for the eatery. It soon became one of the city's top-rated restaurants. Steven Senne/AP hide caption

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Steven Senne/AP

How A Fake Restaurant Became London's Top Spot On TripAdvisor

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Ben Anderson collects grass samples in Western Australia. Spinifex tastes to some like salt and vinegar chips — but it's so hard and spiky that scientists say collecting samples can be painful. Courtesy of Matt Barrett hide caption

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Courtesy of Matt Barrett

How does lead wind up in crockpots and other ceramic food and drink containers? Ceramic ware is glazed before entering a kiln to bake. These glazes sometimes contain lead to give products an attractive shine. Joy Ho for NPR hide caption

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Joy Ho for NPR

Grass-fed, antibiotic-free cattle gather at a farm in Yamhill, Ore. For the first time, government statistics show America's pigs, cattle and poultry are getting fewer antibiotic drugs. Don Ryan/AP hide caption

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Don Ryan/AP

The USDA says it will give states more flexibility in how they deliver federal benefits known as SNAP or food stamps. Allen Breed/AP hide caption

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Allen Breed/AP

Edible winged ants are placed atop a fish fillet at Insects in the Backyard, a high-end bug-based bistro in Bangkok. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/Getty Images

Chorizo and egg, papas rancheras and country guisado tacos on handmade flour tortillas from Mendez Cafe in San Antonio. Mike Sutter/San Antonio Express-News hide caption

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Mike Sutter/San Antonio Express-News

This Food Critic's Quest To Eat A Taco A Day For A Year Is Almost A Wrap

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The precision blobs and artful smears look exquisite on Pinterest and Instagram, but they certainly don't allow you to satisfyingly dunk your crust of bread in them. Michael Reinhard/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael Reinhard/Getty Images

Brick Lane is a street in the London borough of Tower Hamlets. It is famous for its many curry houses. Victor Cardoner/Getty Images hide caption

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Victor Cardoner/Getty Images