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

A handful of young upstarts are changing Naples' traditional pizza-making habits, bolstered by a new flour called Nuvola (Italian for "cloud"), developed by Italian miller Caputo. Courtesy of Carlo Sammarco hide caption

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Courtesy of Carlo Sammarco

From left: Gloria Amaya, José Amaya, Silvia Gómez, and Alicia Villanueva, the founder of Tamales Los Mayas. A graduate of La Cocina's program for food entrepreneurs, Villanueva now provides catering to scores of Bay Area companies each month, and her tamales are sold in Northern California Whole Foods stores. Eric Wolfinger hide caption

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Eric Wolfinger

The Food Business Incubator That Helps Immigrant Women Pursue The American Dream

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Processed meats, including hot dogs and bacon, cook in a frying pan. A new study of 80,000 people finds that those who ate the most red meat — especially processed meats such as bacon and hot dogs — had a higher risk of premature death compared with those who cut back. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Jupiterimages/Getty Images

Why Food Reformers Have Mixed Feelings About Eco-Labels

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A suicidal depression almost ended Ella Risbridger's life, but the London poet and journalist instead ended up writing an uplifting cookbook that promises to "make you fall in love with the world again." Courtesy of Gavin Day hide caption

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Courtesy of Gavin Day

An engraving shows Galla Placidia (390-450), daughter of Roman Emperor Theodosius I, in captivity. New research shows that in some cases, we are drinking almost the exact same wine that Roman emperors did — our pinot noir and syrah grapes are genetic "siblings" of the ancient Roman varieties. Leemage/Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

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Leemage/Corbis via Getty Images

Lettuce sprouts amid rows of plastic covering the ground at One Straw Farm, an organic operation north of Baltimore. Although conventional farmers also use plastic mulch, organic produce farms like One Straw rely on the material even more because they must avoid chemical weed killers, which are banned in organic farming. Lisa Elaine Held/NPR hide caption

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Lisa Elaine Held/NPR

The deep ocean is filled with sea creatures like giant larvaceans. They're actually the size of tadpoles, but they're surrounded by a yard-wide bubble of mucus that collects food — and plastic. Courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute hide caption

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Courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Microplastics Have Invaded The Deep Ocean — And The Food Chain

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A sign in the window of a New York City market advertises the acceptance of food stamps. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

How A Fight Over Beef Jerky Reveals Tensions Over SNAP In The Trump Era

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A Malaysian Musang King durian, much sought after by consumers in China. Michael Sullivan for NPR hide caption

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Michael Sullivan for NPR

Stinking Rich? Malaysia Aims To Cash In On China's Durian Craze

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Chef Leah Chase stands outside her famous Creole restaurant, Dooky Chase's, in March 2007. Two years earlier it was flooded out during Hurricane Katrina. Cheryl Gerber/AP hide caption

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Cheryl Gerber/AP

Leah Chase, The 'Queen Of Creole Cuisine,' Dies At 96

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Boman Kohinoor, 97, has spent the past eight decades committed to his beloved Britannia & Co., one of Mumbai's last Parsi cafes. Here, he proudly holds up a photo of himself with two members of the British royal family: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and the former Kate Middleton. Rebecca Rosman for NPR hide caption

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Rebecca Rosman for NPR

Parsi Cafes, A Centuries-Old Tradition In India, Are Vanishing

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John Draper pours glyphosate into the tank of his sprayer at the University of Maryland's Wye Research and Education Center. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Safe Or Scary? The Shifting Reputation Of Glyphosate, AKA Roundup

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Quilp, the epitome of evil in Charles Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop, seen here with Little Nell, is a dwarf with the head of a giant and a "few discolored fangs" for teeth. But his most grotesque trait is his trick of drinking "boiling tea without winking" and eating "hard eggs, shell and all." Culture Club/Getty Images hide caption

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Culture Club/Getty Images

Beer archaeologist Travis Rupp inspects his latest "Ale of Antiquity," George Washington Porter, surrounded by the oak barrels it fermented in at Avery Brewing Co. in Boulder, Colo. Dustin Hall/The Brewtography Project hide caption

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Dustin Hall/The Brewtography Project

New research confirms what we've been hearing for years: Cooking from scratch and eating "real food" is healthier than consuming the highly processed foods that make up the majority of calories in the American diet. The problem is that knowing this doesn't make it any more doable for the average family. Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd./Getty Images hide caption

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Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd./Getty Images

Confusion over whether food is still safe to eat after its "sell by" or "use before" date accounts for about one-fifth of food waste in U.S. homes, the FDA says. The agency is urging the food industry to adopt "best if used by" wording on packaged foods. zoranm/Getty Images hide caption

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zoranm/Getty Images

To Reduce Food Waste, FDA Urges 'Best If Used By' Date Labels

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The banquet of a noble Roman in ancient Rome was more than a lavish social meal, it was a crucial power tool — a way of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. Bildagentur-online/UIG via Getty Images hide caption

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Bildagentur-online/UIG via Getty Images