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 diver maintains an open-water cage where tuna are being farmed in Izmir, Turkey. In the U.S., federally controlled ocean waters have been off limits to aquaculture, curbing the industry's growth. But the tide may be turning. Mahmut Serdar Alakus/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images hide caption

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Mahmut Serdar Alakus/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

An employee handles sides of pork on a conveyor at a Smithfield Foods Inc. pork processing facility in Milan, Mo. Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

USDA Offers Pork Companies A New Inspection Plan, Despite Opposition

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Illustration from a 19th-century edition of Robinson Crusoe, a novel by Daniel Defoe first published in 1719. It relates the story of Robinson Crusoe, stranded on an island for 28 years and his subsequent fight for survival. Out of desperation, he became a master of innovation, especially at preparing meals. Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images hide caption

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Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

An adult spotted lanternfly searches for tasty grapevines at Vynecrest Vineyards and Winery, near Allentown, Pa. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Vineyards Facing An Insect Invasion May Turn To Aliens For Help

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Since purple sea urchins have eaten up their food supply, many of them are empty inside. Erika Mahoney/KAZU hide caption

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Erika Mahoney/KAZU

Saving California's Kelp Forest May Depend On Eating Purple Sea Urchins

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James Toner feeds cows at his family's dairy farm in Northern Ireland's County Armagh. Thirty-five percent of Northern Irish milk is sold to Ireland. Northern Irish farmers who have built lucrative cross-border trade with the Irish Republic are especially worried about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. Joanna Kakissis/NPR hide caption

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Joanna Kakissis/NPR

How A No-Deal Brexit Could Destroy The Irish Dairy Industry — And Threaten Peace

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A food pantry client adds a carton of yogurt to her cart at the food pantry at Jewish Family Services in Denver, Colo. Seth McConnell/Denver Post via Getty Images hide caption

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Seth McConnell/Denver Post via Getty Images

Researchers in the U.K. say a teen has suffered vision loss after years of eating a highly limited diet consisting of snacking on Pringles potato chips, as well as French fries, white bread and some processed pork products. Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Bloomberg via Getty Images

Blind From A Bad Diet? Teen Who Ate Mostly Potato Chips And Fries Lost His Sight

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Hector Osorno is the Kraft Heinz Ketchup Master, whose job it is to make sure around 70% of the ketchup sold in America tastes the way it should. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Meet The Man Who Guards America's Ketchup

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Jasmine Cho's cookie portrait of Afong Moy, who is often cited as the first Chinese woman to step foot in the United States. Beginning in the 1830s, Moy was put on display before crowds as a curiosity. Jasmine Cho hide caption

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Jasmine Cho
Getty Images/Foodcollection

Duped In The Deli Aisle? 'No Nitrates Added' Labels Are Often Misleading

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As the gig economy grows, more people are seeking temporary work spaces, and restaurants and coffee shops are seeking to cater to this need, using tech apps to help them. Granger Wootz/Getty Images/Tetra images RF hide caption

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Granger Wootz/Getty Images/Tetra images RF

This toad-shaped sandwich bar called the Toed In, near Los Angeles in 1939, allowed you to grab a bite to eat while your car got serviced. There's a lot of wordplay going on here: the toad-shaped building, the "towing in" of the car, and the stepping or "toeing" in for a snack. Good job, punsters! Ullstein Bild/Ullstein Bild via Getty Images hide caption

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Ullstein Bild/Ullstein Bild via Getty Images

An allergy warning notice is displayed next to food in a branch of Pret A Manger in central London. Pret A Manger is working to have full ingredient labeling in all its British shops by the end of 2019. Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images hide caption

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Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images

A Colombian worker checks the plastic protection cover over a banana bunch on a plantation in Aracataca, Colombia. A dreaded fungus that has destroyed banana plantations in Asia has now spread to Latin America. Jan Sochor/LatinContent via Getty Images hide caption

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Jan Sochor/LatinContent via Getty Images

Devastating Banana Fungus Arrives In Colombia, Threatening The Fruit's Future

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Pigs are seen in a hog pen in Linquan county in central China's Anhui province in July. The number of pigs in China is falling rapidly due to an epidemic of African Swine Fever. Barcroft Media/Barcroft Media via Getty Images hide caption

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Barcroft Media/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Swine Fever Is Killing Vast Numbers Of Pigs In China

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Cows graze on a grass field at a farm in Schaghticoke, N.Y. The grass-fed movement is based on the idea of regenerative agriculture. John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images hide caption

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John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

Large swaths of forest have been cut down in Brazil in recent decades to make room for farming. Deforestation contributes to global warming, and reversing it will be necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change. Andre Penner/AP hide caption

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Andre Penner/AP

To Slow Global Warming, U.N. Warns Agriculture Must Change

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A view of a McDonald's fast-food restaurant in Des Plaines, Ill., circa 1955. A new book explores the complicated bond between Americans and fast food. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Honeybees are seen feeding on the honeydew of whiteflies in citrus trees. Traces of neonicotinoids, a family of pesticides, have shown up in honeydew, an important food source for other insects. Alejandro Tena hide caption

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Alejandro Tena