Food For Thought : The Salt There's never been more interest in food and where it comes from and how it gets to your plate. This is the place for science, politics and the controversial topics that make you go "hmm."
The Salt

The Salt

What's On Your Plate

Food For Thought

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

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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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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Lunch clubs are becoming a popular trend in offices as a way for co-workers to brighten each other's days by sharing meals they've prepared for one another. They might eat together or at their own separate desks. Ella Olsson/Flickr Creative Commons hide caption

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Ella Olsson/Flickr Creative Commons

A row of new reverse vending machines, which collect drink containers for recycling, greets customers at the grand opening of the BottleDrop Redemption Center in Medford, Ore. Jes Burns/Oregon Public Broadcasting hide caption

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Jes Burns/Oregon Public Broadcasting

Apsara Bharati is watching over her field in Nepal, where she and her neighbors are using the system of rice intensification to plant seedlings. Danielle Preiss/NPR hide caption

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Danielle Preiss/NPR

Nepalese Rice Farmers Boost Yields By Sowing Fewer Plants And Cutting Water

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Members of the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective inspect one of their apiaries. The collective teaches displaced coal miners in West Virginia how to keep bees as a way to supplement their income. Courtesy of Kevin Johnson hide caption

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Courtesy of Kevin Johnson

These squash on sale at an Illinois grocery store have been genetically modified to resist a specific virus. Jonathan Ahl/Harvest Public Media hide caption

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Jonathan Ahl/Harvest Public Media

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

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

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

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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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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José Palacios, a cacao farmer, holds the Late Chocó chocolate products produced by his son, Joel, in Bogotá. The package bears an illustration of his likeness. José Palacios lives in Colombia's western Chocó department, which is also a coca-growing region. Verónica Zaragovia for NPR hide caption

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Verónica Zaragovia for NPR

The meatless Impossible Burger is pictured at Little Donkey in Cambridge, Mass. Boston Globe/Boston Globe via Getty Images hide caption

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Boston Globe/Boston Globe via Getty Images

Big Beef Prepares For Battle, As Interest Grows In Plant-Based And Lab-Grown Meats

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Exonerated after 16 years in prison, Kristine Bunch ate a celebratory meal of scallops, cheese grits, a platter of hummus and vegetables, and champagne. It was a meal that became the first image by artist Julie Green in her series "First Meal," a project supported by the Oregon State University Center for the Humanities. (Paintings are 4 feet by 3 feet, acrylic on Tyvek.) Julie Green/Courtesy of Julie Green and Upfor Gallery hide caption

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Julie Green/Courtesy of Julie Green and Upfor Gallery

At Odell Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colo., Scott Dorsch pulls down a box of hops from the Yakima Valley in Washington, the state that grows the most hops in the nation. "We would buy more hops than what Colorado could produce," he says. Esther Honig/Harvest Public Media hide caption

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Esther Honig/Harvest Public Media

Dungeness crab like these, caught off the coast of Alaska, have been affected by the neurotoxin domoic acid because of algae blooms in recent years, which makes them unsafe to eat. Michael Melford/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael Melford/Getty Images