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."
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Food For Thought

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

Investigators who are trying to track down the source of E. coli in romaine lettuce have seen this before. They're tracking the exact strain of bacteria that caused a small outbreak a year ago. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Investigators Tracking Latest Romaine Lettuce Outbreak Are Feeling Some Deja Vu

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The study surveyed 35,000 immigrant mothers of U.S.-born children in five U.S. cities. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A member of the staff walks through Luke, one of the restaurants still owned by John Besh, on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. Emily Kask for NPR hide caption

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Emily Kask for NPR

Work After #MeToo: A Restaurant Company Tries To Change Its Culture

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Hydrochar derived from poultry waste was produced in a lab at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. The hydrochar can be made into briquettes, which can be used as charcoal for cooking food. Juliana Neumann hide caption

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Juliana Neumann

People who are sensitive to the bitterness of caffeine tend to drink more coffee than others, while people sensitive to bitter flavors like quinine drink less coffee, according to a new study. Dimitri Otis/Getty Images hide caption

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Dimitri Otis/Getty Images

"Our data suggests that something about baking seems to be changing the hands of the people who do the baking," says ecologist Rob Dunn. Rick Gayle/Getty Images hide caption

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Rick Gayle/Getty Images

A McDonald's billboard in St. Paul, Minn., advertises in the Hmong language. A new study of first- and second-generation Hmong and Karen immigrants finds their gut microbiomes changed soon after moving to the U.S. Education Images/UIG via Getty Images hide caption

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Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

Cottonseed is full of protein but toxic to humans and most animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture this week approved a genetically engineered cotton with edible seeds. They could eventually feed chickens, fish — or even people. Courtesy of Lacey Roberts/Texas A&M University hide caption

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Courtesy of Lacey Roberts/Texas A&M University

Not Just For Cows Anymore: New Cottonseed Is Safe For People To Eat

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Allagash employees Salim Raal, left, and Brendan McKay stack bottles of Golden Brett, a limited release beer fermented with a house strain of Brettanomyces yeast. The Maine brewery recently installed solar panels as part of its sustainability initiatives. Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images hide caption

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Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The shells are trucked over to Brooklyn's Greenpoint neighborhood and once a month are brought en masse to Governors Island in the heart of the New York Harbor. Billion Oyster Project has collected more than 1 million pounds of oyster shells so far. Courtesy of Agata Poniatowski hide caption

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Courtesy of Agata Poniatowski

These soybeans were damaged in 2017 by dicamba, a popular weedkiller that's prone to drifting into neighboring fields. Some farmers in the state are defying efforts by regulators to strictly limit use of the chemical. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Despite A Ban, Arkansas Farmers Are Still Spraying Controversial Weedkiller

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Ancient Maya ruins at Tikal in northern Guatemala, near the border with Belize. Researcher Heather McKillop explains that Maya sites like Tikal could have been popular marketplaces to trade salt and other commodities. David DUCOIN/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images hide caption

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David DUCOIN/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images