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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The Salt

What's On Your Plate

Food For Thought

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

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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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

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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Robert Melovidov, a tribal council member, holds up fur seal meat that he's preparing to cook in his home on St. Paul Island. Nathaniel Herz/Alaska Public Media hide caption

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Nathaniel Herz/Alaska Public Media

Farmhouse Tavern in Toronto has found a way to turn quiet Sundays, which often lead to either throwing away food or freezing it, into a way to sell out menu items. Jonathan Bloom/Food & Environment Reporting Network hide caption

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Jonathan Bloom/Food & Environment Reporting Network

Many backyard chicken keepers are thinking less about the business of raising chickens and more about collecting them — you just have to have them all — which comes with predictable consequences: too many eggs. Maarigard/Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley Collection hide caption

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Maarigard/Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley Collection

A bowl of creamy cheese grits. Food writer Erin Byers Murray hopes that exploring the story of grits will help spur more discussion about how food shapes our culture, as humble ingredients are elevated into expensive dishes even as we come to terms with long-lost, or ignored, origin stories that deserve recognition. Lauri Patterson/Getty Images hide caption

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Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

A bowl of Honey Toasted Kernza. General Mills made 6,000 boxes of the cereal and is passing them out to spread the word about perennial grains. Olivia Sun/NPR hide caption

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Olivia Sun/NPR

Can This Breakfast Cereal Help Save The Planet?

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Some of the 20 different types of rice used during the three-month festival Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India. Chefs served two varieties of rice every day, along with multiple dishes of vegetables and meat or seafood. Salam Olattayil/Courtesy of Edible Archives hide caption

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Salam Olattayil/Courtesy of Edible Archives

Cherokee Nation Cultural Biologist Feather Smith-Trevino holds an unripe Georgia Candy Roaster Squash at an educational garden in Tahlequah, Okla., where traditional native plants are grown. Courtesy of the Cherokee Nation Seed Bank hide caption

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Courtesy of the Cherokee Nation Seed Bank

An aerial view of a combine harvesting corn in a field near Jarrettsville, Md. A new study ties an estimated 4,300 premature deaths a year to the air pollution caused by corn production in the U.S. Edwin Remsberg/Getty Images hide caption

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Edwin Remsberg/Getty Images

With repair costs mounting, Air Devil's Inn owner Kristie Shockley wasn't sure the bar would make it through the summer, so she put out a call for help on social media — and some regulars planned a benefit. Ashlie Stevens/WFPL hide caption

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Ashlie Stevens/WFPL

Just three crops — wheat, corn and rice — make up nearly 60 percent of the plant-based calories in most diets, according to a new report. Above, a farmer inspects a plant in her dry maize field on March 13 in Zimbabwe. Jekesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Jekesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty Images

For A Healthier Planet, Eat These 50 Foods, Campaign Urges

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Seedlip, a distilled nonalcoholic spirit, was created when Ben Branson came across a 17th-century book that contained nonalcoholic remedies for a variety of maladies — from epilepsy to kidney stones. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images hide caption

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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Nationwide, there are too few farmers to populate market stalls and too few customers filling their canvas bags with fresh produce at each market. Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images