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

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

LifeVine boasts that it has little sugar and higher antioxidant levels than most wines. There is a wave of wines and spirits that aim to woo wellness enthusiasts. But some health claims made by alcohol brands have scientists on edge. LifeVine Wines hide caption

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LifeVine Wines

Two scoops of Perfect Day's vegan ice cream, made with synthetic whey proteins. Protein from whey, a byproduct of cheese-making, is often used to give frozen desserts a creamy texture. Perfect Day makes its whey proteins using microbes. Olivia Falcigno/NPR hide caption

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Olivia Falcigno/NPR

Dairy Ice Cream, No Cow Needed: These Egg And Milk Proteins Are Made Without Animals

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Spanish matador Alberto Lopez Simon makes a pass on a bull at the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas bullring in Madrid. The restaurant Casa Toribio, located just down the street, keeps the meat from from bulls killed in bullfighting on its menu all year long. Alberto Simon/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Alberto Simon/AFP/Getty Images

Cattle graze in pasture formed by cleared rainforest land in Pará, Brazil. A new online tool makes it easier for food companies to detect this kind of land-clearing by their suppliers. Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images hide caption

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Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Don't Cut Those Trees — Big Food Might Be Watching

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Japanese steakhouses often serve a creamy orange-pink sauce alongside a steaming meal. The popularity and intrigue around the sauce led one teppanyaki restaurant owner, Terry Ho, to start bottling it in bulk under the name Yum Yum Sauce. Olivia Falcigno/NPR hide caption

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Olivia Falcigno/NPR

Indian fishermen pull up a shark from a boat for sale at a harbor in Chennai in June 2018. Many shark species tend to congregate in the same areas as industrial fishing ships, a study finds. Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty Images

A Beyond Meat burger is displayed at a Carl's Jr. restaurant in San Francisco. The rise of meat alternatives made from plants, as well as meat grown from animal cells in labs, has sparked new laws on food labeling. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

What Gets To Be A 'Burger'? States Restrict Labels On Plant-Based Meat

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Some of the space food that was scheduled to be carried on the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission included (from left to right): chicken and vegetables, beef hash, and beef and gravy. Bettmann/Bettmann Archive hide caption

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Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

Pengyin Chen, professor of soybean breeding and genetics at the University of Missouri, in his test plots of soybeans near the town of Portageville. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Rogue Weedkiller Vapors Are Threatening Soybean Science

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In less than 100 years, thousands upon thousands of diamondback terrapins had succumbed to the American appetite, depleting the species. Jesse D. Eriksen/Getty Images hide caption

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Jesse D. Eriksen/Getty Images

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, shown here on Capitol Hill in April, announced last month that most staff from two USDA research agencies were being relocated to the Kansas City region. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

High in fiber and protein, chickpeas are playing a starring role on menus at fast-casual chains like Little Sesame in Washington, where hummus bowls abound. Chickpeas also are good for soil health — and growing demand could help restore soils depleted by decades of intensive farming. Anna Meyer hide caption

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Anna Meyer

East West Market in Vancouver, British Columbia, offered single-use plastic bags with embarrassing slogans to encourage customers to utilize reusable bags. Courtesy of East West Market hide caption

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Courtesy of East West Market

How A Grocery Store's Plan To Shame Customers Into Using Reusable Bags Backfired

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Jarret Stopforth, a food scientist and one of the founders of Atomo, reengineered the compounds in regular coffee with his partner until he felt they had created a product that had the same color, aroma, flavor and mouthfeel. Courtesy of Atomo hide caption

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Courtesy of Atomo

These greens are among the hydroponic crops grown by students at Brownsville Collaborative Middle School, in Brooklyn, N.Y. In June, the students started to sell discounted boxes of the fresh produce to community members. Robin Lloyd/for NPR hide caption

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Robin Lloyd/for NPR

Cocoa producers of the Yakasse-Attobrou Agricultural Cooperative gather cocoa pods in a certified Fair Trade-label cocoa plantation in Adzope, Ivory Coast. Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images

Even with visits to the local food pantry, many families struggle to get enough to eat. Food banks say rethinking our donations could help them stretch their money. Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

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Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post/Getty Images