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 alkali bee is slightly smaller than a honey bee, with opalescent stripes that shimmer between yellow, green, red and blue. Aaron Scott/Oregon Public Broadcasting hide caption

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Aaron Scott/Oregon Public Broadcasting

Southeast Oregon rancher Rancher Wayne Evans says he'll make it through this short water year, but it could cost him as much as $100,000 in lost hay, lost weight on his calves and equipment for hauling water to his livestock. Anna King/Northwest News Network hide caption

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Anna King/Northwest News Network

Deepening Drought In Western U.S. Costs Ranchers Money And Heartache

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Researchers at the University of California, Davis are testing whether adding seaweed to cows' feed reduces methane emissions. Merrit Kennedy/NPR hide caption

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Merrit Kennedy/NPR

Surf And Turf: To Reduce Gas Emissions From Cows, Scientists Look To The Ocean

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Abner Stolztfus owns Cedar Dream dairy farm in Peach Bottom, Pa. Last year, Stolztfus decided to invest almost $200,000 in equipment and learned how to make yogurt from scratch. Kimberly Paynter/WHYY hide caption

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Kimberly Paynter/WHYY

Endophytes are microbes that live inside plants — the ones tagged with a fluorescent dye in this image are found in poplars. The microbes gather nitrogen from the air, turning it into a form plants can use, a process called nitrogen fixation. Researchers are looking at how these microbes could be used to help crops like rice and corn make their own fertilizer. Sam Scharffenberger hide caption

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Sam Scharffenberger

Restaurant workers dole out chicken fricassee at the "Taste of EatLafayette" festival in the sprawling Cajundome arena in Lafayette, Louisiana. Locals say Bourdain captured the subtleties of their culture and cuisine, even if at times some thought he overemphasized alcohol. Daniella Cheslow hide caption

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Daniella Cheslow

More than 2,100 drug felons were denied SNAP benefits in West Virginia in 2016. The number has more than tripled during the past decade. Patrick Strattner/Getty Images hide caption

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Patrick Strattner/Getty Images

Rice within the octagon in this field is part of an experiment to grow rice under different levels of carbon dioxide. Toshihiro Hasegawa, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization of Japan hide caption

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Toshihiro Hasegawa, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization of Japan

As Carbon Dioxide Levels Rise, Major Crops Are Losing Nutrients

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In midcentury home economic classes, girls learned to cook for their future husbands while boys took shop. But now kids might learn about healthy relationships or how to balance a bank account. Mark Jay Goebel/Getty Images hide caption

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Mark Jay Goebel/Getty Images
Fabio Consoli for NPR

Want Your Child To Eat (Almost) Everything? There Is A Way

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Doug Brown and his brother Roger, right, operate Slopeside Syrup in Richmond, Vt. They're challenging a proposed federal label that would say maple syrup has "added sugar." John Dillon/Vermont Public Radio hide caption

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John Dillon/Vermont Public Radio

Nine days after the Hurricane Maria struck, Emilú De León and other volunteers opened a kitchen to serve meals to the people of Caguas. The first day, they fed 600, De León says. Jenna Miller/Cronkite Borderlands Project hide caption

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Jenna Miller/Cronkite Borderlands Project

Growing up, Liam Foley (left) was in charge of dishes and never cooked. He was still able to help chop the onions, though, at a burrito-making project for the poor in San Francisco. Alan Greenblatt/NPR hide caption

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Alan Greenblatt/NPR

As awareness grows about the environmental toll of single-use plastics, retailers and regulators alike are finding ways to decrease their use. And straws have become a prime target. Barbara Woike/AP hide caption

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Barbara Woike/AP

Last Straw For Plastic Straws? Cities, Restaurants Move To Toss These Sippers

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Workers sort NECCO Wafers at the New England Confectionery Co. in Revere, Mass. The Ohio-based Spangler Candy Company made the winning bid for NECCO, which filed for bankruptcy in early April. Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The USDA has released several options for what the labels might look like. Department of Agriculture hide caption

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Department of Agriculture

USDA Unveils Prototypes For GMO Food Labels, And They're ... Confusing

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