Food & Drink

Fast Food Wage Protest Aims To Gain KC Momentum

Aug 29, 2013
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

More than a hundred people striking fast food chains brought their second one-day action in a month to   Kansas City area locations.

The demands were higher pay and right to unionize without retaliation.

They carried signs but did not picket three locations and it was more a protest rally than formal strike.

AMERICANVIRUS / Flickr -- Creative Commons

You get home, you're dog tired, and the thought of looking for ingredients, digging through your fridge and combining them into a meal is just too much to bare. So you pick up a phone, but who you gonna call?

Charles Ferruzza and the food critics search for the best places that will deliver their meals right to your doorstep or allow you to simply take them directly from their kitchen.

Delivery:

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

Tyson Foods, Inc., announced this week that it would soon suspend purchases of cattle that had been treated with a controversial drug, citing animal welfare concerns.

But many in the industry wonder if the real reason is not about cattle, but rather the battle for sales in other countries, where using drugs for meat production is banned.

“I really do think this is more a marketing ploy from Tyson to raise some awareness so they can garner some export business from our overseas export partners,” said Dan Norcini, an independent commodities broker.

Patrick Hoesly / Flikr - CC

For many years, Kansas City’s primary restaurant spots were downtown and the Country Club Plaza. But times have changed. And over the last 30 years, the destinations for good eating have expanded to include most of the outlying suburban cities – from Prairie Village to Lee’s Summit and Liberty to Martin City. Kansas City diners can hop in the car and travel anywhere in the metro to find unexpected culinary treasures.

Derek Oyen, Olle Svensson, La Grande Farmers' Market, Alice Henneman, Liz West, Tea With Buzz, Justus Blumer, Wee Keat Chin, Dan, Richard North, Dmansouri, Wally Hartshorn/Flickr-CC

"Organic" has been the buzzword in produce for years, but not everyone has the budget to buy only fruit and vegetables with that certification.

Jacob McCleland / Harvest Public Media

As a child, Robert Harris Jr. worked the cotton fields of southeastern Missouri’s bootheel. Like many sharecroppers’ children, he fled that life. Now, four decades later, the harvest is calling him again, this time to grow food for the needy in a bunch of community gardens in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

I met with Robert in a garden just outside a food pantry that distributes his produce. We poked through the lush patch of vegetables, full of plump yellow squash and green cucumbers. Soft-spoken and humble, Harris said he had a connection to plants from an early age.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Some Kansas City fast food workers walked off the job July 29 in a seven city effort to hike the minimum wage to $15 and guarantee right to organize unions.   

Some 150 people marched in front of the Burger King at 47th and Troost. Democratic Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver joined in strike-support and argued for a higher minimum wage.  

"There is no empirical evidence to suggest all of the claims that we see by those who fight against the minimum wage," said Cleaver.

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

With summer produce in full bloom, Café Sebastienne's Jennifer Maloney shares some summer dishes from the restaurant's kitchen.

Chilled Cantaloupe and Basil Soup

Serve this cool favorite with a dry Riesling wine.

Not So Traditonal Fourth Of July Dishes

Jul 3, 2013
AlejandroLinaresGarcia / Wikimedia--CC

Aunt Mary Helen's Chicken and Mole

  • Chicken - whole or rotisserie
  • Vegetable oil - 2 teaspoons
  • Finely chopped onion - 1/4 cup
  • Mexican chocolate - shaved 4-5 tablespoons
  • Can of tomatoes - blended (or can of tomatoe soup)
  • Ground cumin - 1 teaspoon
  • Dried cilantro - 1 teaspoon
  • Dried mine garlic - 1/8 teaspoon
  • 1 (4 once) can of diced green chile peppers

Chicken preparation:

  1. Boil chicken
  2. Take skin off 
  3. Shred chicken

Mole sauce preparation:

Molecular mixology is a scientific approach to preparing cocktails that uses alcohol in unique ways.

These mixologists use chemistry to create cocktails with different tastes, textures and phases of matter. Arielle Johnson, a Ph.D candidate at UC Davis and a Flavor Chemist at Nordic Food Lab along with author Kevin Liu explained the science behind molecular mixology. And for those not as fluent in chemistry as Johnson and Liu, Scott Tipton of the Kill Devil Club in Kansas City created some drinks in studio to explain to the common bar goer. 

Food For The Fourth

Jul 2, 2013
technikhil-CC

There are many traditions associated with the Fourth of July: parades, fireworks and food. Just as America is a melting pot of its people, so are the picnics and barbeques we sit down to as we mark our nation’s birth.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Within the local food movement, the community supported agriculture model is praised. CSAs, as they’re commonly known, are often considered one of the best ways to restore a connection to the foods we eat.

The model is simple: Consumers buy a share of a farmer’s produce up front as a shareholder and then reap the rewards at harvest time. But running a CSA can bring with it some tricky business decisions.

Popular food writer Mark Bittman took the pulpit at the Unity Temple in Kansas City Thursday night, preaching his gospel of progressive food policy and offering denunciations of what he calls “Big Food.”

Beautiful Lily/Flickr--CC

The U.S. House is set to take up the farm bill this week, after the Senate passed its version of the bill in early June. Both bills include about $500 billion in spending over five years. Few pieces of legislation can produce such sharp divisions, even by Washington standards—but few could have such immediate, significant impact on so many Americans.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

If you’ve experienced sticker shock shopping for ground beef or steak recently, be prepared for an entire summer of high beef prices.

Multi-year droughts in states that produce most of the country’s beef cattle have driven up costs to historic highs. Last year, ranchers culled deep into their herds – some even liquidated all their cattle – which pushed the U.S. cattle herd to its lowest point since the 1950s.

Dry conditions this summer could cause the herd to dwindle even further. That means beef prices may continue on a steady climb, just in time for grilling season.

Hinnerk R / WikiCommons

Food is a social activity, and where there are people entertainment follows.  On the Friday, June 14 the Central Standard food critics explore the best places to dine while catching a song, a game of trivia and more. 

Here is a list of some of the restaurants talked about on the show:

The New Places

The Red Door Grill - 11851 Roe Ave, Camelot Court Shopping Center, Leawood, KS 66211

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

April Segura is a regular at the Old Cheney Road Farmers Market in Lincoln, Neb. On a warm, May afternoon, the single, stay-at-home mother of three greeted friends and acquaintances while strolling past tables of lettuce and herbs. She hoped to find more asparagus for sale.

“I love asparagus season and it’s probably about to be over,” said Segura, holding two grocery bags with one arm and her one-year-old son, Jeriel, with the other.

Behind The Scenes At Harvesters

Jun 4, 2013
Harvesters.org

To feed more than 66,000 people every week Harvesters needs an advanced and organized warehouse operation to collect and distribute all this food to over 26 counties.

The USDA’s amended COOL rule will require packers and retailers to include more information on labels on beef, pork, lamb, chicken and goat meat, specifically where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered.

Currently, labels only require companies to include where the animal was born.

Companies are also now barred from commingling cuts of meat from animals of different origins, which could make it easier to trace contaminated products. The USDA estimates these labeling changes could cost more than 7,000 companies up to $192 million.

Beth Lipoff

  Growing and eating local food isn’t just about health for one Kansas City group. Their farm fields are fertile ground for developing responsibility and shaping young lives, and the group’s leaders hope to harvest more than just tomatoes. 

When you grow up in the city, chickens aren’t something you see every day, but 13-year-old Malek Looney is getting to know them well.

"They’ll flap their wings and make loud noises and squawk at you. And you’ll be like, 'Oh no, they're mad at something,'" says Looney.

Wikimedia -- Creative Commons

In Kansas City it's expected that the weather will jump from snowy, to balmy, to sultry in a matter of weeks.

But now that we're firmly into spring, and summer is just around the corner, restaurants are opening their outdoor patios, decks, balconies, rooftops and sidewalk seating.

Many diners love the opportunity to dine al fresco, surrounded by the beauty of nature – or asphalt parking lots. Other Kansas City diners see outdoor dining as a nightmare of bugs, noise, cigarette smoke and gawking strangers.

Food Critics: Korean Food

May 3, 2013

Korean Restaurants:

Recent Restaurants:

Korea has been top of mind lately as the threat of conflict has been rising, but on this Central Standard Friday the food critics take a look at another explosive element of this country's culture: its cuisine. From famous dishes like kimchi and Bibimbap, we look at what makes up Korean food, and where you can find it in Kansas City.

Our critics this week are Charles Feruzza, Grace Suh, Emily Farris, Chris Becicka and Gloria Gale.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

There’s more than one way to sell a pig.

And when the hog market plunged to 8 cents a pound in 1998, Iowa producer Randy Hilleman decided it was time to make a change. Hilleman raises Berkshire pigs, a breed that’s fattier than traditional pigs and costs a little more to raise. Back then, that was hurting him.

“If we took them into Marshalltown, [Iowa] to the big packing plant, we would get docked because they’re too fat,” Hilleman said. “What they pay on is lean, and we like to have some fat on ours.”

Want to learn the secrets of a barbecue master or how the “fermentos” do their thing with cheese, beer and pickles? 

In her book The Soul of Southern Cooking, Kathy Starr calls soul food "generous and earthy, like the people who created it. I'm not talking about small slivers of skinned chicken breasts surrounded by miniature carrots and radishes cut like roses. I'm talking about something to eat!" In Kansas City you'll never walk out hungry from one of this town's soul food restaurants or buffets. Classic southern cuisine like fried chicken, greens, macaroni and cheese, and peach cobbler are soul-soothing dishes. They may not be so good for your waistline, but they're nirvana for your spirit. Food Critic Charles Ferruzza, Emily Farris, Gloria Gale and Mary Bloch explore the best soul food of the city.

Tyson Foods has agreed to a settlement with the federal government over accidental releases of anhydrous ammonia at its facilities in Kansas and three other states.

Kansas City has always been a great place for baked goods. Cakes, pies, cream puffs and breads have all been important to the growth of this town as a cosmopolitan and corpulent community. On this episode of Central Standard Friday Charles Ferruzza, Mary Bloch, Emily Farris, and Gloria Gale extend their forks to all parts of the metro to uncover the best bakeries offering the most decadent doughnuts, the crustiest baguettes, and the flakiest cinnamon rolls.


joannathan.com/rbarenblat

When you take bread off the table, what goes on yours? Award-winning cookbook author Joan Nathan has a few ideas.

drunkenbotanist.com

Your backyard garden can be a great place to grow vegetables, but the Drunken Botanist has something else in mind for the space.

bigstock.com

The recent announcement by grocery chain Whole Foods that it will require labeling of products containing genetically modified ingredients was greeted with excitement by many consumer groups. Biotech giant Monsanto, a leader in GM technology, sees it another way.

Whole Foods hopes to have labels on the GMO products on its shelves in five years. That move has certainly caught the attention of the food industry.

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