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chocolate

Segment 1: Kansas City's mayor believes students are essential to the debate on guns.

After the shooting in Parkland, Fla., Mayor Sly James invites students to take action against gun violence. He also shares his perspective on why the threat youth face today relates to his experience growing up during the Vietnam War. 

  • Sly James, Mayor of Kansas City

Segment 2, beginning at 29:40: How to find work with purpose.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

OK, so we're not Hershey, Pennsylvania.

But Kansas City has a respectable history of candy-making. We all know about Russell Stover, but several other vintage candies are, or have been, made in the area, and there's no better time than Valentine's Day for making note of that legacy. 

Love them or hate them, these are confectionary standards that your great-grandparents might have bought (for a nickel).

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3

You may not think about where your chocolate comes from every time you take a bite, but one Missouri chocolate maker wants that to change.

Shawn Askinosie of Askinosie Chocolate in Springfield, Missouri is a "bean to bar" chocolate maker. Meaning he processes cocoa beans in his factory to make his chocolate bars. There are a lot of steps involved to turn cocoa beans into chocolate candy, all steps that Askinosie knew nothing about until 10 years ago.

"I had no idea where chocolate came from," Askinosie recalls. "No idea." 

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR

According to environmental journalist Simran Sethi, indulging in the sensual side of food can be revolutionary. How taste and sustainability go hand-in-hand, including extended discussions about karah prasad (holy bread in the Sikh tradition) and chocolate.

Guests:

Frank Morris / KCUR

The Swiss chocolate maker Lindt will gobble up Kansas City-based Russell Stover. The acquisition may be kind of an odd pairing, but analysts say it could be a sweet deal for the Swiss company and possibly for American chocolate lovers. 

Mr. Russell Stover started his boxed candy business with money he made helping to invent the modern ice cream bar. He brought it to Kansas City in 1931, where the company still has dedicated stores and a faithful following.

In the turf war between rabbits and bilbies that plays out in burrows dug into Australia's arid grasslands, rabbits, those aggressive and fertile European immigrants, have largely won out.

But the chocolate bilby has staked its claim on the springtime candy shelf — an honor that could help the threatened species make a real comeback.