Central Standard
4:14 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Kansas City's Thanksgiving Breakfast Dance Is One Of A Kind

Kansas City's Thanksgiving Breakfast Dance is a time-honored tradition.
Credit Thanksgiving Breakfast Dance Facebook Page

On Thanksgiving morning, when people all over the nation express their gratitude by sleeping in or toiling away in the kitchen, several hundred Kansas Citians step out in their finest attire to head to a giant party — with live music, dancing, and heaping helpings of Louisiana gumbo.

For breakfast.

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Up To Date
1:12 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Connecting, Trading, And Traveling With Bread

Credit Malin Elmlid /

Bakers all over the world experience the intoxicating smell of fresh baked bread, and many share their work with their communities. On this edition of Up to Date, host Steve Kraske talks with a woman who has traveled the world with her sourdough starter sharing it with people from Berlin to Afghanistan. 


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Up To Date
3:11 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Managing Holiday Kitchen Chaos

Credit / Flickr Creative Commons


Thanksgiving is just around the bend, and with it comes the influx of family, good food, and ... chaos. The pressure to get that turkey just right or having too many cooks in the kitchen at one time can make the  holidays  more than a little stressful. On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with three Kansas City chefs about their tips on maintaining calm in busy kitchens and how to avoid a full-blown culinary disaster. 


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Harvest Public Media
7:19 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Meat Labeling Rules May Change

Rules that require more information on meat labels may be on the outs.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack seemed to signal for the first time Friday that the rules are not compliant with World Trade Organization standards and must be fixed.

“We’ve done a 360-degree look and I can tell you that we do not think there’s a regulatory fix that would allow us to be consistent with the law, which I’ve sworn to uphold, and to satisfy the WTO,” Vilsack said.

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Central Standard
1:02 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Literature About Food: Its Storied Past, Its Current Popularity

Shelves full of food, tables covered in books? You're not alone.
Credit Kate Hiscock / Flickr, Creative Commons

With eaters taking an interest in food extending beyond recipes, food writing is gaining a voracious audience. Food can be a character, or a source of potent metaphor. It can also tell us something important about ourselves and our society. Kansas City experts offer insights and recommendations.

Guests and their recommendations:

Cat Neville, founder, Feast Magazine

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Central Standard
2:22 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

In The Fall, Kansas Orchard Ships Chestnuts Across America

There are 1,500 chestnut trees in Chestnut Charlie's Orchard in Lawrence, Kan.
Matt Hodapp KCUR

The chestnut harvest in Kansas ends during the first few weeks of October, and every year around that time 40 to 50 workers pick pounds of nuts from 1,500 chestnut trees on an orchard right outside of downtown Lawrence.

Since 1995, Charlie NovoGradac, also known as "Chestnut Charlie," and Deborah Milks have been cultivating, collecting and distributing chestnuts.

When the harvest is over, the orchard is covered in gigantic thorny cockleburs. As they ripen during the season, these prickly husks open and release the chestnuts.

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Central Standard
1:00 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Kansas And Missouri Nuts, From Tree To Plate

Who doesn't love a nut?
Credit Lady Dragonfly CC - >;< / Flickr, Creative Commons

Little-known fact: It's chestnut harvesting season in Kansas. So what's the scene at the local chestnut orchard? And how are chefs using the overall nut bounty in area kitchens?


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2:44 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Kansas City Grocery Store Provides A Piece Of Home To Middle Eastern Community

Ahmad Alhabashi is the manager of Al-Habashi Mart in the River Market, located in Kansas City, Mo.
Lisa Rodriguez KCUR

As the crisis in Syria and the Middle East persists, local grocer Ahmad Alhabashi works to make his store a place where the local Arab community can feel closer to home, despite being thousands of miles away.

Upon entering the Al-Habashi Mart in the River Market in Kansas City, Mo., guests are greeted with Arabic music playing over the radio, sharp smells of curry and cayenne waft through the air as they weave through rows and rows of the vibrant spices. Brightly colored products line the walls, many of the labels in Arabic.

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Central Standard
4:00 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Smoking Meat In Kansas City, Past And Present

Greg Beachner at the converted bread oven-smoker he shares with about a dozen friends.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Pork butts to the left of us, briskets to the right: that's one way of describing Kansas City's culinary geography. Join us on a visit to a Kansas City home with a smoker out back, and a chat with a food photographer who traced Calvin Trillin's famous footsteps with his own burnt-end odyssey


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Harvest Public Media
9:22 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Choices For Students Can Cut School Food Waste

Gloria Restrepo, a teacher’s assistant at Harris Bilingual Elementary School in Fort Collins, Colo., helps students choose their lunch.
Credit Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Lunch time at Harris Bilingual Elementary School in Fort Collins, Colo., displays all the usual trappings of a public school cafeteria: Star Wars lunch boxes, light up tennis shoes, hard plastic trays and chocolate milk cartons with little cartoon cows. It’s pizza day, the most popular of the week, and kids line up at a salad bar before receiving their slice.

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11:28 am
Thu September 25, 2014

PHOTOS: See What Funky Foods Are Inside Kansas City Fridges

KCUR's social media producer, Alyson Raletz: "The funkiest thing I could find in @kcur's green room fridge. Once tomatoes go soft, I'm out."
@AlysonRaletz Twitter

One-year-old Szechuan peppercorn sauerkraut. A Jar of pickled Brazilian peppers that expired in 2012. And kimchi that’s been fermenting for 25 months.

Those are some of the things lurking in area fridges that Kansas Citians claim they still would eat.

“Older, the hotter!” Kansas City food blogger Jenny Vergara tweeted this week, along with a photo of her Malagueta peppers.

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Harvest Public Media
7:51 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Grocery Stores Waste Tons Of Food As They Woo Shoppers

Pre-made meals found in the prepared food aisle are a growing source of food waste, as it is difficult to re-use meals that aren’t sold but are fully cooked.
Credit Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

Grocery stores and restaurants serve up more than 400 million pounds of food each year, but nearly a third of it never makes it to a stomach.

With consumers demanding large displays of un-blemished, fresh produce or massive portion sizes, many grocery stores and restaurants end up tossing a mountain of perfectly edible food. Despite efforts to cut down on waste, the consumer end of the food chain still accounts for the largest share of food waste in the U.S. food system.  

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Central Standard
5:20 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Are You Going To Eat That?

We asked Kansas Citians for their questions about food safety, and we got an earful. A food scientist answers questions about 10-year-old frozen chickens and more.
Credit Wikipedia, Creative Commons

We live in a world where there's something remarkable about a clean plate after a meal. But that's just one small piece of the food waste equation. Visits to farms, a meat processing plant, a compost heap, grocery stores and Kansas Citians' kitchens help us understand why there's so much food nobody's eating. 

For more information about food safety, check out this handy chart from the USDA.

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Central Standard
2:26 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Pass The Pawpaw: Foraging For Missouri's Banana

The pawpaw fruit continues to ripen, just off the hiking trails at Burr Oak Woods located in Blue Springs, Mo.
Credit KCUR's Gina Kaufmann

You know how sometimes you stumble across a word you've never heard before in your entire life, and then suddenly, the word is everywhere? That happened to me with the pawpaw.

I was born and raised in Missouri, so discovering in my thirties that a random fruit with a made-up-sounding name is considered my state's own banana? That came as a shock (though, to be fair, it's also known as the Indiana banana and the West Virginia banana). 

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Harvest Public Media
7:38 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Heirlooms Passed Down By Seed Savers Exchange

: Steve Carlson handles some seeds of Trail of Tears corn. During the forced march in the 1830s from the southeastern U.S. to Oklahoma and Arkansas, Cherokee planted these seeds along the way.
Credit Sarah Boden / Harvest Public Media

Most vegetable seeds today are bred by seed companies to be hearty and easier to grow. They’re created by cross-breeding different varieties and selecting for specific characteristics.

Heirloom seeds, though, are different. Like your grandmother’s engagement ring or a dusty old photo album, heirloom seeds have been passed down through generations.

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4:12 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Foo's Fighting To Keep Serving Custard At Brookside Shop

Betty Bremser has owned Foo's Fabulous Frozen Custard in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City, Mo., for 17 years.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

A popular frozen custard shop in Kansas City, Mo., could close after an outside real estate company didn't renew its lease for its Brookside location.

Foo's Fabulous Frozen Custard has been in the same storefront on Brookside Plaza for more than two decades. But owner Betty Bremser learned last week that First Washington Realty Inc. in Bethesda, Md., the company that owns much of the neighborhood shopping district, didn't plan to renew her lease at the end of this month.

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Harvest Public Media
7:56 am
Mon August 18, 2014

What Goes Into The Price Of Your Tomato

Vegetable farmer Tom Goeke of St. Charles, Mo., sells his Red Deuce tomatoes wholesale at about $1.50 per pound.
Credit Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

Late summer in the Midwest is tomato season. For tomato growers around that country, it’s time to pick their bounty and calculate their earnings.

While sun and rain might be free, tomato farmers have to carefully weigh everything else they put in to growing their crop. Research and the development of new tools – from novel seed varieties resistant to diseases to additional fertilizers – has changed the input costs for growers.

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Harvest Public Media
8:31 am
Wed August 6, 2014

New Poultry Rules Meet Mixed Reception

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on July 31 unveiled the first major overhaul of the nation's poultry-inspection system in more than 50 years.
Credit Bigstock

Change is coming to the poultry industry, but not everyone is happy about it.

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4:03 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Tell KCUR: How Much Does A Tomato Cost In Kansas City?

These are just some of the many, many tomatoes on sale in the Kansas City area this summer. How much did your tomato cost? Fill out the online form below.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Summer: it's hot, it's time for a vacation and it's delicious, juicy tomato season.

But not all tomatoes are created equal. And they're not all the same price, either. 

Tell KCUR: How much did your tomato cost?

On an upcoming segment of our daily talk show, Central Standard, we’re investigating the variation in price and quality of tomatoes you can buy in grocery stores and farmer’s markets.  

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Kansas City Hosts American Culinary Federation Convention

Chefs at the American Culinary Federation conference create complicated food items, such as these sugar sculptures.
Credit purpletwinkie / Flickr-CC

  When you imagine what it's like to be a chef, you might picture toiling in a hot kitchen, with order requests coming in left and right. In reality, not every chef works in a restaurant.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk about the other professional opportunities chefs have, from creating recipes for corporate food giants to experimenting with food in a lab.

We also take a look at what speakers and activities you can join at this weekend's American Culinary Federation's national conference.


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Heartland Health Monitor
8:54 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Local Food Movement Thriving On The High Plains Of Kansas

From left, Leon Atwell, Chris Schmidt, Chris Sramek and Jolene and Angela Singhateh of the High Plains Food Coop plan a delivery route from Becky’s Bierocks in St. Francis to a distribution site in Denver. The coop, which began taking orders in spring 2008, has seen a steady increase in sales and customers and the number of farmers in western Kansas and eastern Colorado who are members.
Credit High Plains Food Coop


Thanks to early interest shown by chefs and small-scale area farmers, Douglas County, home of the University of Kansas, developed into one of the pioneer locations for the U.S. local food movement, which has been steadily gaining in popularity over the past 15 to 20 years.

Interest in local food is now so entrenched there that a recent consultant’s report concluded that the movement was at risk of stalling as it has become “relatively mature” with “well-established demand across a fairly broad spectrum of markets.”

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