Food And Drink


Harvest Public Media
8:00 am
Fri May 23, 2014

'Fed Up' Links Obesity Epidemic to Sugar, Industry, Government

Scene from 'Fed Up,' an activist documentary that focuses on childhood obesity.

Just who’s to blame for the childhood obesity epidemic? Over the years, the finger has been pointed at parents, video games and vending machines, to name a few.

To the makers of the new activist documentary, “Fed Up,” the bottom line of blame lies with a simple substance poured into our diets every day: sugar. And the pushers of what this film calls a drug and “the new tobacco” are the food industry and our own government.

“What if our whole approach to this epidemic has been dead wrong?” the film’s narrator, TV journalist Katie Couric, says in the film’s open.

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Harvest Public Media
7:40 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Flour Milling Merger Moves Forward

Ardent Mills would control about a third of the American flour milling market.
Credit Wikimedia / CC

Federal regulators Tuesday gave the final go-ahead for two of the country’s largest flour milling companies to merge.

Food giants ConAgra and Cargill said last year they wanted to put their flour mills under one roof in a new company called Ardent Mills. But a chorus of antitrust watchdogs said the deal would further consolidate an already concentrated industry.

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Food Safety
5:03 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Missouri Among States Targeted In Beef Recall

Wolverine Packing Co. has recalled 1.8 million pounds of beef due to E. Coli concerns.
Credit Courtesy of Beef Products International

The usual food safety advice applies in the latest ground beef recall: Don't order that hamburger rare.

A Michigan-based company has recalled 1.8 million pounds of ground beef earmarked for use at restaurants in four states, including Missouri, for possible E. Coli contamination.

Wolverine Packing Co. issued the recall Monday for distributors in Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio after 11 people became sick. 

Though E. Coli occurs naturally in the gut of cows, it's relatively easy to avoid, says University of Missouri food science professor Azlin Mustapha.

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Central Standard
11:55 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Food Critics: Kansas City's Best Wings

Buffalo-style is one of the most popular sauces for chicken wings. Watch out for the heat.
Credit Wikipedia -- CC

It may not be football season, but chicken wings are still a popular appetizer at many restaurants and bars.

The Central Standard Food critics stopped by KCUR to give us their Kansas City favorites from traditional Buffalo wings to exotic preparations.

Here are their recommendations:

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Up To Date
10:59 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Kansas City's 'Cowtown' Heritage

Local food critic Charles Ferruzza dives into the 'meat and potato past' of Kansas City's stockyards and steakhouses.
Credit Kansas City Public Library

Kansas City used to be the place, "where the steak is born." Now it's known more for barbecue than steaks and stockyards.

On the first half of Wednesday's Up to Date, host Steve Kraske sits down with local food critic Charles Ferruzza to dive into Kansas City's carnivorous past. 


  • Charles Ferruzza​, food critic.
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Up to Date
9:00 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Wining And Dining, For Charity

We're talking about charity wine and food tastings on Friday's Up to Date.
Credit Context Travel / Flickr-CC

How much would you pay for a charity wine tasting? $50? What about $50,000? Depending on the event, it can be a pricey prospect.

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6:00 am
Tue May 6, 2014

National Geographic: 5 Steps To Feed The World

On the Vulgamore farm near Scott City, Kan., each combine can harvest up to 25 acres of wheat an hour — as well as provide real-time data on crop yields. Most of the food Americans eat is now produced on such large-scale, mechanized farms.
© George Steinmetz National Geographic

With the world’s population exploding, we’ll have many more mouths to feed in the near future. But agriculture already uses up tons of resources and land. So how can we grow more food and how can we limit its damage to the environment?

Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, wrote “A Five Step Plan to Feed the World,” in the May issue of National Geographic as an answer to those kinds of questions.

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Harvest Public Media
8:08 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Brazil Beef Imports Too Risky, Farmers Worry

The U.S. hasn’t had an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in more than 80 years. In Brazil, the latest recorded outbreak was in 2006, though it occurred in an area that would not be allowed to export to the U.S. under the proposed rule.
Credit Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants to green light a proposal that would allow imports of fresh beef from certain sections of Brazil, despite the South American country’s history of outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, a highly contagious pathogen that cripples cattle.

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Central Standard
1:20 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Pastries In Kansas City

Croissants and more can be found at Kansas City pastry counters, and our food critics help us find the best ones.
Credit Robyn Lee, Creative Commons / Flickr

Merriam-Webster defines pastry as "sweet baked goods made of dough having a high fat content." The definition leaves out a few key words and phrases, like "delicious" and "tasting great with tea or coffee."

The Central Standard food critics swung by our studios to guide listeners on a quest for the most delectable pastries in Kansas City.

Here are their recommendations:

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Beyond Our Borders
11:09 am
Thu May 1, 2014

In Ivanhoe, Food Helping Neighborhood Rebuild

Terry Glenn re-stocks shelves at the Harvest Learning Center Market. The store is in the basement of the church where Glenn is pastor.
Credit Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

Terry Glenn’s neighborhood was hit hard by the recession, and it wasn’t booming before the rough times.

He saw houses crumble, get boarded up and left to rot. He saw neighbors moving away. And he worried that Ivanhoe, on Kansas City’s east side, was dying.

“We said, ‘We’ve got to look inside of this and see exactly what the problem is,’” Glenn said. “And once we did, we found out that the families were moving to try to find better schools, find healthier food, find different places that their family can go and have a good community.”

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Harvest Public Media
7:39 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Integrated Local Food System Can Grow The Market

In the kitchen at Decorah (IA) High School, Chad Elliott ladles out tomato soup. The school system sources many ingredients locally.
Amy Mayer Harvest Public Media

The smell of baking dinner rolls fills the kitchen at Decorah High School in northeast Iowa. As two kitchen workers mix a fresh broccoli salad, another, Chad Elliott, ladles tomato soup from a large metal pot on the stove into white plastic buckets for delivery to the town’s elementary schools.

Elliott says most of the food served in the district is made from scratch and many ingredients come from local farms and dairies.

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Central Standard
9:28 am
Tue April 29, 2014

The Role Of Food During World War I

Foreign Legion, 4th Liberty Loan Drive, New Orleans, La. Oct. 2, 1918
Credit The U.S. National Archives / Flickr / Creative Commons

On today's Central Standard, culinary historian Andrea Broomfield joins us to discuss the importance of food during the first World War.

Broomfield explains what the food industry was like during that time at War Fare: Chow Challenge on April 30. Chefs from area restaurants will compete in an Iron Chef-style event using food available during World War I. 


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Harvest Public Media
7:55 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Kansas City Church Brings Local Food To Neighborhood Without Access

Local farmers want to find customers outside of the usual farmers’ markets and farm stands. At the Harvest Learning Center Market, local food purchased with food stamp benefits are matched with grant-funding.
Jeremy Bernfeld Harvest Public Media

Farm stands and farmers markets remain really important for many local farmers, but U.S. consumers barely buy any food directly from farms. That’s why local farmers are trying to crack in to the big institutional markets such as grocery stores, work cafeterias, schools and hospitals.

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Central Standard
11:51 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Food Critics: Kansas City's Best Lunch Spots

Our food critics and listeners offer suggestions for tasty lunches in Kansas City.
Credit Stacy Spensley / Flickr -- Creative Commons

It's not uncommon for Americans to work through lunch, thoughtlessly scarfing down sustenance at a desk or —worse — in a car.

But at its best, lunch can be a time to unwind and savor the moment, getting out in the city while nourishing body and soul.

Some Kansas Citians are keeping the mid-day meal alive in all its glory. Hosted by Charles Ferruzza, KCUR's food critics led a search for exquisite lunch experiences in Kansas City on Friday. 

Here are some of their recommendations:

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Central Standard
1:04 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Passionate Sustainability Advocate Vandana Shiva Visits Kansas City

Dr. Vandana Shiva stops by KCUR to talk about the value of diversity in culture and in agriculture.
Credit Photo by Kartaka Shiva, courtesy Cultivate KC

Dr. Vandana Shiva sees issues of diversity playing out in our societies as well as in our grocery stores and on our dinner plates. Central Standard visits with this prolific author and global environmental activist about her unique blend of science and philosophy in which feminism, economic theory, quantum physics and agricultural history combine to create a compelling world view.

Dr. Shiva stops by the studio to explain her perspective and to tell her personal story. 

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Harvest Public Media
4:27 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Vertical Farming: Towering Vision, Uncertain Future

This four-story meatpacking plant built in 1925 is now home to five farming operations. It’s what’s becoming known as a “vertical farm.”
Peter Gray Harvest Public Media

Farmers are making inroads supplying local food to hungry city foodies, but many producers are trying to grow more food in urban centers. City real estate is at a premium, so some producers are finding more space by using what’s called “vertical farming,” and going up rather than spreading out.

Growers across the country are heading indoors, using greenhouses and hydroponics – growing plants in a water and nutrient solution instead of soil and using lamps to replace sunlight. Vertical farming takes that to a new level.

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12:20 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Fish In Kansas City

Our food critics recommend the best fish entrees on Kansas City menus, spring 2014.


  It's Lent, and whether you observe the Catholic fast or not, it's a great excuse to eat fish.

Kansas City restaurants offer plentiful selections of the under-water variety. On today's Central Standard the food critics recommend their favorite fish entrees in town.

Will Monsieur and Madame be having osteichthyes? Yes, please. Leave the frozen fish sticks at home.

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Harvest Public Media
8:06 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Food Hubs Could Provide Crucial Link For Amish Farmers

Mervin Graber of checks on his small herd of grass-fed cows in his pasture near Sullivan, Ill.
Credit Peter Gray / Harvest Public Media

Lacking the infrastructure of traditional suppliers, many local farms that want to connect to restaurants, schools and other big buyers are using the Internet to reach customers.

Groups of farms are banding together to form regional food hubs, leveraging online ordering, tracking and marketing tools to cut down on costs and to try to keep local food systems viable for growers and affordable for consumers.

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Food & Drink
3:01 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Food Critics: Best Noodles In Kansas City

Our food critics tapped Asian noodle dishes at Lulus Thai Noodle Shop, Vietnam Cafe, Thai Place and other spots in Kansas City.
Credit Chung Chu / Flickr -- Creative Commons

There is one ingredient that you'll find in almost every culture and has been around for almost 4,000 years: noodles.

On Friday's edition of Central Standard, food critics Charles Ferruzza, Gloria Gail, Chris Becicka and Emily Farris dished on the best spots in and around Kansas City for noodles of all shapes and sizes. 

The Critics' Picks: Noodles

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Harvest Public Media
7:45 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Padlock The Milk! FDA’s Push To Safeguard The Food Supply

Milk that Central Dairy delivers is kept behind doors secured with three-inch long padlocks.
Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

Many of the food terrorism scenarios outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration involve liquid.

And there’s good reason for that.

Liquids like orange juice and milk go through many processing steps -- farm, bottling plant, delivery – before reaching the consumers who drink them. And these liquids are moved, manufactured and stored in huge batches that get distributed and consumed quickly. Should a toxin be injected somewhere along the supply chain, experts believe it could have devastating human health and economic consequences.

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5:45 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Dear Craft Beer, Kansas City Loves You

In an unscientific Twitter survey, KCUR listeners said they preferred craft to domestic beer. Tweet us your beer leanings with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr -- Creative Commons

When it’s time to crack open a cold one, Kansas Citians say they reach for craft beer — most of the time.

That’s according to the feedback we received this week when we asked our listeners about their brew preferences.

Our curiosity piqued when we learned craft beer makers were coming to the Kansas City area this weekend for the Kansas Craft Brewers Exposition in Lawrence.

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Central Standard
4:47 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Food Critics: The Spiciest Food In Kansas City

Credit TheWorldInMyEyes / Flickr -- Creative Commons

The science behind what makes spicy and hot foods hot we understand fairly well: the capsaicin in the seeds of the peppers tricks your brain into believing that your flesh is on fire. Why people have sought the sensation of burning may be harder to pin down, but undeniably the practice is present across the world. Hot peppers and spices can be found in almost every type of food in varying degrees.

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Central Standard
4:00 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

The Rise Of Craft Brewing In Kansas City

Did the sale of Boulevard Brewing Company spur an uptick in microbreweries in Kansas City?
Credit Herkie / Flickr--CC

One might assume that with such well known craft beers available from brewers like Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City, Mo., and Free State Brewing Company in Lawrence, Kan., there would be little room for other competition. But, craft brewing is on the rise in Kansas City, with many new microbreweries opening in the past year.

On Thursday's Central Standard host Brian Ellison looks at what is behind the Kansas City craft brewing trend and what the future looks like for these entrepreneurial ventures.


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Up to Date
10:43 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Finding Kansas City's Hidden Food Gems

Carnitas is one dish on food editor Jill Silva's list of hidden gems in Kansas City.
Credit Pabo76 / Flickr-CC

Kielbasa, carnitas and pulled pork — are you getting hungry? Some local restaurants are proving that Kansas City isn’t just a barbecue town. 

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we take a look at highlights and hidden gems featured in the Kansas City Star’s Food Issue.


  • Jill Silva, food editor at The Kansas City Star
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Up to Date
10:42 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Going On A Mushroom Hunt

Morels are highly-prized by mushroom hunters.
Credit ~flutterby~ / Flickr-CC

Mushrooms can’t run, but if you go hunting for them, it certainly seems like they’re hiding. 

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we speak with a few mushroom hunters about their craft and how they find the best fungus among us. 


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3:15 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Tell KCUR: Are You A Joe 6-Pack Or Craft Beer Kind Of Person? Why?

Are you a Joe 6-pack or a craft beer kind-of person? Tweet us with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit KCUR

Craft beer makers from all over the region are poised to descend upon Lawrence for the Kansas Craft Brewers Exposition this weekend.  

And we’re wondering how Kansas Citians identify with the specialty ales.

We want to know what your beer choice says about you.

Tell KCUR: Are you a Joe six-pack or craft beer kind of person? Why?

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Central Standard
4:01 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

The Business Of Meat In America

This country's meat industry no longer includes the picturesque red barn and white picket fences. Instead, the meat we buy at the supermarket is likely processed by one of the four large meat packing companies that controls the majority of the industry.

On today's Central Standard, journalist and author Christopher Leonard discusses his book "The Meat Racket: The Secret Takeover of America's Food Business." Also, Mark Dopp of the American Meat Institute weighs in on what he perceives as the benefits of having a more centralized system.

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Central Standard
4:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Food Critics: Best Sausage In And Around Kansas City

Credit DanPeters / Flickr -- Creative Commons

On Friday's edition of Central Standard, Charles Ferruzza and Food Critics Mary Bloch, Chris Becicka and Emily Farris discuss some of Kansas City's newest restaurants. And then the food critics locate the best places for sausage in and around Kansas City, with the help of listeners. From kielbasa to bratwurst to chorizo, Kansas City has it covered.

The Critics' Picks: Sausage

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Up to Date
12:24 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Finding Food Flavors In A Local Lab

Michael Feingold, lab manager and food technologist for Cereal Ingredients in Leavenworth, stands with a bag of strawberry-flavored pieces about to be shipped to a client.
Beth Lipoff/KCUR

From “weird-beers” to your typical TV dinner, all the processed food we eat has been carefully crafted to taste and smell as appealing as possible.

In the first part of Friday's Up to Date, we visit a local lab to see how flavors are modified and enhanced to make that morning muffin you enjoy taste so much like fresh blueberries-- even though there aren't any in it. 


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