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Central Standard
1:40 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Food Critics: Chicken Or The Egg?

From listener response, it seems the Kansas City metro is much more interested in the chicken than the egg.
Credit avrene / Flickr--Creative Commons

You’ve heard the question a million times: What came first, the chicken or the egg? The answer is complicated when you pose it to Kansas City diners who might choose fried chicken over an omelet or eggs benedict over chicken noodle soup.

On Friday’s Central Standard, Charles Ferruzza and fellow food critics, Gloria Gale, Chris Becicka, and Emily Farris consider the possibilities that both the chicken and the egg bring to restaurant menus, from fried livers to egg soufflé – and everything in between. 

Best Egg Dishes:

Eggs Benedict

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Harvest Public Media
6:46 am
Mon January 6, 2014

The New Wheat Behind Whole Grain White Bread

Food companies want to capitalize on the growing market of white bread fans who want to eat whole wheat. A new variety of wheat makes that easier.
Credit Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

A new wheat variety may have cracked the code to marry the fluffiness of white bread with whole grain nutrition.

For a long time, American bread makers have been in a bind. Many consumers like the texture and taste of white bread, but want the nutritional benefits of whole grains.

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Central Standard
1:11 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Food Critics: The 15 Best Dishes In Kansas City In 2013

The fried chicken from Rye makes the KCUR food critic's list of top dishes in the Kansas City area in 2013.

As 2013 comes to a close, we raise a glass to Kansas City's dearly departed, and appreciate the best that came to be.

On Friday's Central Standard, Charles Ferruzza is joined  by fellow food critics Emily Farris, Mary Bloch, and Chris Becicka to discuss their favorite meals and restaurants of 2013. They also chat about Kansas City's dearly departed restaurants that left us throughout the year. 

The Food Critics' Favorite Dishes of 2013

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Central Standard
2:52 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Festive Cocktail Recipes To Get You In The Holiday Spirit

Credit theseheavenlyholidays / CC

For many, booze is part of the quintessential holiday experience. But standard wine, beer and spirits can get old. So, this holiday season treat your taste buds to some innovative holiday treats, courtesy of Berto Santoro of Extra Virgin and Scott Tipton of Manifesto.

Winter in Buenos Aires

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Central Standard
12:42 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Food Critics: Best Steak In Kansas City

Credit dirtsailor2003 / Flickr - CC

Since the cattle rustling days of yore, steak has always been an important part of the culinary traditions of Kansas City. We even have a baseball team named The T-Bones. Whether it’s top sirloin, filet mignon, or a big bone-in ribeye, premium cuts matter a lot to this city. With so many varieties and types and restaurants to choose from, where should you go when you want both the sizzle and the steak?

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Business & Tech
8:02 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Boulevard Sale Shows American Beer Makers Have Turned The Tables On Europe

Most Boulevard beer produced today is consumed in the Midwest, but that may be changing.
Frank Morris KCUR

People in Kansas City may not be too thrilled about it, but the pending sale of Boulevard Brewing company to Belgian beer maker Duvel Moortgat says a lot about how the American craft beer industry has grown up and gone global.

Kansas Citians are proud of lots of things, their barbeque, the Chiefs, Sporting Kansas City, even lately, the Royals, and most beer lovers in this town would add Boulevard Brewing to that list.  

“I think Boulevard is, is one with Kansas City,” says Bob Ellis, standing in line for a Boulevard Tank 7, at the Bier Station, in Kansas City.  

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Harvest Public Media
8:11 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Rural Areas Worry About Food Stamp Cuts

The town of Sandoval was born along U.S. Route 51, which runs north-south from Kentucky to the state of Wisconsin. Once a booming corridor, this area in southern Illinois now sees extreme poverty.
Credit Peter Gray / Harvest Public Media

The next farm bill is all but certain to contain cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as food stamps. Long championed by legislators from urban districts, the food stamp program isn’t just an urban concern. Families living amid fertile farmland struggle to put food on the table and increasingly rely on SNAP benefits. 

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Central Standard Friday
12:22 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Food Critics: Look To The Sides

Credit vxla / Flickr--Creative Commons

Many restaurants in Kansas City have signature dishes. Stroud’s is known for its fried chicken, Jess and Jim’s is famous for its steaks. But what about the dishes that complement the main course?

Some restaurants do wonders with the lesser-known side dishes: potatoes, vegetables, greens and rice. In fact, a well executed side dish can draw your attention to the entrée—complementing or contrasting the texture, sweetness or bitterness of other servings. 

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Up to Date
9:51 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Tuning Up The Turkey: Thanksgiving Food And Wine

Ted Habiger assembles his pork belly sandwiches with Brussels sprout slaw in the studio.
Beth Lipoff KCUR

Thanksgiving means turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie… and all the carbs you could want. Although we’ve all got our tried and true favorites, you won’t ruffle too many feathers if you try a couple of new dishes this year.

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Up to Date
9:51 am
Tue November 26, 2013

How The U.S. Meat Industry Beefed Up Its Production

Factory farming has become common in the American meat industry.
Credit David W. Oliver / Flickr-CC

Got a beef with the meat industry? You’re not the only one, but it’s taken many decades for the industry to assume the shape it has today.

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk about the history of meat production and distribution in the United States. We examine the shift from family to factory livestock farming, how government intervention has affected the industry and how the popularity of organics is changing the conversation.

Guests:

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Harvest Public Media
11:39 am
Mon November 25, 2013

USDA: Food Stamp Program Not Driving Much Healthy Eating

The federal government’s food stamp program could do more to encourage healthy eating among program recipients, according to a recent analysis conducted by the USDA, which administers the program.

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Harvest Public Media
7:43 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Some Grocery Store Meat Will Now Be Labeled With Country Of Origin

The pork cooler at a Hyvee grocery store in Columbia, Mo., is full of meat. New rules that just went into full effect force meatpackers to detail where much of this meat was born, raised and slaughtered.
Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

A new labeling rule that went into full effect Saturday requires meatpackers and retailers to provide consumers with more information about where their meat comes from.

The country-of-origin labeling mandate (COOL) forces retailers and meatpackers to detail where the livestock from which meat came was born, raised and slaughtered. It applies to certain cuts of beef, veal, chicken, pork, lamb and goat sold in the supermarket. Processed, deli and ground meats are exempt from the new rules.

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Central Standard Friday
10:00 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Food Critics: The Post-Thanksgiving Detox

Credit Gabriel Saldana / Flickr - CC

The great thing about the Thanksgiving feast is that the table is groaning with wonderful comfort foods and lots and lots of leftovers.

The less appealing thing about Thanksgiving is that 48 hours after the holiday, you’re sick of cold turkey sandwiches and re-heated mashed potatoes and you’re ready for something else to eat. 

On Friday’s Central Standard, Charles Ferruzza and fellow food critics, Emily Farris, Mary Bloch and Chris Becicka shared ideas for a post-holiday culinary detox, and took calls with listener suggestions. Below are their suggestions.

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Central Standard Friday
2:24 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Food Critics: The Best Soup In Kansas City

This is some delicious-looking pho from Pho Hoa in Kansas City, MO.
Credit Charles Haynes / Flickr - CC

A rich, flavorful broth with hardy vegetables can go a long way to raising your spirits. And a hearty soup like a stew or a bowl of Vietnamese pho can actually serve as a meal. In the Depression, home cooks discovered starting a meal with soup took the edge off of hunger so they could serve a more modest entrée. But no matter how you serve soup, it ranks as one of the best dishes ever for surviving cold weather, providing comfortable relief for the common cold, and eating your vegetables.

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Harvest Public Media
8:37 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Children Of Meatpackers Dream Big, Cultivate Opportunity

Binh Hua (left) and My Nguyen, both 18, work in the Garden City Community College chemistry lab. The two best friends graduated from high school in three years and after community college, plan to go on to universities.
Peggy Lowe Harvest Public Media

Not yet 9 a.m. on a warm fall day, freshmen Binh Hua and My Nguyen are in protective goggles, long hair pulled back, ready for their chemistry class in a Garden City Community College lab.

The teacher calls the class to order, calling the students “Busters,” short for “Broncbusters,” the college’s mascot and a reminder of this old West town’s history of raising cattle.

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Harvest Public Media
7:44 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Garden City, Kan. Considered Model Of Success For Immigrant Influx

Two students in a “newcomer” class at Florence Wilson Elementary School in Garden City, Kan.
Peggy Lowe Harvest Public Media

Sister Janice Thome’s office is a 2003 brown Ford Focus with a backseat piled high with paperwork and a prayer book.

Thome puts 125,000 miles a year on this car, picking up boxes from the food pantry, finding a mattress for a newcomer, delivering a sick soul to a doctor’s appointment. All the while, she fields emergency calls on her flip phone, responding to her mission to serve the poor of Garden City, out on the plains of southwest Kansas.

This day, Thome is teaching her teen parenting class at the alternative high school.

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Harvest Public Media
8:56 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Schools Become The Safety-Net For Immigrants In Rural Missouri

At the primary school in rural Noel, Mo., teachers and staff function as educators about as often as they do de facto social workers.
Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

It’s almost 9 a.m., and Noel Primary School teacher Erin McPherson is helping a group of Spanish-speaking students complete English language exercises. But it’s tough going.

One student in a bright blue T-shirt – 9-year-old Isac Martinez – has not yet picked up his pencil. He’s clearly sick. When McPherson asks him what’s wrong, Isac’s small voice is barely audible in between coughs. He says he threw up four times last night but did not go to a doctor.

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Government
8:17 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Nixon Withdraws Proposed Food Stamp Cut

A proposed rule change that would have eliminated food stamp eligibility for about 58,000 Missourians has been withdrawn by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The governor had sought to cut eligibility for unemployed adults without children, citing concerns over the amount of federal funds available for state-run food assistance programs. 

Fellow Democrat and State Senator Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis says she’s elated by the governor’s reversal.

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Government
4:55 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Public Comment Will Be Allowed On Mo. Food Stamp Rule Change

Credit clementine gallot / Flickr

An official with the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) briefed a House Interim Committee Monday on Governor Jay Nixon's proposed rule change to cut able-bodied adults without children from the federal food stamp program (SNAP) if they don't have a job. 

Allison Campbell with the DSS Family Support Division says they initially sought to implement the change on October 1st via emergency rule, but she admits that approach was a mistake.

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Central Standard Friday
9:30 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Food Critics: Diabetic Dining

Don't be fooled! These aren't french fries, but fresh and healthy beans everyone can enjoy.
Credit cookbookman17 / Flickr - CC

Most of us are very lucky. When we go out to eat, we usually don’t worry about dietary restrictions or fret over missing the delicious food we'd like to eat.

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Harvest Public Media
7:36 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Is There A Tilt In Pork Board-Funded Research?

John Mabry, an animal science professor at Iowa State University, has a grant from the National Pork Board to study nutrition in Berkshire hogs.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

When a new disease — known as PEDV —turned up in the U.S. hog industry in May and threatened to kill whole litters of piglets, the National Pork Board quickly responded with $450,000 in research funding.

A fast-track review process put funds in U.S. labs in two weeks, said Paul Sundberg, the board’s vice president for science and technology. Normally, it takes months for the board’s volunteer committees to decide research priorities.

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Central Standard Friday
9:44 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Food Critics: The Best Restaurants in Lawrence, Kan.

Mass. Avenue in Lawrence, Kansas, home to a number of Lawrence's restaurants.
Credit Franklin B Thompson / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Lawrence, Kan. is probably best-known to most of us as the home of the University of Kansas, but the beloved college town has also become a dining destination for Kansas City diners. Just 45 minutes outside of the heart of Kansas City, Lawrence boasts one of the best bakeries in the Midwest and at least a half dozen truly excellent restaurants. Charles Ferruzza and fellow food critics Mary Bloch, Emily Farris, and Sara Shepherd  give you a crash course in Lawrence dining. Notebooks ready? 

New and Notable

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Central Standard Friday
10:14 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Food Critics: African Cuisine

Credit Wikimedia Commons - CC

Over a decade ago, the National Restaurant Association issued a report stating that Italian, Mexican and Chinese cuisines had become so popular, they had moved beyond the ethnic food category and into the mainstream. But less familiar culinary traditions are making an increasingly greater impact on how we eat in America. In Kansas City, for example, there are more opportunities to sample the cuisine of the African continent than ever before, and that's just what Charles Ferruzza and fellow food critics Mary Bloch, Chris Becicka, and Emily Farris will do.

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Central Standard Friday
9:22 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Food Critics: Restaurant Trends

Credit Pace J Miller / Creative Commons

When you dine out you may have noticed that certain trends have been popping up lately. We're seeing noisier dining rooms, smaller portions, and desserts almost as expensive as the entrees. And whatever happened to salad bars, anyway?

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Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Herbicide Drift Threatens Midwest Vineyards

Tom Zumpfe holds a bunch of Frontenac grapes he said were stunted by herbicide drift. Zumpfe says at least half the grapes are either BBs or they’re non-existent.
Credit Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

As Midwest vineyards move in next door to longstanding fields of corn or soybeans, they don’t always make good neighbors. Occasionally, herbicides like 2,4-D drift beyond their target, and for nearby vineyards the results can be devastating.

2,4-D is a common herbicide used by farmers because it kills weeds but doesn’t kill their corn. Landscapers and golf courses use it on lawns and fairways. Highway crews often spray 2,4-D on road ditches.

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People
4:03 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Fast Food Wage Protest Aims To Gain KC Momentum

Minimum wage protestors approach McDonald's and Church's Chicken outlets in East Kansas City.
Credit 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.

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Central Standard Friday
9:38 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Food Critics: The Best Take-Out And Delivery

Credit 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:

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Harvest Public Media
7:50 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Tyson Foods Suspends Use Of Controversial Drug

A pen at a feedlot in central Kansas that houses 30,000 cattle. Feedlots are where cattle are “finished” before slaughter.
Credit 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.

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Central Standard Friday
4:00 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Food Critics: Eating In The Suburbs

This is inside a Liberty, MO McDonald's.
Credit 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.

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