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Are Food Allergies On The Rise? Experts Say They Don't Know

Despite assumptions that peanut, egg and other allergies are becoming more common in the U.S., experts say they just don't know. One challenge: Symptoms can be misinterpreted and diagnosis isn't easy.

A new report from the National Academy of Sciences says it's hard to know how many people in the U.S. actually have food allergies or whether they're on the rise.

Part of the challenge is this: Food allergies are often self-diagnosed and symptoms can be misinterpreted. Sometimes people can't distinguish a food allergy from other conditions such as lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity, which don't fit the medical definition of an allergy.

  • November 30, 2016

The Favorite Drink Of Italian Grandpas Gets An American Revival

Bittersweet liqueurs including Cynar, Jagermeister, Chartreuse and Amaro Nonino have long been popular in Italy and other parts of Europe as a digestive aid. Now, they're becoming popular on U.S. cocktail menus.

In this season of indulgence (and overindulgence), some people will turn to the treadmill, while others turn to the Pepto-Bismol. Author Brad Thomas Parsons will reach for the bottle — specifically, a bottle full of a liqueur called amaro, which people have used as a digestive aid for centuries.

It's an herbal recipe, and "it's actually bittersweet," Parsons says.

"The bittering agents in it are actually helping your digestive system," he explains. "Four out of five doctors may not agree with everything that's working in there, but trust me."

  • November 25, 2016

Some Growers Say Organic Label Will Be Watered Down If It Extends To Hydroponics

The National Organic Standards Board plans to decide this week whether hydroponically grown foods, a water-based model of cultivation, can be sold under the label "certified organic."

But some organic farmers and advocates are saying no — the organic label should be rooted in soil. The decision at stake for the $40 billion-a-year industry will have impacts that reach from small farms to global corporations.

  • November 16, 2016

Cheering Or Mourning Election Results? Mail-Order Cocktails Head Your Way

As meal kits gain market share, craft cocktail subscription boxes have followed. Each service has a different take on the model. Some, like Cocktail Courier, deliver mini bottles of alcohol — just enough to make the featured recipe, like the ingredients for an Orange Mule (above).

Drowning your sorrows or celebrating last night's election results with booze? If fancy mixed drinks are your tipple of choice, there's no need to leave the house to imbibe. Craft cocktails are now coming to your mailbox.

As meal kits have gained market share — Technomic, a food consulting firm, estimates that the market for meal kit subscriptions will grow up to a total market of $5 billion by 2025 — cocktail subscription boxes have followed.

  • November 9, 2016

Pairing Wine And Cheese? Science Says White May Be A Better Choice Than Red


Conventional wisdom would have you drink red wine with cheese. A new study, published in the Journal of Food Science, only partially supports that pairing, and also adds a new tool to the scientific study of food combinations.

"Red wine with cheese, it can either go really well or not that well," says Mara Galmarini, a sensory scientist at CONICET, the Argentinian National Scientific and Technical Research Council. "A white wine, you have less risk."

  • November 8, 2016

With GPS And Graph Paper, Farmers Find A-maze-ing Ways To Bring In Cash

The theme of Mike's Maze this year is "See America," which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

In the small town of Sunderland, Mass., is a 300-year-old, family-run plot of land that fuses fine art and farming.

Mike Wissemann's 8-acre cornfield maze is a feat of ingenuity, with carefully planned and executed stalk-formed replicas of notables such as the Mona Lisa, Albert Einstein and Salvador Dalí.

  • October 31, 2016

Hey, Looks Like Americans Are Finally Eating More Fish

Americans are often chastised for what we eat. Now we're getting a pat on the back. A new report finds seafood consumption is up by nearly a pound from the previous year, the biggest leap in 20 years.

San Diego native Megan Olbur didn't grow up eating much seafood beyond tuna sandwiches, fish sticks or the occasional salmon dinners her parents made. But in 2015, when Olbur became pregnant with a daughter of her own, she heeded the advice of her physician and deliberately began adding more seafood to her diet as a way to boost brain development and to ensure the health of her growing baby.

It turns out, she wasn't alone in upping her fish fare.

  • October 31, 2016

A History Of Election Cake And Why Bakers Want To #MakeAmericaCakeAgain

A History Of Election Cake And Why Bakers Want To #MakeAmericaCakeAgain | WGBH | Craving Boston

Donald Trump's slogan "Make America Great Again" is an easy one to adapt for whatever your cause. There are ones like "Make America Gay Again," "Make America Skate Again," "Make America Read Again," "Make America Fair Again." You get the idea.

Bakers, of course, had to get in on the action. How could you pass up "Make America Cake Again"?

  • October 23, 2016

Trick Or Treat? Critics Blast Big Soda's Efforts To Fend Off Taxes

Trick Or Treat? Critics Blast Big Soda's Efforts To Fend Off Taxes | WGBH | Craving Boston

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you may have seen ads urging you to vote "no" on a grocery tax. "Don't Tax Our Groceries" is the tagline of the $9.5 million campaign, which is funded by the American Beverage Association.

In one ad, the camera pans to images of tomatoes and beans, as a local business owner says, "The grocery tax is going to hurt my customers."

But here's the thing. There's no grocery tax on the ballot.

  • October 20, 2016

Autumn Flush: The Best Darjeeling Tea You'll (Likely Never) Taste

Autumn Flush: The Best Darjeeling Tea You'll (Likely Never) Taste | WGBH | Craving Boston

The tea gardens of Darjeeling, in the foothills of the Himalayas, produced significantly less than 1 percent of India's 2.6 billion pound output last year. Yet Darjeelings are considered the "Champagne of teas," the finest in the country and some of the most exquisite and sought-after in the world.

The harvesting season in Darjeeling runs from mid-March through November, as the tea bushes gradually progress through a quartet of distinct seasons known as "flushes." The tea is often sold not only by single estate (like wine) but also by flush.

  • October 4, 2016

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