The Salt The Salt is a blog from the NPR Science Desk about what we eat and why we eat it. We serve up food stories with a side of skepticism that may provoke you or just make you smile.
The Salt

The Salt

What's On Your Plate

People load their vehicles with boxes of food at a Los Angeles Regional Food Bank earlier this month in Los Angeles. Food banks across the United States are seeing numbers and people they have never seen before amid unprecedented unemployment from the COVID-19 outbreak. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images
Becky Harlan/NPR

Together Inc. food bank workers distribute food at a drive-through location in Omaha, Neb., last week. Disruptions in the agricultural supply chain caused by the coronavirus pandemic are making it difficult for food banks. Nati Harnik/AP hide caption

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Nati Harnik/AP

Food Shortages? Nope, Too Much Food In The Wrong Places

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Critics had called on the Department of Agriculture to suspend implementation of the new food stamp restrictions, especially in light of the economic crisis spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. Portland Press Herald via Getty Images hide caption

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Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Nutrient-deficient grass could be leading to a decline in the number of grasshoppers, according to a new study. Savushkin/Getty Images hide caption

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Savushkin/Getty Images

Why Taller Grass Can Be Bad News For Grasshoppers

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Soybean plants grow in a field near Tiskilwa, Ill. Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

An Airbnb For Farmland Hits A Snag, As Farmers Raise Data Privacy Concerns

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The cold temperatures that pistachio trees need to bloom on time are becoming more scarce as winters get warmer. Lauren Sommer/NPR hide caption

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Lauren Sommer/NPR

As Warm Winters Mess With Nut Trees' Sex Lives, Farmers Help Them 'Netflix And Chill'

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Methuselah, the first date palm tree grown from ancient seeds, in a photo taken in 2008. Guy Eisner hide caption

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Guy Eisner

Dates Like Jesus Ate? Scientists Revive Ancient Trees From 2,000-Year-Old Seeds

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Chopped and frozen samples of damaged soybean plants are kept in storage at the Office of the Indiana State Chemist. Many contain residues of the herbicide dicamba. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Pesticide Police, Overwhelmed By Dicamba Complaints, Ask EPA For Help

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This chicken from Memphis Meats was produced with cells taken from an animal and grown into meat in a "cultivator." The process is analogous to how yeast is grown in breweries to produce beer. Allison Aubrey/NPR hide caption

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Allison Aubrey/NPR

A farmer operates a combine to harvest soybeans in Wyanet, Ill. Farmers got more than $22 billion in government payments in 2019. It's the highest level of farm subsidies in 14 years. Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Farmers Got Billions From Taxpayers In 2019, And Hardly Anyone Objected

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Genie Milgrom, pictured in 2013, stands in the entryway of her Miami home wrapped in a long family tree, filled with the names of 22 generations of grandmothers. Raised Catholic, Milgrom traced her family's hidden Jewish roots with the help of a trove of ancient family recipes written down by the women of her family over generations. Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images hide caption

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Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Trove Of Recipes Dating Back To Inquisition Reveals A Family's Secret Jewish Roots

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A new study suggests that one service already in place in many food deserts could help make it easier to access fresh, healthy food: online grocery delivery. The finding lends support to expanding a pilot program that lets people use food stamp benefits to pay for those groceries. svetikd/Getty Images hide caption

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svetikd/Getty Images

Chef Tunde Wey uses food as a tool for social justice. His company, BabyZoos, aims to use profits from the sale of applesauce to hospitals to fund ventures that create more economic opportunities for African Americans in an effort to close racial wealth — and health — gaps. L. Kasimu Harris for NPR hide caption

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L. Kasimu Harris for NPR

A shopper holds fresh produce at Northgate Gonzalez Market before a news conference there, where the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced new data on food insecurity in the county, in September 2017. Food insecurity affected 1 in 3 low-income households in the county, the data showed. Danny Moloshok/Los Angeles County Department of Public Health/AP hide caption

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Danny Moloshok/Los Angeles County Department of Public Health/AP
Lindsey Balbierz for NPR

America's supply of sugar is shrinking because of a poor sugar beet harvest in the northern Midwest. As a result, the U.S. will import more sugar this year than it has in almost 40 years. Amarin Jitnathum/EyeEm/Getty Images hide caption

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Amarin Jitnathum/EyeEm/Getty Images

America Will Import More Sugar This Year Than It Has In 4 Decades

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