Food & Drink

We delve into the local food scene, from the farms that grow your food to how it ends up on your plate.

Like Organic Food? Pennsylvania's Young Farmers Grow It

Jul 18, 2018
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

While he was studying political science at West Chester University six years ago, Frank Kurylo pondered some career options. He first considered becoming an environmental law attorney. Later, he briefly worked on a few Pennsylvania political campaigns.

Then Kurylo, now 28, changed course entirely. He became a farmer.

Pawel Loj / Flickr

A northwestern Indiana city that hosts an annual festival built around a popular Polish delicacy has reached a settlement in its trademark dispute with a rival festival in Pennsylvania.

Seven national fast-food chains have agreed, under pressure, to eliminate a practice that limits their workers' ability to take jobs at other restaurants in the same chain, the Washington state attorney general announced Thursday.

If you're interested in sustainability, you've probably thought about how to reduce your carbon footprint, from how you fuel your car to how you heat your home. But what about carbon emissions from growing the food you eat?

Most of the crops in the United States are grown using chemical fertilizer – a lot of it: American farmers used over 24 billion pounds of nitrogen fertilizer in 2011. And making nitrogen fertilizer requires fossil fuels like natural gas or coal.

Matt Rourke / AP

State Representative Mark Mustio (R-44) of Allegheny County is fronting a charge to repeal Philadelphia's soda tax, and prevent similar actions from taking place elsewhere in the Commonwealth.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Two major proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, could cause 70,000 Pennsylvania households to lose eligibility.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA


Sunlight beams through the second story of the former Kullman's Bakery on Brownsville Road in Mount Oliver. Leaning against a stainless steel table, cook Jewel Edwards muses about her favorite confections.

Paul Simpson / flickr

Pennsylvania-based chips and snack food maker Utz is recalling some of its tortilla chips because they may contain milk.

AP

Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled House of Representatives is advancing legislation to stop the state from getting waivers that allow food stamp recipients to continue receiving the federal benefit if they don't meet work requirements.

The Republican-penned bill passed 108-79 on Tuesday, and headed to the Senate.

Matt Rourke / AP

Opponents of Philadelphia’s controversial sweetened beverage tax, stymied so far in their efforts to defeat the levy in court, are getting some support in the state legislature.

When Melanie McNeil roused her 8-year-old great-grandson, Byron Ridenour-Wright, out of bed in Ohio last fall, and loaded him onto a bus bound for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, she didn't have high hopes for lunch.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

It’s Wednesday and Chef Amy Reed, the general manager of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens Café, is chopping cilantro. Around her are peels of salad carrots, red peppers and seasonings for Friday’s sold-out “Waste Not Dinner," a gourmet meal made from discarded foods.

“The peels are gonna go straight into the vegetable stock that we use to make to make the carrot risotto,” said Reed.

John Hamilton / PublicSource

On a recent Friday, James Dreher was hard at work stirring dozens of pounds of ground beef with a small paddle.

John Hamilton / PublicSource

At Markeya Lowery’s last case management job, she filled a similar role to the one she has now – helping people address all the distractions and hardships that make going to school and holding down a steady job really difficult.

Oliver Morrison / PublicSource

It’s 7 a.m. and cafeteria worker Leann Andrews is pushing a cart through the bustling hallways of North Hills Middle School. In the cart sit packages of banana, blueberry, and chocolate muffin next to cereal bars and breakfast sandwiches.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Garisha Peoples stands in the kitchen of her first floor Rankin apartment while preparing a Russet potato for lunch. She cuts off the ends of the fist-sized tuber and then pops it in the microwave.

Pittsburgh Institutions Are Trying To Reduce Food Waste, But At What Cost?

Mar 14, 2018
Ryan Loew / PublicSource

University of Pittsburgh freshman Naydia Rowe recently grabbed a plate of french fries at dinner. But when she tasted the fries, she realized they weren’t fresh. She went back and got a new plate.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Ry’Anna Moore leaned over a stainless steel surface as Chef Kevin Sousa eyeballed cup after cup of heavy cream.

Ryan Loew / PublicSource

After school, 16-year-old Maleeke Reid works at a community gardening program in Homewood. He gets paid $5 per day for tending the vegetable gardens and attending classes, where he and his friends sometimes joke about being fed “vegan food.”

Dake Kang / AP

In an effort to put Pennsylvania on the map as a beer destination, the state is giving grants to 13 brew-centric projects across the commonwealth.

Chef David Chang's new Netflix show Ugly Delicious dives deep into how some of his favorite kinds of foods — from pizza to fried chicken — are made all over the world.

When McDonald's recently announced the introduction of a vegan burger in Sweden and Finland, Twitter responded with a mix of earnest enthusiasm (@themodvegan: "So exciting- I hope we're next"), a little disgust (@JenaRoberta: "why would a vegan ever...support a company that sells millions of dead cow burgers a day?), and a touch of guilty hand-wringing from aging ideologues (@siniauer: "Feels like I'm cheating the 90's me").

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

Seven Pittsburgh chefs and establishments have been named semifinalists for this year's national James Beard Foundation awards.

Whitfield, the restaurant inside the Ace Hotel in East Liberty, houses semifinalists in two categories: Casey Renee for Outstanding Pastry Chef, and Executive Chef Bethany Zozula for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region.

As superhero origin stories go, this one is pretty low-key. No radioactivity. No other planets. Just a Swede, his love of pastry, and a noble quest for accuracy. It's a bun, it's some cream, it's ... Semla Man!

Mushrooms have been used in Eastern medicine for centuries to treat everything from asthma to gout.

Now they're being marketed in the West as functional or medicinal mushrooms that can prevent cancer or stimulate higher brain function, but there are relatively few trials in humans to back up these claims.

It was the tiny streams of slime that stood out.

As a microbiologist who studies the rinds of cheeses like Stilton, Gruyere and Taleggio, Benjamin Wolfe had done plenty of experiments on bacteria, yeast and mold. But he'd never seen anything like this.

Trump's USDA Moves Closer To Scrapping Animal Welfare Rule

Jan 19, 2018
Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs

A carton of organic eggs can cost more than double the price of regular eggs — so, what are you paying for? When it comes to the treatment of livestock and poultry, there are some murky areas. Many in the organic industry pushed for a new rule, issued at the end of the Obama administration, aimed, in part, at ensuring that the green and white organic seal on the egg carton means the chickens actually spent time outdoors.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

The annual Pennsylvania Farm Show is right around the corner, and for many attendees a visit to the food court will be at the top of the agenda.

Greg Sousa / AP

Most drivers who hit roadkill leave the carcass on the ground, but several thousand Pennsylvanians in 2017 wanted to make the dead animal their next meal.

 

Oh Boi-lo! Holiday Beverage Source Of Cheer And Warmth

Dec 11, 2017
Mike Steinhoff / Flickr

'Tis the season for a hot beverage that warms from the inside out.

For many residents of the coal region, that means it's time to heat up a batch of boilo.

The sweet citrus drink has remained a popular beverage for cold winter days, even as other traditions from coal region's eastern European immigrants have faded.

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