Food & Food Culture

12:07pm

Mon June 3, 2013
The Salt

Wal-Mart Pledges Fresher Produce By Cutting Out The Middleman

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 2:02 pm

A shopper selects produce at a Wal-Mart in Deptford, N.J.
Matt Rourke AP

The nation's largest retailer announced Monday that it will be delivering produce from farms to stores faster by buying fruits and vegetables directly from growers.

The plan is to source about 80 percent of fresh produce directly, explained Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of the food business for Wal-Mart U.S., during a conference call that we participated in Monday morning.

In many instances, Sinclair says it will be possible to "cut out the middleman," but he added that local wholesalers will continue to "play an important role for us in the areas we serve."

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3:21am

Sat June 1, 2013
The Salt

France Sells Presidential Wines To Update Palace Wine Cellar

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 1:46 pm

French President Francois Hollande's palace has decided to dive into its wine cellar and sell some of its treasures to raise money and replenish its collection with more modest vintages. About 1,200 bottles, a 10th of the Elysee's wine collection, are being sold at the Drouot auction house in Paris this week.
Jacques Brinon AP

Prized Burgundies and Bordeaux once served at the presidential palace in France were sold for the first time ever as the wine cellar at Elysee Palace gets an overhaul.

Some 1,200 bottles, or 10 percent of the palace wines, went on sale this week at the famous Drouot auction house in downtown Paris. On the block were vintages from 1930 to 1990, including famous names such as Chateau Latour, Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Montrachet.

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11:53am

Fri May 31, 2013
The Salt

Nordic Diet Could Be Local Alternative To Mediterranean Diet

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 2:02 pm

A typical Swedish meal of fried herring and lingonberries includes some of the local ingredients of the healthy Nordic diet prescribed in a new study.
iStockPhoto.com

The Mediterranean diet has long been a darling of nutrition experts as a proven way to prevent some chronic diseases. Heavy on olive oil, vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish, the diet most recently has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and dying compared with a typical low-fat diet.

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1:20am

Fri May 31, 2013
The Salt

Michigan Tracks Cattle From Birth To Plate

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 8:54 am

Whenever a steer or cow leaves a farm in Michigan or goes to a slaughterhouse, it passes by a tag reader, and its ID number goes to a central computer that keeps track of every animal's location.
Dan Charles NPR

When you pick up a cut of beef at the store, would you like to know that animal's life history? The technology to do this does exist — at least in Michigan, where the state requires all cattle to carry electronic ear tags. It's the only state that requires such tags.

Michigan's cattle-tracking system was forced on farmers because of a crisis. Fifteen years ago, cattle in part of the state started catching tuberculosis from wild deer.

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4:40pm

Thu May 30, 2013
The Salt

Congress Poised To Make Crop Insurance Subsidies More Generous

An Illinois corn and soybean farmer walks to his tractor while cultivating his field.
Seth Perlman AP

For decades, farmers have been getting checks from the federal government as part of a safety net to help protect against, for instance, the financial ruin of drought or floods.

So last year when a big drought hit the Midwest, who paid for it? You did.

As my colleague Dan Charles has reported, payouts from crop insurance policies added up to about $16 billion, and much of it was paid by taxpayers.

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