WBEZ | Food http://www.wbez.org/tags/food Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en First Chicago festival to highlight modern Filipino food and culture takes place Sunday http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-02/first-chicago-festival-highlight-modern-filipino-food-and-culture <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/kultura fest.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago has a lot of festivals, but none that highlight modern Filipino food and culture. But that changes this Sunday with the launch of <a href="http://filipino.kitchen/kultura-fest/">Kultura Filipino Food and Arts fest</a> in Logan Square.</p><p>Food journalist <a href="https://twitter.com/filipinokitchen">SarahLynn Pablo</a> and chef <a href="http://@chefsubido">Christine Subido</a> join us to talk about the new festival.</p></p> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 12:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-02/first-chicago-festival-highlight-modern-filipino-food-and-culture What are your favorite foods created in Chicago? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-04/what-are-your-favorite-foods-created-chicago-112835 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/chicago dog Jeremy Keith.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago is known around the world for its deep dish pizza and the rivalry it sparks with New York when it comes to hot dogs. But the city is a rich mix of cultures, which creates an even richer culinary scene. WBEZ&rsquo;s Monica Eng went out to track down some of the lesser known foods created and consumed across Chicago for <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/beyond-deep-dish-exploring-chicagos-other-native-foods-112815">Curious City</a>. She&rsquo;s here with her findings.</p></p> Fri, 04 Sep 2015 12:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-04/what-are-your-favorite-foods-created-chicago-112835 Organic farmers struggle with stigma of 'dirty fields' http://www.wbez.org/news/organic-farmers-struggle-stigma-dirty-fields-112765 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.wbez.org/" alt="" /><p><p>While consumers might seek out organic food for its purity, organic farmers have a reputation for being anything but.</p><p><a href="http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1022&amp;context=gers_pubs">A study</a>&nbsp;conducted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale found that farmers who go organic are often subject to a &ldquo;weedy field bad farmer&rdquo; mentality in their communities, a social stigma organic corn and soybean growers face for having mare&rsquo;s tails and pigweeds poking their raggedy heads up through the neat rows of cash crops.</p><p>Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that the judgment can be so harsh,&nbsp;<a href="https://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/handle/11299/123677/Ch8.Transitioning.pdf?sequence=7" target="_blank">it&rsquo;s an actual risk factor</a>&nbsp;conventional farmers who are interested in transitioning to organic should consider before making the switch.</p><p>Organic farmers are a rare breed. Nationwide,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/organic-production.aspx" target="_blank">fewer than 1 percent of all farm operations</a>&nbsp;are certified organic. In the Corn Belt, they&rsquo;re even fewer and farther between. In Illinois, for example, of the state&rsquo;s nearly 20 million acres of cropland, only a smidgen -- 0.15 percent -- of it is USDA certified organic.</p><p><img data-interchange-default="/sites/kunc/files/styles/default/public/201508/IMG_4406.JPG" data-interchange-large="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kunc/files/styles/large/public/201508/IMG_4406.JPG" data-interchange-medium="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kunc/files/styles/medium/public/201508/IMG_4406.JPG" data-interchange-small="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kunc/files/styles/small/public/201508/IMG_4406.JPG" src="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kunc/files/styles/medium/public/201508/IMG_4406.JPG" title="Juniper Lane sips sweet tea at the second annual Organic Fest hosted by the Illinois Organic Growers Association. (KUNC/Abby Wendle)" /></p><div>For corn and soybean farmers,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ams.usda.gov/grades-standards/organic-standards" target="_blank">being certified organic</a>&nbsp;boils down to avoiding a laundry list of synthetic materials - like pesticides that kill bugs and weeds - and not planting genetically modified seeds.</div><p>Dane Hunter, a conventional corn and soybean farmer from southern Illinois, said the social stigma of having a &ldquo;dirty&rdquo; field is a big obstacle.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of organic fields, compared to conventionally herbicide-managed fields, just have a lot more weeds in them, which is kind of a faux pas for the agriculture community,&rdquo; said Hunter, who is interested in transitioning part of his family&rsquo;s 1,200-acre grain farm into an organic operation.</p><p>Hunter said it&rsquo;s especially a barrier for older farmers, like men in his father&rsquo;s generation, who base their merit not on the success of the farm business, but on having, weed-free, pretty fields.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of behind-the-scenes chastising of organic fields,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>&ldquo;I used to be that way, too,&rdquo; agreed Tom Yucus, an organic farmer who grows 480 acres of grain in the center of the state. &ldquo;If I&rsquo;d see weeds in somebody&rsquo;s field, I&rsquo;d say, &lsquo;Oh, what&rsquo;s wrong with him?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>Yucus turned to organic farming for a number of reasons, including money. Organic grain typically sells for anywhere from two to three times as much as a conventional crop, which means organic farmers don&rsquo;t have to farm as many acres to make a decent living.</p><p>But Yucus, whose farm has been certified organic for more than a decade, said now he&rsquo;s committed to farming organic grain for more reasons than economics.</p><p><img alt="IOGA was founded in 2011 to bring organic producers together to exchange information and offer each other support. (Harvest Public Media/Abby Wendle)" data-interchange-default="/sites/kunc/files/styles/default/public/201508/IMG_4334.JPG" data-interchange-large="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kunc/files/styles/large/public/201508/IMG_4334.JPG" data-interchange-medium="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kunc/files/styles/medium/public/201508/IMG_4334.JPG" data-interchange-small="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kunc/files/styles/small/public/201508/IMG_4334.JPG" src="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kunc/files/styles/medium/public/201508/IMG_4334.JPG" style="float: right; width: 400px; height: 267px;" title="IOGA was founded in 2011 to bring organic producers together to exchange information and offer each other support. (Harvest Public Media/Abby Wendle)" /></p><div>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s just a change in mindset,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Everything you do affects the land and your food, so you know, keep it simple and don&rsquo;t add synthetic, non-natural stuff.&rdquo;</div><p>Colleen Yucus, Tom&rsquo;s wife, struggled to adopt her husband&rsquo;s new mentality, especially when it came to her weekly trip to the grocery store.</p><p>&ldquo;I think I was like a lot of other people that had the mindset that if food was on sale at a chain grocery store, that was wonderful and that&rsquo;s what I was gonna buy,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>The differences in opinion led to a few minor marital disputes, but in the end, Tom managed to convince her.</p><p>&ldquo;My husband had a good point,&rdquo; Yucus recalled, with a smile. &ldquo;When I didn&#39;t want to buy organic potatoes that were $2 a pound, he came to me and said, &lsquo;Look at this bag of chips. How much did you pay for this bag of chips?&rsquo; And I said, &lsquo;$3.58.&rsquo; And he said, &lsquo;How much per pound would that 8-ounce bag of chips be?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>The answer is $7.66, which means she could buy nearly four pounds of potatoes. When doused in olive oil and fried, that amounts to a lot more potato chips than you&rsquo;ll get in an 8-ounce bag.</p><p>&ldquo;The healthier eating, the non-processed foods, has just become so much more a part of our lives,&rdquo; Colleen said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m really happy he chose to start being an organic farmer and I&rsquo;m really proud of him.&rdquo;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.kunc.org/post/organic-farmers-struggle-stigma-dirty-fields#stream/0" target="_blank"><em>Harvest Public Media</em></a></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 14:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/organic-farmers-struggle-stigma-dirty-fields-112765 Dollar stores are going gourmet http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-11/dollar-stores-are-going-gourmet-112619 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/dollar tree FlickrMike Mozart.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Shop at the dollar store lately? What did you buy? I bet it wasn&rsquo;t a rib eye steak.</p><p>Well, that&rsquo;s one item to be had at the Family Dollar on Belmont in Chicago&rsquo;s Montclare neighborhood. As a matter of fact, you&rsquo;ll find a lot of food products that you&rsquo;ll also find on the shelves of more upscale stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joes &mdash; things like vegetable and chicken pot stickers, barbecue pork steam buns, and salmon steaks.</p><p>As the grocery industry continues to morph in America, the dollar store is going gourmet. It&rsquo;s one of many trends that&rsquo;s changing the way Chicagoans shop for groceries. WBEZ food and health reporter Monica Eng joins us.</p></p> Tue, 11 Aug 2015 10:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-11/dollar-stores-are-going-gourmet-112619 A review of Taste of Chicago 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-13/review-taste-chicago-2015-112365 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Sporkful-Podcast-Logo.png" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/214556400&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 24px; line-height: 22px;">A review of Taste of Chicago 2015</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Yesterday, the annual Taste of Chicago food fest wrapped. The fest kicked off last Wednesday in Grant Park. Restaurants and food trucks offering everything from goat to gelato, perogies to pizza offered a sampling of how the city tastes. And with 60 food vendors, you need a plan. Dan Pashman, host of Host of the podcast Sporkful on WNYC and the Cooking Channel web series You&#39;re Eating It Wrong, hosted a live discussion Saturday in the Food for Thought section of the fest but he stopped by here Friday for a preview of how he was going to conquer it all. We follow up with him for what tasted the best and what tasted the worst at Taste.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;"><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="https://twitter.com/TheSporkful">Dan Pashman</a> of </em>The Sporkful<em> podcast</em></span></p></p> Mon, 13 Jul 2015 14:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-13/review-taste-chicago-2015-112365 Chipotle vs Xoco lunch delivery: Who won? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chipotle-vs-xoco-lunch-delivery-who-won-111953 <p><p>Chicago cubicle dwellers who dig sustainable Mexican food got great news recently.</p><p>Both Chipotle and Xoco now have services that will deliver a fresh lunch to your downtown office faster than you can say barbacoa.</p><p>Chipotle is using a service called <a href="https://postmates.com/chicago/spotlight/favorites">Postmates</a> and Xoco is using Uber.</p><p>Postmates already delivered food from a bunch of other Chicago restaurants, but late last week Chipotle announced it was joining forces with them.</p><p>Meanwhile, Uber launched a new feature called Uber Eats in Chicago and New York (after piloting it in Los Angeles).</p><p>This week we tried out both and here&rsquo;s how it went.</p><div id="fb-root">&nbsp;</div><script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-video" data-allowfullscreen="true" data-href="/wbez915/videos/vb.13263980999/10153279389781000/?type=1"><div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><blockquote cite="/wbez915/videos/10153279389781000/"><p>Uber launched a new food delivery service in Chicago, after piloting Uber Eats in Lost Angeles. WBEZ&#39;s Monica Eng wanted to compare Uber&#39;s new service, which is featuring XOCO today with Postmates, which delivers Chipotle Mexican Grill. - http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chipotle-vs-xoco-lunch-delivery-who-won-111953</p>Posted by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/wbez915">WBEZ</a> on Tuesday, April 28, 2015</blockquote></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">The Delivery</span></p><p><strong>Monday</strong></p><p><em>1:19 p.m.</em> I&rsquo;m hungry for some Chipotle guacamole so I google Postmates.</p><p><em>1:26</em> I successfully figure out their menu system (they have multiple restaurants and pretty complete menus), register for Postmates, enter my credit card information and request two orders of guacamole.</p><p><em>1:27</em> I get a message that Postmates has found a driver who will be here in about 28 minutes. I contact him to say that we are located in the middle of Navy Pier near the entrance for Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.</p><p><em>1:55</em> I see on my computer screen that the bike delivery will be here in 2 minutes.</p><p><em>1:58</em> I am met by a friendly guy on a bike who hands me my bag of guacamole and chips, lets me take picture of him and he rides off.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Food%20delivery%20postmates%20guy.jpg" title="Alex the delivery guy for Postmates, was prompt and cheerful and rode an eco-friendly bike to deliver the guac. (WBEZ/MONICA ENG)" /></div><p><strong>Tuesday</strong></p><p><em>10:58</em> a.m. I get my Uber app ready so I can be the first to order in the 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily window.</p><p><em>11:00</em> I can&rsquo;t get Uber Eats to work on my phone from WBEZ in the middle of Navy Pier*. I can see the menu and order but can&rsquo;t find a driver.</p><p><em>*Tuesday afternoon Uber clarified with us that currently the app is not supposed to work East of Lake Shore Drive.</em></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ubderfoodapp.jpg" style="height: 267px; width: 200px; float: right;" title="Monica orders food from her Uber app. (WBEZ/Tim Akimoff)" /><em>11:10</em> I walk west down Navy Pier and the Uber Eats icon has disappeared from my phone.</p><p><em>11:25</em> I get out to Lake Point Towers and the Uber Eats icon returns to my phone. I order but it won&rsquo;t find a driver.</p><p><em>11:30</em> I walk to Lake Shore Drive and Grand Avenue and the app starts to work. I click on the menu button, order both menu items of the day: a Pepito Torta ($12) and XOCO Salad ($9). I&rsquo;m told a driver will arrive in 5 minutes.</p><p><em>11:38</em> The driver arrives, hands me a hot sandwich and cold salad &mdash; no bag &mdash; and I trot back to the office, thaw out and eat.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">The Bill</span></p><p><strong>Chipotle through Postmates</strong></p><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td style="width:319px;"><p>2 orders guacamole &amp; Chips</p></td><td style="width:319px;"><p>$7</p></td></tr><tr><td style="width:319px;"><p>Service fee (9%)</p></td><td style="width:319px;"><p>63 cents</p></td></tr><tr><td style="width:319px;"><p>Delivery fee</p></td><td style="width:319px;"><p>$8.25</p></td></tr><tr><td style="width:319px;"><p>Tip</p></td><td style="width:319px;"><p>$1.59</p></td></tr><tr><td style="width:319px;"><p>Discount</p></td><td style="width:319px;"><p>.26</p></td></tr><tr><td style="width:319px;"><p>Total</p></td><td style="width:319px;"><p>$18.02</p></td></tr></tbody></table><p><strong>XOCO through Uber</strong></p><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td style="width:319px;"><p>Pepito Torta</p></td><td style="width:319px;"><p>$12</p></td></tr><tr><td style="width:319px;"><p>XOCO Salad</p></td><td style="width:319px;"><p>$9</p></td></tr><tr><td style="width:319px;"><p>Delivery</p></td><td style="width:319px;"><p>$3</p></td></tr><tr><td style="width:319px;"><p>Total</p></td><td style="width:319px;"><p>$25.00</p></td></tr></tbody></table><p><span style="font-size:22px;">The Experience</span></p><p>While the Postmates delivery was wildly expensive, I did like that it was delivered by bike (although not always the case), that you can choose from several unique restaurants (think Cemitas Puebla, Le Colonial and Wow Bao) and that you can do it on a computer and keep track of your order history.</p><p>Uber Eats folks told me that the app should work at the end of Navy Pier, but I was not able to get it to work until another two blocks west. While Uber Eat&rsquo;s daily menu is limited to only two items a day, they have some great choices coming up from XOCO, DMK, Freshii and Cemitas. And while their geographic area is limited to River North and the Loop, Uber representatives say they hope to expand it in the future. &nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">The Verdict</span></p><p>For adventurous budget diners who work in the Loop or River North and can&rsquo;t get away from their desk sometimes, Uber Eats wins for speed and price.</p><p>For out-of-Loop workers who have more cash, time and need for variety, Postmates may be the best choice.</p></p> Tue, 28 Apr 2015 13:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chipotle-vs-xoco-lunch-delivery-who-won-111953 Homaro Cantu was more than a showman http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/homaro-cantu-was-more-showman-111876 <p><p>To a lot of people, the <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-famed-chef-homaro-cantu-owner-of-moto-found-dead-on-northwest-side-20150414-story.html">late chef Homaro Cantu</a> was all about showmanship, gadgets and tricks of molecular gastronomy.</p><p>He was famous for edible menus, a fish that would cook itself on your table and fruit that became a carbonated juice box.</p><p>But what a lot of people didn&rsquo;t understand was that this mad scientist chef was about something even bigger: Homaru Cantu&nbsp;wanted to save the&nbsp;world.</p><p>When WBEZ reporters <a href="https://soundcloud.com/chewingthefat/ctf-ep-27-future-food">visited his Moto kitchens last year</a>, we were greeted by typical Cantu. He was playful, warm, articulate and bursting with ideas to make the world a cleaner, healthier more delicious place.</p><p>He showed us his digitally monitored indoor farm that he said could grow produce with astonishing efficiency.</p><p>&ldquo;All of these products are grown to such a precise degree that this stuff will grow 50 percent faster than their genetically modified counterparts in their best season,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;And it will all be composted by stuff that comes right from the kitchen.&rdquo;</p><p>He told us about plans to put a beehive on the roof with a path down to the indoor farm, &ldquo;So bees can come down here, then pollinate and leave.&rdquo;</p><p>He explained his strategy for &ldquo;smart composting&rdquo; that would customize the raw composting materials to the plants they&rsquo;d nourish.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_1792.JPG" style="height: 200px; width: 200px; float: left;" title="Chef Homaro Cantu at Moto with kitchen staff and Anthony Bourdain" /></p><p>&ldquo;Plants are like humans,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;They don&rsquo;t want the same diet&hellip;. When we start analyzing what plants really want and giving it to them, that&rsquo;s going to get us a more flavorful product, that&rsquo;s going to grow more efficiently without chemicals and genetic modification.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><div>He told us about his many ideas for saving energy and reducing food miles. And he shared his enthusiasm for the potential of the miracle berry (which makes sour things taste sweet) to help diabetics and cancer patients while improving overall public health.</div><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been such a long road,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;But I think we are at a point where we can educate people about what they should be eating rather than what big companies want them to eat.&rdquo;</p><p>I realized I&rsquo;d had Cantu all wrong. Sure he was great at putting on a show. But his wild restaurants seemed to be just one way to showcase his plans to tackle some of the biggest problems our planet faces today.</p><p>Cantu stressed that, although he was patenting the research, he wanted it to be available to everyone.<br /><br />&ldquo;[After we file the initial patent] we want people to steal from us,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Food should not be owned. Food should be a collective effort for everyone, like open source software.&rdquo;</p><p>Like a lot of people in Chicago, I knew Cantu was facing a lawsuit from a former investor. But the news of his death Tuesday came as a great shock--and the suspected suicide even more so. Of all the chefs I&rsquo;ve known, few have had such ambitious technological plans, such a profound stake in the future and such visionary ideas for making the world a better place.&nbsp;</p><p>His cooking will be missed by diners. His heart and humor missed by his family and friends. But it&rsquo;s almost impossible to say what society will miss with the loss of Cantu&rsquo;s ideas and innovations, which he aimed at helping all of us.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at <a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng">@monicaeng</a> or write to her at <a href="mailto:meng@wbez.org">meng@wbez.org</a></em></p></p> Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/homaro-cantu-was-more-showman-111876 Worldview: Summit of the Americas to host historic meeting between Cuba and the US http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-04-10/worldview-summit-americas-host-historic-meeting-between-cuba-and-us <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP406371945566.jpg" style="height: 404px; width: 620px;" title="A demonstrator holds up a Panamanian flag during a protest march by the participants of the Cumbre de los Pueblos or People's Summit, against U.S. policies in Latin America, in Panama City, Thursday, April 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)" /><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200213427&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></div><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Obama and Castro to meet at the Summit of the Americas</span></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">President Obama is at the Summit of the Americas in Panama. Cuba is also attending the meetings. US-Cuban relations are on the agenda and President Obama says he is looking at whether to remove Cuba from the list of nations that sponsor terrorism. &nbsp;This would be another major step in US-Cuban relations and help pave the way for the reopening of embassies in each country. We&rsquo;ll discuss the summit and the state of US-Cuban relations with Alberto Coll, director of the Latin American Studies program at DePaul University.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-b6e3d00b-a502-eac5-ee1d-3d85540ea8df">Alberto Coll is a professor of law at <a href="https://twitter.com/DePaulU">DePaul University</a> and director of the Latin American Studies program. At the age of 6 he witnessed his father&rsquo;s arrest for opposing the Cuban government.&nbsp;</span></em></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200214869&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">The Bolivian film &quot;Olvidados looks at Operation Condor in South America</span></font></p><p>The film is set during the military dictatorships of the 1970&rsquo;s in Latin America. It tells the story of Operation Condor, a collaboration between the military regimes of Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile and Argentina. The CIA-sponsored Operation Condor led to the disappearance of thousands of opponents to South America&rsquo;s military dictatorships. &nbsp;The film is screening as part of the Chicago Latino Film Festival. &nbsp;Director Carlos Bolado, writer and producer and actress Carla Ortiz and film contributor Milos Stehlik join us to discuss the film and this period in Latin American history.</p><p><strong>Guests:&nbsp;</strong></p><p><em><span style="font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.38;"><a href="https://twitter.com/Cbolex">Carlos Bolado</a> is the director of <a href="http://olvidadosfilm.com/home-en.html">Olvidados</a>.</span></em></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-c7ad2390-a504-d9f0-e978-fd58512c0af2"><span style="font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><a href="https://twitter.com/CarlaOrtizO">Carla Ortiz</a> is an actress and co-writer and co-producer of <a href="http://olvidadosfilm.com/home-en.html">Olvidados</a>.</span></span></em></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><em><a href="https://twitter.com/milosstehlik">Milos Stehlik</a> is the director of <a href="https://twitter.com/facetschicago">Facets Chicago</a> and the WBEZ film contributor.&nbsp;</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200216646&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Weekend Passport: Enrica&nbsp;</span></font><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Rocca shares her secrets to successful cicchetti</span></p><p>Each week global citizen Nari Safavi helps listeners plan their international weekend. This week he&rsquo;ll tell us where to learn to cook like a Venetian. Chef Enrica Rocca joins us in the studio to share some of her favorite dishes.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p><em>Nari Safavi is one of the co-founders of the <a href="http://www.pasfarda.org/default.aspx">PASFARDA Arts &amp; Cultural Exchange</a>.</em></p><p><em><a href="https://twitter.com/enricarocca">Enrica Rocca</a> is a world renowned chef. Her cooking school was named one of the world&rsquo;s top ten by Gourmet Magazine.</em></p></p> Fri, 10 Apr 2015 15:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-04-10/worldview-summit-americas-host-historic-meeting-between-cuba-and-us Flamin' Hot Cheetos top some Chicago Public School vending machines http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/flamin-hot-cheetos-top-some-chicago-public-school-vending-machines-111773 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/cheetos.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Last week Michigan became the latest state to opt out of the federal Smart Snack standards. The rules regulate what can be sold in school fundraisers and vending machines that help schools pay the bill. More than 22 states have pushed for some kind of exemption from these rules since they went into effect last July.</p><p>So just how stringent are they?</p><p>The snacks must be:</p><ul><li>&ldquo;whole grain rich&rdquo; if they are grain-based, meaning 50 percent whole grain</li><li>no more than 200 calories</li><li>no more than 230 mgs of sodium</li><li>no more than 35 percent sugar, by weight</li><li>lower in fat, meaning no more than a third of their calories can come from fat</li></ul><p>So all that&rsquo;s left is kale, right?</p><p>Well, not really. In fact, under these new rules, two of the top sellers in some Chicago Public Schools are reformulated Flamin&rsquo; Hot Cheetos and Kellogg&rsquo;s Pop Tarts. This is not exactly what Dr. Virginia Stallings envisioned when she chaired the Institute of Medicine committee whose recommendations would form the backbone of the Smart Snack rules.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;I thought the top sellers might be things that had more nutrients in them than Flamin&rsquo; Hot Cheetos,&rdquo; said Stallings, who is a professor of pediatrics at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. &ldquo;But let me say that one of the things we were absolutely expecting and appreciate is that the food companies would look at these recommendations and they would, in fact, reformulate their products.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>To Stallings, the reformulated Cheetos, in smaller portions, with more whole grain, less sodium and less fat, represent an evidence-based improvement over the old formula.</p><p>But to folks like Lindsey Haynes-Maslow, a health analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists, the snacks represent&nbsp;&nbsp; mixed messages to kids.<br /><br />&ldquo;I think it says to them that, of course, I can eat these. And when they are outside the school, if they see the same item at a grocery store, they don&rsquo;t recognize the difference,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Even more concerning, is that their parents don&rsquo;t either, according to a Rudd Center study showing that many parents are misguided into thinking that these [reformulated] items are good for their kids.&rdquo;</p><p>To see this in action, all you have to do is drop by a Chicago Public high school vending machine where reformulated Pop Tarts and Flamin&rsquo; Hot Cheeto Puffs occupy several slots. In an interview with WBEZ Wednesday, CPS&rsquo;s head of Nutrition Services Leslie Fowler said she had no idea schools were selling the snacks.</p><p>The district, she said, has prohibited reformulated snacks for about a year. Still, a list of approved snacks that CPS provided to WBEZ on Wednesday includes Baked Cheetos and Reduced Fat Nilla Wafers. Another list the district sent to WBEZ earlier Wednesday included reduced fat Cool Ranch Doritos as an approved snack. But when WBEZ noted that snack was also &ldquo;reformulated,&rdquo; the CPS official claimed she&rsquo;d given us the wrong list.</p><p>To add to the confusion, Fowler told WBEZ Wednesday that the &ldquo;only Cheeto that is approved is the whole grain puff,&rdquo; which are not included on the latest list but are featured in several district machines.</p><p>Regardless of what CPS rules actually are, it&rsquo;s clear that the much maligned Smart Snack rules still leave plenty of room for things like reformulated Flamin Hot Cheetos. And while it&rsquo;s true the reformulation reduces fat and salt, the snacks still feature six artificial colors and nearly 30 ingredients.</p><p>New York University Nutrition professor Marion Nestle thinks part of the problem is that the rules encourage companies to hit certain nutrient numbers rather than providing real food.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /><br />&ldquo;This is a classic case of nutritionism,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;If you set up nutrition standards, the food industry can do anything to meet those standards and this is a perfect example of that...So this is a better-for-you junk food. And, of course, the question is: is that a good choice? And no, of course, it&rsquo;s not.&rdquo;&nbsp;<br /><br />When asked to discuss the issue, Cheeto maker Frito Lay would not grant WBEZ an interview. Instead, the company wrote &ldquo;We offer a variety of Smart Snack compliant products in schools in portion-controlled sizes to suit a variety of tastes, including the Reduced Fat, Whole Grain Rich Flamin&#39; Hot Cheetos.&rdquo;</p><p>Lane Tech Senior Tyra Bosnic said she&rsquo;s disappointed in the vending machines at her school. She wished they better mirrored the machines she&rsquo;s seen in Europe.<br /><br />&ldquo;They have better drinks there and there&rsquo;s more water accessible,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;There they have things like pumpkin seeds in the machines. Here we just have gross, whole grain Pop Tarts and Cheeto Puffs.&rdquo;<br /><br />The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it couldn&rsquo;t comment on the wisdom of selling Cheetos at school, but that its latest rules have already helped kids eat &ldquo;healthier.&rdquo;<br /><br />It&rsquo;s not just kids who are drawn to the&nbsp; orange curly snacks. For cash strapped school administrators, Cheetos can&nbsp; deliver plenty of green. Under the current CPS deal with Avcoa Vending, schools&nbsp; get a 20 percent commission on all sales; and that can add up to more than $10,000 in discretionary spending a year. So, why not stock this teenage favorite?</p><p>&ldquo;Because schools have an obligation to teach children how to be successful adults,&rdquo; says Rochelle Davis of Chicago&rsquo;s Healthy Schools Campaign. &ldquo;And learning about how to be healthy is a critical part of that.&rdquo;</p><p>Still, one vending machine rep noted that kids are going to buy Cheetos at the corner store and that few entities need money more than schools. Stallings, who wrote the original recommendations, questions whether schools should be selling any snacks at all.</p><p>&ldquo;Selling food to children outside of the school lunch and breakfast should not be a source of revenue for the school,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s exploiting the children&rsquo;s health.&rdquo;</p><p>Instead, advocates like Rochelle Davis of Chicago&rsquo;s Healthy Schools Campaign suggest raising the revenue through things like plant sales and dance-a-thons.</p><p>&ldquo;I just got an email about a school trying a dance-a-thon,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;So the kids are going to be up and moving and the community is going to be supporting that instead of a traditional fundraiser.&rdquo;</p><p>But can a dance-a-thon rake in the cash like Flamin&rsquo; Hot Cheetos? With all the resistance against even these initial rules, it may be some time before we get to find out.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Clarification, 3/26/2015: After this story was published Chicago Public Schools officials claimed CPS uses vendors other than Avcoa. They have not yet responded who those vendors are.</em></p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at</em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> <em>@monicaeng</em></a> <em>or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/flamin-hot-cheetos-top-some-chicago-public-school-vending-machines-111773 In addressing food allergies, some Chicago schools fall through the cracks http://www.wbez.org/sections/food/addressing-food-allergies-some-chicago-schools-fall-through-cracks-111728 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Ravenswood-lunch.jpg" title="Students during lunch period at Ravenswood Elementary chow down on Doritos, nacho cheese and sunflower butter. The new nut-free policy means peanut butter isn’t allowed. (WBEZ/Monica Eng)" /></div><p>It&rsquo;s a typical day in the Ravenswood Elementary cafeteria on Chicago&rsquo;s North Side. Middle schoolers catch up with friends, make jokes and chow down on a mishmosh of cafeteria food and brown bag lunches.</p><p>&ldquo;I have a Subway meatball sub,&rdquo; one says.</p><p>&ldquo;I have homemade soup with some rice,&rdquo; chirps another.</p><p>&ldquo;And I have some Doritos with peanut butter, I mean sunflower butter,&rdquo; their friend adds, catching himself as he remembers the school&rsquo;s new nut-free policy.</p><p>Starting in 2015, Ravenswood joined a small cadre of schools that have passed nut-free guidelines that go above and beyond the more common nut-free tables and nut-free menus.</p><p>That means no PBJs, no nutty granola bars, and no Snickers.</p><p>&ldquo;We are asking families and staff to make sure that no foods that have any nuts at all come into the building,&rdquo; says Principal Nate Menaen. And by nuts, he means, &ldquo;Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts of course.&rdquo;</p><p>In recent decades childhood food allergies have skyrocketed from 1 in 50 American children in 1990 to 1 in 13 today. That works out to about two kids in every American classroom &mdash; and that number is growing.</p><p>So how many schools are taking a hard stance against food allergies like Ravenswood?</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Food-Allergy-thumb.jpg" style="height: 206px; width: 280px; float: left; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" title="Ravenswood Elementary is one of only a handful of CPS schools to ban nuts in the entire building. (WBEZ/Derek John)" />Chicago Public School officials say they don&rsquo;t know. But the district does say it offers nut-free meals to about 200 schools (or roughly a third of the district). Most of them are located in more affluent areas or on the North Side.</p><p>But those aren&rsquo;t necessarily the schools with the greatest need.</p><p>Research shows that potential food allergies are actually higher among minorities. <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3182844/" target="_blank">One Children&rsquo;s Memorial Hospital study</a> showed that those with African ancestry have a higher-than-average nut sensitivity. &nbsp;</p><p>Beverly Horne is the lead nurse in the south region of Chicago Public Schools. She oversees more than 100 schools on the South Side, but says that none have adopted the same kind of nut-free guidelines as Ravenswood.</p><p>In order to be allowed medical accommodations, students need documentation along with a doctor&rsquo;s diagnosis. But for many of the families she serves, Horne says, simply getting to the doctor is hard enough. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;It has a lot of do with access,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;If you look at it, several of the clinics in those neighborhoods were closed and the parents have to travel.&rdquo;</p><p>She says nurses do what they can to fill in the gaps on the one to two days a week they can visit a particular school but it&rsquo;s often not enough. Plus, she says, many parents don&rsquo;t always know what to look for.</p><p>&ldquo;I recall one incident where the parent wasn&rsquo;t even aware that it was an allergic reaction she was seeing in her child,&rdquo; Horne says, &ldquo;and so we had to reach out to that parent. And actually it was a food allergy and those symptoms she was experiencing could have been very serious.&rdquo;</p><p>Just how serious?</p><p>In 2010 7th grader Catelyn Karlson died after eating peanut-tainted food that was brought to her Northwest Side school. &nbsp;Since then, CPS became the first large urban district to put epinephrine injectors (or EpiPen) in every school.</p><p>There they can be used to treat anyone in anaphylactic shock &mdash; a severe allergic reaction that can stop a victim from breathing.</p><p>Dr. Ruchi Gupta, a pediatric allergist at Lurie Children&rsquo;s Hospital, helped lead the effort. <a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2014/10/emergency-epinephrine-used-38-times-in-chicago-public-schools.html" target="_blank">In a report on its first year of progress</a>, she noted that 38 students and staff were treated with the injectors. More than half of them didn&rsquo;t even know they had a food allergy.</p><p>This lack of knowledge worries Gupta, who says policy makers need to ask more questions. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Why don&rsquo;t we we see [more allergy diagnoses] on the South or West Side and in predominantly African American or Hispanic populations?&rdquo; she wonders. &ldquo;Now, do they have more and is it as severe? Unfortunately, until now we have not truly been able to classify who is going to have what kind of reaction when they eat the food. So some kids may just break out in a couple of hives or have a little mouth tingling but other kids could have full blown anaphylaxis that could lead to death.&rdquo;</p><p>Minority students may be more vulnerable to food allergies, but Gupta says other factors contribute to how schools decide whether to implement nut-free policies.</p><p>&ldquo;The reason you see policies more on the North Side is probably because of the parents advocating for it so much,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;This gets the principal, school staff and teachers on board that this is a serious problem and we need to do something about it.&rdquo;</p><p>Most of these policies, she notes, are driven by parents in Local School Councils, which is exactly how Ravenswood ended up &ldquo;nut-free&rdquo; this year. Ravenswood principal Manaen says there was some push back as he worked to get his whole school community on board with the guidelines.&nbsp;</p><p>But, it&rsquo;s one thing to say you&rsquo;re nut-free, it&rsquo;s another to make it a reality. It&rsquo;s not as if you can install nut detectors at the door.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s [just] a guideline,&rdquo; Principal Menaen says. &ldquo;Because at the end of the day, maybe I brought in my leftovers from a restaurant I went to that cooked in products that also touched peanut product. And so it&rsquo;s never 100 percent safe.&rdquo;</p><p>It is, however, one step toward making schools a little more safe &mdash; at least in some parts of the city. &nbsp;</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at</em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> <em>@monicaeng</em></a> <em>or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Thu, 19 Mar 2015 07:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/food/addressing-food-allergies-some-chicago-schools-fall-through-cracks-111728