WBEZ | Food http://www.wbez.org/sections/food Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Your favorite Chicago coffee shops http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2015-02-26/your-favorite-chicago-coffee-shops-111630 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/coffee.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="responsive-embed-coffeemap">Thirty years ago, most Chicagoans couldn&rsquo;t have imagined paying more than a buck for their cup of daily Joe. Oh, how the times have changed.<p>Call it the Starbucks effect. For better or worse, drinking habits have morphed and a whole gourmet coffee industry has blossomed. Illinois is home to more than 350 official Starbucks cafes and dozens of restaurants and institutions that serve the company&rsquo;s brew.</p>But competitors abound and continue to grow in our coffee-loving town. Last month, Berkeley-based Peet&rsquo;s Coffee &amp; Tea opened a flagship store in the historic Wrigley Building, less than a block away from the busiest Starbucks in the city. And the company has plans for more shops across the city.<p>Still, these national chains are by no means the hottest cup in town. Chicago has a proud and growing stable of local artisan roasters. And according to our very non-scientific survey, they top the list of favorite coffees among local public radio listeners.</p><p>WBEZ asked its Facebook followers to name their favorite cafes, and the comments came pouring in with Jackalope, Metropolis, Dark Matter, Cafe Jumping Bean and Wormhole topping the list. Below you can find the 11 Chicago cafes they like the most as well as an interactive map listing all the cafes our followers recommended. So if you&rsquo;re looking for someone to gab with about your favorite radio shows over coffee, these may be the best bets in town. Happy sipping!</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Top 11 Chicago cafes for public radio lovers</span></p><ul><li>Jackalope Coffee in Bridgeport (34 mentions)</li><li>Metropolis (33)</li><li>Dark Matter (27)&nbsp;</li><li>Cafe Jumping Bean (18)</li><li>Wormhole (14)</li><li>Gaslight Coffee Roasters (14)</li><li>Perkolator (13)</li><li>Bridgeport Coffee &amp; Tea (13)</li><li>Heritage General Store (13)</li><li>Ipsento (12)</li><li>Intelligentsia (11)</li><li>Big Shoulders (10)&nbsp;</li></ul><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Top 12 most-served gourmet coffees in Chicago</span></p><p>When it comes to choosing coffee beans, Chicagoans have become much more discerning over the last 25 years. But whose beans &mdash; aside from Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts &mdash; are served up in the most restaurants and cafes around Chicago? We recently called top local and national coffee roasters to find out. Here&rsquo;s what they reported.</p><ul><li>Metropolis: 350</li><li>Intelligentsia: 300</li><li>La Colombe: 150</li><li>Dark Matter: 75</li><li>Julius Meinl: 70-75</li><li>Bow Truss: 70</li><li>Big Shoulders: 40</li><li>Alterra/Collectivo: 30-40</li><li>Passion House: 30</li><li>Counter Culture: 17</li><li>Stumptown/Ipsento: 10</li><li>Gaslight: 6<br />&nbsp;</li></ul><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="620" scrolling="no" src="http://interactive.wbez.org/coffeemap/" style="float: right; clear: right;" width="620"></iframe></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 13:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2015-02-26/your-favorite-chicago-coffee-shops-111630 Underground Korean-French dinner serves up mystery and music http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/underground-korean-french-dinner-serves-mystery-and-music-111470 <p><p>In mid-December I returned from vacation to find a handmade Christmas tree and card inviting me to dinner in a private suburban home hosted by &ldquo;a crazy hair stylist, a crazy dancer and crazy French Cuisine cooker.&rdquo;</p><p>It was from a man named David Cho, whom I interviewed more than 15 years ago about his nascent karaoke booth business.&nbsp; My first thought was, &ldquo;no way.&rdquo; But I figured I should at least call and decline. By the end of the call with Mr Cho, however, I told him I would go as long as my bosses OK&rsquo;d it, and I could pay for the meal.</p><p>When I told my friends on Facebook that I&rsquo;d been dining in the in the Northwest suburbs, Tribune restaurant critic Phil Vettel wrote back, &ldquo;10 minutes from the airport. You&#39;ll be over international waters before we know you&#39;re missing.&rdquo;</p><p>Sure, it was a risk but one I felt we are all too ready to avoid when it comes to meeting new people and checking out the workd of unknown culinary artists. Right? I invited my mom and 11-year-old daughter, to make sure I wasn&rsquo;t captured alone.</p><blockquote><p><a href="https://www.tumblr.com/reblog/109616767565/SaAaSRvg" target="_blank"><strong>Photos from Monica&#39;s 10-course meal</strong></a></p></blockquote><p>When we finally arrived, Mr. Cho met us in the parking lot of the very old condo complex. He led us up some stairs to a guy who looked like a Korean Harpo Marx dressed as a chef.&nbsp; As we entered the dining room/living room of his tiny place we found an elaborately decorated table, pink placemats, crystal. Loud French bistro music poured from the giant TV all night.</p><p>Hello Kitty, My Little Pony and other dolls filled the nearby shelves along with several more homemade Christmas trees. Other souvenirs included tiny chef dolls, Eiffel Tower replicas and pictures from chef James Hahn&rsquo;s many hair styling exhibitions.</p><p>I joined the other guests at the table and Hahn disappeared into the kitchen.</p><p>Within minutes, the first course was on the table. It was a purplish salad that Hahn said reflected his time in Nice, France.</p><p>Cho explained that Hahn was in Paris studying hairdressing when he first became fascinated with cooking. He said Hahn learned as much as he could about French food before returning to Korea to become a famous hairstylist. It has only been since his arrival in the States that he&rsquo;s started cooking for groups.&nbsp;</p><p>Hahn has hosted about 10 of these dinners, spending weeks planning and preparing the meals. Guests are invited from the from the ranks of Hahn&#39;s favorite customers at Gloria Hair Art beauty salon in Niles. They often donate money at the end of the meal to help cover food expenses. Hahn works completely alone, as prep cook, chef and server.</p><p>&ldquo;This is his secondary job or like a hobby,&rdquo; Cho said. &ldquo;So I don&rsquo;t know how many times he&rsquo;s going to do this in the future, making a 10-course meal by himself. He needs a lot of energy. So maybe he&rsquo;ll do two or three times more. As far as I know he&rsquo;s more than 40-years-old. I don&rsquo;t know how much more energy he&rsquo;s got left. Last time I was here he was even sweating a lot.&rdquo;</p><p>Even though I knew the meal would be a multi-course affair, I hadn&rsquo;t expected it to be so elaborate. By the 6th course of fried lobster in an apple garlic sauce I was ready to pop. But there was still steak, abalone, sashimi and dessert to come. (see full course list below)</p><p>As the meal progressed, I started to understand Hahn&rsquo;s prominence in the Korean community--if not exactly why I was called here tonight.</p><p>It seems that he had become a sort of dancing, hairdresser celebrity in Korea, appearing on talk shows and styling the hair of the stars.</p><p>&ldquo;He&rsquo;s recognized as No. 1 hairstylist in the Korean community,&rdquo; Cho said, &ldquo;And he wants to be known for all of the United States. He is especially known for giving crazy haircuts in 10 minutes.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Can he give me a crazy haircut?&rdquo; I asked.</p><p>&ldquo;He can do whatever you want in 10 minutes,&rdquo; Cho said. &ldquo;He doesn&rsquo;t take long hours.&rdquo;</p><p>We finally finished the meal with a refreshing dragon fruit salad, and Cho announced that it was time to watch videos. These included Hahn&#39;s appearances on Korean talk shows, his dance performances and dancing haircutting acts. During some, his clients are even upside down. The final video showed him dancing and styling a red-haired client on stage at Chicago&rsquo;s Korean Festival on Bryn Mawr Avenue this past summer.</p><p>The clips from Korea showed elaborate headdresses that Hahn had created from his clients&#39; hair trimmings.&nbsp; Some took a year to produce. They have to be seen to be believed.</p><p>It was nearing midnight and my daughter was getting sleepy. So we left our donation, offered our deep thanks and we said our goodbyes. Despite my initial apprehension, it turned out that all Cho and Hahn wanted was to share their passion for food with a fellow foodie. And everyone left the experience alive.</p><p>As I told my daughter on the way out: this may have been a slightly risky move, but if you pass up every crazy invitation you get, you just may miss out on some magical experiences.</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/16202028940_84a71beaeb_z.jpg" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="Course eight: Rare porterhouse steak slices in a garlic pepper salsa with microgreens. (WBEZ/Monica Eng)" /></div><p><strong>Full 10 course menu</strong></p><ol><li>Ten-vegetable salad in the style of Nice, France. (pineapple jam)</li><li>Kemasal soup featuring a seafood broth, broccoli florets and shredded crab</li><li>Roasted burdock over bok choy, ginger and scallions.</li><li>Scallops in a cauliflower puree</li><li>Boiled shrimp and lobster tail in a pink sauce.</li><li>Fried lobster in an apple sauce showered in garlic chips. A slice of smoked salmon in a pink horseradish sauce on the side.</li><li>Steamed whole abalone served in the shell with mushrooms and accompanied by a piece of rolled grilled prosciutto.</li><li>Rare porterhouse steak slices in a garlic pepper salsa with microgreens.Broiled garlic lobster tail, tuna sashimi and an asparagus spear.</li><li>Broiled garlic lobster tail, tuna sashimi and an asparagus spear.</li><li>Dragon fruit, pineapple, persimmon, candied citrus and grapefruit salad.</li></ol><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 <a href="mailto:meng@wbez.org">meng@wbez.org</a></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/underground-korean-french-dinner-serves-mystery-and-music-111470 Advocates urge McDonald's to serve meat raised without antibiotics http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/advocates-urge-mcdonalds-serve-meat-raised-without-antibiotics-111441 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/antibiotics mcdonalds.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Advocacy groups are urging McDonald&rsquo;s Corp to stop serving meat from animals fed antibiotics.</p><p>Members of the Illinois Public Interest Research Group, the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition and Rosenthal Group held a press conference at Sopraffina Caffe in the Loop Thursday to formally challenge the fast food giant to rethink its meat sourcing on the issue.</p><p>McDonald&rsquo;s Corp did not respond to requests for comment.</p><p>Leading the charge was Illinois PIRG, which launched the campaign along with its national parent in seven cities across the country Thursday.</p><p>&ldquo;This is part of a larger public health issue of antibiotic resistance,&rdquo; said Illinois PIRG advocate Dev Gowda. &ldquo;The overuse of antibiotics on factory farms and the practice of feeding antibiotics to healthy farm animals is leading to antibiotic resistance. Now 2 million Americans get sick each year and 23,000 die from antibiotic resistant infections&nbsp; It&rsquo;s a danger when people go to the doctor for routine infections and they get antibiotics, but sometimes they don&rsquo;t work. So it&rsquo;s a really scary situation for many families.&rdquo;</p><p>Joining him was Taryn Kelly of the Rosenthal Group which owns Sopraffina Caffes, Poag Mahone and Trattoria No. 10 in Chicago. Four years ago all of those restaurants began sourcing their meat exclusively from producers who do not use antibiotics on healthy animals.</p><p>&ldquo;It is hard work. It takes dedication and passion,&rdquo; Kelly said. &ldquo;You have to be passionate about the cause. And the more restaurants we can get on board the easier it will before us. That&rsquo;s why we are here urging a big player like McDonald&rsquo;s to get on board with us.&rdquo;</p><p>When asked how such changes in sourcing affected prices for consumers, Kelly pointed out prices on the menu boards at the restaurant which included an 8-inch sandwich filled with grass fed beef raised without antibiotics. It cost $8.99. A 12-inch sausage and pepperoni pizza for two costs $10.49.</p><p>National chain Chick-Fil-A has pledged to start sourcing its chicken from producers who don&rsquo;t use antibiotics within five years and local chain Hannah&rsquo;s Bretzel has already instituted those standards for all of its meat.</p><p>In a released statement Rosenthal group president Dan Rosenthal said, &ldquo;If McDonald&rsquo;s were to [demand meat raised without antibiotics from] its suppliers, it would be a game changer, and one that would help preserve these vital drugs for our kids and grandkids. We&rsquo;ve done it for all the meat we buy for our restaurants&hellip;it&rsquo;ll take time, but McDonald&rsquo;s can do it, too!&rdquo;</p><p>In 2003, McDonald&rsquo;s put in place a policy that would prevent the use of antibiotics for growth promotion but would still allow them for disease prevention among healthy animals. And they do not apply to all producers.</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 meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 14:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/advocates-urge-mcdonalds-serve-meat-raised-without-antibiotics-111441 How food gets the 'Non-GMO' label http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/how-food-gets-non-gmo-label-111423 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/gmo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Demand for products that don&#39;t contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, is exploding.</p><p>And now many food companies are seeking certification for products that don&#39;t have any genetically modified ingredients, and not just the brands popular in the health food aisle. Even <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/content/original-cheerios-now-free-gmo-ingredients#.VJBo8zHF_pU">Cheerios</a>, that iconic cereal from General Mills, no longer contains GMOs.</p><p>&quot;We currently are at over $8.5 billion in annual sales of verified products,&quot; says Megan Westgate, executive director of the <a href="http://www.nongmoproject.org/">Non GMO Project</a>, an independent organization that verifies products.</p><p>To receive the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/28/283460420/why-the-non-gmo-label-is-organic-s-frenemy">label</a>, a product has to be certified as containing ingredients with less than 1 percent genetic modification. Westgate says that&#39;s a realistic standard, while totally GMO-free is not. She says natural foods stores began the process of defining a standard, involving other interested players along the way, including consumers. Now, General Mills is just one of the big food companies selling non-GMO products.</p><p>Sales of food labeled as non-GMO ballooned to over $3 billion in 2013, <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-gmo-fight-ripples-down-the-food-chain-1407465378">according</a> to <em>The Wall Street Journal.</em></p><p>&quot;Interestingly, with all of this traction in the natural sector,&quot; Westgate says, &quot;we&#39;re increasingly seeing more conventional companies coming on board and having their products verified.&quot;</p><p>But how does a company get into the non-GMO game? They might call <a href="http://www.foodchainid.com/">FoodChain ID</a>, a company in Fairfield, Iowa, that can shepherd a firm through the process. It&#39;s one of the third-party auditors that certifies products for the Non-GMO Project.</p><p>&quot;We start looking at ingredients, and we identify what are all the ingredients,&quot; says David Carter, FoodChain ID&#39;s general manager. &quot;And of course, the label itself doesn&#39;t always identify all of those. So we need to be sure that we have a list of all the processing aids, the carriers and all the inputs that go into a product.&quot;</p><p>Next, FoodChain ID figures out where each ingredient and input came from. If there&#39;s honey in cookies, for example, the company will have to show that the bees that make the honey aren&#39;t feeding near genetically modified corn. When there&#39;s even the smallest risk that an ingredient could contain a modified gene, DNA testing is in order.</p><p>FoodChain ID has a lab where a machine can extract the DNA from ingredient samples in order to analyze it. If that test finds no evidence of GMOs, the ingredient can go in the cookies. Carter says he can barely keep up with the number of inquiries coming in from companies that want certification.</p><p>&quot;The demand is now very, very high, and it has been for probably over a year in particular,&quot; Carter says.</p><p>To date, FoodChain ID says it has verified 17,000 ingredients from 10,000 suppliers in 96 countries.</p><p>It may take hundreds of dollars for some products to get a non-GMO label, depending on how many ingredients are already verified as being GMO-free and how many are not.</p><p>But even with the rising demand, non-GMO products make up a small fraction of the marketplace. More than <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/content/acres-genetically-modified-corn-nearly-doubled-decade#.VJBlbTHF_pU">90 percent</a> of corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. contains genetically modified traits. And those two crops are ubiquitous in processed foods like packaged cookies. Still, if the current trend continues, it seems likely that more farmers will consider planting non-GMO crops.</p><p>Various companies sell non-GMO seeds, but they can be more difficult to find. Plant breeder Alix Paez hopes his central Iowa seed company, Genetic Enterprises International, can help fill that market niche.</p><p>&quot;We are a very small company,&quot; Paez says &quot;so our strategy is to find niche markets for farmers that are looking for non-GMO products.&quot;</p><p>Farmers pay a premium for seeds that are genetically modified to withstand pests, or <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/01/24/265687251/soil-weedkillers-and-gmos-when-numbers-don-t-tell-the-whole-story">engineered</a> to tolerate popular herbicides, making it easier for farmers to use those chemicals to kill weeds. Paez and his wife, Mary Jane, hope to develop seeds than can achieve the same yields without those expensive, patented traits. This past season, they grew test plots on a farm in Boone County, Iowa, which they harvested this fall with an ancient red Massey Ferguson combine.</p><p>Paez studies the effectiveness of each hybrid seed variety. It&#39;s slow and meticulous work. But the careful data collection is key to determining whether a new, non-GMO hybrid can be competitive in the marketplace.</p><p>&quot;One of the main things is yield,&quot; Paez says. &quot;Stand-ability, consistent performance, disease tolerance &mdash; things like that.&quot;</p><p>If these seeds make the grade, farmers could potentially save some money. And their grain might fetch a premium, especially as demand for <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/26/283112526/chickens-laying-organic-eggs-eat-imported-food-and-its-pricey">non-GMO animal feed</a> grows. Because the only way to end up with non-GMO certified meat is to raise animals on non-GMO feed.</p><p>&mdash; <em><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/01/20/378361539/how-your-food-gets-the-non-gmo-label" target="_blank">via NPR&#39;s The Salt</a></em></p></p> Tue, 20 Jan 2015 12:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/how-food-gets-non-gmo-label-111423 What happens when a Chicago mom tries to become a deer hunter? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/what-happens-when-chicago-mom-tries-become-deer-hunter-111390 <p><p><em>Some of the images in the slideshow above depict graphic scenes from deer hunting.</em></p><p>After years of handwringing over the ethics of meat, I decided that this year I needed to kill my own &mdash; or maybe stop eating it.</p><p>My evolution started a decade ago with meat I bought from local farmers who raised the animals outside. Before long I tried to <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2008-09-21/features/0809160163_1_organic-meat-sales-pig-factory"><u>attend the slaughter of every kind of meat I ate</u></a> for a summer. I moved on to<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D45zEpIzxiM"> <u>learning how to butcher</u></a> animals myself. And finally I thought I was ready to kill my own dinner. &nbsp;</p><p>It was <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/columnists/chi-110226-hunt-novices-pictures-photogallery.html"><u>part of a project that I did</u></a> with my then-colleague Barbara Brotman when I was a reporter at the <em>Chicago Tribune</em>.</p><p>We wanted to see if you could take two urban moms and turn them into hunters.</p><p>We worked under hunting mentors including Department of Natural Resources instructors Bill Boggio and Ralph Schultz, who told us &ldquo;If you can learn to walk like a squirrel, you can sneak up on anything in the woods.&rdquo;</p><p>But after freezing through several weekends in deer stands and deer blinds on the Illinois-Iowa border in 2010, we came away with nothing. A minor gun accident convinced our editors that it was probably time to stop. So that was the end of it.</p><p>Or so I thought.</p><p>As I&rsquo;ve continued to report on food ethics over the years the fact that I never faced the true cost of meat &mdash; never killed my meal myself &mdash; has gnawed at my conscience. &nbsp;</p><p>So much so, that this year I decided I had to hunt again. &nbsp;</p><p>I knew it would be a long shot. I&rsquo;d have to get licenses, guns, land, special equipment, time off from work and kids, and mentors to guide me. But somehow I managed to do it.</p><p>I revisited hunter safety. Brushed back up on deer anatomy. And relearned how to shoot a gun.</p><p>My new mentor was Kankakee county horsewoman and hairdresser Amy Strahan. She scouted a spot with me and even convinced her dad, Bill, to help us put together a tree stand.</p><p>Next I headed to the Farm and Fleet boys department for more than $200 in head to toe camo gear. Amy kept my hunting clothes in one of her horse stalls for weeks to soak up animal smells.</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/HUNTER%20AMY.jpg" title="Amy Strahan agreed to become Monica Eng’s hunting partner for this year’s season in Kankakee County. She sits here in the woods just minutes before a four-point buck approached the two of them. (WBEZ/MONICA ENG)" /></div><p>Then in late November, I slipped on those clothes before dawn and jumped into Amy&rsquo;s truck. After a short drive, we crossed a craggy frozen field, climbed into our stand and sat in the darkness with the faint whine of the interstate in the distance. The warmth generated by our hike faded as the frosty predawn temperatures crept under my five layers of clothing. I started to remember that, the last time I tried the biggest challenge was just warding off frost bite. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>But I also remembered that hunting gives you a front row seat to the spectacle of mother nature turning up the house lights on the world. I sat on the east side of the tree stand and welcomed the tiny warm of the rising sun on my face. &nbsp;</p><p>Three frigid deerless hours later, &nbsp;I was thrilled to hear Amy announce that she had to get to work and we called it a day. I spent the rest of the day just thawing out and vowing to bring hand and footwarmers next time.</p><p>But by 5 a.m. the next morning I was dressed and trudging through a now-slippery rainsoaked field cradling a 12 gauge shotgun. Let&rsquo;s just say this is not my typical day as an urban food writer. And still no deer. The whole thing was startng to feel futile and a little absurd.</p><p>As we climbed out of our stand for the second morning, I asked Amy what she thought.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a little discouraging,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve usually seen something by now. But we&rsquo;ll just keep trying.&rdquo;</p><p>On the advice of farmer Roger Marcott, who was letting us use his land, we checked out another spot in a treeline across the road.</p><p>This time we had bellies full of big country diner breakfasts and a bottle of doe urine that we dabbed on cottonballs and placed in the trees.</p><p>Before we even loaded our guns, a buck appeared 40 yards away, snorted and dashed off. A doe frolicked in the distance but she was too far to shoot. My mentors always stressed that one of the worst things you can do is maim an animal with a bad shot. Waiting for a clean kill is essential.</p><p>So we settled down on a log tuning into every little crackle in woods. And then just as I was about to nod off, I heard a rustling in the tall dry weeds. A four-point buck was walking right toward us. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>My heart thudded in my chest as the deer browsed the greenery and kept advancing. He was now 15 yards away but facing us. Side shots are always a lot cleaner, but he wouldn&rsquo;t turn. Finally, he raised his head and turned his body to leave.</p><p>Amy had taken four deer in the last five years, but I&rsquo;d never shot anything.&nbsp;</p><p>She held her 20 gauge shotgun steady with her scope focused on the target and assumed I was doing the same.</p><p>But I&rsquo;d chickened out. All I had in hand was my recording equipment.</p><p>Finally, when the deer turned to leave, she took a shot. The deer leapt in the air and dashed away. I assumed she missed or just nicked him. But we followed after him anyway.</p><p>The trail of blood grew thicker as we followed it into another nearby wooded area where just 40 yards away he lay motionless, eyes wide open, tongue flopped to one side and a scarlet hole in his chest.</p><p>I was stunned that it could be over that quickly. Amy was stunned that I never lifted my gun.</p><p>&ldquo;I had no idea you were just recording,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I was waiting patiently, waiting patiently, and then when he turned to leave, I took a shot.&rdquo;</p><p>Amy is a Kankakee mom, hairdresser and horsewoman who agreed to take me hunting this season. It was part of a decade long personal and professional project to&nbsp; understand the true cost of my meat.&nbsp;</p><p>She thought today I&rsquo;d shoot my first deer, but it wasn&rsquo;t to be. She said my face had gone ashen. But we needed to move quickly, to remove his internal organs and cool him down or the meat would start to rot.&nbsp; Neither of us had ever done this.&nbsp;</p><p>So we heaved the 170 pound buck out of the forest and called, Roger Marcotte, the farmer who was letting us use his land.</p><p>While we were waiting, I asked Amy how she felt.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I think I would have been just as happy to let that buck walk on by.&rdquo;</p><p>Even though we both eat meat, the immediacy of the experience was filling us both with some remorse. She confessed that after she shot her first, &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t think I would ever be able to do it again.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Roger arrived in his tractor and we loaded the buck and ourselves into the tractor&rsquo;s bucket, the part usually used to shovel grain or dirt. As we rode across the craggy field, the buck lay at our feet like a sleeping pet. I took some video and thought about how unlike a normal day at the office this had been. But it was about to get even stranger.</p><p>Amy&rsquo;s friend Luke Chappel was waiting for us with his field dressing equipment at the edge of the field.</p><p>&ldquo;Did you bring some [rubber] gloves?&rdquo; Amy asked.<br />&ldquo;No,&rdquo; Luke replied. &ldquo;I just go in raw.&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;Awwww,&rdquo; Amy responded.&rdquo;Really?&rdquo;</p><p>Luke explained the first cut is around the anus cavity to prevent any feces from spoiling the meat. Next we had to gently slice through the skin and fur on the buck&rsquo;s belly to expose and carefully remove his organs.</p><p>Luke&rsquo;s taken dozens of deer as a hunter. I asked if it ever made him sad.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;If you don&rsquo;t have some remorse, there&rsquo;s something wrong with you,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;You gotta have some remorse. You&rsquo;re taking a life. But this is going to feed your kids. You&rsquo;re not wasting it. You&rsquo;re not just leaving it there and killing things for fun.&rdquo;</p><p>We left the colorful jewel-like pile of organs in the field for the coyotes to eat and brought the carcass across the road to Faith&rsquo;s Farm. Farmer Kim Snyder raises livestock outdoors and she was letting me stay at her house.</p><p>After we hosed off the carcass and cooled it down, we hung it in a barn to dry age several days.</p><p>Amy had to return to her kids but Luke said he&rsquo;d take me out the next morning--the last legal day of the month. I was still feeling pretty shaken by the day&rsquo;s events, but agreed to go.</p><p>After a third restless night of sleep and more dreams about deer, I rose at 4:45 a.m. and was out in the field by 5. Luke and I settled down behind the same log where Amy and I had hunted but saw nothing. We called it a day.</p><p>For the next two weeks, I mulled over the experience, haunted by my failure to pull the trigger. My license granted me one last weekend of hunting in early December. And I went to bed thinking about it every night, but finally decided I was done. My boss, however, thought differently. I ran into him on the Friday of the last hunting window of the season. He said I needed to follow it through.</p><p>So I returned to Roger&rsquo;s land to meet Amy on Sunday, the last day of the season. She was delayed so I struck out on my own. Roger was just a phone call away if I needed help, but the help I needed was a compass. I got lost looking for our old spot and wandered way off course. I&rsquo;m sure I angered and amused several hunters who watched me in their binoculars spook the deer on their land.&nbsp;</p><p>Eventually, I was picked up for trespassing by the landowner. Her name was Vanna. She grows pumpkins and sews American Girl Doll clothing in the off season. I apologized and got a ride back to Faith&rsquo;s Farm.</p><p>There I checked my phone and found a new text from Amy. It said:</p><p>&ldquo;I feel so bad. I&rsquo;m so sorry. I am trying to rally some troops in case you get one. If you have a shot, take it. But I will warn you, the remorse is hardest the first time. But you feel it every time.&rdquo;</p><p>With this warning echoing in my head, I ventured back out into the field--this time to the nearby tree stand. At least I knew how to get there. And I load my gun.</p><p>It was a cold, windy December afternoon and worse in the treestand. But it was also supremely peaceful up there. As a mom whose life is organized by deadlines, I can count on one hand the number of times I&rsquo;ve felt totally justified doing nothing but tuning in to nature for hours.&nbsp;</p><p>Still, as the sun began to fall, it became increasingly clear that today the deer would win and I would lose. They&rsquo;d chosen to make themselves scarce. But I wasn&rsquo;t altogether ungrateful. I honestly don&rsquo;t know if I was ready.</p><p>Farmer Kim Snyder, who was housing me during my trip, told me as much. She blamed it on my city upbringing that didn&rsquo;t prepare me for the realities of animal life and death when it comes to food. She had a point.</p><p>When and if I do go back out next year, I want to feel more confident. I want to leave behind this nagging sense of fear and doubt.</p><p>To do this, hunting expert and author Hank Shaw told me that I needed to get to the range and sharpen my shooting skills in the off season. He said I&rsquo;ll still feel sad after a kill but the least I can do is &ldquo;give any animal I shoot a death that I would be proud to have.&rdquo;</p><p>For that, I&rsquo;ll need practice and maybe even my own a gun. This was never part of the original plan.<br /><br />I still don&rsquo;t know what the future holds. But deer hunting season doesn&rsquo;t start up again&nbsp; in Kankakee County for another 11 months. So I&rsquo;ve got a little time to figure it out.</p><p><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-51e5f9a0-e4d5-f7cb-20cc-67497667a133">Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at</span><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> @monicaeng</a> or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Tue, 13 Jan 2015 13:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/what-happens-when-chicago-mom-tries-become-deer-hunter-111390 Inside the Indiana megadairy making Coca-Cola's new milk http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/inside-indiana-megadairy-making-coca-colas-new-milk-111321 <p><p>Coca-Cola got a lot of attention in November when it&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/11/26/366851927/coca-cola-wades-into-milk-business-with-fairlife">announced</a>&nbsp;that it was going into the milk business. Not just any milk, mind you: nutritious, reformulated supermilk.</p><p>It also invited ridicule. &quot;It&#39;s like they got Frankenstein to lactate,&quot;&nbsp;<a href="http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/ziipwv/thought-for-food%E2%80%94-fairlife-milk%E2%80%94-pizza-hut-s-subconscious-menu">scoffed</a>&nbsp;Stephen Colbert on his show. &quot;If this product doesn&#39;t work out, they can always re-introduce Milk Classic.&quot;</p><p>In fact, the idea for New Milk didn&#39;t come from Coca-Cola at all. It emerged from a huge, high-tech dairy farm in Indiana.</p><p>That dairy, called&nbsp;<a href="http://fofarms.com/">Fair Oaks Farms</a>, doubles as America&#39;s one and only dairy theme park, a bit of Americana that interrupts a monotonous stretch of Interstate 65 between Chicago and Indianapolis.</p><p>It grabs the attention of drivers with a series of tank trucks parked broadside like billboards in fields beside the highway. Painted on the tanks are cryptic messages: &quot;We Dairy You To Exit 200.&quot; Then: &quot;We Double Dairy You.&quot; The final tank truck has two huge fiberglass cows mounted on top of it.</p><p>The pitch may be goofy, but the farm is serious business. It&#39;s one of the biggest and most sophisticated dairies in the country, and it is home to 37,000 cows, divided among 11 different milking operations.</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/dairyland-2_custom-b1246a12d0f4892c1588d908bb44c125ff4cccb7-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="The amphitheater where visitors can watch cows give birth. Dan Charles/NPR" /></div><p>The visitors center offers a cheerful picture of milk production. The most startling touch: a small amphitheater where visitors can watch, through a floor-to-ceiling glass wall, as cows give birth.</p><p>Then it&#39;s off to the working part of the farm aboard a small bus. The bus rolls right down the middle of a barn that&#39;s almost 500 yards long, past about 1,000 cows that are eating, standing around, and lying in stalls on beds of sand.</p><p>There&#39;s also a stop at the &quot;milking parlor,&quot; where visitors watch from a balcony as cows, one by one, step onto an enormous rotating turntable to be milked. Sensors identify each cow, and computers record how much milk she&#39;s producing.</p><p>&quot;Take a look! They&#39;re calm, cool and collected, exactly the way the farmers want them to be,&quot; says my tour guide, Terry Tracy.</p><p>This is the frontier of dairying. In fact, the people who run this place are so ambitious, they&#39;re ready to change milk itself.</p><p>Coca-Cola is now a partner in this venture, but the idea began years ago, when two of the founders of Fair Oaks,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31R7V4-Cr5w">Mike and Sue McCloskey</a>, were running a big dairy operation in New Mexico. They ran into a problem with bad water, and had to buy some expensive membranes to filter out impurities.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/sue_enl-562a66e2e24af44e54e993313cc014de090eb40a-s1200.jpg" style="height: 213px; width: 320px; float: left; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" title="Sue McCloskey co-founded Fair Oaks Farms with her husband, Mike. Dan Charles/NPR" />Sue McCloskey says they started thinking about what those filters might accomplish with milk: &quot;Is there something else we can do with this milk that will give it a premium value that we&#39;re not thinking about?&quot;</p><p>They realized that the filters could separate raw milk into its different parts, such as protein, lactose, minerals and water. Perhaps they could put those parts back together in different proportions, altering milk&#39;s time-honored recipe.</p><p>&quot;I remember sitting down with Mike, and we were talking about this,&quot; McCloskey says. &quot;And I told him, &#39;Listen, if you could make a milk for me, as a woman, where I could get all of my calcium and a bunch of my protein in one glass or serving &mdash; holy mackerel, that would be the most awesome thing!&#39; &quot;</p><p>They did, in fact, create a kind of milk with extra protein and calcium but no lactose. The H-E-B supermarket chain in Texas sells it as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.heb.com/page/healthy-primo-picks/heb-mooptopia">Mootopia</a>. It tastes like a slightly thicker, richer version of milk.</p><p>Now the idea is going national, propelled by the immense marketing and logistical muscle of Coca-Cola. The beverage giant has joined forces with Fair Oaks Farms and Select Milk Producers, the cooperative that the McCloskeys founded in 1994. They created a venture called&nbsp;<a href="http://fairlife.com/">Fairlife</a>&nbsp;to produce a new line of milk-derived beverages. The first product, which is similar to Mootopia, will arrive in the dairy sections of supermarkets in January.</p><p><em style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/12/25/372664332/inside-the-indiana-megadairy-making-coca-colas-new-milk">via NPR&#39;s The Salt</a></em></p></p> Thu, 01 Jan 2015 11:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/inside-indiana-megadairy-making-coca-colas-new-milk-111321 Hangover helper: Tips to prevent a horrible headache http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/hangover-helper-tips-prevent-horrible-headache-111317 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/cn_hangover_sci_wide-eb5664df1582feefa7f6dcfbf6ea2fdbff7586c0-s600-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The first time I&nbsp;ever&nbsp;got tipsy was during a champagne toast at a cousin&#39;s wedding reception.</p><p>All was good, until the room started spinning &mdash; and the sight of my cousin&#39;s bride dancing in her wedding dress was just a whirl of lace.</p><p>Of course, if you&#39;re an uninitiated teenager, any amount of alcohol can go straight to your head. But, decades later, bubbly wine still seems to hit me faster than, say, beer. It turns out there&#39;s a reason.</p><p>&quot;Some of the dizziness you can feel after champagne is due to both the brain getting [a little] less oxygen and also the [effects] of the alcohol at the same time,&quot; explains researcher&nbsp;<a href="http://www.colorado.edu/ibg/people/279">Boris Tabakoff</a>&nbsp;at the University of Colorado, Boulder.</p><p>All the bubbles in sparkling wine are carbon dioxide. The C02&nbsp;competes with oxygen in our bloodstream, says Tabakoff, who studies the effects of alcohol on the body.</p><p>And according to a Princeton University<a href="http://www.princeton.edu/uhs/healthy-living/hot-topics/alcohol/">explainer</a>&nbsp;on alcohol absorption, carbon dioxide &quot;increases the pressure in your stomach, forcing alcohol out through the lining of your stomach into the bloodstream.&quot; That can speed up the rate of alcohol absorption &mdash;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/12/31/258588280/does-champagne-actually-get-you-drunker">albeit temporarily</a>.</p><p>So if you want to stay steady on your feet, sip that bubbly slowly. And if you want to prevent a hangover, swap your next glass of bubbly for water. Alternating between alcoholic beverages and H20 can help prevent the dehydration that accompanies a night of drinking.</p><p>&quot;What happens when you first start drinking,&quot; Tabakoff explains, &quot;is that a hormone that controls your water balance, an anti-diuretic hormone, is suppressed.&quot; And this leaves us heading for the ladies&#39; or men&#39;s room &mdash; which can precipitate a pounding headache in the morning.</p><p>But Tabakoff says dehydration is not the only reason we get a headache.</p><p>&quot;High levels of alcohol in the brain have fairly recently been shown to cause neuro-inflammation, basically, inflammation in the brain,&quot; he says.</p><p>This is why taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen, can help us feel better.</p><p>Now, alcohol isn&#39;t the only headache-producing culprit in our drink glasses. Many alcoholic beverages, such as wines and beers, contain toxic byproducts of fermentation, such as aldehydes. And Tabakoff says if you drink too much, you can feel the effects.</p><p>&quot;If these compounds accumulate in the body, &quot; explains Tabakoff, &quot;they can release your stress hormones, like epinephrine and norepinephrine, and as such can alter function in a stresslike way&quot; &mdash; paving the way for a hangover.</p><p>Tabakoff says distilled spirits contain fewer of these toxic compounds than other types of booze, which explains why some people report feeling fewer hangover effects if they stick with vodka or gin.</p><p>Obviously, the only sure way to avoid a hangover is to not drink alcohol. But if you are going to indulge, Tabakoff says the tried-and-true advice &mdash; eat something before you drink, and while you drink, makes good sense.</p><p>&quot;Food is very good for the purpose of slowing the absorption of alcohol,&quot; he says.</p><p>Adding liquid calories to your cocktails &mdash; say, Coke, ginger ale or sugary punch as a mixer &mdash; is a good way to slow absorption, too. In fact, a study we&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/01/31/170748045/why-mixing-alcohol-with-diet-soda-may-make-you-drunker">reported</a>&nbsp;on back in 2013 determined that a diet soda and rum will make you drunker than rum mixed with sugary Coke.</p><p><a href="http://artscience.nku.edu/departments/psychology/facstaff/ft-faculty/marczinski.html">Cecile Marczinski</a>, a cognitive psychologist who authored that study, found that the average breath alcohol concentration was .091 (at its peak) when subjects drank alcohol mixed with a diet drink. By comparison, BrAC was .077 when the same subjects consumed the same amount of alcohol but with a sugary soda.</p><p>&quot;I was a little surprised by the findings, since the 18 percent increase in [BrAC] was a fairly large difference,&quot; Marczinski told us at the time. She says the difference would not likely have been as large if the subjects &mdash; who were all college age &mdash; had not been drinking on empty stomachs.</p><p>And here&#39;s another self-evident tip when it comes to drinking: Pace yourself.</p><p>&quot;We can get rid of most of the alcohol we drink if we [limit] drinking to one drink per hour,&quot; Tabakofff says. This way, &quot;our blood alcohol levels don&#39;t start accumulating.&quot;</p><p>One drink per hour is a rule of thumb, but that can vary depending on height or body size. Bigger people tend to be able to handle a little more alcohol, and smaller people a little less.</p><p>And remember, Tabakoff says, a single drink is less than you might think. It&#39;s 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or a shot of liquor.</p><p>&mdash; <em><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/12/30/371950986/hangover-helper-tips-to-prevent-a-horrible-headache" target="_blank">via NPR</a></em></p></p> Wed, 31 Dec 2014 11:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/hangover-helper-tips-prevent-horrible-headache-111317 As bourbon booms, demand for barrels is overflowing http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/bourbon-booms-demand-barrels-overflowing-111303 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/barrel.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>If you could make a lot of bourbon whiskey these days, you could be distilling real profits. Bourbon sales in this country are up 36 percent over the last five years.</p><p>But you&#39;d need new wooden barrels for aging your new pristine product. Simple white oak barrels, charred on the inside to <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/09/09/220655227/rye-bother-an-inside-the-barrel-look-at-american-whiskeys" target="_blank">increase flavor</a> and add color, are becoming more precious than the bourbon.</p><p>Making these barrels is a very old craft, almost an art, called cooperage. The Scots-Irish who settled in Appalachia could do this. Cut the white oak boards into staves, steam them to bend, make metal hoops to hold the barrel tight.</p><p>My first stop to see this process is the small town of Lebanon, Ky. This cooperage is one of several owned by a company called Independent Stave. It&#39;s based in Missouri and it&#39;s the largest maker of whiskey barrels in the world.</p><p>As the barrels take shape they are carried, rolled, and conveyed &ndash; sometimes overhead &ndash; to the different work stations. Starting out as a collection of oak staves, they are fitted together, steamed, bound with steel and seared with flame before arriving at the end ready for inspection.</p><p>&quot;The barrel has water and air in it,&quot; says Leo Smith, the supervisor for the last stop on the production line. &quot;They&#39;re looking for any kind of leak or defect in the barrel. He&#39;s gonna put a plug in that barrel where it&#39;s leaking to stop that leak.&quot;</p><p>The plug is a simple piece of cedar, whittled by hand.</p><p>Independent Stave is a family-owned company and they don&#39;t talk much. I can&#39;t ask how many people work here in Kentucky or how many barrels they make. But the plant manager, Barry Shewmaker, does say, in the last two years production has doubled.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re seen an increase and it looks like there&#39;s no end in sight,&quot; Shewmaker says.</p><p><a href="http://www.independentstavecompany.com/">Independent Stave</a> makes barrels for the big distilleries &ndash; Kentucky brand names you might have tasted &mdash; and so far Independent is staying steady with demand.</p><p>But there&#39;s another need for oak barrels: very small craft distilleries starting to make bourbon, vodka, gin or rum. Their output is low &ndash; sort of like a drop compared to the big brands&ndash; but someone does have to make the barrels.</p><p>Kevin and Paul McLaughlin moved to Louisville from Scotland and are joint presidents of <a href="http://kelvincooperage.com/">Kelvin Cooperage</a> here. For more than 20 years they&#39;ve been crafting wine barrels, and they buy used bourbon barrels to fix up and sell to the whiskey trade in Scotland and Ireland.</p><p>But now a different market has come right to them: They&#39;re making white oak barrels for the newly-rising craft distillers. Paul McLaughlin takes me to watch the charring process &ndash; they put oak scraps in the finished barrel &ndash; and soon we see the flames. In the beginning it&#39;s called toast.<br /><br />&quot;We start smelling kind of a baked bread &mdash; that&#39;s what we like, that&#39;s when we know we&#39;re getting the toast layer and once we have the toast layer we&#39;ll let the barrel ignite,&quot; says Paul McLaughlin. &quot;You get baked bread, you get marzipan &mdash; really nice smells.&quot;<br /><br />There may be as many as 700 small craft distillers in the U.S. today, and that number is going up fast.<br /><br />&quot;Some of them call and say I&#39;m making whiskey I&#39;ve got my stills going and I need barrels and I didn&#39;t think there would ever be a problem getting barrels,&quot; Kevin McLaughlin says.<br /><br />At the Kelvin Cooperage in Louisville they are working overtime. But the company estimates that in 2015 they could sell all the barrels they could make, 10 times over.</p><p>&mdash; <em><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/12/29/373787773/as-bourbon-booms-demand-for-barrels-is-overflowing" target="_blank">via NPR&#39;s The Salt</a>&nbsp;</em></p></p> Mon, 29 Dec 2014 16:50:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/bourbon-booms-demand-barrels-overflowing-111303 Global Activism: Meal Sharing on Thanksgiving http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-meal-sharing-thanksgiving-111135 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/mealsharing.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Thanksgiving is almost here. And as many prepare to hit the roads and skies to see family and friends,&nbsp; you may be traveling with no place to go or you might be home alone.&nbsp; Jason Savsani says he has a solution for you. He&rsquo;s founder of Meal Sharing. It&rsquo;s a website and app that promotes cultural diplomacy by connecting meal providers to meal seekers, around the globe. For Global Activism, Savsani will tell us how to connect you with a meal and friends for the Holidays.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/177864474&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-meal-sharing-thanksgiving-111135 Global Activism: Bhuvana Foundation aids children in India's Tamil Nadu State http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-bhuvana-foundation-aids-children-indias-tamil-nadu-state <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/GA-Vidya Vanam.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-94ea7097-81b5-8895-dc12-376c8631483d">Statistics show that India&rsquo;s school drop-out rate is very high. Children and their families, marginalized by society and culture, include people from the tribal, lower social strata in the hill regions of India. <a href="http://www.bhuvanafoundation.org/">Bhuvana Foundation</a> was created &ldquo;to provide three nutritious meals, timely and regular primary care and a well rounded education&rdquo; for children in India, especially in Tamil Nadu State. For Global Activism, we speak with neurologist Subramaniam Sriram, founder/president of Bhuvana Foundation and Mridu Sekhar, a </span>Bhuvana trustee, about their work that began with Sriram&rsquo;s vision - &ldquo;to create a fear-free environment of learning so people are nurtured and cherished.&rdquo;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/175679848&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Mridu Sekhar feels Bhuvana Foundation&rsquo;s work with Vidya Vanam is a calling:</p><p style="margin-left:76.5pt;">I am on the board and just as passionate to give these kids the choices my grandchildren have at Lab School! I feel that we have all lost our way in educating our young. We are not trying to educate them to be good human beings and good citizens capable of thoughtful relationships with a dynamic and fast paced society! Vidya Vanam is sister schools with Pershing East here on the south side. I feel that mostly all the kids of Vidya Vanam will &quot;make it&quot;, &nbsp;while I can&#39;t say the same with confidence for the kids at Pershing East! Vidya Vanam also has about 30 kids to a class and the live in mud huts with parents who are very violent and alcoholic and can&#39;t read or write and often not enough to eat except in school! Catching them at preschool age ( 3-4) and giving them this nurturing environment for 7-9 hours a day is the key to changing the paradigm.</p></p> Thu, 06 Nov 2014 09:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-bhuvana-foundation-aids-children-indias-tamil-nadu-state