WBEZ | meat http://www.wbez.org/tags/meat Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago’s top chefs join Ald. Ed Burke to urge limits on antibiotic use http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago%E2%80%99s-top-chefs-join-ald-ed-burke-urge-limits-antibiotic-use-110406 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/BURKE-photo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When you see a gathering of white coated chefs around Chicago it&rsquo;s usually as part of a food festival or some gala dinner. But Tuesday morning some of the city&rsquo;s top cooks and restaurateurs gathered at City Hall to voice their concerns about public health and the way animals are raised in this country.</p><p>They were there to support a non-binding City Council resolution to support long-stalled Congressional bills on antibiotics. Known as <a href="http://www.louise.house.gov/the-preservation-of-antibiotics-for-medical-treatment-act">PAMPTA </a>and PARA, they would stop American farmers from using certain classes of antibiotics on healthy animals. The practice is meant to promote growth and prevent disease.</p><p>The world&rsquo;s leading health authorities believe that overuse of antibiotics in hospital and farm settings is leading to the rise of &ldquo;superbugs&rdquo;, or bacterial infections that can no longer be cured with antibiotics.</p><p>Long-time Chicago restaurateur and co-founder of the <a href="http://buygreenchicago.org/">Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition</a> Ina Pinkney introduced the long list of scientists and doctors who would speak at the finance committee hearing on the resolution later that day.</p><p>But she also shared a personal story of a friend who recently gave birth to twins.</p><p>&ldquo;One baby went home and the other one was sick and they found MRSA in her nose as a nine-day-old,&rdquo; Pinkney said. &ldquo;Then you have to say that things are not OK.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>The <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/about.html">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports</a> that over 2 million Americans are infected by so-called superbugs each year and and more than 23,000 die.</p><p>&ldquo;The antibiotic issue is just out of control,&rdquo; said Dan <a href="https://www.sopraffina.com/dolce/homepage.htm">Rosenthal, whose restaurant group </a>owns seven Chicago eateries including Sopraffina and Ciccheti.</p><p>&ldquo;We are creating, in our industrial meat complex, the perfect environment to create antibiotic resistant bacteria...They are found in our meat and water supply and system and what happens is we get to a situation where antibiotics are no longer effective.&rdquo; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Rosenthal is so concerned over the issue that since 2012, he&#39;s sourced all 800,000 pounds of meat he serves in his restaurants each year from farms who don&rsquo;t use antibiotics on their healthy animals.</p><p>It was also Rosenthal who, last April, urged Alderman Ed Burke to introduce the proposed resolution to the City Council.</p><p>If passed tomorrow, the resolution can&rsquo;t force Congress to do anything, but Burke says it can &ldquo;call the attention of the Illinois delegation to what we believe is an important public health initiative.&rdquo;</p><p>But the measures face considerable opposition. The biggest players in the livestock industry have long resisted any mandatory restrictions.</p><p>&quot;We are opposed to those bills because we really believe they are out of date with the current Food and Drug Administration regulatory activities,&rdquo; said Illinois Pork Producer Association spokesman Tim Maier, who is based in Springfield.</p><p>He&#39;s referring to recent voluntary guidelines that prohibit using antibiotics to make animals grow faster. But preventative uses are still in a gray area and critics say the situation is much too grave to solve with voluntary guidelines. They further argue that the government doesn&rsquo;t collect enough data to know if any farmers are choosing to comply. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>But while health activists cite the rise of antibiotic resistant infections and antibiotic resistant bacteria on supermarket meat as as threat to public health, Maier says it&#39;s the restrictions proposed in the legislation that would cause a threat.</p><p>&ldquo;We think they would actually harm animal health and by extension food safety by limiting the antibiotics that are available for farmers to use when they want to treat their animals,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Denmark, which is one of the largest pork producers in the world, banned the use of non-therapeutic antibiotics in livestock in 2000. The move required some adjustments and saw some outbreaks of disease, but within a decade the World Health Organization &ldquo;found that the ban reduced human health risk without significantly harming animal health or farmers&#39; incomes,&rdquo; according to the<a href="http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/issue-briefs/2010/11/01/avoiding-antibiotic-resistance-denmarks-ban-on-growth-promoting-antibiotics-in-food-animals"> Pew Charitable Trust</a>.</p><p>So why are chefs and restaurateurs involved in this legislative discussion?</p><p>&ldquo;Because they understand that a meat supply that produces killer bacteria along with the meat is an unsustainable system and it has to be changed,&rdquo; said Rosenthal. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s why these chefs are standing up for meat raised in a sustainable fashion without antibiotics to provide a better source of supply of meat both at the restaurant level and in the grocery store.&quot;</p><p>At grocery stores like <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/about-our-products/quality-standards/animal-welfare-standards">Whole Foods Market, </a>meat raised without antibiotics has served the baseline standards for a few years. Jared Donisvitch oversees the butcher counter at the store&rsquo;s Lincoln Park location, where, he says, the antibiotic issue on shoppers minds.</p><p>&ldquo;It comes up fairly often with our interactions with customers,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;and so we are a well-trained group here and try to help customers with any questions they have on that.&rdquo;</p><p>Representative Louise Slaughter of New York State is Congress&rsquo; only microbiologist and the sponsor of PAMPTA. Last week, she sent a letter to the Chicago City Council, saying &ldquo;It is only through local, grassroots efforts like yours that we will make a difference in public health on a national level.&quot;</p><p>If the City Council resolution passes this week, Chicago would join the ranks of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Seattle and others. But even if all the cities in the nation adopt such resolutions, they can&rsquo;t pass an act of Congress.</p><p>Still, Susan Vaughn Grooters of <a href="http://www.keepantibioticsworking.com/">Keep Antibiotics Working</a>, a nationwide coalition that aims to pass legislation to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics, says the local resolutions add a new voice to the usual Congressional debates. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;If we could get the groundswell from city councils across the nation to help support the federal legislation it could really help what&rsquo;s happening in DC now,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s essential that they hear from other people, not just inside the beltway in DC.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>Burke also notes that municipal resolutions have played a part in creating national momentum on issues in the past. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;One issue that comes to mind is the effort we undertook a number of years ago to ban trans fats from food products,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Now you can&rsquo;t walk down the aisles of the grocery store without seeing notations on boxes, &lsquo;no trans fats&rsquo;.&rdquo;</p><p>The City Council is expected to vote on the resolution Wednesday afternoon.</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 style="margin-left:.5in;">&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 08:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago%E2%80%99s-top-chefs-join-ald-ed-burke-urge-limits-antibiotic-use-110406 Grilled meats serve up dangerous compounds, but you can avoid some http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/grilled-meats-serve-dangerous-compounds-you-can-avoid-some-110214 <p><p>For many, Memorial Day weekend means it&rsquo;s finally time to bust out two things: the white shoes and blackened meats.&nbsp;</p><p>American dads may take pride in their cross-hatch grill marks, but those juicy, charred slabs of meat are coming under incresing scrutiny for the dangerous compounds they develop when protein meets dry blazing heat.</p><p>These include heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and advanced glycation end products or HCAs, PAHs and AGEs.</p><p>Peter Guengerich is a biochemistry professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He&rsquo;s been studying HCAs and PAHs for 25 years, and he says that, on their own, the compounds aren&#39;t all that dangerous.</p><p>&ldquo;But our bodies have enzyme systems that convert these into reactive compounds,&rdquo; Guengerich said. &ldquo;Things that get stuck irreversibly on your DNA and can cause mutations and potentially cancer, most commonly colon cancer.&rdquo;</p><p>It&rsquo;s important to note that this has little to do with charcoal vs. gas or other fuels.</p><p>Dr Jaime Uribarri of Mount Sinai Medical Center says what matters are the AGEs &mdash; the crispy, browned, tasty bits that form on the outside of grilled meat and other foods.&nbsp; In the kitchen they&rsquo;re considered flavor, but in most medical labs, Uribarri says, they&rsquo;re linked to inflammation that causes &ldquo;diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, dementia and essentially most of the chronic medical conditions of modern times.&rdquo;</p><p>In fact, recent Mount Sinai research shows that mice fed a diet high in AGEs &mdash; similar to a Western diet &mdash; developed marked cognitive decline and precursors to Alzheimers disease and diabetes. Those fed a low-AGE diet were free of those conditions.&nbsp;</p><p>So does this mean an end to the all-American cookout?&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;If it is something done only once a year it may not be that bad,&rdquo; Uribarri says.</p><p>Only once a year?</p><p>Professor Guengerich won&rsquo;t go that far, but he does urge moderation.</p><p>&ldquo;Well basically if you only eat these things occasionally, [I&rsquo;m] probably not too concerned,&rdquo; the biochemist said. &ldquo;But if you are making a habit of eating these things every other day, grilled at high temperatures, you probably should think about it a little bit more.&rdquo;</p><p>But before you put away the Weber you should know there are lots of ways to cut down on these compounds at your barbecue.</p><p>To reduce the AGE&rsquo;s, Uribarri suggests a few things.</p><p>&ldquo;Make sure the meat is not left for very long periods of time on the grill,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Whenever possible, the meat should be marinated or freshened with juices during the cooking. And simultaneously, eat a lot of fruits vegetables and things that will kind of antagonize the bad effects of these compounds.&rdquo;</p><p>These would include antioxidant rich foods like blueberries, pomegranates and cherries &mdash; one Michigan butcher even blends them into his burger meat.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/blueberries.jpg" title="Eating antioxidant rich foods like blueberries, cherries and pomegranates with grilled foods may help reduce the harmful effects of grilling byproducts. (WBEZ/MONICA ENG) " /></div><p>Studies also show that marination in wine, vinegar or lemon juice can lower the meat&rsquo;s pH and cut way down on the formation of AGE and HCA. Another study shows that rubbing meat with fresh rosemary can cut HCA development most entirely.</p><p>Guengerich says you should also cover your grill with foil to avoid carcinogenic flare ups that produce PAHs on the surface.</p><p>&ldquo;And if you are particularly concerned you can preheat [the meat] in a microwave and get the juice out,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Then take it out and put it on the grill and you&rsquo;ll actually reduce your exposure by about 90 percent and you won&rsquo;t lose that much in the way of taste either.&rdquo;</p><p>Then there&rsquo;s the low-tech method of simply scraping off what Guengerich calls &quot;the black crud&quot; from the outside of your food. Those grill marks are rich in these carcinogenic compounds.<br /><br />Fans of cole slaw, broccoli and Brussels sprouts may also have more leeway. One study found that regular consumption of these cruciferous vegetables can help clear DNA damage wrought by the grilling process.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>And finally, Uribarri suggests simply swapping the dry high heat cooking for gentler water based methods most of the time.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;So take for example a piece of meat,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;You put it on the grill to cook for half an hour, you generate so many AGEs. Then you take the same piece of meat, but now you put it under a lot of water to cook as a stew, you generate much much fewer. &ldquo;&nbsp;</p><p>This may be effective, but will anyone really want to come over to your house this summer for a burger boil?</p><p>Wiviott doesn&rsquo;t think so.<br /><br />&ldquo;No one wants to eat nine ounces of poached chicken or turkey breast,&rdquo; the pitmaster of Barn &amp; Company says.</p><p>&quot;Conversely, if you grill it and you have texture and crunch and flavor and salt and fat, that&rsquo;s when something really tastes good.&quot;</p><p>Wiviott is the author of &ldquo;Low and Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in FIve Easy Lessons.&rdquo; And he finds&nbsp; it hard to swallow all the recent science deriding his favorite foods.</p><p>&quot;In my lifetime, I&rsquo;ve seen coffee be not good for you; now it&rsquo;s good for you. Red wine not good for you; now it&rsquo;s good for you.&nbsp; Butter, pig fat. Margarine was good for you and now it&rsquo;s not,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I mean, since the cavemen started cooking, people have cooked their meat over an open fire and we&rsquo;re still around. So I can&rsquo;t imagine that it&rsquo;s all that bad for you&hellip;.Plus, it&rsquo;s absolutely delicious.&quot;</p><p>So does this mean you have to choose between boiled meat or colon cancer? Between long life and a char-striped hot dog?</p><p>&ldquo;Well it is a carcinogen,&rdquo; Guengerich says. &ldquo;But I don&rsquo;t want people to have a guilty conscience or feel like they are going to get cancer tomorrow. Just be moderate about your consumption of anything. Grilled foods included.&quot;</p><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Farmers-market-cabbage.jpg" style="width: 620px;" title="Regular consumption of cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts can help clear DNA damage from byproducts of grilled meats. (WBEZ/MONICA ENG) " /></div><p><strong>Tips for Reducing Grilled Food Dangers</strong></p><p>If you don&rsquo;t want to give up grilling meat all together, experts say, there are several ways to reduce the formation and your consumption of heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and advanced glycation end products. Here are some of them:</p><ul><li>Pre-cook your meat in a pot of water, a low-temperature oven or microwave before finishing briefly on the grill.</li><li>Cover grill with foil to reduce drips and flare ups, which produce PAHs, or consider wrapping your meat in foil before placing it on the grill.&nbsp;</li><li>Marinate meat with vinegar, lemon juice or wine for at least 10 minutes before grilling. This can alter its pH, thus reducing the formation of AGEs during cooking.</li><li>Rub your meat with rosemary or other antioxidant rich fresh herbs before cooking.</li><li>Before eating, scrape off the carcinogenic &ldquo;black crud&rdquo; that may develop on meat or other foods during grilling.</li><li>Remove browned and blackened chicken skin before eating.</li><li>Eat cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables on a regular basis to provide your body with sulforaphane, which has been known to help clear DNA damaging compounds more quickly.</li><li>Eat antioxidant rich, deeply colored fruits and vegetables with your grilled meats to help counter the effects of the compounds.&nbsp;</li><li>Consider a weenie boil rather than a weenie roast. You will produce many fewer AGEs in the process.&nbsp;</li></ul></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 21 May 2014 11:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/grilled-meats-serve-dangerous-compounds-you-can-avoid-some-110214 Should children meet their meat? http://www.wbez.org/sections/lifestyle/should-children-meet-their-meat-108872 <p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="460" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/oUqhG1fHLBQ" width="620"></iframe></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F114447731" width="100%"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr">On a recent sunny September morning, a crowd of Chicago foodies pulled up to Faith&rsquo;s Farm in Kankakee County to learn about where their meat comes from.</p><p dir="ltr">Four black hogs romped around a straw-filled trailer in the front yard snuggling, squealing and sniffing at all the newcomers to their home.</p><p dir="ltr">One of them wouldn&rsquo;t make it through the day, but she didn&rsquo;t know it. Unlike the majority of hog farms in this country, Faith&#39;s Farm smells sweet and features herds of jolly looking black hogs roaming its 30-plus acres. &nbsp;&nbsp;Although these pigs weren&rsquo;t used to hanging out in a trailer, they looked pretty relaxed, surrounded by relatives and pals from their herd. Farmer Kim Snyder said she was trying to keep their surroundings as normal as possible.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If I left her sitting on a trailer by herself, she would become stressed,&rdquo; Snyder explained.</p><p dir="ltr">This was the fifth year Snyder brought together Chicago area chefs, &nbsp;craft brewers, wine makers, and farmers for a day of learning, cooking, breaking bread&mdash; and slaughtering animals. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">It was 2008 when Snyder launched the event with farmer Harry Carr and chefs Bernie Laskowski of the Park Grill and Cleetus Friedman of the Fountainhead as co-sponsors.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/hog%20slaughter2.PNG" style="float: right; height: 215px; width: 320px;" title="Visitors to Faiths Farm, including kids, watch a humane hog slaughter. Some people believe this is important to witness while others think its wrong. (WBEZ/Monica Eng)" /></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think it was six or seven years ago that I first did a farm dinner here on Faith&#39;s Farm,&rdquo; Friedman said. &ldquo;And after I saw the impact of how it affected people, I said we should really bring chefs down here and connect them to their food...So they could see the process and literally touch it and be a part of it.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">For me and a lot of chefs, the trip to Faith&#39;s Farm each year serves as an important reminder of what must be sacrificed for us to produce and eat the meat we love so much.</p><p dir="ltr">As the slaughter draws near a nervous pall falls over the group. Snyder prepares the visitors for what they are about to see. &nbsp;She explains that Sam, the butcher, will shoot a 22 caliber bullet into to the hog&rsquo;s brain. But it doesn&rsquo;t end there. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not going to drop and not move,&rdquo; she warned. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s going to move. We will confirm brain death by eye dilation and once Sam has confirmed brain death he will continue the process, you can ask questions and he will will show you how to skin and properly eviscerate the animal.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">As if that wasn&rsquo;t scary enough, the butcher issues yet another warning, saying &ldquo;Before we get started, if anyone is squeamish, you can&rsquo;t stand blood or the cracking of bones or if you can&rsquo;t handle guts, you might want to step away.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">A nervous silence falls over the group as Sam sharpens his knives then picks up his rifle and approaches the trailer.</p><p dir="ltr">Within moments the rifle goes off and the hog is kicking wildly on the ground. Sam grabs her leg and holds on tight to prevent injury to him and the animal, herself.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Hogs kick harder than any other animal when they die,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve seen hogs shatter their femur going down.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Once she stops kicking subsides the pigs legs are tied with chains and she&rsquo;s hoisted in the air. In one swift motion, Sam cuts the jugular and carotid arteries around her neck. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">The gathered group swallows hard as they watch the scarlet blood stream into a bucket.</p><p dir="ltr">Snyder breaks the silence by saying that she wishes all of her hogs could be processed right on her farm like this so that they could live and romp with their herd until the very last minute.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;This animal was born here and lived her life free,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;And so she felt no stress.&rdquo;</p><p><iframe align="left" frameborder="0" height="100" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F114451791" width="300"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr">The same can&rsquo;t be said for all of the visitors in attendance. Fountainhead cook Andy Spetz, stood a few feet from the action, visibly moved by the process.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve seen butchery from dead animals but this is the first time I&rsquo;ve actually seen it from the point of the killing and it&rsquo;s going to make me go back to my kitchen and really think twice about everything I&rsquo;ve been doing,&rdquo; he said.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;One of the biggest things is just thinking about where your food is coming from that that understanding that these were a live animal that somebody cared for and loved and is now sacrificing for everyone here to enjoy it. It&rsquo;s a very powerful thing.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Mark Sabbe is a sous chef at Merxat a la Plancha. This is his second year.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s really important for anyone who works in food to understand where it comes from,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;As a chef I want to understand how the animals are raised and how they are killed and what goes into breaking it down&hellip;.Once you&rsquo;ve met Kim and you&rsquo;ve been to her farm and you see the way she takes care of her animals it&rsquo;s really difficult to buy commercial [pork] again.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Edward Kim is the executive chef at Ruxbin and Mott Street. He brought members of both his kitchen and his dining room staff.</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/01.jpg" style="float: left; height: 233px; width: 350px;" title="(WBEZ/Tim Akimoff)" />&ldquo;The average person when they go the grocery store, their meat comes in a cellophane package and doesn&rsquo;t even seem like an animal,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;One of the greatest lessons I can teach my staff and cooks is to respect the food and remember that protein was a living animal. It&rsquo;s not fun to watch the harvesting of animal but it really brings it home that this was a living being and you are going to make sure that pork and chicken and try your best and make it taste as good as you can.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Over the years, I&rsquo;ve interviewed a lot of chefs at this event who felt transformed by the experience. But I&rsquo;ve also interviewed the kids&mdash;mostly city kids whose allowed them to witness the slaughter.</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-08-26/opinion/ct-talk-eng-slaughter-column-20100826_1_meat-bacon-hogs">Three years ago, I took my own seven year old daughter Miranda.</a></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It made me feel sad and kind of grossed out because I don&rsquo;t like seeing dead stuff,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;But after it, I thought a lot more about what I&rsquo;m eating.</p><p dir="ltr">WBEZ digital editor Tim Akimoff brought his 12-year-old son Carson this year, too. Some of the aspects of the slaughter took him by surprise.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t think there would be as much blood as that,&rdquo; the 12-year-old said. &ldquo;I used to think the meat we eat came from more around the stomach, but I learned it comes from around the thighs.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">But do they think it&rsquo;s OK for parents to let their kids see it?</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If they know their kid well and they think that they are too sensitive to see it...then they shouldn&rsquo;t,&rdquo; Miranda said. &ldquo;But if they are just being overprotective...then they should let them go.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Carson agrees.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s good to see where your meat comes from because it&rsquo;s how we get our food,&rdquo; he says.</p><p dir="ltr">After the animals are quartered and moved to the freezer to chill, Snyder takes first timers on a tour of the farm where cows, chickens and hogs largely roam free.</p><p dir="ltr">Others cool off in the shade while listening to the tunes of cowboy singer Kent Rose.</p><p dir="ltr">After the tour, the chefs descend on Snyder&rsquo;s large kitchen to prep their potluck dishes, while others work to break down the carcasses. Right before sun down they load long outdoor tables with platters of grilled vegetables, rosemary rolls, farro salad with roasted squash, beet and goat cheese salads, braised goat and vanilla cake and deeply chocolately brownies.</p><p dir="ltr">By night&rsquo;s end, each will go home with a souvenir ceramic cup, several pounds of fresh pork and a some new insights on the meat they serve in their kitchens and restaurants.</p><p dir="ltr">Monica Eng is a WBEZ web producer. Follow her&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/triciabobeda">@</a>monicaeng.</p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 08 Oct 2013 16:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/lifestyle/should-children-meet-their-meat-108872 Sometimes meat is worth the risk http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-04/sometimes-meat-worth-risk-106788 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/sollysbutterburger.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Original Solly cheeseburger with sirloin patty, butter, stewed onions, and American cheese at Solly's Grille in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">And the losers are: ground beef and chicken. Those are the meats most likely to make you sick with severe foodborne illness cased by bacteria according to a study released today by the <a href="https://twitter.com/CSPI"><u>Center for Science in the Public Interest</u></a>. The non-profit advocate for nutrition, health, and food safety&nbsp;reviewed more than 33,000 cases of foodborne illness over a 12 year period.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Of course this is a complex issue with infinite variables. It starts at your meat source and ends at your plate.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><p>How can you reduce your risk? (Other than not eating ground beef or chicken.) CSPI senior food safety attorney Sarah Klein recommends safe food handling and a thermometer.</p><p>I recommend the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002GIZZWM?ie=UTF8&amp;creativeASIN=B002GIZZWM&amp;tag=lklchu-20"><u>Thermapen on the high end ($96)</u></a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000A3L614?ie=UTF8&amp;creativeASIN=B000A3L614&amp;tag=lklchu-20"><u>ProAccurate Large Dial on the low ($8.99)</u></a>.</p>Most importantly wash your hands, but not your meat. Even the <a href="http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/basics/clean/"><u>USDA says so</u></a>. By the time you&#39;ve cooked your food to <a href="http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/meat_temperatures.html"><u>the recommended temperatures</u></a>, you&#39;ve killed the bacteria that might make you sick.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But the meats least likely to make you sick: chicken nuggets, sausage, and ham.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086200/quotes?item=qt0411699"><u>Sometimes you just gotta say &#39;what the heck.&#39;</u></a>&quot;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&mdash; <em>Risky Business</em>, Joel&#39;s father</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Follow Louisa Chu <a href="https://twitter.com/louisachu"><u>@louisachu</u></a>.</em></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/sollysbutterspread.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Solly's Grille in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 23 Apr 2013 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-04/sometimes-meat-worth-risk-106788 Controversial billboard on the Eisenhower alleges hot dogs cause cancer http://www.wbez.org/story/controversial-billboard-eisenhower-alleges-hot-dogs-cause-cancer-97265 <p><p>A controversial new billboard on the Eisenhower Expressway is trying to increase awareness of colorectal cancer with a blunt message: Hot Dogs Cause Butt Cancer.</p><p>Drivers passing between the Kostner and Cicero exits while heading west won't be able to miss the sign, which includes a cartoon drawing of a man in a hospital gown with a hot dog in hand. The <a href="http://www.pcrm.org/media/news/billboard-warns-chicago-of-hot-dog-butt-cancer">Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine </a>posted the billboard this week, in what they say is a way to get important research out of a medical journal and into people's brains.</p><p>Susan Levin, nutrition director for the PCRM, said the group was inspired by a 2007<a href="http://preventcancer.aicr.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&amp;id=15642&amp;news_iv_ctrl=0&amp;abbr=pr_"> American Institute for Cancer Research study</a> that said eating processed meats increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent.</p><p>"Nobody knows this - this is the kind of language you hear when people talk about tobacco and lung cancer but nobody was associating processed meats like pepperoni, or hot dogs or deli meats with cancer," Levin said.</p><p>Levin said hopes the billboard raises awareness in a city that's known for its hot dogs.<br> <br> Meanwhile, the American Meat Institute is calling the billboard "outrageous." The national meat and poultry trade organization released a<a href="http://www.meatami.com/ht/display/ReleaseDetails/i/76277"> statement</a> Wednesday that cited multiple studies that say there is no link between colon cancer and processed meats. The statement said hot dogs are part of any healthy diet when put alongside vegetables, grains and dairy.<br> <br> In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found Illinois has one of the highest <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/statistics/state.htm">rates</a> of colorectal cancer in the country.</p></p> Wed, 14 Mar 2012 12:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/controversial-billboard-eisenhower-alleges-hot-dogs-cause-cancer-97265 Dyan Flores breaks down the myth behind a meat-filled Midwest http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-20/dyan-flores-breaks-down-myth-behind-meat-filled-midwest-95678 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-20/dyan-flores-sox.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-20/dyan-flores-sox.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 300px; height: 152px;" title="">Gaper's Block writer Dyan Flores takes issue with the&nbsp;<em>New York Times'</em> look into&nbsp;vegetarianism in the Midwest;&nbsp;"<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/dining/a-vegetarians-struggle-for-sustenance-in-the-midwest.html?pagewanted=all">Meatless in the Midwest: A Tale of Survival</a>" was&nbsp;written and published last week by heir to the throne A.G. Sulzberger.&nbsp;Read an excerpt of Flores' thoughts, or listen below.</p><p><em>"After living in New York City for four years, I will concede that New York has superior bagels, taxi drivers and baseball teams. That's as far as I'll go. New York City is great, but as a born and bred Midwesterner, I refuse to buy into the Manhattan-is-center-of-the-universe hype. East coast snobbery runs rampant in the Big Apple, and as far as many New Yorkers are concerned, the Midwest is just a land of republicans, who are fueled by a diet of steaks and bacon grease."</em></p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483860-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/dyan flores.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>This Saturday at the Horseshoe, you'll see Steve Waltien of the Second City main stage, Kate James of Schadenfraude, puppeteer Noah Ginex, and a tribute to the late Chicago comic Mike Enriquez by Ryan Patrick Dolan.</p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;<em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 p.m., it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine&nbsp;<em>needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.org/thepapermachete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 20 Jan 2012 15:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-20/dyan-flores-breaks-down-myth-behind-meat-filled-midwest-95678 Sara Lee reportedly will pursue a breakup http://www.wbez.org/story/apollo-global-management/sara-lee-reportedly-will-pursue-breakup <p><p>Sara Lee reportedly will split up its business instead of selling the whole company. <br /><br />The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times say Sara Lee is heading for a breakup after deciding that buyout bids came in too low. Neither paper is citing its sources, and a Sara Lee spokeswoman declined to comment. <br /><br />Morningstar analyst Erin Swanson says the Brazilian meat company JBS may be having trouble coming up with enough financing to meet the price Sara Lee wants. <br /><br />&quot;JBS has made I want to say between 15 and 20 acquisitions in the last several years and they have a significant amount of debt on their balance sheet as a result of these acquisitions, and so I think that that is one of the things that I think could be holding JBS back,&quot; Swanson said.<br /><br />Another bid reportedly came from a group led by a private-equity firm called Apollo Global Management. Swanson says she thinks it&rsquo;s still possible Sara Lee will get a higher offer and sell the company after all. <br />&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 27 Jan 2011 21:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/apollo-global-management/sara-lee-reportedly-will-pursue-breakup Federal food stamp program fails some low-income Chicagoans http://www.wbez.org/story/audio-engineering/federal-food-stamp-program-fails-some-low-income-chicagoans <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/001.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois uses $2 billion of the federal food stamp program.That translates into a lot of assistance for food, but it doesn&rsquo;t always translate into assistance for healthy food. Parts of Chicago are food deserts &ndash; places where there&rsquo;re few grocery stores with fresh produce and meat. Often, low-income families who rely on food stamps shop at liquor stores, gas stations and dollar stores. A WBEZ investigation found that these retailers make up 30 percent of the food stamp providers in Chicago.These places offer more junk food than fresh food, but the federal government still gives these stores the green light to accept food stamps.&nbsp;</p><p>Caroline Ellis is at Citgo buying gas &hellip; and snacks.</p><div><em>ambi: I want five on one first and I want this on Link.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Ellis uses her Link Card, or food stamps, to buy two cans of pop and two bags of chips.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Besides a few bananas near the cash register, there&rsquo;s not much healthy food here. After all, it is a gas station.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>As Ellis pumps gas outside, she explains Citgo is not where she grocery shops.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>ELLIS: See, I have a vehicle. A lot of people don&rsquo;t have vehicles so they not able to get around and they forced to buy this stuff. I can ride past Western on Cicero to get me some fresh fruit, vegetables or whatever I need. I don&rsquo;t buy fruits and vegetables and things like that at a gas station.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Ellis is in the Woodlawn neighborhood on Chicago&rsquo;s South Side. She travels several miles just to shop for fresh groceries.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>That&rsquo;s because she lives in a food desert &ndash; a community lacking healthy food or mainstream grocery stores. More than half a million Chicagoans live in such food deserts. The areas tend to be low-income and minority.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>There are more than 2200 authorized food stamp retailers in Chicago. WBEZ found that 14 percent are gas stations or liquor stores.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Another 15 percent are pharmacies and dollar stores.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>ambi: One Stop Store describing: You see garlic because people like garlic. Lemons, because people like lemons. Green apples&hellip;but you can&rsquo;t put that much out there.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Michael H. works at One-Stop on 73rd and Racine. It&rsquo;s a cross between a dollar store and a corner store. An on-duty butcher cuts meat, but there are only four heads of cabbage, three withered lemons, sweet potatoes and a box of onions. On the other hand, One-Stop is heavy on potato chips and pop. Still, it&rsquo;s an authorized food stamp retailer.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Here are Michael&rsquo;s thoughts if the federal government ever gave the store a decree for more healthy food:</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>MICHAEL: The thought is real good, but being such a small store&hellip;I would probably say this, I could add it, but I wouldn&rsquo;t have to keep it where I can store it, because people ain&rsquo;t gonna buy it.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>He adds, he&rsquo;d have to raise prices, too.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>I hear arguments like Michael&rsquo;s at a lot of gas stations and liquor stores I visit.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Over and over, they say it&rsquo;s too hard to keep fresh food &hellip; so they don&rsquo;t offer much.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>GALLAGHER: There are two problems with the USDA food stamp retailer program. One, the standards are too low. And two we&rsquo;re not in compliance with the low standards.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Mari Gallagher is a national food desert researcher based in Chicago.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>GALLAGHER: The food stamp program is in effect rewarding people who are not playing by the rules and generally these stores that are not playing by the rules are of a lower retail caliber. And they attract more of the same.</div> <div>The U.S. Department of Agriculture does have criteria for SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program&hellip;commonly known as food stamps.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>For one, tobacco and alcohol can&rsquo;t be bought.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Next, there must be at least three varieties of food in four staple food groups.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>They have to offer perishable foods in at least two of these categories: meat, poultry or fish; bread or cereal; vegetables or fruits and finally, dairy products.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>And last &hellip; More than half of the dollar amount of all things sold has to be from the sale of eligible staple foods.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>And, yep &hellip; that&rsquo;s supposed to include gas stations.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>But these rules aren&rsquo;t always followed at outlets that take food stamps.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>ambi of liquor store, bags rustling</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>At ER&amp;J Food and Liquor, owner Elias Abuelizam basically admits that he&rsquo;s not adhering to the standards. But when USDA officials visit him, they don&rsquo;t cite him.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>ABUELIZAM: I&rsquo;m a liquor store mostly. I got food and liquor. We sell liquor but food is slow these days but it&rsquo;s okay, it&rsquo;s not that much.</div> <div>Again, there&rsquo;re 2200 stores that accept food stamps in Chicago, but USDA officials say they haven&rsquo;t kicked out even one retailer in fiscal year 2010 for noncompliance.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Kevin Concannon is USDA&rsquo;s Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. I ask him if the benchmarks are high enough.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>CONCANNON: I&rsquo;ve asked the question myself to be perfectly frank. It certainly bothers me when I see a sign, the preeminent sign in front of the store is liquor and then the store meets the criteria minimally to be able to process the SNAP program of food stamps.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Concannon says he hopes the 2012 Farm Bill will increase requirements around food stamp choices. His agency points to the growing inclusion of farmer&rsquo;s markets as a way to wipe out food deserts.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>He doesn&rsquo;t accept the rationalization store owners provide &ndash; again, that people just won&rsquo;t buy healthy food. Concannon says a different food program known as Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, has worked.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s expanded food choices. More fruits, less fat. He says there&rsquo;s evidence that when a store offers WIC food &hellip; even people outside the program buy healthier items.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>The problem is &hellip; for now, current food stamp program requirements are still low.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>So in people in food deserts are literally hungry for produce.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>There are efforts to fill in the gap &hellip;.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>ambi of food pantry: number 41</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Deanna Haymer shows up for some free produce at a food pantry in Chicago&rsquo;s Englewood neighborhood.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Five produce trucks come by once a month. On this Friday morning, about 200 people file in for cucumbers, lettuce and grapefruit.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Deanna Haymer loads up her cardboard box.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>ambi: yeah, I know how to cook green beans</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Haymer says her produce options have been dicey. A Food 4 Less store recently opened a few blocks from her, but before that, she shopped at liquor stores and gas stations.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>HAYMER: I&rsquo;m not satisfied with what I get but sometimes you just have to accept what you can get at the time. Like the fruit sometimes it be like mushy or the green peppers be a different color or shriveled up.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Transportation has been a huge problem for Haymer.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>In fact, a lot of low-income families can&rsquo;t drive or use public transit to shop outside their neighborhoods.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Experts say we need to get creative to fix the problem of food deserts and food stamp standards.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>That doesn&rsquo;t just mean getting more mainstream grocery stores to open in food deserts.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Researcher Mari Gallagher says one idea is to improve all the stores that already accept food stamps.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>GALLAGHER: What if we worked with those stores and said hey, we&rsquo;re going to use carrots and sticks. The ones who are going to have the different types of dairy products and other kind of products that support a healthy diet can stay in the program. And the ones who don&rsquo;t will have to get out. I think that would actually not only improve public health but it would help revitalize the market because stores would have to step up.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>It might not seem fair to let some communities be dominated by dollar or liquor stores.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>But Gallagher says, with the right tools, those stores could actually increase healthy food options ... and not just be the destinations for junk food that they are right now.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> Liquor stores and gas stations <iframe src="http://www.batchgeo.com/map/1d1f724353941d155fd5f15dccc328d1" frameborder="0" width="500" height="600"></iframe> Drug stores and dollar stores <iframe src="http://www.batchgeo.com/map/031d35fa401d23bb26a483aea2eed6e2" frameborder="0" width="500" height="600"></iframe> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:RelyOnVML /> <o:AllowPNG /> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> 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mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]--><em>Pritzker Journalism Fellow Icoi Johnson contributed to this report. </em></div><div><em><br /></em></div><div><em>Music Button: Mike Reed's Loose Assembly, &quot;Ghost Writer&quot;, from the CD Last Year's Ghost, (482 Music)</em><iframe height="600" frameborder="0" width="500" src="http://www.batchgeo.com/map/1d1f724353941d155fd5f15dccc328d1"></iframe></div><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;">Drug Drug stores and dollar stores <iframe height="600" frameborder="0" width="500" src="http://www.batchgeo.com/map/031d35fa401d23bb26a483aea2eed6e2"></iframe></p></p> Mon, 22 Nov 2010 22:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/audio-engineering/federal-food-stamp-program-fails-some-low-income-chicagoans