WBEZ | Science http://www.wbez.org/news/science Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Could Chicago be in for a long hot summer? http://www.wbez.org/news/could-chicago-be-long-hot-summer-112238 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/corn crops.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="https://climateillinois.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/so-far-fifth-wettest-june-on-record-for-illinois/">Near record rainfalls</a> in parts of Illinois this June have set the stage for what could be many muggy nights ahead, in part because of the type of crops we grow in the state.</p><p>David Changnon, a professor of meteorology at Northern Illinois University, <a href="http://www.niu.edu/geog/directory/dave_changnon_research.shtml#2004a">studies how dense Illinois corn and soybean crops can raise dew point temperatures</a>. He worries what might happen if the moisture from these crops, coupled with evaporation from this year&rsquo;s wet soil, meets high summer temperatures this year. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;We could have incredible amounts of <a href="http://water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycleevapotranspiration.html">evapotranspiration</a>,&rdquo; Changnon said. &ldquo;Not just evaporation of water from the soil at the surface but our corn and soybean plants will begin to transpire a great deal of water into the lower atmosphere. In those situations it prevents the air temperature from dropping below that dew point, which limits how much cooling you can have at night.&rdquo;</p><p>In his 2004 paper on this subject, Changnon noted that the greatest increases in extreme daily dew point temperatures occurred in the Midwest in the second half of the last century. This period coincided with a doubling of corn and soybean crops in the area. In the years since, local cultivation of these crops has only increased.</p><p>And according to Changnon, these factors could combine with hot temperatures to reduce the number of Midwest summer days that fade into cool nights. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;So now you have not only hot muggy days, but you also have warm muggy evenings, which makes it very difficult if you don&rsquo;t have air conditioning to sleep and get around,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Chagnon notes that high temperatures and record high dew points also prevailed during Chicago&rsquo;s steamy summer of 1999 and deadly summer of 1995 when more than 700 died in the heat.</p><p>&ldquo;In both of those summers we had big heat waves in July &lsquo;95 and the end of July &lsquo;99 where temperatures in the Chicagoland area got close to 100 degrees if not exceeded them for a couple of days,&rdquo; Chagnon said. &ldquo;On those days we had dew points in the upper 70s, and we even set an all-time record at Midway of a dew point of 83 degrees.</p><p>&ldquo;It was those dew points that limited the ability for the atmosphere to cool down at night and that&rsquo;s what really caused the problem for most people who don&rsquo;t have air conditioning systems in their homes or apartments, especially for the elderly,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Still, Changnon notes that we also had heavy June rainfall in 2014.</p><p>&ldquo;Luckily it was accompanied by fairly cool temperatures, so it wasn&rsquo;t that much of a problem,&rdquo; he said.</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at&nbsp;</em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"><em>@monicaeng</em></a> <em>or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 07:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/could-chicago-be-long-hot-summer-112238 Pope's encyclical takes on climate change http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/popes-encyclical-takes-climate-change-112207 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/popefrancis.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(249, 249, 249);">▲&nbsp;</span>LISTEN&nbsp;</strong><em>The Vatican will release a rare encyclical on the environment Thursday. A leaked draft of Pope Francis&rsquo; letter came out earlier this week. In the draft, the Pope reportedly calls for urgent action to fight climate change and says global warming is &ldquo;mostly&rdquo; due to human action. </em>Morning Shift<em>&#39;s Tony Sarabia asked Sister Dawn Nothwehr, the Erica and Harry John Family Endowed Chair in Catholic Theological Ethics at the Catholic Theological Union, to discuss what this means.</em></p><p>VATICAN CITY &nbsp;&mdash; There&#39;s something of a whodunit going on in the Vatican to discover who leaked Pope Francis&#39; environment encyclical to an Italian newsweekly, deflating the release of the most anticipated and feared papal document in recent times.</p><p><em>L&#39;Espresso</em> magazine published the full 191 pages of &quot;Laudato Si&quot; (Be Praised) on its website Monday, three days before the official launch. The Vatican said it was just a draft, but most media ran with it, given that it covered many of the same points Francis and his advisers have been making in the run-up to the release.</p><p>On Tuesday, the Vatican indefinitely suspended the press credentials of <em>L&#39;Espresso</em>&#39;s veteran Vatican correspondent, Sandro Magister, saying the publication had been &quot;incorrect.&quot; A letter from the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, to Magister advising him of the sanction was posted on the bulletin board of the Vatican press office.</p><p>Magister told <em>The Associated Press</em> that his editor, not he, obtained the document and decided to publish it.</p><p>&quot;I just wrote the introduction,&quot; Magister said in a text message, adding that he had promised the Vatican to keep quiet about the scoop.</p><p>In the draft of the encyclical, Francis says global warming is &quot;mostly&quot; due to human activity and the burning of fossil fuels. He calls for a radical change in behavior to save the planet for future generations and prevent the poor from suffering the worst effects of industry-induced environmental degradation.</p><p>Several Vatican commentators hypothesized that the leak was aimed at taking the punch out of Thursday&#39;s official launch of the encyclical, in which the Vatican has lined up a Catholic cardinal, an Orthodox theologian, an atheist scientist and an economist to discuss the contents.</p><p>They noted that conservatives &mdash; particularly in the U.S. &mdash; attacked the encyclical even before it was released, chiding the pope for talking science in a church document and insisting that global warming isn&#39;t a scientific reality. It would be in their interest, the argument goes, to fudge the pope&#39;s message via a scoop by<em> L&#39;Espresso</em>, since Magister has championed views of the conservative Catholic camp hostile to Francis.</p><p>Italian daily La Stampa suggested that the leak might have come from conservatives inside Vatican, noting that Francis&#39; reform plans for the Vatican bureaucracy have been resisted by the more conservative old guard who would have an interest in sabotaging Francis&#39; labor of love.</p><p>A leak, however, was to be expected, given that drafts of the document have been circulating for months and that the text had been translated into multiple languages before its official release.</p><p>Not to mention that the Vatican has had a long and storied history of leaked documents: The last big scandal in 2012 resulted in the pope&#39;s butler being put on trial for stealing his private papers and passing them off to an Italian journalist. He was convicted but was eventually pardoned by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.</p><p>In the aftermath of the &quot;Vatileaks&quot; scandal, the Vatican City State updated its criminal code to include severe penalties for anyone who leaks a Vatican document or publishes news from it: Up to two years in prison and a 5,000 euro ($5,600) fine.</p><p>Vatican commentator John Allen, writing for the Boston Globe&#39;s Crux site, said the leak highlighted the clash of cultures at play at the Vatican over different understandings of embargoes: The Vatican regularly provides accredited journalists with embargoed documents to give them time to read them and prepare articles, with the understanding that they will only publish at a fixed time.</p><p>While the Vatican cried foul that the encyclical embargo had been violated,<em> L&#39;Espresso </em>obtained the article independently of the Vatican press office, and thereby wasn&#39;t beholden to the noon Thursday embargo that had been set.</p><p>&quot;As a final observation, the frenzy probably will boost interest in Thursday&#39;s official presentation, if for no other reason than to see whether there are actually any substantial changes between the leak and the real deal,&quot; he said.</p></p> Wed, 17 Jun 2015 11:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/popes-encyclical-takes-climate-change-112207 Do big food companies have too much sway over nutrition research? http://www.wbez.org/news/science/do-big-food-companies-have-too-much-sway-over-nutrition-research-112202 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Michele_Simon.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In recent years researchers have been drawing attention to potential conflicts of interest between nutrition organizations and the food they study and advise people about.</p><p>In 2013, Bay Area public health lawyer<a href="http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/2013/01/22/and-now-a-word-from-our-sponsors-new-report-from-eat-drink-politics/"> Michele Simon detailed</a> funded partnerships between big food companies and the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly known as the American Dietetic Association), which represents tens of thousands of dietitians across the country.</p><p>This week, Simon released a <a href="http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/2015/06/14/nutrition-scientists-on-the-take-from-big-food/">new report on the American Society for Nutrition, </a>which represents thousands of American nutrition researchers. The ASN also publishes some of the most important nutrition research journals in the nation.</p><p>Simon told WBEZ&rsquo;s Morning Shift that she finds it troubling that companies, including Coca Cola, PepsiCo, McDonald&rsquo;s, Monsanto and sugar manufacturers have financed &ldquo;sustaining partnerships&rdquo; with the Society. She worries that this may influence which research is published and which isn&rsquo;t.</p><p>&ldquo;These companies want to have direct influence on science by funding what gets published so that the results are friendly to their bottom line,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;But what we don&rsquo;t get to see is the studies that don&rsquo;t get published. So when we have science that may go against the interest of these companies and that&rsquo;s not even able to get published, that can have a real chilling effect on the research in general.&rdquo;</p><p>According to Simon&rsquo;s report, published on her website, <a href="http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/">EatDrinkPolitics.com</a>:</p><ul><li>More than 15 percent of the scientific sessions at ASN&rsquo;s annual meeting were sponsored by PepsiCo;</li><li>A speaker in a sponsored session on low-calorie sweeteners included a consultant for aspartame maker, Ajinomoto.</li><li>ASN has published an 18-page defense of processed food that states, &ldquo;There are no differences between the processing of foods at home or at a factory.&rdquo;</li><li>For $35,000, food companies can purchase a hospitality suite where their executives can socialize with nutrition researchers.</li></ul><p>Simon concludes her report by asking the ASN to reconsider taking money from what she refers to as &ldquo;junk food&rdquo; companies.</p><p>WBEZ contacted the American Society for Nutrition, &nbsp;but it did not make anyone available to comment on Simon&rsquo;s report.</p></p> Tue, 16 Jun 2015 14:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/science/do-big-food-companies-have-too-much-sway-over-nutrition-research-112202 Advocates for South Side trauma center gain momentum http://www.wbez.org/news/advocates-south-side-trauma-center-gain-momentum-112194 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 4.50.13 PM_0.png" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">For years, activists have protested the University of Chicago hospital for closing its adult trauma center. And for years, the university has argued a facility would cost too much money. But growing public support for the idea may be turning the tide.</p><p dir="ltr">Veronica Morris-Moore is part of the coalition pushing the school.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I am connected to this issue because I am a member of Fearless Leading by the Youth. I got started two weeks after Damian Turner, who used to be a cofounder of FLY, got shot in his back on 61st and Cottage Grove,&rdquo; Morris-Moore said.</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr"><strong>Related:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/content/trauma-patients-southeast-side-take-more-time-reach-trauma-centers">Patients on Southeast Side take more time to reach trauma centers</a></strong></p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">The shooting of youth activist Damian Turner happened just around the corner from U of C. The hospital didn&rsquo;t provide adult trauma care so Turner had to be driven nine miles north to Northwestern&rsquo;s hospital &mdash; he died less than 90 minutes later.</p><p dir="ltr">Morris-Moore joined a campaign to pressure the university to reopen its Level 1 adult trauma center, which take care of people injured by penetrating wounds...car crashes, stabbings, gunshots.</p><p dir="ltr">After a few initial protests Moore&rsquo;s group met with University of Chicago officials.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;And that was the meeting just to, I guess, say officially &lsquo;no,&rsquo;&rdquo; she said.</p><p dir="ltr">Chicago is served by six trauma centers sprinkled around the city and nearby suburbs &mdash; none on the city&rsquo;s South Side where some areas suffer high rates of violence.</p><p dir="ltr">The University of Chicago closed its adult trauma center in 1988 after two years. Officials say the hospital lost $2 million annually serving patients without health insurance.</p><p dir="ltr">The effort to reopen U of C&rsquo;s trauma center gained additional attention last fall when the school bid for the Obama Presidential Library. Then this March there was a big protest near the Ritz-Carlton hotel where the university held a $4.5 billion fundraiser.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;That money could fund a trauma center for years and years. I wouldn&rsquo;t say we&rsquo;re in a very desperate moment right now but I think we&rsquo;re at a very important moment,&rdquo; Morris-Moore said.</p><p dir="ltr">That moment features a growing coalition of increasingly powerful voices, from pastors to politicians. U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) has proposed that the federal government grant states money for trauma services.</p><p>Despite multiple requests the University of Chicago declined to be interviewed.</p><p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, the need for adult trauma care on the South Side hasn&rsquo;t gone away.</p><p dir="ltr">Marie Crandall, a surgeon at Northwestern University hospital, put out a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/report-links-chicagoans-distance-trauma-centers-higher-mortality-rates-106732">study</a> that confirmed <a href="http://www.wbez.org/content/trauma-patients-southeast-side-take-more-time-reach-trauma-centers">an earlier WBEZ analysis</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;What we found was that for similarly injured individuals, if you were shot more than five miles from a trauma center in Chicago that your likelihood of dying was 21 percent greater,&rdquo; Crandall said.</p><p dir="ltr">Earlier this year the Illinois Department of Public Health put out <a href="http://dph.illinois.gov/sites/default/files/publications/Trauma_Center_Feasibility_Study.pdf">a trauma center feasibility study</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">The University of Chicago scores the highest but three other South Side hospitals could be Level 2 adult trauma centers: Jackson Park, Roseland and Advocate Trinity. The difference between a Level 1 and Level 2 is the medical teaching aspect.</p><p dir="ltr">But for cash-strapped hospitals real feasibility still comes down to money.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know what a perfect solution is and I don&rsquo;t know that adding a trauma center will make as much a difference as most people hope it does,&rdquo; Crandall said. &ldquo;It has to be studied because if we put a tremendous amount of resources in something that ultimately demonstrated no difference in outcomes or even worse a poorly functioning hospital, we would need to reevaluate.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Running a trauma center can exceed $20 million annually. That&rsquo;s why the conversation always turns back to the well-funded University of Chicago.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The conversation moves slowly but I feel it&rsquo;s in a better place than 5 years ago,&rdquo; Crandall added.</p><p>In fact, officials are working with the state to raise the age of its pediatric trauma center to include 16 and 17 year olds. And in another twist, the university confirms that it is currently working on a study to analyze whether it can open an adult trauma center.</p><p>That&rsquo;s quite a change from the &ldquo;no&rdquo; officials once said.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s South Side Bureau reporter. <a href="mailto:nmoore@wbez.org">nmoore@wbez.org</a>&nbsp;Follow Natalie on <a href="https://plus.google.com//104033432051539426343" rel="me">Google+</a>, &nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 16 Jun 2015 00:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/advocates-south-side-trauma-center-gain-momentum-112194 Cooking up change in American medical schools http://www.wbez.org/news/cooking-change-american-medical-schools-112130 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Food as med manny.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It&rsquo;s a stormy Friday night in Chicago and traffic is a mess. But, one by one, a group of damp medical students comes filing into a classroom at Chicago&rsquo;s Kendall College. They could be out drinking tonight or hunkered down with their anatomy books. But instead they&rsquo;ve traveled miles from the University of Chicago&#39;s campus to attend a voluntary 3-hour class that they&rsquo;re not even getting credit for.</p><p>The course is Culinary Medicine, which explores the intersection of food, science, medicine and nutrition. The idea is to learn how to help prevent and control some of our most pervasive chronic health conditions.</p><p>&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t get a lot of devoted curriculum to this issue,&rdquo; says Erik Kulenkamp.&nbsp; He&rsquo;s a first-year med student at University of Chicago&rsquo;s Pritzker Medical School.&nbsp; &ldquo;And I feel like it&rsquo;s one of the things patients are most curious about and have the most questions about &mdash; lifestyle changes and things they can do to prevent things from happening to them rather than treating them once they occur.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Where&rsquo;s the nutrition training for doctors?</strong></p><p>Only about 30 institutions around the country teach culinary medicine. And according to a 2010 survey, only about 27 percent of all American medical schools teach the 25 hours of nutrition coursework recommended by the National Academy of Science.</p><p>This comes at a time when a recent <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1710486">Journal of the American Medical Association study</a> found that dietary quality is the single biggest risk factor for death and disability in the country.&nbsp;</p><p>This seems crazy to folks like Stephen Devries, who runs Chicago&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.gaplesinstitute.org/">Gaples Institute</a>. It&rsquo;s trying to expand more nutritional training in the medical field. When he spells out for people the current requirements for nutrition training among medical professions, &ldquo;they are shocked.&rdquo;</p><p>Last year, Devries wrote a<a href="http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343%2814%2900308-8/abstract"> commentary in The American Journal of Medicine </a>decrying the current lack of nutrition education among doctors. He noted that a recent study showed only 14 percent of physicians feel trained to provide nutritional counseling and yet 61 percent of patients turn to their doctors as &ldquo;very credible&rdquo; sources of nutrition information.</p><p>Dr. Geeta Maker Clark is a clinical instructor at the University of Chicago; she also runs an integrative family practice in the North Shore University Health system. She pursued culinary medicine studies after medical school, and has used them in her integrative practice as well as a class for non-med students that she teaches with a chef in Evanston.</p><p>But a couple of years ago she was approached by University of Illinois at Chicago doctoral student Sabira Taher with an idea to expand that teaching to future doctors. Things moved slowly. But last month, working with U of C&#39;s&nbsp; Dr. Sonia Oyola (who co-teaches the class) and Kendall&#39;s chef instructor Renee Zonka, they finally launched this pilot class. The pilot is funded by a grant from the U of C Women&rsquo;s Board, but the university stresses it will not give students credit for taking it.</p><p>At this point the University says, &quot;Instructors are just starting to review data that was collected on the nutritional medicine project to help them assess the class and make refinements if it&rsquo;s offered again. It&rsquo;s possible some iteration will be incorporated into the formal curriculum in the future, but it&rsquo;s too early to say.&rdquo;</p><p>This is not the case at <a href="http://tmedweb.tulane.edu/mu/teachingkitchen/">Tulane University</a>, where med students are required to study culinary medicine. Maker Clark is using teaching modules from the Tulane program in the 4-week&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; course that meets for three hours a session.&nbsp; Each class begin with case studies and clinical lectures. But for the second part of the class they put down the pens and pull on the chef hats.</p><p><strong>Breakfast tacos as medical care</strong></p><p>During a recent class, the University of Chicago medical students cooked up spinach and feta frittatas, quick granola, banana nut muffins and breakfast tacos.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s one of the only opportunities we have at Pritzker to combine treating with pills and things that are directly in the patient&rsquo;s control,&rdquo; says first-year student Maggie Montoya. &ldquo;Also, it will help me with my cooking skills because I can&rsquo;t cook for beans.&rdquo;</p><p>This is a common refrain among med students who said they were eating a lot of take-out and processed food before they took the class. They see it as a way to improve their own health and become examples to their patients.</p><p>That&rsquo;s a huge part of this kind of training, says Dr. David Eisenberg of the <a href="https://www.samueliinstitute.org/">Samueli Institute </a>and the<a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2015/03/30/qa-with-dr-david-eisenberg-on-self-care-skills-teaching-kitchens-thinking-outside-of-the-box/"> Harvard School of Public Health.</a> For nearly a decade he&rsquo;s been leading a <a href="http://www.healthykitchens.org/">4-day culinary medicine class</a> for health professionals at the Culinary Institute of America in California.</p><p>Surveys from doctors who&#39;ve taken the class have convinced him that such personal experience is key to translating the information to a patient. He cites studies showing that&nbsp; doctors who exercise or have given up smoking are much better at counseling patients on the issues.<br /><br />In a recent <a href="http://academicmedicineblog.org/sneak-peek-nutrition-education-in-an-era-of-global-obesity-and-diabetes-thinking-outside-the-box/">article for Academic Medicine,</a> Eisenberg lamented that so few medical schools prepare their students to dispense dietary guidance, &ldquo;and more importantly there are really few if any requirements on the part of graduating medical students to be knowledgeable about nutrition and its translation into practical advice for patients,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;And those competencies don&rsquo;t exist on the certification exams to become a licensed physician.&rdquo;</p><p>The accreditation body that decides standards for 4-year medical school training is called the <a href="http://www.lcme.org/">Liaison Committee for Medical Education.</a> Its co-chair, Dan Hunt, says that after four years of medical school, he might expect graduates to &quot;identify nutritional disorders, but I wouldn&rsquo;t expect them to be able to treat those disorders because they&rsquo;re going to get the management of the illness in the next set of [specialized residency] training.&quot;</p><p>But that&#39;s not really how it works. In fact, in its <a href="https://www.acgme.org/acgmeweb/tabid/134/ProgramandInstitutionalAccreditation/MedicalSpecialties/InternalMedicine.aspx">34- and 35-page accreditation documents </a>for doctors of internal medicine or cardiology, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education never once mentions a need for any nutrition knowledge. When WBEZ contacted Dr. Mary Lieh-Lai, at the ACGME to ask her why, she initially said that she doubted this was true. Lieh-Lai is the senior vice president of medical accreditation at ACGME and she asked for time to go over the documents herself, and then speak to us.</p><p>When we called 30 minutes later she conceded that nutrition is never mentioned in the documents, but added, &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t dictate the detailed requirements. We leave that up to the programs and the programs make those detailed requirements at the local level because it depends on the local needs and things of that nature.&rdquo;</p><p>Asked if ACGME might ever consider including nutrition knowledge as a requirement for accreditation, Lieh-Lai said, &ldquo;No.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>&ldquo;Tsunami of obesity and diabetes&rdquo;</strong></p><p>Still, Eisenberg blames the current situation less on negligence by the accreditors than a slow response to the &ldquo;tsunami of obesity and diabetes&rdquo; that&rsquo;s hit this country.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think we could have predicted that health care professionals would need to know so much more about nutrition and its translation into shopping for and preparing healthy delicious foods,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Nor did we expect that we would need to know more about movement and exercise or being mindful in the way we live our lives and eat or how to change behaviors. I think these are relatively new areas of expertise that (we) really must grapple with for the next generation of health professionals.&rdquo;</p><p>Back in the Kendall College kitchen Maker Clark aims to give her students some of that expertise. In just the last two hours her students have mastered 12 healthy dishes that they will be able to pass on to future patients.</p><p>Today, this class is just a small grant-funded pilot, but Maker Clark envisions a day when it&rsquo;s standard fare in local med schools.&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br />&ldquo;That would be absolutely fantastic,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;If we can get it to the point where they are getting credit for it and then incorporated into the curriculum, that is a goal.&rdquo;</p><p>A more immediate goal is for students to share what they&rsquo;ve learned with others. Later this month, they&rsquo;ll be expected to teach healthy cooking workshops in underserved Chicago communities as their final project.</p><p>WBEZ will check that out and report back on it here.</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at @monicaeng or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Wed, 03 Jun 2015 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cooking-change-american-medical-schools-112130 After pig farm raises a stink, Hoosiers debate rural-city divide http://www.wbez.org/news/after-pig-farm-raises-stink-hoosiers-debate-rural-city-divide-112104 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Valpo%20farm%202%20_picmonkeyed.jpg" title="Several hundred pigs at Fair Oaks Farm Pig Adventure. This working farm CAFO doubles as an education and learning center for the public. (WBEZ/Michael Puente)" />Robin Bartholomew has lived all of her life in and around Valparaiso, Ind., about an hour east of Chicago. Much of that time has been around farms.<br /><br />&ldquo;As I was growing up, there were some hog farms and cattle, just the typical family farm grazing, open air,&rdquo; Bartholomew said.<br /><br />But when a local family recently proposed a farm to house up to 6,000 pig farm, Bartholomew was outraged.&nbsp;The proposed facility would&rsquo;ve sat a few hundred yards from homes and about a mile from Valparaiso&rsquo;s bustling downtown shopping district.<br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a factory for pigs,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;The sewage would have been spread during the spring and fall when the wind is frequently out of the south, which would have blown directly into Valparaiso. There would have been no avoiding the impact this place would have had on this whole area.&rdquo;<br /><br />Bartholomew worried about not just the smell, but the potential impact to groundwater.<br /><br />The farmers, Robert and Tammy Sands, wanted a zoning change to run a concentrated animal feeding operation, or CAFO for short. There are around 1,800 of these large-scale livestock operations in Indiana, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.<br /><br />Some house chickens, cows and, of course, pigs.</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/Valpo%20farm%201_picmonkeyed.jpg" title="Malcolm De Kryger, president of Belstra Milling Company of DeMotte, Indiana, stands next to his pig farm at Fair Oaks Farm. De Kryger defends the use of concentrated animal feeding operations. (WBEZ/Michael Puente)" /></div><p>&ldquo;Because we are in a state that has a lot of wide open spaces, without a lot of people in certain areas, this is just a great state to raise livestock,&rdquo; said Malcolm De Kryger, a longtime pig farmer. &ldquo;Our state government has shown that it has been a great economic developer for rural areas.&quot;<br /><br />De Kryger is president of Belstra Milling Company of DeMotte, Ind. The company breeds up to 400,000 baby pigs annually at his six operations located in both Indiana and Illinois. About 90 minutes south of Chicago De Kryger also operates the Pig Adventure at Fair Oaks Farm, which doubles as a learning center and tourist attraction for the public.</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/Valpo%20farm%204_picmonkeyed.jpg" title="A newborn piglet at Fair Oaks Farm’s Pig Adventure. (WBEZ/Michael Puente)" /></div><p>At Pig Adventure, which is a full-fledged CAFO, there are rows and rows of pigs in a giant warehouse and a nursery where hundreds of piglets are born every day.<br /><br />&ldquo;They poop, they play and they sleep. That&rsquo;s their life,&rdquo; De Kryger said on a recent day outside the pig farm CAFO, which houses about 2,500 pigs.<br /><br />About one-third of De Kryger&rsquo;s piglets wind up at other farms to continue growing and well, eventually become bacon. Many of them were set to be transported to the controversial hog farm outside Valpo.<br /><br />But now, that&rsquo;s not going to happen.<br /><br />After a month of vocal opposition, much of it on social media, the Sands family said last week that they were dropping the idea altogether.<br /><br />Many Valpo residents cheered the news. But the decision raises the question of how livestock farms can exist alongside growing Hoosier cities.<br /><br />&ldquo;The vitriol that was thrown at them because they were trying to figure out how to enhance their family operation was pretty sad,&rdquo; De Kryger said.<br /><br />De Kryger sympathizes with the Sands family because it&rsquo;s harder nowadays to make a living on a small farm. He says the Sands Family wanted to be part of Indiana&rsquo;s growing 3-billion dollar pork industry.<br /><br />De Kryger disputed claims that the proposed facility would have lowered property values or damaged the environment. And he says odors at concentrated animal feeding operations are barely noticeable &mdash; although the manure is often used as fertilizer for adjacent crops.<br /><br />&ldquo;(CAFOs) are not trouble-makers by and large,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;For people to just say &lsquo;I might see you, I might smell you, I&rsquo;m afraid of you, I don&rsquo;t want you,&rsquo; I found that to be very disappointing.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;They are big and recognizable,&rdquo; said Greg Slipher with the Indiana Farm Bureau. &ldquo;They are buildings that are not my grandfather&rsquo;s farm so they do draw attention to themselves.&rdquo;<br /><br />Slipher says activists opposing a farm expansion is nothing new in Indiana, but the strong public outcry that happened in Valparaiso was unusual. Especially since the Sands family had long ties to the community.<br /><br />&ldquo;The management, the investment, the environmental responsibility, the community responsibility, all of that falls on the family &mdash; yes, the family farm,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We often say the business has changed, the people haven&rsquo;t. We still are overwhelmingly family farms in Indiana.&rdquo;<br /><br />The Sands Family declined to comment for this story, but last week released a statement.<br /><br />&ldquo;When news about our proposal became public, we were surprised by the response and the amount of public outcry it caused,&rdquo; the Sands stated. &ldquo;We were disappointed in the way activist groups from outside our community took advantage of a constructive county-level dialogue in an effort to promote anti-agriculture agendas, particularly attacking a family farm that has been a part of this community for 20 years. Activist misinformation, untruths and fear mongering have no place in what should remain a local decision.&rdquo;<br /><br />But other groups like the Hoosier Environmental Council, applauded the decision by the Sands.<br /><br />&ldquo;This is great news for the hundreds of families who would have been living dangerously close to the hog factory &mdash; families who rely on groundwater wells for drinking water and for everyone who enjoys Valparaiso&rsquo;s newly revitalized downtown area &mdash; an area that would have been down wind of 7,000 hogs and their waste,&rdquo; the HEC said in a statement.<br /><br />But not all who opposed the pig farm were activists. Some were powerful politicians.<br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s kind of hard to imagine there being a general anti-agriculture [sentiment] because the farmers feed us. We all are grateful for our farmers,&rdquo; said Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas, a Republican. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s just raising livestock is an intense use that emits an odor and that was really the concern.&rsquo;<br /><br />Costas says he&rsquo;d support another location if it were further away.<br /><br />&ldquo;They are very nice people and this was quite an experience for them. In this case, I don&rsquo;t think they were prepared for the type of outcry. Plus, with the advent of social media, news travels fast and bad news travels fast too,&rdquo; Costas said. &ldquo;I think if they went three or four miles south, that would be fine.&rdquo;<br /><br />But for residents like Robin Bartholomew, these kind of intense-use livestock farms will never be welcome anywhere in Porter County.<br /><br />&ldquo;High-impact opens the door for landfills, hazardous waste sites. We don&rsquo;t want that in Porter County. We&rsquo;ll be more vigilant from now on,&rdquo; Bartholomew said. &ldquo;We&rsquo;ll be on the look out at all times to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.&rdquo;<br /><br />Except, it&rsquo;s already happened.<br /><br />There are 4,000 pigs at a large CAFO just 10 miles south of Valpo that&rsquo;s been in operation for years &mdash; without raising much of a stink.</p><p><em>Michael Puente is WBEZ&rsquo;s Northwest Indiana Bureau Reporter. Following him <a href="http://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews">@MikePuenteNews</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 28 May 2015 14:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/after-pig-farm-raises-stink-hoosiers-debate-rural-city-divide-112104 Illinois Supreme Court hears $10B Phillip Morris appeal http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-supreme-court-hears-10b-phillip-morris-appeal-112054 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/6447341369_db970e431f_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The fate of a $10.1 billion class-action judgment against the nation&#39;s largest cigarette maker is in the hands of justices at the Illinois Supreme Court, who heard oral arguments Tuesday in Phillip Morris USA&#39;s appeal to have the on-again, off-again verdict struck down.</p><p>The more than decade-old lawsuit &mdash; one of the nation&#39;s first to accuse a tobacco company of consumer fraud &mdash; claimed that Phillip Morris deceptively marketed &quot;light&quot; and &quot;low-tar&quot; cigarettes as a healthier alternative.</p><p>The initial Madison County trial ended in 2003 with the multibillion dollar verdict against Phillip Morris, a subsidiary of Virginia-based Altria Group Inc. The state&#39;s high court threw it out in 2005 only to have Illinois&#39; 5th District Appellate Court reinstate the verdict last year.</p><p>An attorney representing the hundreds of thousands of Illinois smokers asked the panel Tuesday to reject Phillip Morris&#39; appeal and let the judgment stand. David Frederick said the cigarette giant had carried out a &quot;massive fraud&quot; that &quot;light&quot; cigarettes &quot;were safer or healthier.&quot;</p><p>But former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson, one of two lawyers representing Phillip Morris during the 50-minute hearing, argued that the Illinois Supreme Court got it right ten years ago when it decided to jettison the trial court&#39;s verdict.</p><p>&quot;And that judgment is correct today,&quot; he said.</p><p>The core dispute has been whether the Federal Trade Commission allowed cigarette makers to label cigarettes &quot;light&quot; and &quot;low-tar,&quot; effectively shielding Phillip Morris from such suits. Phillip Morris says the FTC did give it permission to label cigarettes that way. But plaintiffs argued FTC didn&#39;t give its OK and it alleges that an agency decision in recent years confirmed that interpretation.</p><p>Thompson, though, said plaintiffs shouldn&#39;t be allowed to offer up new evidence of federal regulators&#39; intent so many years later.</p><p>&quot;Surely this is not a game of musical chairs depending on who sits in the chair of the FTC at any time,&quot; he said at the hearing.</p><p>The lawsuit sought compensation, not for damage to a smoker&#39;s health, but for the money they paid for what they thought were safer cigarettes based on the Phillip Morris advertising.</p><p>The hearing was held in Springfield and also broadcast live online. A ruling is likely to take at least several weeks.</p><p>Lloyd Karmeier was among the justices on Tuesday&#39;s panel. The plaintiffs had asked him to recuse himself because they say there could be a perception of bias in favor of Phillip Morris, based on reports the company gave money to groups backing his election to the bench.</p><p>In a 16-page explanation last year for why he wouldn&#39;t take himself off the case, Karmeier said the plaintiffs&#39; attorneys had offered no evidence to support a view he couldn&#39;t be even-handed.</p><p>&quot;Rumor, speculation, belief, conclusion, suspicion, opinion or similar non-factual matter are not sufficient,&quot; he wrote.</p></p> Tue, 19 May 2015 16:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-supreme-court-hears-10b-phillip-morris-appeal-112054 Sheriff names clinical psychologist to run Cook County Jail http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriff-names-clinical-psychologist-run-cook-county-jail-112053 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/jail.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>A clinical psychologist has been picked to lead a Chicago jail that is one of the largest in the country.</p><p>Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart tapped Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia to lead the 9,000-inmate facility. Dart has long complained that drastic cuts to mental health programs have turned jails into dumping grounds for the mentally ill.</p><p>The American Jail Association said it knows of no other jail in the United States being headed by someone with the background of Jones Tapia. She previously was the jail&#39;s first assistant executive director.</p><p>As many as 35 percent of the jail&#39;s inmates suffer from serious mental illness. Dart says it has become &quot;one of the largest mental health institutions in the country.&quot;</p></p> Tue, 19 May 2015 16:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriff-names-clinical-psychologist-run-cook-county-jail-112053 Little Bison on the Prairie http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/little-bison-prairie-112013 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/bison.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Prairie conservationists are celebrating the births of more than 10 baby bison at Nachusa Wildlands in Northern Illinois. They are counting on this thriving herd of bison to bring back the growing prairie.</p><p><iframe scrolling="no" src="//www.storehouse.co/stories/48x2d-little-bison-on-the-prairie/embed" style="width:100%;max-width:600px;height:300px;border:none;"></iframe></p></p> Mon, 11 May 2015 15:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/little-bison-prairie-112013 As Whole Foods breaks ground, Englewood residents make their pitch http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/whole-foods-breaks-ground-englewood-residents-make-their-pitch-111995 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/wf.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>It&rsquo;s been more than a year-and-a-half since Whole Foods announced it was setting up shop in Chicago&rsquo;s Englewood neighborhood, and the store&rsquo;s opening is still more than a year away.</p><p>But that doesn&rsquo;t mean the community is sitting idly by. Residents are actively engaging with Whole Foods about the role of an organic grocery store chain in a food desert at the corner of 63rd and Halsted.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been wonderful. I think that Whole Foods has been very committed to everything going on here,&rdquo; said Glen Fulton, executive director of the Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation, whose office is across the street in a U.S. Bank branch overlooking the construction site.</p><p>When the high-end grocer first announced it was moving to this high-poverty community some Chicagoans were shocked. But the company is trying to shed its elite label &mdash; it says part of its mission is bringing healthy options to areas riddled with junk food.</p><p>Store officials say prices will be competitive and affordable here. They also say Whole Foods is committed to being more than just an anchor tenant on a vacant lot.</p><p>The company first tested this food desert experiment a couple years ago in Detroit. It was the first national grocer to come into the city and so far it&rsquo;s been mostly a success.</p><p>In Englewood, Whole Foods has held community meetings and listened to residents who want classes on nutrition and shopping on a budget.</p><p>Fulton said he went straight to Whole Foods&rsquo; CEO with one request.</p><p>&ldquo;The first thing I wanted was for small businesses to be a part of this whole initiative for this Englewood community. Meaning that I need your support in trying to help them do business with Whole Food,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Fulton is a former director of supplier diversity at Albertsons, another major grocery chain.</p><p>&ldquo;And the second part is that we include diversity as far as diverse suppliers are concerned. So if you&rsquo;re a person of color or a woman, let&rsquo;s break down the barriers&nbsp;of trying to do business with Whole Foods,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Rachel Bernier-Green, a black South Sider, attended a free small business workshop series and learned about proper licensing and packaging. She owns &lsquo;Laine&rsquo;s Bake Shop and met a Whole Foods district manager.</p><p>&ldquo;He came out to our table and took the rest of the cookies of his favorite flavor, everything I had on display that day. So I think they enjoyed the texture of the cookies,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>So much so that Whole Foods worked with Bernier-Green to find a distributor.</p><p>Soon her mocha raspberry, citrus spritz and butter pecan bites will be in three Chicago Whole Foods. Next year the desserts will be in the store at 63rd and Halsted.</p><p>&ldquo;I think they were also impressed with the story of our company, why we exist and what we plan to do,&rdquo; Bernier-Green added.</p><p>Her small family-owned business has a social mission: hiring those who have struggled with homelessness as well as the formerly incarcerated. Each year hundreds of parolees with criminal records return to Englewood and can&rsquo;t find work.</p><p>&ldquo;We wanted to know, Whole Foods, are you going to hire people with records? We had been previously told that hands-down no, they aren&rsquo;t going to hire anybody with records,&rdquo; said Sonya Harper, executive director of Grow Greater Englewood, a food justice group. &ldquo;Whole Foods really heard our concerns as a community and they are now coming up with a program to hire people with records at that store.&rdquo;</p><p>Whole Foods says it wants to partner with social service agencies to increase opportunities for those facing employment barriers.</p><p>Meanwhile, &lsquo;Laine&rsquo;s Bake Shop is the only new confirmed supplier for the Englewood Whole Foods.</p><p>Store officials say more shelf space is available and they hope to develop some brand new businesses in the process.</p><p>There&rsquo;s still time. The next small business workshop series will be this fall.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s South Side Bureau reporter. <a href="mailto:nmoore@wbez.org">nmoore@wbez.org</a></em></p><p><em>Follow Natalie on <a href="https://plus.google.com//104033432051539426343" rel="me">Google+</a>, &nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a></em></p></p> Thu, 07 May 2015 04:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/whole-foods-breaks-ground-englewood-residents-make-their-pitch-111995