Food & Drink

We delve into the local food scene, from the farms that grow your food to how it ends up on your plate.

The Dairy Section Is Often Empty. So Why Are Farmers Dumping Milk?

7 hours ago
Min Xian / Keystone Crossroads

Alisha Risser, the owner of a small dairy farm in Lebanon County has been milking cows for decades. But last week, for the first time ever, she had to dump more than 10,000 pounds of perfectly fine milk down a drain.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

 


On today's program: Local farmers might be benefitting from the demand for home-delivered fresh produce; the state liquor control board is struggling to keep up with online liquor sales; and before railroads carried goods through Pittsburgh, canals did the job. 

Courtesy Soul Fire Farm

Jameson Altott has been trying to live a self-sustaining lifestyle for years, to give as much back to nature as he takes. Part of that has meant growing as much of his own food as possible.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Area grocery stores have increased health and safety measures for employees to help slow the spread of COVID-19. From markers on the floor that signify appropriate social distancing to store hours designated for vulnerable populations, here’s how local stores are adjusting their operations:

Courtesy 412 Food Rescue

 

On today's program: How a local food waste prevention group is adapting to social distancing; scammers are capitalizing on the coronavirus outbreak; and advice from child psychologists about explaining COVID-19 to children.  

As more businesses shut down and stores limit their hours in the wake of the spread of COVID-19, we've compiled a list of stores that will remain open and their hours. We will update this list if anything changes. Think something might be wrong? Email us

Giant Eagle/Market District

7 a.m. - 10 p.m. 

*Customers who are age 60 and older can visit the stores at 6 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays.

Curbside pickup and delivery available.

PA Distillery Using High-Proof Alcohol To Make Hand Sanitizer

Mar 17, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

A Pennsylvania distillery owner who grew increasingly angry as he saw the skyrocketing price of hand sanitizer has decided to do something about it: He’s temporarily converting his operation into a production line for the suddenly hard-to-find, gooey, alcohol-based disinfectant.

Two pending rule changes meant to reduce what the Trump administration calls abuse of federal benefit programs could also mean hundreds of thousands of children lose access to free school meals.

Virginia Alvino-Young / 90.5 WESA

When one of Ted Jaenicke’s doctoral candidates approached him about quantifying household food waste, his first thought was that it could be nearly impossible.

Rachel McDevitt / WITF

Hundreds of high school students, all wearing blue corduroy jackets, packed the main arena at this year’s Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Rachel McDevitt / WITF

The 2020 Pennsylvania Farm Show kicks off this weekend.

For people who live in food deserts, getting groceries can be a real challenge.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Carnegie-based meat processor Kip’s Processing was among the 15 projects recently funded to improve the supply of locally produced meat statewide. The family-owned business received $50,000 as part of a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Very Small Meat Processor grant program.

Imagine Venice, the city of canals, at Christmastime — twinkling with lights and dressed in garlands.

Now translate that into gingerbread and gumdrops.

That's exactly what hundreds of architects, designers and engineers came together to do — build the Italian city made up of more than 100 small islands out of Snickers, Mars bars, Jellybeans, cereal, gummy bears and more. And, of course, sheets and sheets of gingerbread.

Emma Lee / WHYY

Ahead of the start of rifle deer season this Saturday, some hunters are concerned about deer infected with chronic wasting disease.

In City Farms

A sprawling indoor farm complex will open on the bank of the Monongahela River in Duquesne, Pa. next year. The campus will be on the site of a former steel mill, and is expected to bring more than 200 jobs to the area.

Evan Vucci / AP

The state is trying to make sure Pennsylvanians don’t start any house fires this Thanksgiving.

Pennsylvania Farmers Must Adapt To Survive, Advocates Say

Nov 20, 2019
Rachel McDevitt / WITF

A major advocacy group for Pennsylvania farmers says many have had to change the way they do business to stay afloat financially.

After California wine industry mogul Hugh Reimers illegally destroyed at least 140 acres of forest, meadow and stream in part to make way for new vineyards sometime last winter, according to a report from state investigators, state officials ordered the Krasilsa Pacific Farms manager to repair and mitigate the

In France, climate change is already affecting one of the country's most emblematic industries — winemaking. French vintners say heat, drought and erratic weather are altering the landscape and their centuries-old way of working.

Brothers Remi and Gregoire Couppé are fourth-generation winemakers who craft a top vintage, grand cru St. Emilion. In the past few years they've been confronted with some new challenges. Remi Couppé, 44, says there's no denying the weather is getting hotter and drier.

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

Some pumpkin farmers in western Pennsylvania have seen lower than normal crop yields this year. The culprit? Heavy summer rains that kept important pollinators away and spread fungal disease.

Soon on tap: a new brew featuring Yuengling's nearly 200-year-old porter recipe and Hershey's chocolate.

The two Pennsylvania companies are teaming up on a limited-edition beer called Yuengling Hershey's Chocolate Porter.

The chocolate-infused brew will be available on tap beginning in mid-October at bars, restaurants and other venues in 13 states from Kentucky to Massachusetts, as well as Washington, D.C.

It's the first collaboration for Pottsville-based Yuengling, America's oldest operating brewery.

A new set of analyses published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine challenges the widespread recommendations to cut back on red and processed meats.

Penguin Random House

On today's program: A food writer follows a cast extraordinary chefs around the world, and casts his sights on Pittsburgh; a local group is teaching families how to advocate for quality medical care; Allegheny County sees its first jury conviction using a 30-year-old law; and citizens could be responsible for redrawing state legislative districts—if lawmakers are willing to give that up.

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

A group of state lawmakers is trying to decide whether they made a mistake three years ago, when they gave Pennsylvania’s state-run liquor industry more power to negotiate prices.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Two southwestern Pennsylvania farms have been secured for permanent agriculture protection as part of a larger 40-farm conservation program.

My search for the secrets of American ketchup began in a sun-baked field near Los Banos, Calif.

The field didn't look like much at first. Just a wide, pale-green carpet of vines. Then Ross Siragusa, the head of global agriculture for the company Kraft Heinz, bent over, lifted up some of the vines, and revealed a mass of small, red fruit, too many to count.

Lots To Sample On A Weekend Visit To Pittsburgh's Dining Scene

Aug 19, 2019
Galley Group via AP

When celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich decided to open a restaurant in Pittsburgh's Strip District in 2001, she arrived in a neighborhood filled with warehouses and factories.

This narrow stretch of streets in the shadow of the city's downtown office towers had long been home to food purveyors like Wholey's Fish Market and the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company, known to locals simply as Penn Mac.

But a high-end restaurant helmed by a James Beard award-winning chef? That wasn't something anyone expected.

Min Xian / WPSU

Pennsylvania dairy farmers have been under continuous pressure of decreasing fluid milk consumption in the country and tight markets met by production surpluses and tariffs. Congressman Glenn Thompson led a summit at Mount Aloysius College in Cambria County Monday, reassuring producers and farmers that a handful of new policies would offer meaningful assistance to the industry.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania’s state-run wine and liquor industry may have run afoul of international trade law.

Industry trade groups representing producers in several countries have signed on to a letter complaining the way the commonwealth prices alcohol is too opaque, and amounts to “stealth taxes.”

Pennsylvania changed the pricing structure for its state liquor industry in 2016, with authorization from the legislature. 

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