Food & Drink

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

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. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Chatham University researchers have compiled a detailed map of farms and food processors in Pennsylvania, as part of a larger project to educate people about the region's food network.

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

An educational event aimed at helping people of color, women and those in the LGBTQ community break into the craft beer industry, takes place Saturday. 

COURTESY OF ENDEMOL SHINE NORTH AMERICA

 

On today's program: The man accused of plotting to attack a church on the North Side is due in court; MasterChef contestant and Pittsburgher Michael Silverstein draws culinary inspiration from the Strip District; East Pittsburgh has undergone a number of changes in the year since the death of Antwon Rose; Why are a number of Pittsburgh's roads referred to as runs?; plus a look inside Pitt’s newest nationality room celebrating Philippine culture.

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

On today’s program: The number of kids in foster care has increased as the opioid epidemic grows; Pittsburgh has a half-hidden fountain of youth; FBI documents could cast a shadow on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.; peregrine falcons have found a home at the Rachel Carson state office building in Harrisburg; and Pittsburgh is getting more than 90 beers to honor each of its official and unofficial neighborhoods. 

Kevin C. Brown / 90.5 WESA

For sugarmaker Matthew Emerick there are few things more lovely than maple syrup on pancakes. He’s a third-generation producer and can’t imagine spring without tapping the maple trees in the family woods. But he acknowledges the attributes of other tree syrups, even if they’re not for him.

Kevin C. Brown / 90.5 WESA

The production and distribution of food in the U.S. is a lot of work. The industry employed more than one in 10 Americans in 2017, the most recent year for which data were available.

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

“We’re going to add a little jigger of milk with cookies-and-cream ice cream,” said Roger Bassett, a fifth-generation member of the Bassetts Ice Cream family.

Photo by Matt Peyton/Invision for Zachys Wine Auctions

In recent years, pressure has been building for Pennsylvania to privatize its state-run liquor industry.

One of the common arguments against continued state control is that wine and liquor selection and quality in stores run by the Liquor Control Board can’t keep pace with independent stores in other states.

The PLCB has done a lot to change that perception over the years, from redecorating, to mixing up the available booze, to adding the word “fine” to their ubiquitous Wine and Spirits stores.

Chain Store Beer, Wine Sales Press Some Dry PA Towns To Go Wet

Feb 19, 2019
Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

The little town of Cleona is the latest to feel some pressure to allow alcohol sales.

Nearly 700 towns across Pennsylvania are dry or partially dry, restricting the sale of beer, wine and liquor to some extent. In the greater Harrisburg region alone, 165 boroughs and townships restrict alcohol sales.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

When it comes to pizza, everyone knows Chicago has deep dish and New York has a thin, foldable crust.

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