Melissa Locker

Melissa Locker appears in the following:

[Web Special] Check Your Beef for E. Coli

Thursday, July 02, 2009

A possible E. coli outbreak in beef produced by the JBS Swift Beef Co. of Colorado has sickened people in nine states. The meat has been recalled, so check your fridge before your holiday cookout.

So far 23 people have been sickened across nine states.Wisconsin and Michigan appear to be the hardest hit by the outbreak so far, with the CDC reporting six people ill in each state. Other cases were reported in California, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York.

Most of the beef packages in the first recall bear the establishment number "Est. 969" inside the USDA mark of inspection and have identifying package dates of "042109" or "042209." The CDC urges consumers to check their refrigerators and freezers for beef products produced by this firm and purchased on or after April 21, 2009 and discard or return the recalled beef products to the place of purchase for a refund.

The Kroger Co. is recalling packages of meat with "sell by" dates of April 27 to June 1 in Ohio including northern Kentucky, southeastern Indiana, western Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Illinois and eastern Missouri. The company said the suspect beef was sold under its store brands in more than a dozen states.

Other grocery retailers affected include: Hannaford Supermarkets, Stop & Shop, and Food 4 Less stores in the Chicago area, Fry's stores in Arizona,and Smith's stores in Arizona, Utah, and other western states.

The outbreak comes on the heels of a recall of Toll House refrigerated cookie dough products.

For more information head to the CDC's website
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Fresh From the Farmers' Market

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

As summer hits its stride, the nation’s farmer’s markets are filling up with fresh-from-the-farm produce. Peaches, blueberries, beets, lettuce, and okra are all in season. New York Times food writer Melissa Clark and Taja Sevelle from Urban Farming, a national nonprofit group dedicated to growing food in abandoned spaces, join The Takeaway for a look at the season's most delicious food. Garlic scape pesto anyone?

Want to find a farmers' market near you? Head over to Local Harvest And if you want to find out what's in season in your neck of the woods, check out this Peak Season Map

Chamomile Simple Syrup

Makes about one cup

• 1 cup water
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 big handful rinsed chamomile flowers

Put water and sugar in a pan and bring to a boil. Add chamomile flowers. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Let cool. Strain.

Serving suggestions: Brush syrup on pound cake. Add to iced tea. Macerate any type of berry in a few tablespoons of syrup.

Garlic Scape Pesto

Makes about 1 cup

• 10 garlic scapes, finely chopped
•1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
•1/3 cup slivered almonds
•About 1/2 cup olive oil
•Sea salt

Put the scapes, 1/3 cup of the cheese, almonds and half the olive oil in a food processor (or use a blender or a mortar and pestle). Blend all the ingredients. Add the remaining oil and, if you want, more cheese. If you like the texture, start eating. To thin, add more oil, a tablespoon at a time. Season with salt.

You can store the pesto in the refrigerator for up to a week or saved in the freezer for up to two months.

Serving suggestions: Add to pasta. Dress a tomato salad. Brush on toast for bruschetta.


Not Feeling the Vibe: Is Hip Hop Dying?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

After 16 years, Vibe magazine made a big announcement: it's closing. The magazine founded by Quincy Jones covered the world of hip hop. But as the economy slumped, so did ad sales. Essence Magazine Senior Editor Patrik Henry Bass sees the closing of Vibe as another sign of the death of hip hop. Patrik is author of Like A Mighty Stream: The March on Washington, August 28, 1963

Nas said it three years ago: Hip Hop is Dead

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Andy Borowitz: How Madoff Can Survive in Prison

Monday, June 29, 2009

When comedian Andy Borowitz read that Bernard Madoff’s relatives were looking for a guide to help Bernie survive life in prison, he jumped at the chance to help the disgraced billionaire. He wrote a book called “Who Moved My Soap: The CEO’s Guide to Surviving in Prison.” Borowitz joins The Takeaway with a few helpful hints for Madoff’s time on the inside.

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Life, Inc.: The Corporatization of Us

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In his new book Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back, author Douglas Rushkoff says that to get out of the current economic crisis, Americans must rethink their relationship with companies like Wal-Mart. He favors local economies, local currencies, and even the old-fashioned concept of getting to know your neighbors. He joins The Takeaway with more.

For a sneak peek at the book, here's a brief film of Life, Inc.


Fire Up the Torch: New Sports Vie For Olympic Inclusion

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The 2016 Olympics are already heating up. Seven candidates — baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, rugby sevens, softball and squash — are vying for a place at the games from 2016 onward. To find out how the process is going, The Takeaway is joined by Don Porter, the President of the Softball Federation, who is in Lausanne, Switzerland, to pitch his sport to the IOC. Also joining the discussion is Dave Zirin, sportswriter for The Nation and author of People's History of Sports in the United States, for his take on the Olympics.

"The amount of corruption scandals that the IOC has been involved in over the years would make an Illinois politician wince."
— Sports writer Dave Zirin on choosing a new Olympic sport

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Down the Drain: What's Your Water Footprint?

Monday, June 15, 2009

As the planet heats up, water shortages are becoming an important environmental issue. You've been told to reduce your carbon footprint—but what about your water footprint? To help explain this new means of measuring consumption, we turn to Matthew McDermott, Senior Writer for Treehugger.

Continue reading to see the water footprint of some popular foods and beverages.

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In Miami, a Serial Killer of Cats

Monday, June 15, 2009

Residents of two Miami neighborhoods have been terrorized by a string of gruesome cat killings over the past month. On Sunday, police arrested a local teenager and charged him with the crimes. The Takeaway talks to Miami Herald Reporter Jose Pagliery about an the cat serial killings that have disturbed the whole city.

***UPDATE*** Miami-Dade police have made an arrest in this case. Tyler Hayes Weinman, an 18-year old who divided his time between the two neighborhoods where the killings took place, was taken into police custody and charged with 19 counts of felony animal cruelty, 19 counts of improperly disposing of an animal body and four counts of burglary. Each of the felony counts carries a minimum mandatory fine of $5,000, six months in prison and psychological counseling.

For more on this story, watch the video below.

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U.S. and China Heat Up the Global-Warming Debate

Friday, June 12, 2009

Top climate change officials from China and the U.S. met this week in Beijing to hash out a pre-Copenhagen plan for cutting greenhouse gas. The two countries are the world’s top two greenhouse gas emitters, according to the Brookings Institution. Together, they account for more than 40 percent of annual emissions. Any solution to the greenhouse gas problem may require both countries to transition to low-carbon economies.

Just back from a trip to China is Assistant Energy Secretary David Sandalow, who joins The Takeaway to discuss how talks are going. Click through for the full transcript of the interview.

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Stanley Cup: Will the Red Wings Cheer Up Detroit?

Friday, June 12, 2009

With the auto industry in crisis, Detroit residents are looking to their NHL team, the Red Wings, to bring a smile to their city. Tonight the Red Wings battle the Pittsburgh Penguins for hockey's Stanley Cup. The Takeaway talks to Red Wings fans Michele Rastelli and Jason Dritsan about the city's hopes for a win.

Highlights from Game 6:

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Should You Get Off the Hook? The Ethics of Eating Fish

Monday, June 08, 2009

Food writer Mark Bittman's first book, "Fish: The Complete Guide to Buying and Cooking," explored the glory of piscine cuisine. But when offered the opportunity to revise the book, he declined. Overnight shipping of loads of fish cargo, farm-raising and over-fishing have turned buying and eating fish into an ethical and ecological quagmire. Mark Bittman joins The Takeaway to explain his reasons for being more selective about which fish end up on his plate.

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The Future of NASCAR in the Era of Bankruptcy

Monday, June 08, 2009

As Treasury Department officials pore over the books of GM and Chrysler, what do they make of the millions of dollars the auto makers spend on NASCAR? Is it worthwhile marketing? Does NASCAR success translate to bottom-line profit? To answer some of these questions we turn to Gary Belsky, editor-in-chief of ESPN The Magazine.

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Weapons of Mass Instruction: The Madrassa Myth

Monday, June 08, 2009

With Pakistan’s public education in shambles, many families struggle to find decent schools for their children. One option is the local madrassa, or religious school. Some Westerners see these schools as incubators of Islamic extremists, or so-called “weapons of mass instruction.” Our next guest argues that the problem is not one of religious education but of law enforcement, and that U.S. money would be better spent on revamping the more globally-minded private school system. Christine Fair is a senior political scientist at the RAND corporation and an expert in Pakistan security issues. She co-wrote an article about madrassas in this month's Foreign Policy.

""We don't want to give the illusion that all madrassas are innocent, but we also want to say very clearly that they're a very small number. And of that small number, a smaller number yet are actually involved in the production of terrorism."
— Christine Fair of the RAND Corporation on Pakistani madrassas.


Praise the Lard! A Maligned Fat Makes a Resurgence

Friday, June 05, 2009

Lard was once the most common fat for baking, but came to be seen as dirty and unhealthful. Now, food scientists have shown that home-rendered lard isn't as bad for your health as, say, margarine. And it tastes wonderful! Our guest, discussing the benefits of lard, is food writer Regina Schrambling. Also on the show is chef Zarela Martinez, a self-proclaimed lard crusader. She has been preaching the gospel of lard for over fifteen years and is glad that people are finally listening.

For pie crust and chocolate cupcake recipes, click here. Those recipes come from Southern cooks (and lard fans) Matt and Ted Lee.

Watch Zarela Martinez demonstrate how easy it is to render lard at home:

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Remembering Tiananmen Square

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Twenty years ago today the Chinese army rolled their tanks into Tiananmen Square in Beijing and quashed the massive protests that were taking place there. Seven weeks of uprisings, demonstrations, and hunger strikes were wiped out under the treads of Chinese tanks. Casualties numbered in the hundreds or the thousands — there has never been an official accounting — but the toll on the democracy movement was near fatal. To help recreate the scene for us we are joined by the BBC's Kate Adie, who reported from the ground in Tiananmen Square. We are also joined by photographer Jeff Widener, who captured the quintessential image of the struggle — a lone man standing against a line of tanks.

See also the New York Times Photo Essay Behind the Scenes: Tank Man of Tiananmen.

Also: watch a BBC interview with Kate Adie about her experiences that day and her hopes for the future of democracy in China.

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Afghanistan: A Woman Parliamentarian Looks Ahead

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Dr. Roshanak Wardak has a lot of ideas for repairing Afghanistan. She was a practicing physician for thirty years, then traded her stethoscope for a role as a member of Afghanistan's parliament. As one of 68 women in the lower house, she works for women's rights and to rebuild the beleaguered nation's infrastructure, especially schools and hospitals. She just testified before the U.S. Congress about her vision for her country and her work with

Here is Dr. Wardak and others involved in RethinkAfghanistan


Drink Up! The Rebirth of The Speakeasy

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Glamorized in the movies, the 1920s were a gala time of flappers, jazz, and the eighteenth amendment. The so-called Noble Experiment of Prohibition created a culture of subterranean speakeasies where people could illicitly imbibe. But according to New York Times writer William Grimes, the atmosphere may have been lively, but the drinks were lousy. That hasn't stopped a new interest in underground cocktail lounges from popping up across the country. From Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco to Milk & Honey in New York, there's a speakeasy renaissance going on. And this time, the drinks are good. William Grimes joins The Takeaway with a look at the past, present, and future of speakeasies.

Read William Grimes' article in today's New York Times on the new speakeasy: Bar? What Bar?

And to learn what goes into these Prohibition drinks check out the Grimes' list of Prohibition-era cocktails.

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On the Frontlines of Abortion Clinics' Battles

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Just two weeks after President Obama called for "fair-minded words" to be used in the debate over abortion rights, Dr. George Tiller was gunned down at his church. The accused killer is Scott Roeder, a 51-year-old Kansas resident with a long history of anti-government and anti-abortion actions who was involved with the leaders of the anti-choice movement. It's been ten years since a doctor was killed for performing the procedure, and Dr. Tiller's death is sending shock waves through the tight-knit community. How will doctors act now — and what affect will the killing have on women seeking abortions? To hear reactions from the frontlines, The Takeaway talks to "Jeffrey," a clinic manager in Kansas City, Kansas and to Dr. Bill Harrison, an OB/Gyn in Fayatteville, Arkansas.

The poem Dr. Bill Harrison reads is called "Where are you?," and is by Dr. B. J. Issacson. Read it here:

Where are you?
For over 16 years we have provided
you with choices
Painful choices
I remember—
I sometimes cried with you.
Choices, nevertheless, when you were desperate.

Remember how we protected you privacy
and treated you with dignity and respect
when you
were famous
had been brought to us in shackles
with an armed guard, or
were terrified
that you would run into
one of your students?
I remember each of you.

Continue reading...


Mark Kurlansky on What America Eats

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

During the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt decided that even unemployed writers needed to be put to work. So as part of the New Deal he created the Federal Writers Project and dispatched scribes to all corners of the nation to document, among other topics, food. "What America Eats" became a national compendium of what people were cooking and eating, region by region. Being a "locavore" is a fashionable lifestyle choice now. But in 1940 you ate locally because you had to—the lack of highways and freezers kept diners to a regional and seasonal menu long before it became chic. Notable writers including Eudora Welty who covered Mississippi meals and Zora Neale Hurston who tackled her favorite Floridian foods all weighed in on regional cuisine for the project. In his new book, "Food of a Younger Land," author Mark Kurlansky revives the unfinished America Eats project. He joins The Takeaway for a look back at the diet of a nation.

Click through for an Indiana Persimmon Pudding Recipe


Dining 'Al Desko'

Monday, May 11, 2009

It's a recipe for frustration. In tough economic times, many people are working too hard to take off for an hour-long lunch. And who wants to leave your desk empty when the threat of layoffs is looming? So we dine "al desko": a sandwich in one hand and the mouse in the other. The culinary cost of "just grabbing a sandwich" everyday quickly adds up. But the task of making lunch the night before can be daunting, and boil-in-bag food can be dull. Is there anything you can do at your desk to prepare or pep up your midday meal? New York Times food writer and friend of The Takeaway Melissa Clark has some tips.

What should be in your food pantry at work? Here are Melissa's suggestions for the must-have items for the cubicle gourmet: Red wine vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, good olive oil, Tabasco sauce or other Chili Sauce, sharp mustard (no need to refrigerate!), pepper grinder with fresh pepper, good salt (kosher or coarse sea salt), block of good, dark chocolate (much more satisfying than the vending machine - and cheaper, too!), a bag of roasted salted almonds, and peanut sauce.

Have access to your office fridge? Melissa suggests keeping a chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, feta or goat cheese for salads, bagged spinach, and jars of olives and anchovies.

Don't forget to store in your pantry a fork and a sharp knife for cutting an avocado, tomato or zucchini (or for fending off lunchroom thieves).

Have your own ideas for eating al desko? Tell us!
The trouble with al desko Is that it leaves al messko. Your desk is not a tomb; Why not walk around the room? Two meals pack sufficient punch -- Forget the goddamn lunch.
-- Leon Freilich, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

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