Arts & Culture

In the 1960s, the sugar industry funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat, according to a newly published article in JAMA Internal Medicine.

thehungryblackman.com

Miami blogger Starex Smith is exploring local food scenes from the perspective of a hungry black man.

His blog The Hungry Black Man is a mix of restaurant recommendations and profiles of food entrepreneurs across Florida and other states he visits.

But since Smith's home base is Miami, South Florida gets a lot of love on the blog.  

Most of the world didn't know anyone lived in the highlands of Papua New Guinea until the 1930s, when Australian gold prospectors surveying the area realized there were about a million people there.

When researchers made their way to those villages in the 1950s, they found something disturbing. Among a tribe of about 11,000 people called the Fore, up to 200 people a year had been dying of an inexplicable illness. They called the disease kuru, which means "shivering" or "trembling."

Lisann Ramos

Our WLRN interns come to us from all over the country in hopes of dipping their toes in the radio reporting world. What they usually get is full immersion; into the many sights and sounds of South Florida's culture, quirks and food! This summer we were lucky enough to host four wonderful reporters from Tallahassee, Chicago and Miami. In their own words, they explain what it was like to get a taste of local living.  

Caitlin Switalski: Here You Never Have To Eat Alone

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  The lack of new film incentives in Florida hasn't stopped one movie production from shooting some of its scenes in the state.

"The Leisure Seeker," starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland, is set to shoot for several days in the keys later this month.

On Thursday, a casting call for extras drew Key Westers needed to play medical personnel, a wedding party and tourists.

There was no call for a parrot, but Mango was there anyway with her owners, Thane and Tami Gilliam.

Juan Gabriel, a singular superstar who transcended borders and the trappings of gender with meticulously crafted pop songs and a flamboyant showmanship that earned the nickname the "divo of Juarez," has died, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner.

Juan Gabriel was 66 years old and he was found at a residence in San Monica with no apparent foul play.

Mexican President Enrique Peña-Nieto tweeted his condolences calling him one of the country's "greatest musical icons."

If the popularity of quinoa has taught us anything, it's that Americans are increasingly open about exploring grains besides the familiar wheat and rice. Now, researchers at Tennessee State University are hoping consumers are ready to give another ancient grain a try: amaranth.

Amaranth was revered by the Aztecs in Mexico. Today in the U.S., it's mostly grown in people's backyards or on research farms, like an experimental field at Tennessee State University.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  Key West has a great restaurant scene — but people who live on the island know that to get true local delicacies you have to get inside someone's kitchen. Preferably someone who was born in the Keys, or a Conch in local parlance.

Someone like Martin Liz. He was born and raised on the island and he knows how to handle a conch filet.

It’s not exactly something you’d expect to see hanging in the Louvre. A very unusual art exhibit is on display at the University of North Florida Gallery of Art.

Nevermore Production Films

If you're going to craft a good horror story, a gloomy climate almost always helps. The Overlook Hotel in The Shining probably wouldn't be as scary without that isolating snow storm. Nor would Edgar Allen Poe's House of Usher seem as foreboding surrounded by palm trees inside of all the miasmic fog.

So can a top-notch horror movie ever be set in sunny South Florida?

We're living at a time when more than 80 percent of Americans fail to eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. At the same time, many Americans overeat refined grains and sugar.

This may help explain why the obesity rate seems stuck. The most recent estimate is that 36 percent of adults in the U.S. are obese.

The 2,200-year-old mummy of an Egyptian man who spent a lot of time sitting and eating carbs went on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem on Tuesday and will be open to the public beginning Wednesday.

The table is set for dinner. Small cooked crabs and shrimp are laid out on the thick wooden tabletop next to succulent figs, grapes, pears and types of produce you can't even name. There's a citrus with a long coiling peel draped around it, and an entire roast of some animal's leg that's been cut down the middle — so you can see the thick layer of fat running around the edge. Just for good measure, a red lobster and ornate goblet of wine stand on a pedestal above it.

In April 1865, at the bloody, bitter end of the Civil War, Ebenezer Nelson Gilpin, a Union cavalryman, wrote in his diary, "Everything is chaos here. The suspense is almost unbearable."

"We are reduced to quarter rations and no coffee," he continued. "And nobody can soldier without coffee."

If war is hell, then for many soldiers throughout American history, it is coffee that has offered some small salvation. Hidden Kitchens looks at three American wars through the lens of coffee: the Civil War, Vietnam and Afghanistan.

Note: This story first ran last summer. The group Mangoes to Share is back at it this summer, and they say they've been scheduling "non-stop" pickups.  Organizer Anna Milaeva tells us the owner of one vacant lot has given them carte blanche to pick mangoes from 30 trees on the property. They've been picking other fruit too, like star fruit, lychees and avocados.

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