The Science of Sustainability

Food and Wine

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Sample our tasty coverage of local food and wine stories.

Next Meal: Engineering Food

Next Meal: Engineering Food

Are the benefits of genetically engineered foods worth the risks? This half-hour QUEST Northern California special explores the pros and cons of genetically engineered crops, and what the future holds for research and regulations.

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Uncool Cherries

Uncool Cherries

Climate change is contributing to reduced cherry yields in California. This video is part of the Heat and Harvest series, co-produced by KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting.

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Dry and Salted

Dry and Salted

Salty groundwater is ruining almond crops in the Central Valley, and scientists expect sea level rise to worsen the problem. This video is part of the Heat and Harvest series, co-produced by KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting.

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The Heat is On For California Wines

The Heat is On For California Wines

You’ve probably heard of the wines that made Napa and Sonoma famous, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay. But what about Negroamaro or Nero d’Avola? They’re wine grapes that are well-adapted to hotter temperatures — the kind of conditions that California may be facing as the climate continues to warm.

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Try This at Home: The Chemistry of Fresh Cheese

Try This at Home: The Chemistry of Fresh Cheese

You can make cheese at home with some milk and a little bit of chemistry. Here's how.

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Coffee Flavor By the Numbers

Coffee Flavor By the Numbers

Technology helps home coffee drinkers analyze and automate their morning brew so that everyone can brew the same artisanal cup of coffee each day.

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Brewing the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Brewing the Perfect Cup of Coffee

The science of brewing coffee includes scales, thermometers and trained taste buds. And like any good experiment, it requires a bit of flair too.

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Science in Your Life: The Magic Microwave

Science in Your Life: The Magic Microwave

Why doesn’t a microwave heat my food like a regular oven?

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Chocolate Tasting in the Name of Science!

Chocolate Tasting in the Name of Science!

Chocolate scientists study everything from the disease resistance of cacao trees to the health benefits of the finished product. But they shy away from one critical question: which chocolate tastes best?

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You Say Sweet Potato, I Say New World

You Say Sweet Potato, I Say New World

As you fill your grocery cart with food for Thanksgiving, pause for a minute and think about where that food came from. I don’t mean is it local or organic or hormone/pesticide /gluten-free—I mean is it Old World or New World? On what continent did that food evolve?

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Toast To The Dry Days At Cal Academy's Prohibition NightLife

Toast To The Dry Days At Cal Academy's Prohibition NightLife

Celebrate the prohibition era with a sneak preview of Ken Burns new documentary and wine tasting at Cal Academy's NightLife.

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Michael Pollan Says Health Insurance Interests May Be Our Best Chance In Political Food Fight

Michael Pollan Says Health Insurance Interests May Be Our Best Chance In Political Food Fight

With the passing of Obama’s Patient Protection Act and Affordable Care Act, insurance and government agencies can no longer neglect individuals with preventable, diet-related chronic diseases.

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Science on the SPOT: Dark Matter: Inside the Compost Cycle

Science on the SPOT: Dark Matter: Inside the Compost Cycle

How does San Francisco’s 600 tons of compostable waste become a nutrient-rich material that improves the quality of our local wines? Agronomist Bob Shaffer, Northern California’s “compost guy,” takes QUEST into the composting process.

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Carlo Petrini, Slow Food Founder, Kicks Off New UCB Food Politics Class

Carlo Petrini, Slow Food Founder, Kicks Off New UCB Food Politics Class

Carlo Petrini's work has spawned an international movement aimed at overhauling global food systems that he says are unhealthy and way out of balance.

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Science on the SPOT: Green Eggs By The Gram – Sustainable Caviar

Science on the SPOT: Green Eggs By The Gram – Sustainable Caviar

Once an exotic product associated with royalty and overfishing, caviar is now being farmed sustainably right here in California.

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The Science & Art of Cheese

The Science & Art of Cheese

Cheese. It comes in more than 2,000 varieties — hard, soft, fresh and aged – and it's been with us for thousands of years. Take a journey to Cowgirl Creamery in West Marin to learn how artisan cheese is made and how scientists are putting cheese under the microscope to gain new insights about this incredible, edible food.

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Web Extra: The Terroir of Cheese

Web Extra: The Terroir of Cheese

Watch this QUEST web extra to learn how "terroir" – or the characteristics of a specific region such as its climate, soil and topography – indelibly influences the production of award-winning, artisan cheese.

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Science on the SPOT: Secrets of Sourdough

Science on the SPOT: Secrets of Sourdough

What is true sourdough bread? It's more than just the tangy flavor. Science on the SPOT visits with Maria Marco of UC Davis and baker Eduardo Morrell to learn more about the secret science of sourdough.

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Producer's Notes: The Science Of Taste

Producer's Notes: The Science Of Taste

I love producing QUEST stories because there's so much I learn in the process. Who knew that 95 percent of what we think is taste is actually smell?

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Power Up With Leftovers

Power Up With Leftovers

Americans throw away a staggering 31 million tons of food each year. As those scraps decompose they create methane – a powerful greenhouse gas – that could be harnessed to light our homes one day. As Tara Siler reports, a wastewater treatment plant in the Bay Area is leading the way.

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