food

Despite the hot economy, Dollar General continues to thrive due to a loyal customer base and an expansion strategy focused on rural areas that lack other retail options.

Jill Schlesinger (@jillonmoney), a business analyst for CBS News and the host of Jill On Money, joins us.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Out of all the Thanksgiving dishes Kim Yates has helped prepare for her large family over the years, one batch of mashed potatoes stands out clearly in her memory.

About 30 guests were gathered that year, at her sister's home in Palo Alto, Calif., and Yates had made a point of taking on responsibility for the mashed potatoes so that her young daughter Tessa (who was dealing with extreme food allergies to eggs, dairy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish) would have at least one safe side dish to eat.

Megan Silveira / FAPC Communications Services

Researchers at Oklahoma State University are working on turning beer waste into food.

When beer is made, starch and sugars are extracted from the grain, but the solid material is left as waste—nearly 52 pounds for every barrel brewed.

With Sacha Pfeiffer

Dollar stores are popping up across the country and raking in the profits. Critics say it all comes with a cost to the nation’s poor. We’re on it.

Guests

Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN Business retail reporter. (@nmeyersohn)

Donnie Ray Jones / Flickr

Low-income women and children in Oklahoma will still receive federal food benefits despite the partial federal government shutdown.

The Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program helps low-income pregnant and nursing women and parents of young children buy nutritious food, like eggs, milk, and formula.

This spring, millions of Americans worried that salad was no longer safe to eat: The U.S. was hit by the largest E. coli outbreak in a decade, with 172 people in 32 states sickened by contaminated romaine lettuce. Eighty-nine of those individuals were hospitalized, and at least five died.

The retail economy in rural America has been rough for decades. But where thousands of stores have closed in recent years, Dollar General is thriving, sometimes at the expense of local shops. Dollar Generals are discount stores that sell goods from hand tools to hot dogs. They're reshaping the retail landscape in small towns. And making lots of friends — and enemies — in the process.

Grocery stores in America have changed from neighborhood corner markets to multimillion-dollar chains that sell convenience — along with thousands of products — to satisfy the demand of the country's hungry consumers. What caused this transformation? And what will our grocery stores be like in the future?

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Low-income areas of rural Oklahoma are blotched with food deserts, where fresh, healthy food options are scarce. It’s a problem in cities, too, but entrepreneurs, educators and legislators say newly signed legislation could help fill grocery gaps with community gardens.

School just let out at Walt Whitman Elementary in north Tulsa and a group of third and fifth graders is eager to brag about the garden they helped plant on a hillside behind the school.

The advice to eat a healthy diet is not new. Back around 400 B.C., Hippocrates, the Greek doctor, had this missive: Let food be thy medicine.

But as a society, we've got a long way to go. About 1 out of every 2 deaths from heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes in the U.S. is linked to a poor diet. That's about 1,000 deaths a day.

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