While the taco long ago conquered America, some aficionados believe this ancient, handheld food reaches its pinnacle in the Texas-Mexico borderlands.

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Tired of Turkey? Try the Plentiful Asian Carp

Nov 26, 2020
Courtesy of Kevin Irons/Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

On this edition of WSIU InFocus, we hear from experts about the invasive Asian Carp, which are rapidly spreading in Illinois' streams and rivers, causing damage to the native fish populations.

The Illinois Department of Natural resources is hoping to stop the growth of invasive Asian Carp, by getting people to eat it.  This Saturday at Giant City State Park local Chefs will prepare dishes, using the Asian Carp.  Jennifer Randolph Bollinger, the park's Natural Resources Coordinator,  says you can also learn about this invader.

Courtesy of the Glaciers End Facebook page.

On this edition of InFocus, we hear  about a new way to help southern Illinoisans buy locally grown food.

Carbondale Spring

A grass roots group is expanding to fight food insecurity.  Chuck Paprocki is the Coordinator of the Carbondale Spring's Food Autonomy Initiative.  

Amelia Blakely

Even the way a farmers market operates has changed since the pandemic started as social-distancing practices become more critical for maintaining public health.

In Carbondale, Illinois the farmers market switched to a drive-thru allowing some local producers to sell their goods in a physically-distant manner with masks and gloves. 

Even though the Midwest is tops in field corn production and grows row after row of it, these states don’t stand out when it comes to national production of sweet corn. 

But for many in the region, nothing says summer quite like a fresh hot ear of sweet corn — plain, buttered or salted.

Two local non–profits are teaming up to get food to  at–risk children in southern Illinois.  Between now and January 31st Marion's Carnegie Library is offering their Food for Fines program.  Sarah Wingate,  the Coordinator of Library Services,  says the donations will be given to Gum Drops in Carterville for distribution.  Wingate says the program began several years ago and has grown.  Each month, Wingate says Gumdrops delivers over 15 thousand backpacks of easy to prepare food to at–risk children. 

A group of Illinois legislators are pushing an agenda intended to help farmers who sell at local markets.

Illinois Farm Bureau

The Illinois Humanities Council will host a special program this weekend in Cobden, highlighting the future of agriculture in rural areas like southern Illinois. WSIU’s Jennifer Fuller has this preview of “Seeding Change”.

In southern Illinois most of the landscape is perfect for farming.

In the summer, a lot of the roads look like hallways with corn for walls.

But even surrounded by all of this fresh healthy food, some towns that are surrounded by these fields don’t have access to those fresh foods.

Sustainable Living Expo Highlights Self-Sufficiency

Oct 20, 2015
The University of Illinois Extension Service

The 2015 Sustainable Living Expo takes place this Saturday October 24th, 2015 at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center from 9:00AM  to 4:00PM.  For more information visit the Sustainable Living website at:

Illinois grocers and government food assistance recipients want the state to increase the number of days it disburses benefits to help relieve sporadic food shortages.

Just under 2 million people a year are fed by food banks in Illinois, according to the 2015 report of the Illinois Commission to End Hunger, which released its annual analysis last week.

Eat Local Challenge Highlights Local Food

Sep 3, 2015
Greg Petrovich/WSIU

Food Works is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable, local food systems.  On Wednesday September 2nd, the Executive Director of Food Works, Kathleen Logan Smith announced the "Eat Local Challenge", an initiative involving the Neighborhood Coop Grocery in Carbondale, several farmer's markets, and participating restaurants.  The "Eat Local Challenge" runs from September 5th through September 19th and encourages southern Illinoisans to consume food grown and raised locally.

The Link Between Local Food and the Local Economy

Jun 10, 2015

If you're in need of a little help preparing your turkey for Thanksgiving... calls to the Butterball Turkey Talk hotline are answered right here in Illinois.