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Allison Aubrey

Virginians have always enjoyed their liquor, and for much of the 18th century, their preferred drink was rum. But when war and tariffs made imported rum hard to come by, George Washington saw an opportunity. Why not make liquor out of grains he was growing on his farms?

"He was a businessman and he was a very, very successful one," says Dennis Pogue, the director of preservation programs at Mount Vernon.

For as long as there's been an IQ test, there's been controversy over what it measures. Do IQ scores capture a person's intellectual capacity, which supposedly remains stable over time? Or is the Intelligent Quotient exam really an achievement test — similar to the S.A.T. — that's subject to fluctuations in scores?

The findings of a new study add evidence to the latter theory: IQ seems to be a gauge of acquired knowledge that progresses in fits and starts.

It seems that all the big farm groups - from beef and pork producers to sugar and soybean growers — have been paying attention to those "Know Your Farmer" bumper stickers.

Contestants on the Season 12 Premiere of TV's The Biggest Loser last night may not be the only people motivated to lose weight. Viewers are influenced by weight-loss reality shows, too.

Menus at Olive Garden and Red Lobster are about to get a health makeover. Darden Restaurants, which owns the brands, is the latest corporation to collaborate with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign aimed ending childhood obesity.

About half of adult smokers who live with young children say they don't smoke in the house. But that leaves the rest who do.

And the children of these at-home smokers --according to a study just published in the journal Pediatrics — are missing more days of school.

If you're hankering for something new to drink — something more interesting than the usual cocktail or soda — you may want to look to the past. Way back in the 19th century, pharmacists and soda-jerks created all sorts of exotic, lip-smacking sensations by mixing fizzy mineral water with unique blends of sweet syrups and bitters.

As kids head back to class, the dreaded back-to-school bugs begin to spike. Sniffles and sneezes are inevitable, but there are also stomach bugs.

And parents may never have considered how one part of the morning routine may increase their children's odds of getting an upset stomach. It's the packing of lunch with just typical foods.

If you've got high cholesterol, you know the diet advice: Go easy on foods high in saturated fat like red meat and cheese, and eat lots of fiber and whole grains.

The message still holds up, but researchers say it's time to tweak the message.

Kids may claim that Tater Tots are the only edible food in the school cafeteria, but in reality, school lunches are getting more healthful.

Almost all cafeterias now serve fresh fruits and vegetables, according to a survey of school food directors released Thursday. Whole grains are readily accessible in 97 percent of schools, and 89 percent of districts offer salad bars or pre-packaged salads. Gone are the days of full fat milk; virtually all districts offer skim or 1 percent.

Let's begin with some well-worn advice: Moderation is key. So go ahead and eat that hot dog at the state fair or some bacon on vacation. But take note: People who eat lots of processed meats over their lifetime seem to have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes (and heart disease).

With one death and 77 people reported ill, the latest foodborne illness outbreak has led to one of the largest recalls in U.S. history. Food giant Cargill pulled a staggering 36 million pounds of ground turkey from the market. And the victims in this case have gotten very sick — almost one-third have ended up in the hospital.

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NPR's Allison Aubrey reports.

ALLISON AUBREY: So why are farm-raised animals given so much medicine?

GAIL HANSEN: Animals are given antibiotics for a number of reasons, including to get them to grow faster.

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