Nutrition & Health

  • Protect Your Heart This Valentine’s Day With Alcorn State University

    During American Heart Month, there are constant reminders to improve our heart health. Heart disease is the #1 killer of Americans every year, and prevention begins with you. So, for this month, Alcorn State University offers tips you can take to keep you from being a statistic.

    One of the simplest changes to help prevent heart disease is incorporating healthy foods into your diet. Eating more fruits and veggies keep blood pressure in check and provide the recommended nutrients needed to stay healthy so visit your local farmer’s market and stock up!

    Check out Alcorn State University’s other tips for a heart healthy life here.

  • Massachusetts Is SNAPping Out of Food Insecurity (via University of Massachusetts Extension)

    In 2015, 15.8 million households were considered “food insecure,” which means they had inconsistent access to healthy food. For Massachusetts, nearly one in ten households (almost 200,000 children) don’t receive food they need.

    To help , University of Massachusetts Extension implemented nutrition education programs to low-income families and youth. Over 65,000 individuals participated in their programs with great results – over half of participating adults changed their dietary intake, improved their ability to choose foods, and acquired skills to be more food secure. With these programs, food insecurity may continue to decline for Massachusetts and provide an example for other states to follow.

    How did they do it? Read what the nutrition education program offered to communities here.

  • Ohio State University Extension Raises the Bar on Food Safety for Greenhouse-Grown Produce

    Sanja Ilic, the state food safety specialist for the Ohio State University Extension, is currently analyzing five years of research on greenhouse vegetable production. It is an effort being undertaken to ensure that food production in greenhouses meets the safest standards possible.

    Dr. Ilic and her colleagues visited 26 greenhouses across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Guatemala to research differences in production among greenhouse vegetable growers by testing thousands of samples from irrigation water, food contact, environmental surfaces, and the vegetables being grown. The results will help consumers enjoy fresh, safe vegetables no matter the season.

    Read more about Dr. Ilic’s food safety efforts here.

  • Fight Against Diabetes Advances, Thanks to LSU Agricultural Center Researchers

    The Food and Drug Administration has approved a qualified health claim for products containing high-amylose maize starch, which cites its effectiveness in reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes. The starch was tested for health benefits with the help of researchers from the Agricultural Center at Louisiana State University.

    Along with his colleagues, Professor Michael Keenan of the LSU AgCenter School of Nutrition and Food Sciences has been working with the starch for about 15 years. With a qualified claim from the FDA, food marketers are now allowed to promote the diabetes risk reduction benefits of the starch, if it is found in their products, and help improve blood glucose control among the public.

    Read more about how researchers are attempting to reduce the risk of diabetes here.

  • Class Offers Health Benefits to Diabetes Patients, Thanks to the Virginia Cooperative Extension

    A class offered in Prince William County, Virginia is helping individuals who live with diabetes manage the disease. The Virginia Cooperative Extension has been providing the “Living Well with Diabetes” class in recent years to help local residents control and live with diabetes. Throughout its implementation, 34 people have attended the course, and many say that it has made a positive change in their health and lives. Some attendees with diabetes have even experienced a decrease in A1C levels, which measures a person’s average levels of blood sugar over a three-month span.

    The class aims to educate attendees about helpful lifestyle changes for people with diabetes, which is the sixth leading cause of death in Virginia. Class participants learn about nutrition, physical activity, medication compliance, and stress management throughout the course, which includes four sessions and a follow-up session.

    To read more about how the Virginia Cooperative extension is helping patients with diabetes, click here.

  • Read This By January 13: Auburn University Investigates Sell-By Dates

    The solution to consumers throwing away over 30 percent of the total food supply may be as simple as changing a few words. Auburn University, in conjunction with Cornell University, found that date labels on produce and food, such as “use by” or “sell by” directly impacts how consumers view the product’s value.

    By using different date labels (“best by,” “fresh by,” “use by,” and “sell by”) and sized packaging, researchers were able to determine that consumers are very responsive to package size and dates and their willingness to waste food is based on that information. Therefore, different packaging and labeling of dates may help prevent consumers from wasting food, which tends to end up in landfills and contributes to greenhouse gases.

    Read more about the study and how food labeling impacts consumers here.

  • Looking to Get Healthy in the New Year? LSU AgCenter Offers Advice on Diet Trends

    One of the most common resolutions for a new year is to lose weight and get healthier, and companies know it by pushing numerous diet and exercise plans on consumers. However, many of these diet suggestions aren’t the safest or healthiest plan.

    Louisiana State University’s AgCenter explores various current diet trends, such as paleo and gluten-free, and states that many lack important vitamins, nutrients, and fiber. And because these diets restrict a certain type of food, they are usually unsustainable for long-term weight loss. Instead, LSU AgCenter recommends following the U.S. Department of Agriculture MyPlate guide or Dietary Guidelines.

    Read more about LSU AgCenter’s diet recommendations and why diet trends don’t work here.

  • The Family Table: Eat, Savor, Connect Program by NDSU Extension is Coming to You

    Beginning January 1, 2017, North Dakota State University Extension Service will launch, “The Family Table: Eat, Savor, Connect.” This program developed by family scientist and food and nutritionist at NDSU Extension is meant to provide families with meal plans, recipes and guidelines to help make family meals happen.

    Families that eat meals together are shown to have better bonds, eat healthier and the children are less likely to get involved with drinking, drugs and smoking. You can sign up for the electronic newsletter and follow the program at www.facebook.com/ndfamilytable.

    Start your family off on the right foot in 2017 with family meals.

  • University of Minnesota Extension Shares Helpful Tips to Keep your Food Safe

    ‘Tis the season when family members from far and wide join you in your home, and that means the refrigerator door will open, shut and sometimes not close all the way. This can cause food in your refrigerator to spoil without you knowing!

    University of Minnesota Extension shares helpful tips to keep your family and guests safe this holiday season and all year round:

    • Store raw meat, poultry and seafood on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator in pans so juices don’t drip onto other foods.
    • Check refrigerator temperature often, daily or at least once a week
    • Refrigerate prepared food and leftovers within two hours of cooking.
    • Divide leftovers into small, shallow containers for quick cooling in the refrigerator. Cover when food is cooled.
    • Don’t overload the refrigerator. Cool air must circulate to keep food safe.

    Read more about how to check your refrigerator temperature here.

  • Washington State University Extension Teaches Us How to Keep Our Meringue-Topped Desserts Safe This Holiday Season

    Raw or undercooked food can be especially dangerous for babies, pregnant women, older adults and young children. Washington State University helps us to better understand food safety when you’re hosting guests this holiday season.

    The key to keeping your family and guests safe is heating up the eggs and meringue before serving. Baking your meringue-topped pies and cookies at 350 degrees for at least 15 minutes is one safety measure that WSU Extension suggests.

    WSU Extension had much more to say about egg whites and meringue safety, here.

  • Cooking Your Holiday Dinner? CDC to Host Holiday Food Safety Twitter Chat

    The holidays are a great time to sit down with friends and family for a festive meal to celebrate the season. But do you know how to safely prepare food for your guests?

    Join CDC, NBC News Health, and food-smart connoisseurs on December 7 from 2-3 PM ET for a Twitter chat on holiday food safety. Learn tips and tricks to ensure your holiday meal is a healthy and safe success. Submit questions with the hashtag, #CDCFoodChat.

    For more information on CDC’s Twitter chat, click here.

  • Milk is and Always will be Healthy for You

    Pop quiz: are egg yolks good or bad for you this season? Every year, this questioning happens like clockwork: a new list of “miracle foods” crop up and last year’s heralded list receive a swift dismissal. Moreover, many flip-flop between “foods to eat” and “foods to avoid” every year.

    It also happens to coffee, wine, and, perhaps most needlessly, milk. In milk’s case, don’t listen to the ever-changing research landscape and go with your gut. Literally: lactose in milk favors gut bacteria that aid in digestion.

    Recently, the Ohio State University has brought on a dairy scholar, Rafael Jimenez-Flores, whose goal is to promote and teach the values of a healthy diet. And, for him, it all starts with milk.

    Click here to read more about what Jimenez-Flores says are the enduring, always-evolving qualities of milk. 

  • University of the District of Columbia Causes Creates Food Truck to Provide Nutrition Education

    Most Washingtonians have never seen a farm, let alone an urban farm. University of the District of Columbia students created a food truck to mobilize nutritional education to DC residents. Educating people on healthy lifestyle choices is essential to create nutritional change, and UDC Causes is helping to educate those living in the District.

    Serving as a mobile education unit, the food truck will provide nutritional education using produce grown on the green roof, Firebird Farm, and East Capitol Urban Farm.

    Read more here!

  • How to Cook Veggies Without Reducing Nutrients

    From steamed carrots to roasted peppers, cooked vegetables can be absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, the heat involved in preparing them often reduces the nutrient content.

    A new Ohio State’s College of Food, Ag & Environmental Sciences guide details the best ways to maximize nutrient retention in your cooked veggies. The key is to limit the amount of water they are exposed to so that water-soluble vitamins don’t get washed away.

    Read more here!

  • Food Pantries Need Quality Donations, Not Just Quantity

    People who rely on food banks to put meals on the table suffer from higher than average rates of obesity and diabetes. Part of the problem is that food banks are often overwhelmed with junk food: sugary sodas, refined grains, and high-sodium soups.

    The University of Wisconsin Extension is raising public awareness about the issue and working to narrow the gap between food that is needed at food banks and what is actually available. In June they published a landmark study on food insecurity, and program coordinator Karen Early recently took to the opinion pages of the Green Bay Press-Gazette to call for higher quality food donations, not just high quantity. She suggests donating cheap but nutritious items like canned fruit, whole grain pasta or cereals, and peanut butter.

    Read Karen’s article in the Press Gazette here!

  • Food Pantries Need Quality Donations, Not Just Quantity

    People who rely on food pantries to put meals on the table disproportionately suffer from health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or gluten intolerance. A University of Wisconsin Extension study released earlier this year found that the majority of respondents reported having difficulty finding suitable food at food banks.

    This shows how it’s important to think about not only the quantity of donations to food pantries, but also the quality and nutritional diversity. Many pantries report frequently receiving donations of sugary cereals, high sodium soups and other unhealthy packaged foods. Next time you donate, consider giving fresh fruit or other nutritious produce.

    Read more about University of Wisconsin Extension’s good pantry suggestions here!

  • Iowa State Extension Has The Best Fall Apple Recipes

    Visiting an apple orchard is a popular fall tradition for many Americans, but there are only so many apple pies you can make. What else can you do with the plethora of Gala, Fuji and Golden Delicious apples you harvested this year?

    Iowa State Extension has six tasty ideas that you have got to try.  From spiced apple rings to dehydrated apple leather (think apple “fruit rollups”!), these recipes will have you eating apples all day and keep the doctor away.

    Read more here!

  • Texas A&M Extension Guide to Understanding the New Nutrition Label

    The familiar Nutrition Facts label on your packaged food has a new look! Texas A&M AgriLife Extension explains in a video what the changes mean for consumers.

    One of the main changes involves the way that food manufacturers have to calculate and report on serving size. The new label presents nutritional data in a way that “allows you to make more informed decisions about what you are eating and drinking.”

    Check out all the new changes in the video here!

  • Texas A&M on the Health Benefits of Beef Brisket

    Texas A&M AgriLife researcher Dr. Stephen Smith recently presented about his research into the health benefits of Beef Brisket.

    “Brisket has higher oleic acid than the flank or plate, which are the trims typically used to produce ground beef,” Smith said at the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course.

    Stephen Smith’s work is being published by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in a upcoming series of studies.

    Read more here!

  • University of Florida on the Front Lines Battling Zika

    93% of the 510 American residents who have contracted Zika live in Florida.

    The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has made Zika prevention a top priority. In addition to studying ways to reduce mosquito pesticide resistance, they launched an informative website and are holding Zika educational workshops throughout Florida.

    Read more here!

  • NSDU Extension Back to School Nutrition Tips for Undergrads

    College students across the country are getting ready to head back to campus. Many people struggle to maintain a healthy diet when the school year’s heavy workload sets in.

    The North Dakota State University Extension Service blog compiled 10 helpful tips to eat well and avoid “snack attacks”.

    Check it out here!

  • Mobile Farmers Markets

    People without reliable transportation may be unable to get to and from farmers markets. North Dakota State University’s Extension Service tackled this problem by launching a mobile farmers market. They used a USDA grant to purchase and convert a “mobile market and education trolley.”

    The mobile market draws on the strengths of food trucks and can go to where the market demand is.

    Read more about the Grand Forks mobile Farmers Market here!

  • Tips for Vegetable Vendors

    In addition to stocking top quality products, it is important for vendors to think about the best way to display their food. The Oregon State University Small Farms program offers advice specifically for vegetable vendors.

    For example, subconscious aesthetic principles like diversity of color and variation of depth can help your veggies stand out.

    Consumers are more likely to buy unfamiliar produce when they are accompanied by a recipe that calls for them. Try including recipe cards on your stand as a handout, which can also act as a promotional tool.

    Check out more tips here!

  • Local Food Hubs Connect Communities And Producers

    Food consumers have a growing interest in learning about where their food comes from, and wanting to connect to the farmers who produced it. Several NIFA- funded projects have created new local food hubs to address this issue.

    The Molokai Food Hub (MFH) was established to address the heightened rate of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases in that Hawaiian community. The food hub provides outreach and education on healthy choices when buying food. They suggest buying more local and fresh products versus processed foods.

    Fresh from Foley, a food hub in Foley, Alabama teams up with local producers and distributers  to collect, package, and ship locally grown produce to restaurants, schools, and grocery stores in the area.

    Farmers of Chicago program provides resources for urban farmers so that they can distribute locally grown produce year-round.

    Finally, Common Market Food, based in Philadelphia works with local farmers to provide alternative solutions to the mainstream distribution network.

    NIFA’s funding has allowed communities all over to become educated and make smarter, healthier choices by eating fresh produce.

    Read more here!

  • NCSU Extension Compiles Farmers Market Resources

    North Carolina State University Extension Service has a useful collection of resources about farmers markets. Consumers can locate their nearest market through the local food directory. Other marketing resources are aimed at vendors of all experience levels, from a getting started guide to a publication that will help you sell your whole truckload.

    Today there are over 8,500 farmers markets nationwide, a 50% increase in the last five years. They play a key role in our local communities, and benefit both producers and consumers.

    Read more here!

  • UC Davis Helps Winemakers Sustainably Produce Premium Wine

    Grapes may still be the most critical element to winemakers, but UC Davis students are turning their attention to rainwater.

    The Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at UC Davis is storing rainwater to be dispersed during the dry season to winemakers. This recyclable water helps make the winemaking process more available while also protecting natural resources.

    To read more about the work done at UC Davis, click here.
  • UC Davis’s Global Tea Initiative

    The world’s most popular beverage is now a teaching tool at UC Davis.

    UC Davis hosted a symposium called “The Basics of Tea: Tea and People” on the cultural significant of tea as apart of its tea education program.

    The program also created a center for the study of tea culture with plans to make UC Davis a leader in tea research.

    To read more about the symposium, click here
  • Tap water and table salt may be safer and cheaper for milk production cleanup

     

    Researchers at Pennsylvania State University may have improved the safety standards of the milk industry while also creating a cost-effective solution.

    The current cleaning system used on dairy farms includes harsh, acid-based chemicals. The research team replaced these chemicals with electrolyzed oxidizing water, otherwise known as EO water.

    EO water cleaned the pipes and facilities on dairy farms just as effectively as the existing methods.

    A switch to the EO system could save dairy farmers money and reduce the chance of hazardous waste spills during transportation.
    To read more about the research done at Penn State concerning milk safety, click here!

  • K-State: Being Mindful in Eating Habits can Contribute to a Healthier Lifestyle

    Sandy Procter, assistant professor in Kansas State University’s College of Human Ecology, outlines several ways a person can eat more mindfully and develop healthier habits.

    Her studies show that shifting thinking, avoiding negative messages, and having external support are all factors that contribute to the way people eat.

    Read more here!

  • Extension Outdoors: Encourage children to explore nature

    MSU Extension applauds the Every Kid in a Park initiative, which invites all fourth grade students to receive a free pass to federal lands. This program aims to encourage children to explore the nation’s parks at a time when an average of children spend 90 percent of their time indoors.

    Each fourth-grade pass allows a student to bring three other family members for free to federal lands from September till the end of the next August.

    The pass works at any national refuge, monument, park, or forest. Popular federal attractions include Yosemite National Park, Superior National Forest, Badlands National Park, and Glacier National Park.

    Read more here!

     

  • UC Davis Studies the Effects of a Grapevine’s Environment

    Dr. Dario Cantu joins the Viticulture and Enology Department at UC Davis in order to study how the environment is causing diseases on grapevines.
    The Cantu Lab has discovered how these diseases lead to noble rot, eventually impacting grape metabolism and disrupting the flavor development in winemaking. Dr. Cantu hopes to detect these diseases faster, develop immunization procedures to protect the vines, and control our fruit ripening.
    Read more here!
  • Gardening for the Health of it!

    Experimenting with new vegetables in your garden is an exciting, if sometimes challenging enterprise. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln put together a helpful guide to help you consider seed selection, location and maintenance needs for your new plants.

    With these tips (and a little hard work) you can enjoy fresh vegetables all summer.

    Read more here!

  • Farmers Markets: Not Just a Fad

    Farmers Markets across the nation are facilitating new connections between urban dwellers and rural farmers. According to the USDA, over one million Americans visit a farmers market every week.

    The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources recently published a blog post with tips on how to select fresh and healthy food when you go to a farmers market.

    Read more here!

  • UNH Finds Benefits of Growing Peppers in High Tunnel Greenhouses

    Researchers at the University of New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station recently concluded trials to determine which varieties of bell peppers do best in the unheated environment of a high tunnel greenhouse.

    “Growing peppers in unheated high tunnels permits the production of very high quality colored fruit,” said UNH’s Becky Sideman. “Colored bell peppers have the potential to be a profitable, alternative crop for New Hampshire farmers, although a number of factors such as infrastructure costs, marketable yield, and market prices need to be considered.”

    Sideman and the UNH team saw pepper yields ranging from 46,000 to 66,600 pounds per acre, which is more than double the typical field-pepper yield.

    Read more here!

  • VSU Receives $1.6 Million to Assist Virginia Farmers

    Virginia State University’s College of Agriculture has received seven federal and state grants totaling over $1.6 million. The grants included four federal, two from the Virginia Tobacco Commission, and one grant from Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).

    The funding will be used in the university’s land-grant outreach and research missions. Research projects consist in a variety of diverse fields. Included in the research is both the studies of crops and meat production.

    Crop research includes the study of hops for beer, soybeans, hemp, and berries. Livestock research will be used to identify safer, more humane slaughter methods for sheep and goats. Other funds will be used to study genomes for farming and to develop new education techniques.

    Read more here!

  • NC Cooperative Extension Guide: Getting Started At A Farmers Market

    Getting started as a first time vendor at a farmer’s market can be a daunting challenge. North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension compiled some helpful resources that can make the process a little easier. Expand your business, and provide new markets with healthy and nourishing food.

    Read more here!

  • Texas A&M Study: Texas Grow! Eat! Go!

    Research consistently links a person’s diet to their risk for disease and quality of life. Recently, Texas A&M University launched Texas Grow! Eat! Go!, which is targeted at improving the physical activity and eating behaviors of third and fourth grade students and their families. And in order to continue these successful interventions, the Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research released the first National Nutrition Research Roadmap to guide federal nutrition research.

    Read more here!

  • Alabama Cooperative Extension: Pasta can be a Healthy Dish

    If you’re looking for a meal that is healthy but won’t break your bank, take a look at a college student’s kitchen.

    According to Helen Jones, a regional agent in human nutrition, diet and health with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, microwavable Mac and Cheese as well as Ramen Noodles have nutrition often overlooked. “You have to eat them in moderation. You can add vegetables or lean meats to make it healthier.”

    Read more here!

  • Walking a Dog is Good for Your Health, Says NDSU

    A Food and Nutrition Specialist at North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Service notes that dog owners on average accumulate 60 minutes more of physical activity than non-dog owners.

    Walking your pet is a great opportunity to get your recommended 30 minutes of daily physical exercise that helps prevent heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, as well as reduce your risk for some cancers.

    Read more here!

  • MSU Extension: Obesity Contributes To Deadly Problems

    New research out of Mississippi State University (MSU) Extension Service links obesity with cancer.“Obesity is a leading cause of high blood pressure and heart disease,” said MSU’s David Buys. “Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that it is also associated with certain types of cancer, such as colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and cancers of the endometrium, kidney, thyroid and gallbladder.”

    Read more here!

  • MSU Promotes National Nutrition Month: Nutritious Meals are Worth the Time, Money

    This National Nutrition Month is the perfect opportunity to set new health habits as explained by Ginger Cross, assistant research professor at Mississippi State University Social Science Research Center, promoting the ‘WannaBee Healthy’ campaign that is sponsored by a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institutes of Health.

    The campaign challenges the misconception that healthy eating is too costly and time-consuming by giving hints and tips on how to incorporate the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate recommendation of making each meal 50% fruits and vegetables.

    A little forward planning in terms of meal preparation and carrying healthy snacks can help both families and individuals protect against food choices that can add up to larger health issues.

    Read more here!

  • UNH Research on Growing Spinach in Winter Going Strong

    An ongoing study into the production of spinach during winter months is filling the void in research that could help New Hampshire growers tackle the area’s short growing season and boost the local economy.

    The study is being conducted at the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station, the University of New Hampshire’s original research center, and is funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Eight different spinach varieties are being tested in terms of yield, sugar content, ease of harvest and average leaf size measurements across six different time points in order to create recommendations and even target planting dates to help growers make the most of their resources.

    Read more here!

  • Penn State: Fruits, Vegetables, ‘Farm-to-Fork Continuum’ Vital to Cancer Prevention

    Research for decades has focused on boosting yields, and improving the appearance of fruits, vegetables and grains. A cancer researcher at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Ag Sciences says it’s time to focus on ways to boost the health benefits these foods can provide.

    Read more here!

  • OSU Bean Tips for National Nutrition Month

    It’s National Nutrition Month, and the Ohio State University (OSU) College of Food, Ag and Environmental Sciences Chow Line blog has some great tips on how to incorporate beans into your diet.

    Adding a bean-based meal or two to your weekly menu is an easy way to get a quick health boost.

    Read more here!

  • UF/IFAS to Hop Into Hops Varieties for Microbreweries

    With the explosion in popularity of craft beer and micro-brewing, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers hope to take advantage of the trend by cultivating hops in Florida.

    ​Currently, more than 2 million pounds of hops are imported from places like Washington, Oregon and Germany. With hops grown in Florida, the resulting beer would have a unique flavor generated from the state’s special soil and climate.

    ​Read more here!

  • UF-IFAS: Find Out When to Plant with the Florida Fresh App

    The University of Florida – Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has rolled out a new app to help gardeners determine the optimal time to plant various types of produce. The user-friendly app, “Florida Fresh”, can be downloaded for free on any smart phone device. After downloading, just enter your zip code to get up-to-date planting information.

    Not only does the app include planting tips, but it also provides information on the availability and nutritional value of different fruits and vegetables. This makes it easier to both grow and buy fresh, local produce.

    Read more here!

  • UF/IFAS Scientists Present Plant Diagnostic Data at D.C. Conference

    Researchers met recently at the 4th National Plant Diagnostic Network in Washington, D.C. to help shed light on potentially devastating plant issues.

    Researcher Jason Smith of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Plant Diagnostic Center shed light on the importance of this issue and discussed ways to control the spread of the pathogen Laurel Wilt, as it could severely impact Florida’s $100 million-a-year avocado industry.

    Read more here!

  • New Research from UF for World Kidney Day

    Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are taking a closer look at the foods we love to eat and are finding great health benefits.

    UF Assistant professor Wendy Dahl and other researchers studied minerals, nuts, herbs, prebiotics and probiotics to explore the link between food and health conditions.

    Read more here!

  • Alabama Extension: Healthy Snacking Tips

    Christina LeVert, a regional human nutrition diet and health agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, explains how making the right snack choices can reduce hunger, boost metabolism and increase energy levels that all add up to increased productivity.

    Combining carbohydrates and protein such as in a snack of wheat crackers with low-fat cheese allows the body to feel healthy and fuller for longer. It also protects against the energy crash that results from junk food options.

    Read more here!

  • USDA: Shiitake Mushrooms: A Commercial Forest Farming Enterprise

    Forest-grown mushrooms not only generates tasty food, but also produces the most reliable and profitable non-timber products in the forest farming system.

    Over the years, people have become more interested in forest-cultivation, and now Cornell University is currently working on informing farmers on methods like mushroom cultivation.

    Read more here!

  • NMSU Offering Free Cooking Classes

    New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension is offering free cooking class for adults with diabetes. This program will be offered four dates in February and each session includes four classes taught by a registered dietician.

    Students will learn how to meal plan, read food labels, measure portion sizes, and balance carbohydrates. NMSU says these are key ways to keep blood sugar levels normal and diabetes under control.

    Check out the dates and times these classes will be offered here!

  • UMES: Faculty Receive $1.2M in Grants

    University of Maryland Eastern Shore has recently received $1.2M in grant money from the USDA’s NIFA. The grant will be divided between UMES faculty members Robert Dadson, Anugrah Shaw and Eric May to fund their research projects.

    Dadson’s research helps farmers bring safe and nutritious salad greens to market.

    May’s research addresses environmental concerns about the cause of Urea in aquatic ecosystems, which poses a threat to human life.

    Shaw is founding the International Center for Personal Protective Equipment for Pesticide Operators, which will focus on worker safety by developing new standards and clear communications.

    Read more here!

  • Happening Today: Congressional Hearing on Citrus Greening

    A group of Congressional lawmakers are holding a forum today to investigate the status of USDA research on citrus greening. The Congressional Citrus Caucus has invited USDA officials including Mike Gregoire (associate administrator of the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service), Mary Palm (national coordinator for Citrus Pest Programs), and Sonny Ramaswamy (director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture).

    Reps. Tom Rooney (FL), David Valadao (CA) and Filemon Vela (TX) chair the Citrus Caucus. The forum will take place at 1:30 pm in the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill.

     

    Read more here!

  • National Almond Day: UNL: 5 Ways to Make a Healthier Trail Mix

    Tackle health issues like lowering your blood pressure and fueling your body with the nutrients it needs,by making a healthy trail mix that fits you!

    Simply add any whole grains, dried fruit and protein like; cashew, almonds, or pumpkin seeds. With portion control, you can also add sweets to your trail mix.

    A healthy severing can help supply your body with proteins and essential vitamins.

    Read more here!

  • OSU: Health Benefits of Cruciferous Vegetables

    Ohio State University is offering tips on the benefits of cruciferous vegetables. These cool weather veggies are especially popular during winter months.

    Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, radishes, horseradish, wasabi, turnips, rutabaga, arugula, bok choi, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi and watercress.

    Although there are many benefits to having a diet full of cruciferous veggies, the American Institute for Cancer has recently determined that these vegetables also decrease inflammation, which is associated with cancer and cardiovascular disease, suppress enzymes that are known to instigate carcinogens, and activate enzymes that denitrify carcinogens and decrease cancer cells’ spreadability.

    Read more here!

  • Alabama: Calcium’s Benefits to Health

    We all learn the importance of calcium in our diets from basic nutrition, but Alabama Cooperative Extension is highlighting just how vital this mineral for our well-being. Not only is calcium needed for bones and teeth, but it also regulates our nerves, blood clotting, and muscle tone.

    A major issue in with calcium intake is that most people do not get the amount they need, especially between the ages of 9 to 18 when the rate of calcium absorption is highest. The report states that 54 million Americans suffer from bone loss through Osteoporosis due to low calcium.

    Alabama Cooperative Extension is reminding people that drinking a glass of milk is not the only way to get calcium. Aside from dairy products, calcium can also be found in kale and other dark, leafy greens.

    Read more here!

  • UK Professor’s Passion for Nutrition

    University of Kentucky’s Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition professor Alison Gustafson has a lab unlike most in her field. Gustafson uses grocery store aisles as a way of studying nutrition.

    One of Gustafson’s insights relates to the cultural aspect of nutrition, attributing her “aha” moment to working with minority women in rural populations. She notes that it is important to consider cultural aspects, including access to food and affordability, when telling people what to eat.

    Aside from her work at the University of Kentucky, Gustafson has also spent time in Washington, D.C. working on nutrition policy, in Zimbabwe helping AIDS orphans and HIV-positive mothers, and in Illinois researching weight loss among breast cancer survivors with a grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

    Read more on Alison Gustafson’s work here!

  • Kansas State University: Rabies in Cattle

    With a recent increase in the spread of rabies amongst domestic animals, researchers at Kansas State University’s veterinary diagnostic laboratory have released a helpful guide to the viral disease. Kansas State’s tips on this spreading viral disease include how to recognize the disease in cattle and what to do after rabies is detected.

    While most picture a rabies-positive animal as behaving madly, Kansas State points out that there are two forms of rabies, furious and dumb, which have varying symptoms. Signs of rabies in an animal include behavioral changes, anorexia, head pressing, bellowing, unproductive defecation, and rear-limb lameness.

    Because rabies can be easily spread to humans, it is important to allow a veterinarian do a proper assessment rather than inspecting the animal yourself. While rabies can cause rapid degeneration and death, there are vaccinations for cattle and other domestic animals to prevent the contraction of the disease.

    Read more on how to detect and treat rabies in animals here!

  • NDSU: Tips for a Healthy Ski Season

    Skiing is a popular winter sport, but did you know that one hour of skiing a two mile trail can burn up to 400 calories? North Dakota State University Extension Service has helpful tips to make the most of this healthy activity.

    Skiing has proven to be a great source to maintain endurance and strength. Out of a group of 80-year-old skiers studied, their physical fitness was discovered to be comparable to that of people in their forties.

    NDSU also lists tips to stay healthy through ski season, like using plenty of sunscreen and lip balm. To conclude a vigorous ski session, NDSU suggests drinking a cup of hot tea and provides proper tea brewing steps.

    Read more here!

  • NDSU Extension: Dietary Guidlines in 1940s vs. Today

    Although much has changed in the nutrition world since WWII, North Dakota State University Extension Service has detailed techniques from the 1940s that we can still apply to today’s world. Some of these include conserving food, growing our own produce, and ensuring we eat a diverse variety of food groups.

    NDSU Extension also compares and contrasts the food groups of the 1940s with the 2015 Dietary Guidelines. One notable difference between the two is that butter was considered a food group in the the 1940s “Basic 7 Food Groups”.

    Included in the article is a 1943 wartime recipe for Queen of Rice Pudding, which serves as a great wintertime comfort food.

    Read more here! bit.ly/1SdETrf

  • Mississippi State University: Set Healthy Work Life Balance

    Creating a healthy balance between work and life is essential to being more productive and focused.

    David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said one of the most important boundaries to have when balancing work and life is accountability with friends and family.

    “Talking openly about the challenges of balancing work and life objectives with your spouse, children and friends, as well as with co-workers, helps acknowledge the difficulty and ensures that you do not accept imbalance as a way of life,” Buys said.

    Read more here!

  • University of Nebraska – Lincoln: January is National Egg Month

    In honor of January and National Egg Month, this article has helpful tips about egg safety.

    Julie Albrecht, a UNL Extension food safety specialist explained some best practices to remember when eating eggs.

    Eggs should always be …

    • Kept refrigerated until they are used
    • Thoroughly cooked
    • Promptly consumed after cooking

    According to federal food safety information, keeping eggs at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (the temperature your refrigerator should be at), prevents any salmonella from growing in your eggs.

    Read more here!

  • NDSU: Cajun Popcorn Recipe Can Assist with Mindful Eating

    North Dakota State University Extension Service is offering steps to manage mindless eating. A person is likely to consume 65% more calories while mindlessly eating during a movie or television show.

    To become a smarter snacker, NDSU suggests eating smaller portions of flavor packed food and gives a recipe for cajun popcorn to cut calories from mindless eating.

    Read more here!

  • University of Maryland, College Park: Reflecting on 2015 and Food Preservation

    2015 was a fantastic year for Dr. Shauna Henley and her “Grow it Eat it Preserve it” class for the UMD extension. Dr. Henley taught 27 food preservation workshops across Baltimore County, Harford County, Montgomery County and Baltimore City.

    Offerings included public and private workshops, and a revived interest in canning attracted a diverse group of participants.

    Looking forward at the year ahead, Dr. Henley will host workshops from April to November.

    Read more here!

  • Ohio State: News: Chow Line: Make Water Festive For Holiday Gatherings

    Q: We are hosting several parties over the holidays. Many of our friends are more health-conscious these days, and I would like to serve some healthy but festive beverages. Any ideas?
    Clean, fresh water is among the healthiest beverages out there. It’s calorie- and sugar-free and, when you get it from the tap, it’s about as inexpensive as you can get. The Harvard School of Public Health has gone so far as to state outright that “water is the best choice” for quenching your thirst and rehydrating your body, which uses water in every one of its biochemical reactions as well as for metabolism, breathing, sweating and removal of waste.

    Here are some ideas that will help your water make a splash (again, not literally) during the holidays:

  • Slice cucumbers and add them to the pitcher along with sprigs of slightly crushed fresh peppermint. The result is a cool, refreshing, thirst-quenching drink.
  • Add raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Allow them to be slightly crushed as you stir them in with ice. You may want to have a cocktail strainer on hand to allow guests to choose whether the berries flow into the glass or not. Either way, the water wili have a subtle sweetness.
  • Opt for a citrus or melon theme: Slice lemons, limes and oranges or cut chunks of cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon and let them float in the pitcher.
  • Think ahead and freeze fruits into ice cubes that you add to the pitcher, so the water contains even more fruit as the ice melts.
  • Read more here!

  • Family & Consumer Sciences Extension: Making a Difference

    The North Central Cooperative Extension Association (NCCEA) has released a new study, prepared in conjunction with the research organization Battelle, that showcases the importance of Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) Extension.

    FCS Extension offers programming by Cooperative Extension, which provides non-formal education from the nation’s land-grant universities to help Americans develop skills to live healthier and more productive lives.

    Read more here!

  • Kansas State University: Holiday Time Means Cookie Time

    Holiday cookies are everywhere this time of year! According to two experts at Kansas State University, cookies can and should be enjoyed in moderation this holiday season. The experts have tips on the best way to prepare, bake and store your cookies safely, and some helpful (and healthy) substitutes for common ingredients.

    “All foods fit in moderation,” Sandy Procter said. “Enjoy that sugar cookie that melts in your mouth. Maybe it does that because it’s not of the ingredients you eat all of the time.”

    Read more here!

  • Delaware State University Awarded Almost $900,000 in USDA Grants

    Delaware State University’s College of Agriculture and Related Sciences was recently awarded almost $900,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture grant funding to help support research, teaching and cooperative extension programs. 

    The funding to DSU was part of a larger package of more than $18 million that the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has recently distributed through 53 competitive grants to support research, teaching, and extension activities at 1890 historically black land-grant colleges and universities.

    The grant awarded to DSU will go toward three specific projects:

    • “The Development of Epigenomic Tools in Legumes – Global Understanding of Biotic Stress Methylomes and Transcriptomes in Common Beans.”
    • “Nanomaterial Detection in Food, Water and Environmental Waste by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry.”
    • “Collaborative Initiative to Assess and Develop Intervention Programs to Combat Obesity among Low-Income Families.”

    Read more here!

  • University of Alaska Fairbanks Combats Obesity

    To combat obesity challenges in Alaska, the University of Alaska Fairbanks worked with the USDA to develop a curriculum for both adults and students across several communities. As a result of the programs, which included SNAP-Ed, 86% of the youth surveyed had improved their food selection process and 67% of the adults improved in at least one of their nutrition practices.

    Read more here!

  • Holiday Foods: Heeding the Labels on Food Gifts

    The holidays are a time of gifts and good food, and sometimes a combination the two! If you receive food, either as a gift or as a mail order delivery, there are a few things you should do to make sure it is safe. Londa Nwadike, an assistant professor at Kansas State, recommends measuring the temperature of any arriving food that needs to be refrigerated. If the food arrives at a temperature higher than 40 degrees it may be unsafe to eat. Foods that has been cured, fermented or dried are probably safe at any temperature, but if uncertain you can check the labels on the food. Soft cheeses must be refrigerated but harder cheese may be ok if shipped at room temperature but should be chilled on arrival. To save the cheese for future use, cut and then freeze pieces. Nuts, jams and jellies all should be refrigerated and nuts can even be frozen to keep them from going rancid. If anything appears even slightly unsafe don’t risk it, don’t eat it and try to return it.

    Read more here!

  • Iowa State University: Online Nutrition and Food Safety Lessons Address Needs of Older Iowans

    Iowa State University Extension and outreach is offering free online nutrition lessons so that older Iowans can learn more about what to eat, how to keep food safe, and how to increase their physical activity. “Almost one-quarter of older Iowans are at-risk for malnutrition or are malnourished,” said Sarah L. Francis, a nutrition and wellness extension state specialist and associate professor in the College of Human Sciences. Three of the online lessons address nutrition, and others focus on the importance of physical activity, food safety, an other topics.

    Read more here!

  • Holiday foods: Homemade and mail order gifts are welcome

    A popular gift to send over the holiday season is food, either homemade or specially ordered. Food safety experts at Kansas State want to make sure that you don’t send your friends and family spoiled or unsafe food. One of the most important things is refrigeration. Londa Nwadike recommends freezing items that need to be kept cold and then packing it with an ice pack or some dry ice. Additionally, she suggests labeling the outside of the box with “keep refrigerated” and ensuring that someone will be at the delivery location to collect the delivery. Sweets oftentimes don’t need as much extra care, because sugar can keep the food from spoiling, but cheesecakes need to be kept below 40 degrees at all times.

    Read more here!

  • Sustaining Our Salad: UC Davis Wins Specialty-Crop Grant For Lettuce Project

    UC Davis has received a grant from the USDA-NIFA to study how new technologies can help sustain and increase the world’s lettuce supply. The researchers are looking at every level of the lettuce production chain including isolating stress resistant traits for breeding and developing imaging technologies for producers. The project brings together researchers from across the state with breeding companies and the California Leafy Greens Research Board.

    Read more here!

  • International Chefs Learn from Nebraska Extension

    Chefs from Jordan traveled to Nebraska to learn more about where they get their beef. The Nebraska Beef Council and NebraskaExtension program gave tours of their packing plant as well as a cooking tutorial. the Jordanian chefs often just grind their meat into burgers and cook them well done. The NBC and extension program wanted to show them how to prepare other cuts of meat and increase demand for beef around the world.

    Read more here!

  • Kansas State University Researchers Target Inflammation To Help Dairy Cows

    Animal Scientists at Kansas State University are researching how to increase dairy cow milk production over their lifetimes. A prominent issue with dairy cows is inflammation after giving birth. The cows require substantial energy to begin milk production after giving birth and they need to eat to replenish that energy. Unfortunately, most cows tend to have diminished appetites immediately following the birth of their calves. This lack of nutrients puts them in the metabolic state of keotosis, which reduces the need for glucose in brain function. While this is not immediately harmful for the cows, it reduces their productivity in the long-term. Researchers found, however, that giving the cows one simple anti-inflammatory pill after birth helped increase milk production 7-10% in the following year without any side effects for the cow’s health.

    Read more here!

  • UGA Cooperative Extension Pecan Specialist Lenny Wells Optimistic About This Year’s Crop

    The University of Georgia’s pecan specialist believes that the state’s trees have finally overcome the struggles of a wet 2013. Wet years are known to cause increased pecan scab disease which stress a tree and can infect nuts. This year, farmers were more able to protect their trees and as a result stand to make more profit due to increased yields and steady prices. Georgia is the nation’s leading pecan producer, with over 145,000 acres of pecans being grown in 2013.

    Read more here!

  • Creative Programs in Food Deserts Teach Valuable Lessons

    The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension along with the Boys and Girls Club have started combating food deserts by cultivating community gardens with the help of school-age children. The purpose of the program is to help students understand where healthy food comes from and explain to them that it may be cheaper to grow their own food than to go to the store. Additionally, they hope to interest students in fresh alternatives to pre-packaged and processed meals.

    Read more here!

  • NDSU Celebrates 42 Years of Excellence in Agriculture and Bison Athletics

    On November 6 and 7, North Dakota State University will host the 42nd annual Harvest Bowl program. The event honors agriculturalists and student athletes for their achievements and dedication. The program begins with event honorees participating in educational sessions around the NDSU campus. The event culminates on November 7 with the Harvest Bowl football game where the NDSU Bison will take on Western Illinois. Each year, the event honors a distinguished agribussiness professional doing great work in North Dakota and beyond. This year’s award goes to Lynden Johnson, executive vice president of CHS Country Operations. 

    Read more here!

  • Throw out Excuses When It Comes to Eating Greens

    Green vegetables really are super foods. Janet Jolley of the Mississippi State Extension says that leafy greens are good sources of Vitamins A & C, calcium and folate. Greens have many health benefits including skin, eye and gum health as well as red blood cell development. Additionally, Vitamins A & C have been linked to a reduction in certain cancers. These greens are also important for children and Jolley recommends such as adding them to foods your child already likes or even making them into smoothies as a way to get these healthy veggies into a child’s diet. Jolley also recommends sautéing rather than boiling your greens to be sure that the nutrients don’t get leeched out in the cooking process.

    Read more here!

  • Look to Protein Breakfasts to Make a Dent in Child Obesity

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A study conducted by Jamie Baum of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture indicated that children who ate protein-based breakfasts felt less hungry and expended more energy throughout the day. The results showed that the increased energy expenditure demonstrated by the children who had the protein-based breakfast could contribute to a reduced obesity rate. Baum recommends egg-based breakfasts as well as the inclusion of breakfast meats such as ham or turkey bacon, or even Greek yogurt as high sources of protein. 

    Read more here!

  • Cucumbers to Pickles: Pickling Basics 101

    Turning an excess of a fruit or vegetable into something that will last beyond its peak of freshness is quick and simple, and saves what could be wasted food. The Alabama Extension Home Food Preservation Cookbook lays out canning basics and the essential ingredients to turn produce, like cucumbers, into their pickled form. Cucumber pickling starts with 6 simple ingredients—tender cucumbers, salt, vinegar, sugar, spices and water—that met with proper techniques outlined in this cookbook.

    Read more here!

  • UF/IFAS Researcher Growing 1,500 Types of Peanuts as Part of USDA’s Genetic Resources Unit

    Researchers at the University of Florida are growing 1,500 different types of peanuts in order to help feed starving children. By growing all 1,500, Greg MacDonald and his researchers can do a side-by-side study of yield, grade, biochemical components and genetic background of the different varieties. Eventually, the results will be used via a partnership with USAID to create a peanut paste that can provide all of a child’s nutritional needs from a meal in one pouch. MacDonald is also hoping to combat aflatoxin, which is produced by mold in peanuts, which has caused cancer and other health issues in humans.

    Read more here!

  • Food Scientists Find That Victory Tastes…Oh, So Sweet

    A Cornell University study has revealed how emotions can impact the way a person eats. By using sports as a basis for creating emotional responses, researchers tested different foods on hockey fans following both wins and losses. The results indicated that less enjoyable flavors become even less enjoyable when coupled with negative emotional stimuli, such as losing a game, whereas more enjoyable tastes remain pleasurable no matter the result of the game. This result can be used to explain the tendency to eat unhealthy foods, such as ice cream, when in a time of emotional distress.

    Read more here!

  • UF/IFAS Study: Muscadine Grape Seed Oil May Help Reduce Obesity

    A new University of Florida study has found a new product that can help fight obesity. Muscadine grape seed oil has been revealed to contain a type of vitamin E, called tocotrienol, which can prevent the formation of fat cells. Tocotrienol has also been found in red palm and rice bran oil, but scientists consider Muscadine grape seed oil to be a superior source, especially once they can figure out an efficient way to increase production of the grapes. Marty Marshall, a professor of food science and nutrition at UF has suggested that salad dressings may be an easy way of integrating the new oil into a consumer’s diet and that consuming foods with the oil could “…curtail weight gain by reducing obesity.”

    Read more here!

  • Weighing Yourself Daily can Tip the Scale in your Favor

    A two-year Cornell study, recently published in the Journal of Obesity, found that frequent self-weighing and tracking results on a chart were effective for both losing weight and keeping it off, especially for men. David Levitsky, professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell and the paper’s senior author, said the method “forces you to be aware of the connection between your eating and your weight.” Researchers believe that tracking one’s weight acts as a reinforcement for some behaviors, such as eating less, and it strengthens others such as going for a walk in order to maintain body weight.

    Read more here!

  • On Planes, Savory Tomato Becomes Favored Flavor

    Cornell reports that loud environments may affect sense of taste. They conducted a study that tested whether airplane food compromised passengers’ palates. The research found showed that louder volumes, such as those on an airplane, result in a preference for umami-flavored foods. The study may result in airlines adjusting their food options to enhance the umami flavors and result in better on-board food.

    Read more here!

  • NMSU Researchers Demonstrate Winter Greens can be Grown in New Mexico

    The demand for nutritious and affordable local food is rising in New Mexico. The main cause of this is their traditional scarcity during the winter. NMSU Extension’s agricultural agents are promoting the extension of growth season by using economical heated hoop houses. The hoop houses have given farmers up to four more months for their growing season.

    Read more here!

  • Understanding Gluten

    The gluten free diet has been all the rage the past couple of years, and many of those who maintain it do so without fully understanding the benefits and consequences. A human nutrition, diet and health specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service spoke to the health benefits and consequences of gluten. Many Americans are forced to abide by gluten free diets due to allergies and intolerance to the substance, and as a result, many have trouble getting the proper nutrients as well as meeting dietary recommendations regarding wheat intake. In addition, gluten free foods also happen to contain a much higher content of saturated fat, calories and sodium, making them not as healthy as many might think. So, when looking to get healthy by taking on a new diet sans gluten, take a minute and do your research—understanding the benefits and consequences are just as healthy of a decision as deciding to cut gluten out in the first place.

    Read more here!

  • New UNH Summer Camp Teaches High School Students About Agricultural Science

    New England area high schoolers who are interested in learning about agricultural science can attend a new summer camp offered by UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. The camp runs from August 2-8, and participants must be between the ages of 15 and 17. This camp will educate students about agriculture and its relationship to the natural and human-impacted environment . “Our goal is to expose high school students to the exciting worlds of agricultural and environmental sciences. Students will learn a great deal about their local food system and what processes are in place that enable food to arrive to their plates each day,” says Andrew Ogden, a horticulture expert at UNH and organizer of the camp.

    Read more here!

  • Farmers Market Resource Available

    Farmer’s Markets are a tradition marking the beginning of spring and summer in most states. Thanks to the Kansas State Research and Extension service along with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, an updated “Food Safety for Kansas Farmers Market Vendors: Regulations and Best Practices” is now available for new and veteran farmers market vendors of Kansas. The purpose of this guide is to ensure the safety of the food being bought and consumed as well as the reputation of the vendors and the farmers market as a whole. The updated guide is available for free download at Food Safety for Kansas Farmers Market Vendors: Regulations and Best Practices.

    Read more here!

  • Don’t Look to Crickets to Feed the World Just Yet, Study Cautions

    What do you crave when you’re hugry—fries, pizza, chocolate? What about crickets? Most people would say no, but many studies have been done to prove the nutritional benefits of crickets. Agronomists at the University of California Davis Cooperative Extension have research in this same vein. Some have hypothesized that one day crickets could globally replace livestock as sources of protein for the human diet, but UC Davis believes this is a long way off, seeing as new innovation is necessary before this could be a realistic alternative. The ultimate goal is to develop a cost-conscious solution to feeding insects off of organic waste and side streams—something concluded by agronomists and UC Davis entomologists after conducting a study to test different dietary options and the subsequent ability to harvest the crickets for human food.

    Read more here!

  • With a Little Care, Blueberries Sweeten The Garden for Decades

    Not only do blueberries have a sweet flavor, but they are high in antioxidants and help protect your body against free radicals and disease, as well. If you plan on adding blueberries to your garden this year, berry specialists from Oregon State University’s Extension Service have some tips. For example, it’s always best to plant more than one variety of blueberry. Also, when choosing a site, avoid areas surrounded by trees. Berries grow best in well drained, light, sandy loam that is high in organic matter. Blueberry plants also need a lot of sunshine and have specific requirements, but if properly treated can live up to 50 years. That’s half a century of blueberries!

    Read more here!

  • Prairie Fare: Is it Time For an Oil Change in Your Recipes?

    North Dakota State University’s Julie Garden-Robinson calls for a higher use of oils. She explains that using oils in cooking and baking is a healthier alternative to using shortening or other solid fats. Oils are, however, more likely to become rancid quicker, so she explains that the most effective way to use them is to buy it only in quantities that will be used within a few months. There are different types of oils, but monounsaturated oils are the most heart healthy. She also includes a recipe for a homemade olive oil baed salad dressing.

    Read more here!

  • Eating Breakfast Increases Chemical That Regulates Cravings

    University of Missouri researchers have devoting some time recently to exploring the causes of obesity. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provided information on the chemical dopamine in relation to obesity control. People who eat a protein-rich breakfast do not usually have the tendency to overeat. However, in a recent study conducted by Mizzou, the results show that people who skip breakfast are more likely to overeat, have immense sugar cravings, and cannot easily activate dopamine in the brain. All of these factors may eventually lead to obesity. In their research, it was found that eating breakfast would help prevent obesity.

    Read more here!

  • Protein: Essential Nutrient Needed Daily

    Alabama Extension’s regional nutrition agent, Helen Jones, has reached out to the public with some helpful nutrition tips. Protein is essential for your health and is significantly improved when consuming the correct amount daily. Serious health issues arise when you have a deficiency of protein. Everyday food, including grains, eggs, and dairy products will give you a sufficient amount to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Proteins will greatly increase your energy level and give you strong bones, but most importantly, it will help your body maintain optimal health.

    Read more here!

  • Milk Provides Great Taste, Good Health Benefits

    Turns out your parents weren’t lying to you all those years they made you drink milk for “healthy bones.” According to Mississippi State University Extension Service, milk is, in fact, a fantastic source of protein. The protein in milk provides nutrients that your body needs to support healthy bones along with necessary carbohydrates the body needs for energy. For those who are lactose intolerant or looking to eliminate dairy for health reasons, there are many options. Goat milk is a healthy alternative as it contains similar nutritional benefits to cow milk. For those health conscious consumers, looking at fat content and added sugar provide important selling points. Simply buying skim milk reduces calories to only 80 per cup while eliminating all fat. And as we all know, the nutritional benefits of milk are imperative to a healthy body.

    Read more here!

  • Mechanism Outlined by Which Inadequate Vitamin E Can Cause Brain Damage

    A team from Oregon State University has found that a diet deficient in Vitamin E may cause neurological damage. In work conducted on zebrafish, they found that a Vitamin E deficiency robs the brain of key substances needed for sufficient brain health. Without the help of Vitamin E, the body is at a higher risk of neuronal death, cellular membrane damage, and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Although Vitamin E can be found in dietary oils, such as olive oil, the most Vitamin E-rich foods, such as avocados or sunflower seeds, are not a regular component of the American diet, resulting in a mass Vitamin E inadequacy among the U.S. population.

    Read more here!

  • Grilled Asparagus Adds Variety, Nutrition to Menu

    Food and Nutrition Specialists from North Dakota State University Extension encourage you to add more asparagus to your diet while the vegetable is in season. Asparagus is rich in B vitamins and folate, which can prevent birth defects, and potassium, a vitamin muscles need to contract properly. A cup of asparagus yields only 25 calories, but it contains 3 grams of dietary fiber, vitamins C, K, and A, and thiamin. The vegetable can be prepared by steaming, microwaving, or stir-frying, but grilling this healthy green during the summer months is recommended.

    Read more here!

  • NMSU Included in Three-State Initiative to Reduce Childhood Obesity Along U.S.-Mexico Border

    New Mexico State University is teaming up with two other schools to find an end to childhood obesity. They are going into the community level to find out what is causing the alarming numbers. The students’ research will lead to education programs on safe outdoor spaces and healthy food practices and options for families in low-income Hispanic neighborhoods. Discussion groups will be implemented to find out how families believe they can best prevent childhood obesity. By looking at their research along with other successful obesity prevention programs, New Mexico State University students will be able to intervene and educate about proper nutrition, physical activity, and decreased screen time among children.

    Read more here!

  • Cows Fed Flaxseed Produce More Nutritious Dairy Products, Says OSU Study

    Typical dairy cow feed is made up of corn, grains, hay, and grass. While inexpensive, this mix leads to a fairly innutritious dairy. Oregon State University students conducted a study that involved feeding flax seed to cows to improve dairy content. The cows were fed varying levels of flax seed to find the sweet spot – not too much and not too little. At six pounds of seed per day, saturated fat dropped and poly-unsaturated fat and omega-3 levels rose. Cows produced the same amount of milk during the feeding and refrigerated butter got softer. While this may raise dairy prices slightly, research shows that consumers are already willing to pay more for vitamin-enriched foods. The best part? Cows ate the flaxseed like it was candy.

    Read more here!

  • Getting On The Hummus Bandwagon

    Virginia State University Agriculture students are investigating better ways to make, package, and store hummus. Hummus is a growing industry in the US with sales reaching nearly $530 million over the past couple years. Students began research into the best ways to process chickpeas into hummus. Their research concluded that pressure-cooking was the best production method because it kept the highest nutritional quality and the most functional properties in the chickpeas. The use of modified atmosphere packaging is also undergoing experimentation. This new process could extend the shelf life of hummus.

    Read more here!

  • UC Researchers Awarded Nearly $2 Million For Childhood Obesity Prevention Project

    The UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Nutrition Policy Institute and UC Berkeley School of Public Health have been awarded $2 million to create technology that can be used in public middle and high schools to prevent childhood obesity. The San Francisco Unified School District will be using “SmartMeal,” a virtual menu filled with healthy options that students can order on iPads for lunch. Sixty percent of the district’s students are eligible for the free lunch program. Improving the diets of these low-income youth is essential in reducing the risk of childhood obesity, and school meals are a critical part of their overall nutrition. The program will be using mobile food carts and vending machines stocked with healthy options, and an app that can be used to pre-order meals to increase convenience. These practices are expected to improve student participation.

    Read more here!

  • Improving Access to Healthy Food

    Michelle Worosz, an associate professor at Auburn University’s Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, is working to solve problems affecting food access, nutrition, and education across the state of Alabama. She is helping students understand how the American food system functions and changes due to social processes. Students complete a semester-long project that teaches them how complicated it is to get food from farm to table. Worosz and her coworkers are also addressing the system’s shortcomings. They learned that the matter of how much food is available and how easily people can get it is one of Alabamians’ main concerns. Knowing this strengthened Worosz’s desire to increase food security and and provide economic opportunities to rural communities. Worosz was one of a small group who established the Alabama Food Policy Council in 2012. She has been conducting extensive research with colleagues and students, but still thinks she has a long way to go.

    Read more here!

  • Nutrition, Fitness and Childhood Obesity

    Progression in the fields of health and wellness, consummate concerns for experts and the masses alike, is gaining traction at Tuskegee University. The Tuskegee University Nutrition, Fitness, and Childhood Obesity program is zeroing in on to promoting healthy lifestyles, while aiming at several distinct subsets. Among others, these include increasing awareness of health risk factors, prevention and control of zoonotic diseases, and reducing health disparities. The widespread nature of this program is just one of the many ways TU is making significant contributions to Alabama.

    Read more here!

  • Eliminating Food Deserts

    Obesity is a growing problem in the United States. And one of the biggest factors behind this wave is the limited access to affordable, healthy foods. Food environments in Davidson County, the second largest “food desert cluster” in Tennessee, is being researched by Tennessee State University scientists. Their goal is to identify the most telling factors among availability, accessibility, and socioeconomic characteristics when determining the impact of the environment on the demand for healthy foods. If all goes according to plan, this research will help reshape behavior, affordability and availability of healthy foods.

    Read more here!

  • Growers Find Perfect Fit With Farmer’s Markets

    For growers looking to find the ideal channel for small-scale producers to sell their crops, farmers markets are the way to go. Those who enjoy insect- and pesticide-free vegetables should turn to farmers like Leon Eaton, who sells his crops at farmers markets. Eaton grows tomatoes and other vegetables hydroponically on his Mount Olive, Mississippi farm without soil in a greenhouse. The interest in naturally grown produce has increased demand for locally grown crops, according to a Mississippi Extension specialist, and more local farmers are getting on board with the trends.

    Read more here!

  • Combating Childhood Obesity with Caregivers as Change Agents

    Louisiana is home to some of the unhealthiest youths in the nation, with 36% of 10-17-year-olds overweight. Also in Louisiana, 40.5% of African Americans are considered overweight or obese. Southern University Ag Center’s Nutrition and Health Program received a grant to combat childhood obesity. They conducted a study with 26 African Americans participants, in which the 15 participants in the treatment group drank Whey Protein shakes for breakfast for 24 weeks and lost a total of 190 pounds. This study shows promise in decreasing health risks and medical expenses related to obesity.

    Read more here!

  • North Dakota Children are Banking on Strong Bones

    Thanks to the North Dakota State University Extension Service, the “calcium crisis” among children in elementary classrooms is finally being addressed. The program, Banking on Strong Bones, is based on MyPlate recommendations and is a multi-week effort that includes classroom nutrition lesson, educational materials, supplementary activities and taste testing. Following the program, about 51 percent of parents reported positive changes in their child’s eating habits as a result of this program.

    Read more here!

  • Ultra-High Resveratrol Specialty Peanut Seeds

    Who doesn’t love a nice salty bag of peanuts? The peanut industry is $4 billion conglomerate in the United States, but the barriers of entry limit production and trade to mega-farmers. Research scientists at Prairie View A&M University are looking to open up new avenues for more farmers by creating specialty peanuts with other nutritious added values. By using Resveratrol, the anti-oxidative nutritious constituent of peanut seeds, these researchers are furthering their work in sustainable cost-effective crop yield improvement.

    Read more here!

  • Activity After Eating Can Reduce Cardio Risk for People with Diabetes

    Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that individuals with Type 2 diabetes can lower their risk of cardiovascular disease by exercising after a meal. Participants in a study performed resistance exercises before and after dinner on different days. Compared to levels on a non-exercise day, researchers found that the participants who exercised before dinner were only able to reduce the sugar levels in their blood, while those who exercised after dinner were able to reduce both sugar and fat levels.

    Read more here!

  • Adolescents Eat Better When Setting Guided Goals

    With almost eight hours spent on electronic media a day and less than two hours being physically active, today’s adolescents can have a harder time keeping a healthy lifestyle. UC Davis and Cooperative Extension researchers say that by using a behavioral strategy known as goal setting, eating and physical activity behaviors are expected to improve. Student choose personal motivators, then decide which of their weakest dietary areas they want to improve, based on a needs assessment. With this strategy, adolescents can develop lifelong healthy behaviors.

    Read more here!

  • Examining Dietary Habits of African American Families to Reduce Obesity

    North Carolina A&T researchers did some work within a church in Halifax County, which has the fifth highest obesity rate in the state, to find out how the availability of nutritious foods affect healthy behaviors. Using focus groups, they found the demographic factors and community play a large role in physical activity and eating patterns in children and families. The community is very small, poor, and predominantly African American. The research project has helped the community gain a greater awareness of healthy behaviors to reduce obesity.

    Read more here!

  • USDA and Tuskegee University Awards Langston School of Agricuture and Applied Science With Research Grant

    The Langston University School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences has been awarded a $22,000 grant by the USDA and Tuskegee University for swine research activity. This is in response to a recent breakout of feral swine risks and damages to property, agriculture, natural resources, and human health. The USDA is hoping that Langston’s research will help our understanding of feral swine as well as provide outreach materials to farmers and ranchers.

    Read more here!

  • Irrigation Research Delineates Tradeoffs in Fruit Quality and Yield

    In the southern San Joaquin Valley of California, minimum harvest standards for juice sweetness and fruit color for naval oranges are preventing production to reach their full potential. Advisors at the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources have developed and implemented a series of carefully monitored irrigation treatments that demonstrated that late season irrigation can save water, increase development of early fruit color and increased the concentration of soluble solids, such as sugar; however, water stress can generally reduce fruit size and yield.

    Read more here!

  • FVSU Students Participate in Food Sustainability Symposium

    Professors and students from Fort Valley State University attended and participated in the 12th Annual Walter Rodney Symposium. This year’s theme of “Hungry Nation, Hungry: Engendering Healthy Sustainable Food Systems” examined the impact of race, class, and socioeconomics globally. It was also the symposium’s goal to discuss solutions to providing nutritious and safe foods to different cultures around the world, while keeping the foods culturally appropriate.

    Read more here!

  • Prairie Fare: Be the Grill Master This Spring

    This spring and summer, be sure to be careful when cooking outdoors. Using a grill can be dangerous if not done right; fires can start, bacteria can remain in food, and unwanted guests can make camp during the winter. North Dakota State University warns us to be aware of the recommended cooking temperatures: burgers to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and chicken and other poultry to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Add plenty of fruits and vegetables (which are great grilled!) to your menu and make sure to thank your cook.

    Read more here!

  • Prairie Fare: Feast Your Eyes on Eggs

    Though an egg a day is considered okay for your health, it is still important to consider the facts before consumption. Fortunately, eggs do not contain trans fat, the “nutrition villain” these days because it is linked to an increased risk for heart disease, more so than any other food component, according to NDSU. Not only are they without trans fat, but they are also an excellent source of protein, low in sodium, and they have been shown to reduce our risk for macular degeneration. Overall, eggs are a good decision for those worried about their health. 

    Read more here!

  • Dial Up Food Safety Information With Free App

    If you’re still wondering if last week’s leftovers are still good or if that meat is cooked all the way through, you can now find out through a newly-developed app: FoodKeeper. Meant for those looking for food safety information, FoodKeeper is now available for free on Android and Apple devices. Developed by Cornell University, the app has a searchable database for more than 400 foods and includes storage timelines, cooking tips and other practical advice for those interested in learning about the keeping quality of their foods.

    Read more here!

  • Breakfast Skippers Should Gradually Increase Morning Protein Intake

    Researchers at the University of Missouri Agriculture Experiment Station did a study on young women who habitually skip breakfast and found that when they ate a high-protein breakfast, their metabolic responses were different than women who do habitually eat breakfast. Breakfast skippers experienced poorer control of their glucose throughout the day. High-sustained glucose levels can contribute to poor glycemic control, increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

    Read more here!

  • K-State Supporting Local Food Efforts in Kansas Communities

    Gardening trends are on the rise, especially in Kansas communities. Agents and specialists from K-State Research and Extension play a key role in developing the 110 farmers markets and provide expertise to growers through classes, workshops, and conferences. Many individuals and families are improving their diets, trimming grocery budgets, and having fun thanks to vegetable, fruit, and herb gardening. 

    Read more here!

  • Prairie Fare: Enjoy Spring With Regular Outdoor Walks

    Walking is an easy way to stay healthy, says a Food and Nutrition Specialist at NDSU Extension Center. Taking a walk can reduce the risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, as well as many other diseases. A walk at lunch has also been seen to improve mental health in adults, and it allowed them to come back to their jobs more enthusiastic and relaxed. Walking doesn’t need any special equipment, but make sure you are wearing good walking shoes!

    Read more here!

  • Tomatillos Add Mexican Flavor to California Gardens

    Tired of your same old garden? The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources recommends you try growing tomatillos. They can add spice to every dish, and are vital to making salsas, pico de gallo, and traditional sauces like chili verde. They also contain Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and potassium, and are naturally low in calories. It doesn’t get much better than that.

    Read more here!

  • A Good Breakfast Every Day

    Don’t you hate that feeling when you know you’re going to be late to work? Even though you’re stressed, it’s important to try and grab breakfast before you run out the door. Research done by the University of Missouri suggests that those who habitually skip breakfast are more prone to developing cardiovascular problems as well as diabetes when they get older. Eating breakfast will also help regulate consistent glucose levels, which can affect your body’s ability to process protein. 

    Read more here!

  • Prairie Fare: Do You Sit Most of the Day?

    How bad is sitting most of the time? Extensive research on the subject says it may be a lot worse than you think. North Dakota State University Extension Service published a paper that goes over stretches you can do while sitting at your desk that will prevent your heart from growing accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle. 

    Read more here!

  • Take Steps to Better Health: Walk Kansas

    Winter is drawing to a close, and that means it’s time to lace up your running shoes and go outside! Kansas State Research and Extension is hosting “Walk Kansas”, and eight week program designed to promote better health and activity levels. With a total of 203,250 participants over the first 13 years, “Walk Kansas” is considered one of the most successful Kansas State Research and Extension programs in its history.

    Read more here!

  • Exercise for Dessert: Activity can Reduce Cardio Disease Risk for People with Diabetes

    A new study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology has found that individuals with Type 2 diabetes can lower their risk of cardiovascular disease by exercising after a meal. The researchers at the University of Missouri found that the participants who exercised before dinner were able to only reduce the sugar levels in their blood; however, participants who exercised after dinner were able to reduce both sugar and fat levels. The best results, however, were found in those who exercise daily. 

    Read more here!

  • Another Reason to Drink Wine: It Could Help You Burn Fat

    A new study has shown that drinking red grape juice or wine could help people burn fat better. Neil Shay of OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences was part of a team that exposed human liver and fat cells grown in the lab to extracts of four natural chemicals found in a dark-red grape variety. The team found that one of the chemicals boosted metabolism of fatty acids in liver cells, which could potentially improve overall metabolic function.

    Read more here!

  • How Much Protein Do You Need?

    How much good are those protein shakes really doing you? North Dakota State University Extension Service recommends getting your protein in food form. It’s far tastier and packed with additional nutrients.Protein shakes are beneficial, particularly right after a work out, but once you get to a certain point, you body stops processing it.

    Read more here!

  • March, National Nutrition Month, is a Good Time to Learn How to Develop a Healthful Diet

    It’s National Nutrition Month! And to help prevent the spread of obesity, North Dakota State University Extension Service has provided some helpful tips for eating healthy. Even simple rules like including whole grains and adding lean protein can go a long way. See them all by clicking the link below.

    Read more here!

  • Snooze Your Way to Better Health

    North Dakota State University Extension Service has tips on how to get enough sleep each night, but they’ve also found research on how naps can offset the negative effects for when you can’t get enough sleep. Blood pressure, heart rate, and the immune system can all be negatively affected by sleep deprivation. Taking just a 30-minute nap can offset those effects.

    Read more here!

  • Alternative Uses Explored for Culled Sweet Potatoes

    Students as Mississippi State University are finding new ways to use culled sweet potatoes in the first Sweet Potato Innovation Challenge. These potatoes that never make it to market create a loss in income for farmers, but they are being given a second chance. Eleven of the 23 projects that were presented to judges will receive funding in order for the students to continue to develop their ideas.

    Read more here!

  • Date Labeling Confusion, Food Safety, and Food Waste

    Would you consume an expired product? While the answer to this question may be an easy one, the steps we take to get there are riddled with uncertainties. According to Alabama A&M Extension, the USDA has no standard uniform system for food dating. “Sell by”, “Best if used before”, and “use by” are three of the most common terms, but it can be difficult to separate the coding for each label. Fortunately, Alabama A&M Extension offers some helpful tips for preserving your food. Check them out below.

    Read more here!

  • Ever Strong: Program Encourages Strength Training as Part of Overall Health

    Strength training is just as important in your younger years as it is as you age. This type of exercise does not mean that you will get “bulky” if you don’t want to; rather, strength training simply helps you to maintain muscle as you age. Kansas State has published training videos on the Walk Kansas website, which details the eight-week fitness program designed to promote activity and better health for Kansas. About 16,500 people participate each year.

    Read more here!

  • Water: The Nutrient

    Water is an essential nutrient and is a vital link to life. It not only serves as the body’s transportation system, but also acts as a lubricant, participates in the body’s biochemical reactions, and regulates body temperature. The University of Nebraska reports that each day, adults are suggested to take in six to eight glasses of water each day. Water can come from certain foods such as lettuce or celery, though the consumption of fluid is a necessity.

    Read more here!

  • Regional Farmers’ Market Vendor Workshops Planned

    Farmers’ markets in Kansas stimulate the local economy. Because the number of active farmers’ markets in the state has grown from 26 in 1987 to 130 today, Kansas Department of Agriculture’s From the Land of Kansas trademark program has decided to conduct workshops for current or prospective vendors. The workshops have been taking place since January and go through the end of this month. Workshops will go over topics like vendor best practices, safe food practices, and sales tax and Kansas webtax online.

    Read more here!

  • UK Plant Disease Research Finding May Benefit Humans

    Researchers at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment have found that plant lipids play an important role in the defense against pathogens. They also found that these lipids might possibly play a role in humans’ ability to fight diseases. Lipids are fats, oils or waxes, but it is galactolipids, lipids containing sugar galactose, that allows the plant to fend off secondary infections. Pradeep Kachroo and his wife, Aardra, the researchers who have been working on this study, are still trying to find out if these galactolipids work the same way in humans when it comes to disease resistance. You can get galactolipids just buy eating plants, like spinach.

    Read more here!

  • UK Plant Disease Research Finding May Benefit Humans

    Researchers at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment have found that plant lipids play an important role in the defense against pathogens. They also found that these lipids might possibly play a role in humans’ ability to fight diseases. Lipids are fats, oils or waxes, but it is galactolipids, lipids containing sugar galactose, that allows the plant to fend off secondary infections. Pradeep Kachroo and his wife, Aardra, the researchers who have been working on this study, are still trying to find out if these galactolipids work the same way in humans when it comes to disease resistance. You can get galactolipids just by eating plants, like spinach.

    Read more here!

  • Even Those Who Know Better Find Junk Food Irresistible

    Eating healthy isn’t easy, even for people who have been doing it their whole life. UC Davis recently conducted a study in which they found that nutritionally knowledgeable individuals reacted more positively to images of junk food than healthy food. Even though they are willing to give up junk food, they biologically struggle with the concept. These findings are important in shaping healthy eating campaigns aimed at people who are prime candidates for eating behavior change. Experts say that the promotion of healthy eating doesn’t recognize the powerful, positive physiological response many people have to high-calorie food. This study is proof of that.

    Read more here!

  • Prairie Fare: Mind Your Portions This Winter

    As we get into the heart of winter, the temptations to grab an unhealthy snack can be high. Experts at the NDSU Extension Service want to caution you that the more sedntary lifestyle that comes with colder weather can be harmful. Prediabetes is a very real thing for a good chunk of the population, but with portion control and exercise, we can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

    Read more here!

  • $6.9 M to Fund Milk Research

    UC Davis is looking at the possible benefits that cow’s milk can have for both humans and the dairy industry. Taking the cue from breast milk research, researchers are focusing on “glycan” compounds that help good intestinal bacteria and are naturally found in milk. The research has just recently added a $4.2 million grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine as well as a $2.7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to its already long funding history.

    Read more here!

  • Bitter Food But Good Medicine From Cucumbers

    Did you know that wild cucumber, pumpkin, watermelon, and squash are extremely bitter? The compounds responsible, called cucurbitacins, have been tamed before they reach your grocery store. However, recent studies have shown that cucurbitacins can kill or suppress the growth of cancer cells. Chinese researchers and UC-Davis professors have come together to test these compounds with the goal of understanding exactly how the process of domesticating cucumber genetics works. Not only will this open up approaches to developing other food crops, but it could also make it much easier to produce large enough quantities of cucurbitacins to use in clinical trials and potentially in medicine.

    Read more here!

  • Study: Small Doses Of Resistant Starch Make Big Difference

    A recent study by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln food scientists has revealed that resistant starch carbohydrates have a positive effect on the fermentation of dietary fibers in the human body. According to the research, fatty acids stimulated by resistant starch influence the release of appetite-suppressing hormones and ease the digestive process. Even though finding high concentrations of resistant starch in natural sources is difficult, small intakes can have an effect on those looking to maintain a healthy diet.

    Read more here!

  • Avocado Production in the San Joaquin Valley Gets Closer

    UC Cooperative Extension Specialist Mary Lu Arpaia is conducting research to bring avocados to the San Joaquin Valley. Avocados have had success in areas of mild climate, like San Diego and Ventura counties. California consumers favor Hass avocados, but these avocados can’t tolerate heat in the valley. Arpaia is testing different varieties that are comparable to Hass in taste and that can take the place of citrus trees that once thrived. She said, “In the San Joaquin Valley, water is relatively cheap and we have better water quality than San Diego County. If farmers have property where they can grow lemons, they could try avocados.”

    Read more here!

  • Celebrate Soup Month With Comforting, Satisfying Soup

    It’s National Soup Month! In celebration, NDSU Extension Service has provided a recipe for a nutritious lentil-kielbasa soup. Research has shown that eating soup prior to your main dish affects the number of calories consumed during the meal. On average, participants in an NDSU study who ate soup before a meal consumed 20 percent less calories than those who didn’t. If you’re looking to lose a few pounds, “soup preloading” may be the way to go!

    Read more here!

  • Walnuts Fight Cancer

    The fight against food fats has been gripping the nation lately. But we may be going a little too far. Researchers at UC Davis have been examining a food with a high fat content, walnuts, and have discovered that its benefits outweigh the risks. Paul Davis, a scientist and research nutritionist, has been testing the effect walnuts have on mice for some time now, and he has uncovered data that suggests walnuts may reduce cholesterol and slow prostate cancer growth. Even though results in mice don’t always translate to humans, Davis says his results suggest the benefits of incorporating walnuts into a healthy diet. Learn more about his research by following the link below:

    Read more here!

  • Weighing Risks and Rewards, Pregnant Women Eat Less Fish

    Nowadays, most future mothers are aware of how certain foods can impact a pregnancy. Prevalent among these is the discussion of the advantages and drawbacks of eating fish. They are a primary source of omega-3 fatty acids, but certain types of contaminated fish have been shown to contain methylmercury, which is damaging during rapid brain development. When faced with conflicting information like this, researchers at Cornell University have discovered that pregnant women are more likely to focus on the potential risks than the benefits, and eat less fish. Changing the way the messaging is portrayed is the first step in encouraging pregnant women to eat more safe fish varieties. Find out more about Cornell’s research, after the jump:

    Read more here!

  • UF/IFAS Helping Those in Need Eat Healthy for the New Year

    In the state of Florida, recipients of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) now have access to a new program called Fresh Access Bucks. With this new program, SNAP recipients can double up to $20 of their assistance to buy healthy, Florida-grown fruits and vegetables. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension Agent Robert Kluson is working hard to get farmers markets and low-income residents throughout Florida to participate in the Fresh Access Bucks program. As of now, there are 21 farmers markets in 12 Florida counties that are participating. The program began with the support of a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Specialty Crop Block grant and Jane’s Trust, which is a non-profit agency. 

    Read more here!

  • UF/IFAS Study Shows Confusion Surrounding Added vs. Natural Sugar in Drinks

    A team from the University of Florida recently discovered that most people don’t know the difference between natural and added sugars. While “sugary” is usually a dietary guideline to refer to beverages with added sugars, many consumers were unable to distinguish between these and naturally sweet beverages like fruit juice. Even though consumers are shying away from sugar-heavy beverages, knowledge of the difference between natural and added sugar is key to dietary balance. Learn more about this survey, and how increased awareness can help, after the jump.

    Read more here!

  • A Healthy Lifestyle with Probiotics and Prebiotics

    The idea of food injected with microorganisms seems like a bad thing, right? Not always, says Julie Albrecht, Extension Food Safety Specialist. Probiotics and prebiotics, two forms of “good bacteria” have both been shown to have beneficial health effects for humans. Among other things, these benefits may include a reduction in allergy conditions, cancer risk, and stomach ulcers, as well as an enhancement of calcium absorption. To learn more about probiotics and prebiotics, and how they can help you, follow the link below:

    Read more here!

  • Top 4 Reasons to Shop at a Farmer’s Market

    Tired of strolling through the grocery store looking at bland, overripe vegetables under a flickering fluorescent light? Alabama Extension recommends you try a farmer’s market. The food is tastier and more nutritious, and it helps support and build your local community. By giving farmers the money directly, you are cutting out the middleman and ensuring they get the retail price that they deserve. Learn more about how a farmer’s market might be the perfect place for you:

    Read more here!

  • NMSU Extension Program Helps Pre-Diabetics Make a Lifestyle Change

    The rate of diabetes in the U.S. has been steadily increasing, with 35 percent of the population now believed to have pre-diabetes. Since July 2013, New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service has offered a National Diabetes Prevention Program dedicated to helping participants improve their food choices, increase physical activity, and learn coping skills to maintain weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes. For many, the emotional growth is the biggest reward from the program’s weekly sessions. “We’d talk about what we found hard, and how we overcome those challenges,” says Barbara Dutton, a high-risk Type 2 diabetes patient. “The input from classmates was really helpful.” To learn more about the NMSU program, follow the link below.

    Read more here!

  • Prairie Fare: Beware of Weight-Loss Promises

    As 2015 begins to roll along, many of us are finding it hard to stick to our new year’s resolutions. The most common among these is weight loss, which has been adopted by mainstream media as a lucrative advertising tool. It’s easy to get seduced by the thrilling stories of people losing life-changing amounts of weight, but the North Dakota State University Extension Service cautions against buying in to false promises. The most difficult part of getting healthy is sticking to a realistic timeline, and not getting discouraged if you don’t see results right away. There is a plethora of helpful information out there, including online weight management resources, licensed nutritionists available by appointment, and community support programs. If you are dedicated to losing weight this year, make sure you don’t fall victim to “ads” or misinformation by spending some time vetting your sources. But above all, try to find people who are committed to helping you keep the weight off, not just lose it.

    Read more here!

  • Handle Leftover Turkey Safely

    Cooking turkey is a must for many families throughout the country. How many actually eat the whole turkey and don’t have leftovers? Turkey that is leftover can quickly go from leftovers that are desired to thrown in the trash. There are many things that you can do to make sure your turkey tastes the same a few days later, as it did on Thanksgiving Day.

    Read more here!

  • Take Extra Precautions When Cooking for large Groups

    How many people are you going to feed this holiday season? The people preparing the food should take extra precautions to make sure food safety is taking place. When preparing a meal for a large number of people, there are things that can show that the cook is taking food safety seriously. Kansas State recommends shopping, storing, preparing, transporting, serving, and cleaning up the food. Are you practicing food safety this holiday season?

    Read more here!

  • Mississippians Cannot Ignore Diabetes Concerns

    The holidays are right around the corner, but the state of Mississippi leads the the nation in obesity. Mississippi also ranks second in the nation in diabetes. “People with diabetes should not allow holiday disruptions to impact their game plan for managing their blood sugar,” said David Buys, Mississippi State University Extension Service health specialist.This holiday season should not be a time to lower nutritional standards. Taste does not have to be sacrificed in the name of nutrition.

    Read more here!

  • Be Sure Turkey Time Inspires Memories, Not Nightmares

    Many people have those cooking moments where it does not go as planned. You add a little of this and that, forget something in the oven, or even try cooking something a totally different way. This Thanksgiving, turn your possible nightmare into a sweet dream. Cook this high-protein food to your liking. So how are you going to cook your turkey? Here are some tips from North Dakota State University.

    Read more here!

  • Kansas State University: Education Important in Recognizing Food Allergens

    There are many hazards of undeclared food allergens in various food products. Consumers need to be aware of food ingredient labeling, according to Fadi Aramouni. Although there may be mistakes by food companies, consumers need to be aware of their food allergies. There are many foods that contain ingredients that you would not think would be involved. With that, Kansas State food science students create between 300 and 400 labels each year for food companies in Kansas to improve the food labeling.

    Read more here!

  • Cornell University on Gut bacteria: How Genes Determine the Fit of Your Jeans

    It should come as no surprise that our genetic makeup determines our body shape by which type of microbes thrive in our body. Cornell University researchers have learned that the Christensenellaceae bacterial family is commonly found in more lean individuals. Christensenellaceae minuta protects weight gain in individuals. This discovery may be able to reduce the risks of obesity diseases through personalized probiotic therapies.

    Read more here!

  • UK Named USDA National Coordinating Center

    This week marks National Obesity Week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has named the University of Kentucky School of Human Environmental Sciences a national coordinating center for excellence in nutrition education and obesity prevention research. Regional centers will administer at least one research project to fit the needs of their region. Nutrition education and obesity prevention interventions are targeted for underserved, low-income families through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).

    Read more here!

  • New MU Research Center Enables Multi-Disciplinary Work on Obesity and Related Diseases

    The new state-of-the-art MU Nutritional Center for Health (MUNCH) at the University of Missouri merges expertise in agriculture, medicine, food science, journalism, exercise, dietetics and other disciplines into one to develop holistic and practical approaches to controlling obesity and diabetes. The University of Missouri is uniting many top researchers to help MUNCH away at obesity and diabetes. Through studying exercise and eating habits, researchers at MU believe they can find ways to help reduce the prevalence of diabetes. MUNCH resources include a teaching kitchen for presentations about healthy cooking, an observational lab and a metabolic kitchen where researchers can design meals with specific nutritional profiles for experiments. With help from MU Physical Activity and Wellness (MU PAW) program, researchers are capable of measuring body composition, cognitive function, blood markers and body glucose.

    Read more here!

  • New Food Institute Blends Academic, Industry Partners

    Cornell staff and industry scientists, engineers, and leaders have implemented a new public-private partnership to contribute to the Cornell Institute for Foods System’s (CIFS) mission to have safe, nutritional, sustainable, and affordable foods available to consumers. The partnership (CIFS-Industry Partnership Program) was created with the aid of the Department of Food and Science, and offers members an opportunity to collaborate with top researchers and technology in order to improve food systems. A variety of companies in the dairy, wine, and food industries have already enlisted, and will collaborate with over 60 faculty members and experts in technical training, research, and technology transfer through various venues in order to address critical issues such as food safety, shelf life, and improved nutritional value.

    Read more here!

  • Women in Ag Conference to Look at Swine Health

    In early November, women pork producers will be able to learn about new vaccines to combat porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV). This disease targets and kills pigs who are three weeks or younger. Marcia Shannon, University of Missouri Extension swine specialist, offers new information on diseases of concern to pork producers, including porcine delta coronavirus, which appeared in Missouri swine operations in April and, like PEDV, causes severe diarrhea. The conference is going to provide leadership and hands-on training for women in agriculture. The event will cover food and nutrition topics, farm safety, self-care, estate planning and finance, and hands-on training for swine, cattle and sheep producers.

    Read more here!

  • NDSU Releases New Soybean Variety

    North Dakota State University has developed a new soybean-breeding program. This new soybean is intended for high-protein tofu and soymilk specialty markets. Ted Helms, NDSU soybean breeder believes that this soybean will have better yield and quality for these specialty uses. The soybean has a consistent high protein content. This soybean has a higher protein content, matures three days earlier and will produce 6 bushels per acre less. The earlier maturing helps reduce the risk of a fall freeze.

    Read more here!

  • Demand for Local Produce, Markets Continue to Grow

    Locally grown produce has been on the rise lately, and it’s not hard to see why. Through farmers markets and co-ops, small-scale producers are finding ways to venture into the farm-fresh scene to the applause of local consumers. Rick Snyder, vegetable specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station says, “This segment of agriculture is growing, and I think we are only going to see the need for small-scale producers increase in the coming years.” Farmers markets offer a place for the community to gather and exchange knowledge, especially from the farmers to consumers, about why only certain offerings are available compared to the grocery store where one might find all sorts of out-of-season produce. Learn what other benefits this growing trend brings with it, after the jump.

    Read more here!

  • Healthy Choices Help Grandparents Age Well

    David Buys is a health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, and he understands what it means to get older. With age comes wisdom, but also some responsibility – such as the responsibility to stay physically active and eat healthy. Buys parrots the Center for Disease Control in recommending 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week to maintain health. Mental, social, and physical health are all necessary aspects of a well-balanced life, especially as the years wane on. See what else Buys recommends for the wisest of us, after the jump.

    Read more here!

  • Children Show Progress in State’s Obesity Battle via MSU

    The month of September was National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and in Mississippi, the ongoing effort against childhood obesity is showing some promising results. Recently released statistics show a steady decline in childhood obesity rates from 2009-2013. Down from 18% to 15%, experts at the Mississippi State University Extension Service are encouraged by the educational efforts and adjustments schools have made in both physical fitness programs and school lunches. As part of a larger statewide effort, public schools have mandated 150 minutes per week of exercise for kindergarten to eighth grade students, while high school students are required to complete 70 hours of a physical education in order to graduate. MSU Extension Service members are encouraging parents to set healthy eating habits for their children, limit their screen-time, and promote outdoor activities when they are away from school as well.

    Read more here! 

  • Is Coffee Healthy? UK Investigates.

    In honor of National Coffee Day, UK asks how healthy is coffee? In a study done by the University of Kentucky, researchers found that coffee may have additional benefits related to reducing risk for Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Dementia, strokes, and irregular heart rhythms. These experts warn to consume in moderation as too much coffee leaves room for symptoms such as restlessness, anxiety, irritability, sleeplessness, and heartburn.

    Read more here!

  • UF/IFAS Researcher Continues Quest for Peanut that Won’t Cause Allergic Reaction

    About 1.9 million people (0.06 percent of U.S. residents) are allergic to peanuts according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Eliminating 99.9 percent of peanut allergens seems pretty difficult. However, a University of Florida scientist, Wade Yang, has successfully removed 80 percent of allergens in whole peanuts. Yang is attempting to remove allergens from 150 milligrams of protein per peanut to below 1.5 milligrams. If he does this, 95 percent of people with peanut allergies would be safe. Removing allergens comes with risks, according to Yang. Texture, color, flavor and nutrition are all risks Yang takes into consideration. Yang and his colleagues applied pulsed ultraviolet light technology to whole peanuts. This made the findings more useful because peanut processing usually starts from whole-peanut roasting, and roasted peanuts are then packaged to sell as whole peanuts or made into peanut butter.

    Read more here!

  • Don’t Drink the (Warm) Water

    Have you ever left your plastic bottle of water somewhere warm for a long time, and then proceeded to drink from it? A recent study from the University of Florida shows that plastic water bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate releases chemicals antimony and bisphenol A, also known as BPA. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration say BPA is not a major concern in the low levels that are found in beverage containers. Lena Ma, UF soil and water science professor, led a study that showed BPA being released in 16 different brands of bottled water at 158 degrees Fahrenheit for four weeks. The study that Ma conducted found that over the four-week period, that antimony and BPA levels increased.

    “More attention should be given to other drinks packaged with polyethylene terephthalate plastic, such as milk, coffee and acidic juice,” Ma said. “We only tested the pure water. If it is acidic juice, the story may be different.”

    Read more here!

  • Could Be Something You Ate says K-State

    Everyone’s been there. You go out to eat at a new restaurant, only to be bedridden by the time you’re home. Food poisoning. At that point, people usually aren’t concerned with contacting the restaurant or Department of Health as they are about feeling better. It’s human nature. However, now there’s an app that is hoping to change the trend of apathy. As explained by Karen Blakeslee, a food scientist for Kansas State Research and Extension, the new app tracked down 468 cases of foodborne illness. Yet, only 3 percent of the incidents tracked by the app were ever reported to health agencies. This project emphasizes the need for implementing crowd-sourced information to limit the instances of food poisoning.

    Read more here! 

  • Prairie Fare: Stressed Out Days Can Affect Nutrition and Health

    Stress is a part of life. Everyone has it, and everyone reacts to it differently. Short-term stress can affect your ability to concentrate, reduce your energy level, cause sleep issues, and cause many other symptoms as well. Prolonged stress can weaken your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to frequent colds and infections. Some people turn to alcohol and drinking, some people turn to food, but the healthiest way to deal with stress is to exercise. It is recommended that you get about 30 minutes of moderate activity at least five days a week. Apart from the nutritional benefits, exercising is seen as the most effective tool for alleviating stress, and ultimately, leads to a happier lifestyle.

    Read more here!

  • UF/IFAS study: When it Comes to Gluten-free Diets, Unfounded Beliefs Abound

    University of Florida nutrition experts warn against adopting a gluten-free diet. While for those with celiac disease, or about 1% of the U.S. population, it is the case that a gluten-free diet is the best treatment for their condition. But, for those unaffected, a gluten-free diet is lacking in essential vitamins and nutrients. A recent study conducted by University of Florida Research and Extension puts to the test the idea versus the reality of gluten-free. In the one-day study, 97 people ate gluten-free snacks. Half were labeled “gluten-free”; the other half was labeled “conventional.” The participants then rated their snacks, and the results were surprising.

    Read more here! 

  • UK Extension Cooking Class Teaches Low-income Families About Nutrition

    In La Grange, Kentucky, Christine Duncan has hosted cooking classes for low-income families to help improve their daily nutrition. In conjunction with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, Duncan, who herself is Oldham County’s agent for family and consumer sciences with UK Extension, believes these classes help to give people “nutritious, seasonal recipes to use when they receive their food.” Erica Price from the Metro United Way believes that “extension is teaching people how to stretch their food dollars. We really want to help empower people to grow their own food and provide nutritious food for their kids.” All attendees to Duncan’s class, through a grant made possible by Metro United Way, are provided with cooking accessories and “a few nicer items for a random drawing.” Learn more about what the University of Kentucky and Christine Duncan are doing for Kentucky families here:

    Read more here! 

  • Younger Generations Take Up Food Preservation with Help from K-State

    Canning food has been around for generations, but recently it’s popularity has been exploding. Unfortunately, the right information hasn’t been as pervasive as the act of canning itself. Kansas State Food Science Extension Associate Karen Blakeslee hopes to remedy all the misinformation with hands-on lessons. According to Blakeslee, “As extension professionals, we are offering hands-on canning classes in many locations across Kansas to teach people the importance of handling food safely.” Without proper care, canning can be a breeding ground for foodborne illness. Learn what you need to know here.

    Read more here! 

  • Prairie Fare: Conquer the Midmorning Slump with Breakfast via NDSU

    School is back in session and experts at North Dakota State emphasize the importance of breakfast time. Eating a balanced meal in the morning has many benefits for children and adults. Although many of us struggle to find time to prepare a full spread in the mornings, NDSU has offered helpful tips to speed up the process and help fuel families throughout the day.

    Read more here!

  • Cornell Obtains $3M Grant to Study Tobacco Warnings

    Cigarettes kill. This isn’t news, but everyday more and more individuals, adults and teens alike, pick up this deadly habit. Now, thanks to a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Food and Drug Administration, five Cornell faculty members will be able to “examine how anti-smoking messages can be effective among youth, low-income and low-education groups.” With more than 400,000 preventable deaths related to tobacco use per year in America, this is an admirable study, and one that hopefully will shed light on this ever-growing epidemic.

    Read more here! 

  • Watch What You Eat: Snacking While Watching Action Movies Leads to Overeating

    Recent research from Cornell University has found some interesting trends in the field of snacking while watching TV. Interestingly, the research found that watching TV doesn’t necessarily lead to snacking, unless you happen to be watching an action show. “If you’re watching an action movie while snacking your mouth will see more action too!” says Aner Tal, Ph.D. and lead author on the new article just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association: Internal Medicine. Another way to put these findings is that the more distracting a program is, the more you may eat. Want tips on how to watch your favorite shows and avoid overeating? See what Cornell has in store for you, after the jump.

    Read more here!

  • Report Checks Health Claims of Popular Sports, Vitamin Drinks

    UC Berkeley researchers are questioning the health claims of popular energy, sports, tea and fruit drinks. 21 popular drinks were evaluated in a new study, all with health claims of immune boosters and energy enhancers. The investigation stems from the fact that most of these drinks are rivaling soda in their sugar content, leaving many nutrition experts skeptical of the health benefits.

    Read more here! 

  • Ingested Nanoparticles May Damage Liver Via

    Cornell University biomedical scientists are discovering that certain doses of nanoparticles in everyday products may have a negative effect on human organs. In fact, it turns out that nanoparticles have the power to injure liver cells. The study is currently looking at non-lethal consequences of the particles. When tested on a model of the human body, the nanoparticles were able to penetrate the gastrointestinal barrier and were able to reach the liver cells, which in turn caused the liver cells to release an enzyme that is typically released during cell death or damage. It is still unclear why this is happening and how bad the damage really is, but the researchers at Cornell are hoping to get to the bottom of it.

    Read more here!

  • More Nutrient-Dense Foods for Everyone, From K-State

    K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialists are examining how farmers markets are reaching out to a broader audience. More local stands are accepting electronic payments as well as SNAP vouchers for their fresh foods to better accommodate consumers. This new policy pairs well with a recent nutrition education and obesity prevention program that was built into the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP helps Kansans with limited resources improve on the daily food choices they make and local farmers markets prove to be a cost effective option.

    Read more here!

  • Purdue iPhone App Guides Pregnant, Nursing Women on Eating Fish Safely

    A team at Purdue University has developed an iPhone app that helps pregnant women gauge how much seafood is safe for consumption. The program not only helps women track their intake but also offers recommendations on best eating practices. This development was based off of studies conducted by Charles Santerre, professor of food toxicology, which focused on healthy intake of fats and heavy metals such as mercury. This free app is called Fish4Health and is available in English, Spanish and traditional or simplified Chinese.

    Read more here! 

  • UF study shows children are open to eating whole grains

    The days of children being afraid of whole grains may be coming to an end. A study from the University of Florida shows that when given the option, kids will choose a whole grain snack just as frequently as a refined grain snack. Experts say that when whole grains are added to a balanced diet, the risk of heart disease may be reduced and weight management becomes easier. Starting this fall, schools in Florida will be required to serve only whole-grain products in the cafeteria.

    Read more here! 

  • NDSU: Northern Crops Institute Course Features Benefits of Soy in Baked Products

    NDSU held a “Baking with Soy” course that taught people from developing countries about the benefits of using soy. The course was co-sponsored by The World Initiative for Soy in Human Health. Since its 2000 founding, the group has helped 24 countries learn about better dieting and the positive growth of food industries. The course has grown in popularity and most likely another course will be held in the near future. Human dietary needs in developing countries are improving due to the high nutritional value of soy flour. Baking techniques are demonstrated to provide students with a variety of options while cooking. Because of their high protein levels and other nutritional properties, soybeans are leading the way for human food use.

    Read more here! 

  • Livestock Poisoning Possible from Wilting Black Cherry Leaves, MSU says

    Thunderstorms ravaged western Michigan during the night of June 12th leaving behind broken roofs and property. A lot of people will also be without power for some time. Michigan State University extension recommends that producers take caution in regard to feeding their livestock the leaves from black cherry trees. The toxic component of these leaves is referred to as prussic acid and it could pose a lethal poisoning risk to the livestock. Recommended advice for producers is to remove the black cherry trees or at least evacuate the animals until the leaves dry up and turn brown.

     Read More Here!

     

  • University of Florida Found that Kids Don’t Mind Whole Grain Foods

    Researchers at the University of Florida recently completed a study that found when children are presented with options between foods containing whole and refined grains they chose the whole grains just as often as they chose refined grains. They also found that contrary to popular belief, kids would eat the same amount of whole grains as they would refined grains when they were given the option. This study comes after the federal dietary guidelines for the 2012-13 school year increased the whole grain required in school lunches. Starting this fall, schools must offer only whole-grain rich products.

    Read more here!

  • Farm-to-School Movement Gaining Ground, says Cornell Expert

    While the farm-to-table movement is a growing phenomenon in the US, a Cornell Cooperative Extension educator, is making a push towards the effort. Most industrial kitchen equipment in schools are reduced to freezers, refrigerators, and microwaves. While kids are getting their daily nutritional value, their meals lack fresh and local foods. In an effort to gain support and funding from communities, administrators, faculty, and parents, Cornell University Extension hosts a program called Adirondack Harvest dedicated to connecting farmers and consumers in order to provide education and, in turn, fresher meals for schools.

    Read more here!

  • VT Researcher Discovers Key Ingredient in Cocoa has Significant Health Benefits

    After a long-term study, a Virginia Tech professor has discovered a specific element in cocoa that may have the ability to fight obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The studies find that one particular type of antioxidant in cocoa can have significant benefits to one’s health beyond just cardiovascular improvements. The study claims that these improvements can be achieved by taking only a few doses of chocolate a day.

    Read more here!

  • OSU Helps Wheat Farmers Make Dough

    If you’re looking for artisan bread, look no further than Portland, Oregon. Thanks to Oregon State University, the quality of wheat has done nothing but go up in recent years. OSU develops high-yielding, disease-resistant wheat varieties, which in turn help both farmers and bakers turn a profit. Curious about which bread is best? Follow the link, and decide for yourself.

    Read more here!

  • OSU Researcher Discovers Element in Blueberry Leaves that Adds to Shelf Life, Health Benefits

    A scientist at Oregon State University has discovered a substance in blueberry leaves that increases the fruit’s shelf life and antioxidant value. OSU scientists have teamed together with a research group in China, and determined that the usually wasted leaves contain an element that delays decay and retains water. The berries are typically coated in a waxy ingredient and must be washed after purchase, but this new development suggests that they will be ready-to-eat. The leaves also contain a high level of antioxidants, adding to their nutritional value.

    Read more here! 

  • NC State Scientists Create Ingredient to Combat Peanut Allergy

    In the U.S., around three million people report allergies to tree nuts and peanuts. Scientists at North Carolina State University have developed a food ingredient that has the potential to alleviate the severity of the allergy. By using elements from plants such as blackcurrant, cinnamon, cranberry and green teas, researchers at the university have created a combination that aids in developing a tolerance for peanuts. As nut ingredients become less prevalent in school systems, airlines and restaurants, this new development could help stifle the dangerous reaction.’

    Read more here! 

  • Women Stay Active, Healthy Through NMSU Cooperative Extension Service Program

    Middle-aged women are often at risk for a litany of ailments – be it porous bones or excess fat and diabetes. The Cooperative Extension Service program at NMSU aims to remedy some of those problems for women and men. Research shows that women who exercise and practice strength training have improved bone density, reduced risk for heart disease and depression, and enjoy improved sleep and vitality. This program can be a template for use across the country in rural and urban areas where men and women can comfortably go to improve their own health and wellbeing.

    Read more here! 

  • Cornell Says a Cup of Coffee a Day May Keep Retinal Damage Away

    Coffee is an extremely functional food. Not only does it wake you up, but recent studies suggest it may keep your eyes in good condition, too. Scientists at Cornell University’s Research and Extension program have just concluded a study with mice supporting this hypothesis exactly. While coffee is only 1% caffeine naturally, it contains 7-9% of a strong antioxidant that prevents degeneration of the retina. Continued research on this front is necessary, as its application to community living is invaluable.

    Read more here! 

  • 4-H’ers Replace Sweets With Fruits and Veggies in Healthy Snacking Campaign via OSU

    Adults advocate for kids to eat fruits and veggies all the time. Members of five 4-H clubs known as SNACZ (Students Now Advocating to Create (snacking) Zones) are flipping the dialogue: the kids are trying to be advocates to classmates and adults alike on behalf of healthy and tasty fruit and vegetables. OSU’s Extension Service is behind these clubs as part of a four-year research study whereby researchers hope to understand and eliminate childhood obesity. These students are already becoming activists for a healthier community, and urge their schools to offer healthy choices at holiday parties and other festivities; this is a strong push against childhood obesity led by those it affects most – children.

    Read more here! 

  • UC Davis Program Improves Wheat Nutrition, Yield

    Wheat accounts for 20% of what humans eat every day. With the growing world population, wheat production too must grow. This is problematic, as wheat can only grow in specific climates under specific conditions. Yet, researchers at UC Davis are hard at work to make more resilient and robust strains of wheat. They are among only a handful of researchers worldwide attempting to tackle this dilemma. Already, the wheat program at UC Davis has released eight specific wheat strains in collaboration with industry. Continued endeavors on this front are necessary if the world is to be sustainable in the coming years.

    Read more here! 

  • Cornell University Nudges Children Toward Healthier Food Choices

    Eat your vegetables!” is something every kid has heard at some point or another. But, it may not be that kids don’t like healthy food, but rather that they’ve been conditioned to not like it. Researchers at Cornell have just completed a three-year study to find out why kids often steer clear of fruits and veggies, and what behavioral and environmental changes they can implement to get kids enthused in healthy choices. They found that interspersing healthy food with not-so healthy food made a difference, rather than having a fruit & veggie section and a standalone pizza section. Even adding more colorful name cards made a difference. This research is essential to help children start eating healthy, a habit they will need to know for life – and the sooner the better.

    Read more here! 

     

     

  • Childhood Obesity Drops with Help from UC Davis Nutrition Program

    Due to a new nutrition program developed and tested at UC Davis, the percentage of overweight children dropped 18% over one school year. The nutritional program has a strong educational component that will help children make their own smart and healthy choices about food. Schools in Sacramento and Stanislaus counties have been pilot tested, however the program may soon be nationally adopted. Rachel Scherr, assistant project scientist in the UC Davis Department of Nutrition, is thrilled that the program has had such strong effects in such a short timeframe.

    Read more here!

  • Mizzou: More Protein, Less Diabetes

    Research from the University of Missouri shows that women who have protein on the menu for breakfast have a less chance of developing diabetes. According to Heather Leidy, an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at Mizzou, more protein consumed in the morning will positively affect glucose and insulin levels. According to past research, extreme increases in glucose can lead to diabetes. Controlling your glucose level is key to living a balanced healthy lifestyle.

    Read more here! 

  • K-State Says Proposed Food Labeling Changes Would Emphasize Calorie, Serving Size Information

    Nutritional labels are at best confusing, and at worst misleading, as they presently stand. A human nutrition specialist at Kansas State University is convinced that the proposed changes currently being reviewed by the FDA will aid shoppers in their quests to buying smarter, healthier food. Currently, even those with good intentions regarding their grocery shopping are often purchasing inadequately nutritious food. The proposed changes will help usher in a new wave of health-savvy consumers, the overall impact of which could be great across health and economic fields.

    Read more here! 

     

  • NDSU Prairie Fair: Fish for Good Nutrition

    Fish and seafood are vital elements of a healthy diet, yet many people choose not to eat seafood for a variety of reasons. For some, its cost is prohibitive. For others, they are simply unaware of the nutritious benefits of seafood. NDSU’s Cooperative Extension Service hopes to remedy this malady. They suggest buying frozen or canned seafood, as it is often full of the same nutritional benefits traditional, fresh seafood has to offer. Further, they offer simple recipes to be incorporated into one’s diet, such as tuna salad or fish tacos. Eating more fish and seafood is a necessary element for many Americans and purchasing more items in this category will help reduce health costs associated with vitamin deficiency.

    Read more here!

  • UC Berkeley is Banking On Nutrition

    Twelve percent of the U.S. population relies on emergency food systems to sustain their diets. Without food banks, this already at-risk portion of the population would further fall through the cracks of society. Instead of handing out processed food, soda, and candy, these food banks and other services are handing out fresh meat, produce, and dairy – even pound bags of oats. UC Berkeley’s Atkins Center for Weight and Health (CWH) is helping to lead the charge towards healthier food banks. This summer they will release a report detailing the evolution of food banks, and how they have transformed from an emergency service to a regularly used program of assistance to those who are not only homeless, but those we may consider average, yet impoverished, American workers.

    Read more here! 

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