FOOD BITES: JUNE 2018

Vegetables Harvested in Antarctica Without Sun, Soil or Pesticides

Scientists in Antarctica have harvested the first crop of vegetables grown without soil, daylight or pesticides as part of a project designed to help astronauts cultivate fresh food on other planets. Researchers at Germany’s Neumayer Station III say eight pounds of salad greens, 18 cucumbers and 70 radishes....

….FULL ARTICLE

FOOD BITES: JULY 2018

Magnesium Treats Depression

As little as 248 mg of magnesium per day leads to an astounding reversal of depression syndrome, according to research conducted at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont and published in the journal PLoS One in June 2017.

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FOOD BITES: AUGUST 2018

Source of Yuma E. Coli Romaine Found

Federal officials first announced on April 13 an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown and produced in the Yuma, Ariz., area. Federal investigators found the source of the outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 on July 28: canal water.

….FULL ARTICLE

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FOOD BITES: JANUARY 2018

Farm-to-School Programs Increase Fruit, Vegetable Intake

Children attending schools with Farm-to-School (FTS) programs eat more fruits and vegetables, according to research from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). As part of the 2010 Hunger-Free Kids Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture established the FTS program to help school cafeterias increase the amount of local foods they serve. FTS programs typically involve local procurement of products served in school cafeterias, hands-on learning activities such as school gardens and integrated nutrition activities. The UF/IFAS researchers reviewed how much food students threw away after lunch and compared that to the original serving amounts at six elementary schools in Alachua County, Fla., before and after FTS program implementation. Students at schools with FTS programs ate 37 percent more vegetables and 11 percent more fruit than the average student consumed before their school began the program. “These results indicate sourcing produce locally has a positive impact on the consumption of vegetables and fruits,” said Jaclyn Kropp, a UF/IFAS associate professor of food and resource economics and lead author of the study. The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior last month.


Price Changes for 7 Foods Could Save Thousands of Lives Annually

Subsidies for healthy foods and taxes on unhealthy foods

could reduce deaths from stroke, diabetes and cardiovascular disease by 3 percent to 9 percent, especially among Americans with lower socioeconomic status, according to Tufts University Health Sciences Campus researchers. The researchers used a comparative risk assess- ment model to estimate the potential effects of price subsidies on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts and seeds. They also tested the effects of taxes on processed and unprocessed red meats and sugary drinks on the number of annual deaths from cardio-meta- bolic diseases in the United States. The researchers found if prices of all seven items were altered by 10 percent each, an estimated 23,000 deaths per year could be prevented – about 3.4 percent of all U.S. cardio-metabolic disease deaths. A 30-percent price change nearly tripled the approximation with an estimated 63,000 deaths prevented per year, or 9.2 percent of all cardio-metabolic disease deaths. “This is the first time, to our knowledge, that national data sets have been pooled and analyzed to investigate the influence of food subsidies and taxes on disparities in cardio-metabolic deaths in the United States,” said lead and corresponding author José L. Peñalvo, Ph.D., adjunct assistant professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. “We found modest price changes on healthy and unhealthy

foods would help decrease overall cardio-metabolic deaths and also reduce disparities between socioeconomic strata in the U.S. – the largest changes coming from reducing the prices of fruits and vegetables and increasing the price of sugary drinks.”


“These results suggest financial incentives to purchase healthy food and disincentives to purchase unhealthy foods can prove successful in meaningfully reducing cardio-metabolic disease disparities,” said senior author Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Ph.D. and dean of the Freidman School. The findings were published in the journal BMC Medicine in November.

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

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