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By: Kerry (Robinson) Phillips, RD and       Date: 10/29/10
University of Maryland College Park Dietetic Interns Kellie Faughander & Melissa Lang

As October 31st nears, we’ve got Halloween candy on the brain!  Halloween marks the start of a series of holiday events brimming with delectable indulgences, goodies, and home-baked treats.  But for parents, the thought of these food-centered holidays, especially Halloween, may have you worried about how it will affect your kids.

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By: Kerry (Robinson) Phillips, RD and University of Maryland College Park Dietetic Interns Kellie Faughander & Melissa Lang

“Hey Mom and Dad!  Look at all the candy I got trick-or- treating!”

“That’s great, pick three pieces to have tonight and we’ll save the rest for later.”

Sound familiar?  This is a typical conversation many parents will have with their children on Halloween.  However, for parents of children with diabetes, the conversation is somewhat more complex. But don’t get discouraged – Halloween can still be fun for the entire family! Put your mind at ease this Halloween with the following tips:


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By: Nick Alexander   Date: 10/27/10

In the natural ebb and flow of safety concerns, Bisphenol A (BPA) has in recent months surfaced as one of the chemicals of concern by consumers – consumers are confused by the science around Bisphenol A, and by the variation in the public announcements by health agencies.  To put this concern in some perspective with regard to food safety, in a recent International Food Information Council Foundation survey of consumers, almost as many expressed interest in safety around chemicals in food (39%) as around bacterial-caused food borne illness (44%).

In an October 26 Webinar, “Clarifying the Controversies: The Science of Bisphenol A (BPA), IFIC brought together three foremost scientists to address the latest research around BPA, the toxicological concerns of consumers, and the perceived health risks of BPA.

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By: Jania Matthews Date: 10/25/10

Note:  Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA, was recently named Senior Vice President, Nutrition and Food Safety at the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and the International Food Information Council Foundation.  As part of her responsibilities, she will lead the IFIC and the Foundation’s nutrition and food safety communications programs.  In an effort to introduce our blog readers to Marianne we sat down and asked her a few questions.

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By: Gretchen Chriszt Date: 10/20/10

Pink – it’s everywhere! As many of you may know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You may have spotted shades of pink in a number of places – I know I’ve seen groups of ladies decked out in their finest shades of pink on their way to a Race for the Cure event. And who couldn’t help but spot pink all over the NFL teams during their Sunday and Monday games this month?

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By: Eric Mittenthal, MS   Date: 10/18/10

Yesterday marked a special occasion for those of us at the International Food Information Council Foundation.  It was the one year anniversary of our blog and Food Insight website.  We started with a welcome post from Foundation CEO David Schmidt and since then have written 182 blog posts.  We have written on a variety of issues from numerous contributors including Foundation staff and interns as well as some of the top nutrition and food safety experts in the world.  Before we move forward with year #2, we wanted to take a look back at the posts that got the most views from our first year:

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By: Gretchen Chriszt   Date: 10/15/10

The word is getting out about International Fitness Day. It is the day dedicated to celebrating health and fitness around the world. Although the official International Fitness Day doesn’t  happen until October 16, 2010, this week has been full of events leading up to the big day. Thanks to technology, an online fitness expo took place this week at the International Fitness Day website featuring high-caliber fitness experts and health professionals sharing their unique perspectives on health, nutrition and fitness.


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By: Kerry (Robinson) Phillips, RD   Date: 10/14/10
In early October, I had the pleasure of attending the 5th Annual Center for Food Integrity (CFI) Food System Summit in Chicago.  This year’s Summit brought together a diverse group of food system members including farmers, producers, processors, manufacturers, academicians, food scientists, health professionals and others to hear from food safety and nutrition experts on key issues facing the food system.

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By: Gretchen Chriszt   Date: 10/12/10  

Most of us know how important it is to be active. We may even sign up for a gym membership or pledge to take weekly walks with our family. But life often seems to get in the way – work, the kid’s activities, unexpected events… the list just goes on and on. Before we know it, it’s been weeks since we actually moved our bodies the way we promised we would. We didn’t plan this, it just happened!

Saturday, October 16, 2010 is International Fitness Day, and it is a great opportunity to learn about fitness and how you and your family can become more physically active. International Fitness Day is the day dedicated to celebrating health and fitness around the world, and to raise money for organizations focused on fighting the growing obesity epidemic – namely the American Diabetes Association and HealthCorps.

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Note: We're excited to announce that we're now working with, the gateway to food safety information provided by government agencies to help provide science based food safety information to consumers. This blog was originally published there on 10/5/10.

By: Diane Van, Manager, USDA's Meat and Poultry Hotline

Has this ever happened to you? You are staring at a package of chicken (or perhaps a beef roast, or a pork tenderloin) wondering what to do with it. Whether you decide to grill, roast, or sauté it, marinating will make whatever you are cooking tastier. And, if you follow a few simple rules, you can make sure that your food is safe as well.

The verb "marinate" means to steep food in a marinade. A marinade is a savory acidic sauce in which a food is soaked to enrich its flavor or to tenderize it. The acid in marinades causes meat and poultry tissue to break down. This has a tenderizing effect. The breaking down of the tissue also causes meat and poultry to hold more liquid, making it juicier.

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By: Matt Thoman   10/7/10
Whether grilled, fried, baked or broiled, Salmon, an oily-fish present in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is one of the most widely consumed species of fish in the world.  As an important source of protein, vitamin D and Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, the numerous health benefits the fish provides, as well as its appealing taste, have positioned it as a staple food in many diets.  As the quantity of salmon available from natural stocks decline, farm-raised fish have become an increasingly important source in supplying the market.  Continued innovation in the production of salmon has led to the creation of a “Genetically Engineered” (GE), fast-growing version of the fish that is able to reach market size (2 kilograms) in around half the time of wild salmon.  If granted final approval from the FDA, GE salmon would become the first commercially available fish of its kind, and would likely open the door for other GE animals to enter the food supply.  Although the FDA recently indicated that the fish is safe for human consumption, it has not been approved yet. Detractors of the decision have raised concerns as to the possible safety risks that they believe the salmon may pose.

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By: Kimberly Reed, Executive Director, IFIC Foundation   Date: 10/5/10

At the invitation of Dr. Connie Weaver, Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Foods and Nutrition at Purdue University, I recently had the honor of teaching one of her classes and meeting with Purdue faculty from the College of Health and Human Sciences. 

As part of my presentation to Dr. Weaver’s class, which was filled with enthusiastic and creative thinkers, I introduced the IFIC Foundation Blog and tips on how to create an effective blog post, as this is a great way to provide helpful, easy-to-read, science-based messages to consumers.   The students submitted a sample blog post (which should be 300-500 words, written in a conversation style, list major points with subheadings or bullets, and use links to other relevant material, as well as pictures or videos).  The IFIC Foundation staff selected the top submission (it was a tough decision, as all were excellent), and we are pleased to feature it below. 

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By: Elizabeth Rahavi, RD   Date: 10/4/10

Calcium builds strong bones…omega-3s help support brain function…fiber helps support digestive function. All of these benefits are good for adults, but they are also important for children too. Indeed, according to the 2009 IFIC Functional Foods/Foods for Health Survey, 83 percent of Americans agree that certain foods or beverages can contribute to healthy growth and development in children. So where’s the rub? Often the awareness is there, but families struggle to find ways to add beneficial components into their families’ diets.

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By: Shelley Feist   Date: 10/1/10

There is a quote attributed to Yogi Berra, “It was impossible to get a conversation going;  everybody was talking too much.”  If you have a cell phone, land line, computer at work, laptop at home, handheld device,  television (or two), and radio, and maybe a house full of kids, well, this quote might actually start to make sense to you.

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