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By: Kimberly Reed, Executive Director, IFIC Foundation   Date: 4/28/11

Today, the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation, along with thousands of other employers across our nation, celebrate and support our children by participating in the annual "Take Your Child to Work Day." 

By bringing your son or daughter (or grandchild or other young person who you mentor) to your place of work, you expand their perspective on life.  They will finally have an understanding of "what mom or dad does every day.". More importantly, you will give them context on how their future professional career will connect to what they are doing in school today.   We also hope "Take Your Child to School Day" will encourage young people to think about careers in communication, education, nutrition, food safety, or science.

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By: Andy Benson   Date: 4/27/11

Here at the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation we are very much aware that today’s food supply is global in nature, with many foods and food ingredients traveling around the world so consumers have access to a wide variety of safe, nutritious and appetizing foods.

So we were delighted to learn that a new food and health communications organization has just opened its doors in Argentina, to provide expert insight to the southern part of our western hemisphere.  

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By: Kris Sollid, RD   Date: 4/25/11

April is National Soyfoods Month, so before we flip the calendar to May, let’s pay homage to one of the world’s most versatile and popular foods. Soybeans originally hail from China, where they’ve been a staple of Asian diets since the 11th Century BC. But, it wasn’t until the 18th Century AD when soybeans were introduced to North America. Today, soy-based foods continue to grow in popularity worldwide as emerging science reveals their many potential positive health benefits.

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By: Kerry Phillips, RD   Date: 4/22/11

Happy Earth Day!  What comes to mind when you think of Earth Day? Is it “green-living” or recycling? How about environmentally-friendly or sustainable food production practices

Interest in where our food comes from, sparked by a desire for more healthful foods, has spawned a newfound appreciation for “local foods.” This topic was the basis for a recent educational webinar, co-hosted by the IFIC Foundation and the Council on Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics (C-FARE), that featured expert insights on the definition of local foods; the nutritional, economic and social tradeoffs of local versus other foods; and consumer insights regarding local foods.  If you missed the webinar, you’re in luck! Here are the key takeaways from the “Low-Down on Local Foods:”

 

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By: Ann Bouchoux   Date: 4/21/11

Man, I am so confused.  You’d think a couple of decades of nutrition science communication would make everything easy to understand, but, nooooo.

Those of us who write about, think about, and read about nutrition are often confused by the eagerness of some folks to jump on the Evil-of-the-Day bandwagon.  We’re confused by  news that a certain food component is going to kill you outright; and those who seem to accept as fact that this one nutrient or behavior, or whatever, is consigning us to poor health and an early grave.  We’re confused because we can’t believe anyone would actually accept such a simplistic view about health—which is a pretty complicated topic.

 

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By: Tony Flood   Date: 4/18/11

Many of you may have likely heard of the recent study that looked at multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus in U.S. meat and poultry.  The study researchers found 47% of the samples tests were contaminated with S. aureus.  The study also indicated that fifty-two percent (52%), were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics.  We spoke to Mike Doyle, PhD of the University of Georgia to see what had to say about this study, Staphylococcus aureus and most importantly food safety.

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By: Robyn Flipse, MS, RD   Date: 4/14/11

What do mushrooms, ground beef and tomato paste have in common besides the makings of a great sauce? All three deliver umami, the term given to the fifth taste. Distinct from the salty, sweet, bitter and sour, umami is described as “meaty” or “savory,” and gets its name from the Japanese word for “delicious.” It may also provide the means to lower the sodium content of American diets, while retaining, and even enhancing, flavor and variety.

 

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By: Elizabeth Rahavi, RD   Date: 4/12/11

As George Bernard Shaw once said, “Youth is wasted on the young.” Health can often be seen in the same vain. However, how we choose to live our lives can have profound impact on how we age. Whether you are in your 20s, 40s, 60s or beyond, eating a balanced diet, not smoking and getting in regular physical activity can all have an impact on how you age.

According to a recent government report Older Americans 2010: Key Indicators of Well-Being, there are an estimated 39 million Americans ages 65 years and older in the United States representing just over 13 percent of the total population. The older population in 2030 is expected to be twice as large as in 2000, growing from 35 million to 72 million and representing nearly 20 percent of the total U.S. population. Where will you be in 2030, starting a family, sending children off to college or caring for your parents, or, perhaps, entering your retirement years?

Regardless of your stage in life you can start aging gracefully today by using this information to help reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve overall well-being, or minimize the effect of a current health concern:

 

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By: Katie Burns   Date: 4/8/11

While it hasn’t always felt like it, Spring officially sprung a few weeks ago on March 20th.  As the seasons change and snow turns to rain and then to flowers, boots turn to sandals, and basketball turns to baseball; there is one thing that should stay consistent: safe food handling.  Read on for some things you can do to keep that spring in your step and avoid letting foodborne illness keep you down:

 

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By Kimberly Reed, Executive Director International Food Information Council Foundation   Date: 4/4/11

Noting the importance of having a collective international resource of food-specific risk communication materials, we are pleased to announce the launch of the International Center of Excellence in Food Risk Communication and the Center’s new website: www.foodriskcommunications.org

The Center provides government officials, health professionals, academicians, food producers, journalists, the public, and others with resources to better communicate and understand concepts, practices, research, and data about food safety, nutrition, and health. 

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By: Lindsey Loving   Date: 4/1/11
 
I spent the last two days attending the FDA Food Advisory Committee Meeting in Silver Spring, MD, where you could feel the tension in the air as scientific experts, advocates, industry, and consumers made their cases on an issue of high importance to the food safety and public health communities. The question at hand: Do food colors cause hyperactivity in children?

The Food Advisory Committee – comprised of 13 experts from fields such as toxicology, environmental health, neuroscience, food science, chemistry, nutrition, and child psychology – was charged with considering the available research on the topic and advising FDA on what action, if any, should be taken to ensure consumer safety. Specifically, they were asked to consider five questions, including whether the existing research supports FDA’s conclusion that a causal relationship between artificial food colors and hyperactivity has not been established, and whether additional labeling such as a warning statement should be required on food and beverage products containing artificial food colors.

 

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