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Food Insight Blog

Shedding light on the science behind nutrition and food safety.

By: Kimberly Reed, Executive Director, International Food Information Council Foundation Date: 7/29/11

As an update to my blog post from May 17 – “Remember the People”: Update from the 2011 World Health Assembly – the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation has been extremely engaged with global stakeholders on the topic of noncommunicable disease (NCD) prevention and control over the past few months.

What are “NCDs”? This is a term that you will be hearing more and more about and it is very likely that you already know someone who has an NCD. In a nutshell, NCDs include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers, and chronic respiratory diseases and, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), cause 60% of all deaths globally, with more than 80% occurring in developing countries. WHO attributes NCDs to poor diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and harmful use of alcohol.

 

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By: Emily Chin Date: 7/27/11

In Los Angeles, CA, the threat of the “Freshman 15” is scarier than failing out of CHEM 105A or contracting mono. Originally from Northern California, I had little concept of this hidden danger when I packed up my belonging and moved to Southern California. Even before beginning my studies, I joined the USC Men’s Crew team as a coxswain (read: small person that sits in the back of a boat and steers), based purely on my stature. My weight was a factor in my team’s competitiveness. Talk about pressure! Compounded with the 20-hour-a-day cafeteria hours, virtually unlimited “dining dollars”, as well as the occasional illicit beer, I quickly discovered that the “Freshman 15” can easily creep up on you – one moment my jeans are just a little snug; the next month, the waistband leaves a perfect impression on my belly; 3 weeks later, I’m afraid the elastic in my socks is going to cut off the circulation to my feet.

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By: Matt Demsky Date: 7/25/11

College is a time of freedom. It presents the opportunity to receive an education, to meet new people, and, for many, to live away from home for the first time. For the first time, incoming freshmen are able to choose what to eat for every single meal… every day… all semester. Enter the words “Freshman 15”, a term that has developed into a modern-day ubiquity. As I prepare to enter my junior year at James Madison University, allow me to bestow my weight-conscious wisdom upon you.
 

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By: Emily Chin Date: 7/21/11

And you thought you were just going out for enchiladas.

Where did pizza come from? And pad thai? How about fish and chips or sushi? Take a stroll down the main boulevard of any metropolitan area, and you’re likely to encounter a veritable bevy of cuisine offerings. These restaurants are not just means of conveying calories to our bodies, they can mean so much more: a meeting place; a home to treasured memories; a chance to taste home when away from home; and, for some countries, a carefully planned and executed exportation of culture as a means of food diplomacy.
 

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By: Jania Matthews & Carrie Dooher Date: 7/18/10

The IFIC Foundation will host a webcast for health professionals to provide key findings from the IFIC Foundation 2011 Food & Health Survey: Consumers Attitudes Toward Food Safety, Nutrition & Health. 

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This blog was originally published on Foodsafety.gov, the gateway to food safety information provided by government agencies to help provide science based food safety information to consumers on 6/14/11

By: Howard Seltzer, FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and Diane Van, Manager, USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline

Summer brings out barbecue grills—and bacteria, which multiply in food faster in warm weather and can cause food poisoning (also known as foodborne illness). Following a few simple guidelines can prevent an unpleasant experience.

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By: Catherine Metzgar, Dietetic Intern, Penn State University Date: 7/13/11

With the release of MyPlate, you may have noticed that dietary fats have been left off of the plate. Rest assured, this does not mean you need to eliminate fat from your diet. In fact, like carbohydrate and protein, fat is a crucial component of an overall healthful diet. Not only do fats provide energy for the body, but they are also a source of essential fatty acids, help keep our skin healthy and aid many vital bodily functions.

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By: Emily Chin, Intern, University of Southern California Date: 7/11/11
Catherine Metzger, Dietetic Intern, Penn State University
Kay Sisk, Dietetic Intern, Case Western Reserve University

Friday, June 3rd marked opening day for the 16th Annual USDA Farmers Market in Washington, DC. The market, held every Friday through November 18th, features locally grown produce, herbs, baked goods, and other products from farmers and vendors in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. The market also hosts live music and special guests throughout the season, and a cooking demonstration that takes place on the first Friday of each month.

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By: Eric Hallerman, PhD Date: 7/7/11

Animals long have been selectively bred for agriculture, leading to dramatic improvement in growth rate, milk or egg yield, and other productivity-related traits. With advances in gene transfer techniques comes the prospect of producing animals with improved nutrition, safety and quality, made possible through biotechnology, or genetic engineering. Genetic engineering is the use of recombinant DNA techniques to insert DNA from one plant, animal, or microorganism into another. Genetic engineering may be used to enhance food production or quality (e.g., faster growth, improved disease resistance); to produce pharmaceutical products for therapeutic use; to enhance human interaction with animals (e.g., new color varieties of aquarium fish); to develop animal models for biomedical research; or to produce industrial or consumer products (e.g., fibers for multiple uses).

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2011 is officially half over and like many people, here at the International Food Information Council Foundation, we made New Year's Resolutions. Unlike most people, we shared ours here on our Food Insight blog. So how are we doing on those resolutions? Here's a mid-year update:

 

 

 

 

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By: Katie Burns   Date: 6/30/11

Fruits and vegetables have always been praised as being healthful foods that are “good for you.” It’s easy to list all of the great things about them from natural sources of vitamins and nutrients to helping to manage one’s weight to tasting delicious!  Fruits and Vegetables got special attention in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and have a prominent place on the new MyPlate icon, encouraging Americans to eat more.  The entire month of June has been dedicated as National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month!    Unfortunately, there has been some recent news coverage (E. coli outbreak in Europe) that may scare people away from eating certain fruits and vegetables.  Read on to better understand what this means and reasons why you can continue to eat your favorite fruits and vegetables!

 

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By: Tony Flood   Date: 6/28/11

According to the 2011 IFIC Foundation Food & Health Survey, the percentage of people following general safe food handling practices is high, yet on the decline.  Even the simplest forms of safe food handling such as “washing hands with soap and water”, “cook to required safe internal temperatures” and even “properly storing leftovers within 2 hours” have been dropping in recent years.  This lets us and other fanatics of food safety know that there is definitely room for improvement on these and other safe food handling practices.

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By: Kimberly Reed, Executive Director, IFIC Foundation   Date: 6/27/11

On a recent visit to Chicago, I visited with Jeffrey Klein, the new President and CEO of the Global FoodBanking Network (GFN), and some key GFN staff on the important role of nutrition and food safety at food banks.  GFN is an international organization dedicated to creating and strengthening food banks and national food bank networks around the globe. They currently work with food bank systems in 15 countries.

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By: Kay Sisk, Graduate Student and Dietetic Intern, Case Western Reserve University   Date: 6/24/11

Last week, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) held its Annual Meeting and Food Expo in New Orleans, LA.  Over the course of four days, from June 11-14, 2011, between 13,000 and 15,000 food science professionals, researchers and educators from the U.S. and around the world came together to learn about the latest developments in food science, ingredient technology, and the newest products and trends.  I had the privilege of joining the IFIC team as an intern at this year’s Annual Meeting and Expo and would like to share some highlights from my experience.

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By: Robyn Flipse, MS, RD Date: 6/22/11

The new Choose My Plate icon released on June 2, 2011 by the USDA/HHS was developed to replace the food pyramid in order to make it easier for consumers to both visualize and apply the recommendations in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). The simplicity of filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables may signal a true turning point in the quality American diets if adapted.  

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By: Katie Burns   Date: 6/20/11

It’s been a week since I left the heat and humidity of Washington, D.C. and headed to the heat and humidity of New Orleans, LA for the 2011 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting.  Perhaps you read my colleague’s blog, “The Latest Buzz about IFT 2011,” and are curious to hear how the various sessions went, or perhaps you were at the IFT meeting but didn’t get a chance to attend all of the sessions you wanted given the jam-packed schedule, or perhaps you weren’t there but have a curiosity nonetheless… Regardless, I’m going to let you in on some of the highlights and my key takeaways of this exciting meeting!

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By: Jania Matthews   Date: 6/17/11

The BlogHer Food conference is long gone, yet I can reflect on the experience and agree with other attendees that the conference proved to be a positive and enlightening experience. The topics discussed and the networking opportunities were top notch.  The conference was a great way to engage with bloggers who have diverse and interesting perspectives as it relates to food. 

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By: Catherine Metzgar, Dietetic Intern, Penn State University Date: 6/15/11


Bloated? Gassy? Constipated?  

Ever wonder if these and other digestive woes could be related to what you eat? The food choices we make each day impact the way our digestive system works. Some foods and beverages such as fruits, vegetables, fiber-rich grains and certain yogurts can even benefit your digestive system and help “quiet the storm” below. Read on for other tips and strategies to make smart dietary choices and settle your tummy troubles.

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By: Kris Sollid, RD and Catherine Metzgar, Dietetic Intern, Penn State University Date: 6/13/11

Quick, what’s the first food that comes to mind when you hear the word potassium? Like me, you probably thought of bananas, right?

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By: Anthony Flood Date: 6/10/11

From the opening session, to the annual awards ceremony, to guest keynote speakers and notable lecturers - Michael Specter, author of “Denialism”, Regina Benjamin, MD – Surgeon General of the US – to new products showcased from over hundreds of product developers, to updates on the latest developments in food science - the city of New Orleans welcomes the 2011 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting!  The city will be bustling with over 20,000 attendees from as far away as CA, Canada, Mexico, Korea and of course Washington DC.

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