Sunday, September 15, 2013

Food news from campuses on the campaign trail

For the past two weeks, I've been featuring "the research stories from the public universities in each of the states having elections for federal or state office this year plus stories from all research universities in major cities having municipal elections" on the Saturday editions of Overnight News Digest.  As a result, I have lots of stories on topic for this blog.  I've already featured some of them in Sports news for a football Saturday, The science of lying from LSU and Discovery News, Friday the 13th research a bit late, More on Friday the 13th from Rutgers, and Floods in Colorado from ABC News and University of Colorado.  Now it's time to start sharing the rest in theme posts.

Tonight's theme is food, and I begin with two videos from Rutgers Today on YouTube.

First, The Science Behind Candy.

If you think you like candy or ice cream just because they're sweet, you're missing the science behind the treats. Rutgers food science professors Richard Ludescher and Beverly Tepper say we're drawn to more than just the sweet taste. Flavor and especially texture influence our likes and dislikes as well. We also checked in with Rutgers alums and owners of Thomas Sweet Ice Cream and Chocolate, Michael and Jennifer Schnur, to talk about the role science plays in their business.
Next, The Great Tomato Tasting.

If you love tomatoes, heaven is located in New Jersey at least one day a year. Each summer Rutgers hosts the Great Tomato Tasting at Snyder Research Farm. Visitors feast on more than 80 varieties of heirloom and hybrid tomatoes with unique names such as "Snow White," "Green Doctors," "Dad's Sunset" and "Power Pops." Tasters also get to sample apples, peaches, basil and honey.
Finally, New York University describes how Steinhardt's Bentley developes TED Studies curriculum on "sustainable consumption" for Western diet.
Half of all Americans consider environmental impacts when deciding whether or not to buy a product, according to a survey released this summer by Yale and George Mason universities.

But we show greater dedication to a method of food consumption that runs afoul of the best sustainability practices: the Standard American, or Western, Diet.

“Westerners are eating enormous quantities of sugar, beef, chicken, wheat and dairy products, and washing it all down with an amazing array of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages,” writes NYU Steinhardt’s Amy Bentley, an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health. “Americans in particular consume over twice the amount of solid fats and added sugars recommended for daily intake, and they consume far fewer fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains than those who lived in earlier eras—and less than experts recommend for optimal health.”
Here's to our diet being both more nutritious and more sustainable.

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