James N. Klapthor

Colorado State University professor Pat Kendall led the charge down the grocery aisle in the March issue of Natural Health magazine with her assessment of maintaining proper nutritional balance when shopping for groceries. The consumer guide article used Kendall’s quotes regarding nutrient loss in fruits and vegetables due to the influence of time and light. Kendall noted water-soluble nutrients like B vitamins and vitamin C are most vulnerable, and foods like broccoli and greens tend to lose more of these nutrients than oranges, apples, and other produce with skins. University of California at Davis professor Barbara Schneeman put into perspective the term “fresh fruit.” “Food goes from the field to the shipper to the retail chain to the grocery store,” she said, “and then you buy it and age it in your refrigerator.” Schneeman’s colleague at UC-Davis, John Bruhn added important safety insight in terms the consumer can understand. When it comes to keeping food safe, the article stated, temperature is most important. “Life begins at 40 degrees,” said Bruhn. He recommended storing perishable foods immediately, and leaving them at room temperature for no longer than two hours. Seafood product specialist Robert Price, also a professor at UC-Davis, advised consumers to freeze fish within a day or two of purchase, noting fish is usually a week old by the time it hits the shelf. Price informed readers that oily fish like salmon keeps for about two months in the freezer, while other varieties keep up to twice as long. Natural Health is published nine times per year and boasts a circulation of more than 300,000.

Salon.com, the San Francisco-based online news outlet, tapped University of California at Davis professor Dean Cliver as an expert source of information in its March 3 electronic article, “Europe’s Livestock Plague.” Cliver, who also serves on the Food and Drug Administration’s transmissible spongiform encephalopathies advisory committee, pulled no punches in his assessment of the foot-and-mouth disease problem in the European Union. “The economic impact of this is going to be horrendous,” Cliver was quoted. “Especially superimposed on the problems . . . of the mad cow thing, this is going to be a big, big blow to the economy in England.” Cliver also responded to discussion of foot-and-mouth, highlighting the dangers of free-trade and open-border agreements such as those employed in the EU. “For the time being, [EU] commerce has gotten ahead of public health,” said Cliver. “This stuff moves around much more quickly than it used to, and some of it is stuff that has infectious disease agents in it.” Salon.com records more than 2.5 million visitors accessing its Web site monthly.

University of Georgia researchers Yao-wen Huang and Kay McWatters got more than a nibble from the press on their latest efforts to use peanuts to create a new consumer snack food. The peanut chips, which are due for critical taste-test reviews at next month’s IFT Annual Meeting and IFT Food Expo, drew the interest of the Associated Press Newswire service March 25, and received national exposure March 26 on CBS Radio’s “Osgood File,” starring Charles Osgood. IFT staff in Chicago heard the story as it aired live, as did IFT members in the Dallas/Fort Worth market, America’s seventh largest market, tuned in to the CBS affiliate there, KRLD-AM 1080, which boasts nearly 46,000 listeners every quarter hour.

Business Week,, with a healthy circulation to one million regular readers, noted in its March 5 issue the recent efforts of University of Georgia professor and IFT Food Science Communicator Michael Doyle to enlist “friendly” Escherichia coli bacteria to fight E. coli O157:H7. In the regular “Developments to Watch” column, author John Carey detailed Doyle’s efforts to isolate the good bugs from the stomachs of cattle and spray them on feed given to other cattle that had received large doses of O157. According to the article, the results were impressive. Said Doyle: “This is the most promising practical approach” to tackling the E. coli O157 problem in animals. The article devoted its space to innovative science as presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco. Doyle’s research garnered the notice of BBC News the previous month.

Newsmakers would like to extend hearty congratulations to Purdue University professor Charles Santerre for his proactive use of the news media in circulating to consumers data from his recent study on farm-raised fish (first noted in March’s IFT Newsmakers column). To date, Santerre’s study, showing only low metal levels in farm-raised catfish, trout, and crayfish, has been noted in the Associated Press and United Press International newswires, Environment News Service, The Detroit News, Indianapolis Star Tribune, Hartford (Conn.) Courant, Pittsburgh PostGazette, The Columbian (Portland, Ore.), Toledo Blade, WBEZFM public radio in Chicago, WPEC-TV CBS in West Palm Beach, Fla., Food Chemical News, and other daily and weekly newspapers and trade publications, reaching hundreds of thousands of readers, viewers, and listeners.

Media Relations Manager

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  1. Food Safety and Defense