Farm to School Grants Help Schools get Healthy Local Food, Strengthen Local Economies.
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 2, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced more than $5 million in grants for 82 projects spanning 42 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands that support the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) efforts to connect school cafeterias with local farmers and ranchers through its Farm to School Program. The program helps schools purchase more food from local farmers and ranchers in their communities, expanding access to healthy local food for school children and supporting local economies. According to USDA's first-ever Farm to School Census released earlier this year, school districts participating in farm to school programs purchased and served over $385 million in local food in school year 2011-2012, with more than half of participating schools planning to increase their purchases of local food in the future.
"USDA is proud to support communities across the country as they plan and implement innovative farm to school projects," said Vilsack. "These inspiring collaborations provide students with healthy, fresh food, while supporting healthy local economies. Through farm to school projects, community partners are coming together to ensure a bright future for students, and for local farmers and ranchers."
Innovation in the additives and ingredients industry plays a key role in the development of successful new and reformulated products, so it is important to understand the main product trends driving ingredient choice. Key trends are health and natural/clean label – how can you meet these with the right ingredient choice, and how do you reformulate whilst keeping product taste, quality and shelf life?
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Background: For the evaluation of both the adequacy of intakes and the risk of excessive intakes of micronutrients, all potential sources should be included. In addition to micronutrients naturally present in foods, micronutrients can also be derived from fortified foods and dietary supplements. In the estimation of the habitual intake, this may cause specific challenges such as multimodal distributions and heterogeneous variances between the sources.
Objective: We present the Statistical Program to Assess Dietary Exposure (SPADE) that was developed to cope with these challenges in one single program.
Method: Similar to other methods, SPADE can model habitual intake of daily and episodically consumed dietary components. In addition, SPADE has the option to model habitual intake from dietary supplements. Moreover, SPADE offers models to estimate habitual intake distributions from different sources (e.g., foods and dietary supplements) separately and adds these habitual intakes to get the overall habitual intake distribution. The habitual intake distribution is modeled as a function of age, and this distribution can directly be compared with cutoff values to estimate the proportion above or below. Uncertainty in the habitual intake distribution and in the proportion below or above a cutoff value is quantified with ready-for-use bootstrap and provides 95% CIs.
STRATEGY AND VISION FOR FAO'S WORK IN NUTRITION
The Strategy and vision for FAO’s work in nutrition has been prepared in response to the Evaluation of FAO’s role and work in nutrition carried out in 2011. The Strategy was developed through an approach endorsed by the Council,1 involving a series of internal workshops with a Strategy Development Team of technical staff from across divisions;
an Internal Task Team, being a more extensive group of FAO staff that was consistently advised and consulted on the process; as well as senior management and key partners, including members of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), United Nations partner agencies, non-governmental organizations
and, through informal consultations, a number of Member States reflecting all regions.
The purpose of the Strategy is to reposition and prioritize FAO’s work in nutrition and to assert its leadership role in bringing stakeholders together, in generating and communicating knowledge to build political commitment and guide actions, and in strengthening capacities of governments and other implementing partners to act effectively.
Development of the Strategy was coordinated with the Strategic Thinking Process, launched by the FAO Director-General in January 2012 to determine the future strategic direction and priorities of the Organization.
The Strategy has been formulated to directly contribute to the achievement of FAO’s proposed Strategic Objective 1 “eradicate hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition”, although FAO’s work in nutrition will also contribute to achieving all its Strategic Objectives.2
The Strategy sets out FAO’s vision and role in nutrition, taking a people-centred approach and applying four key principles to contribute to three outcomes designed to be linked to FAO’s Strategic Objectives. Five criteria for prioritizing FAO’s work in nutrition are applied in considering the implications for implementation of the Strategy.
Key considerations for implementation concern building meaningful partnerships, mobilizing resources and applying them where FAO can have greatest impact.
Contact: FNS Communications: (703) 305-2281
WASHINGTON, November 14, 2014 ?C Complementary programs that extend the reach of the U.S. Department of Agriculture??s (USDA) summer meal programs could help reduce childhood food insecurity during the summer, according to three studies released today by USDA??s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The studies found that making enhancements to the traditional program, or utilizing alternate methods of reaching eligible children, could reach additional children and reduce childhood food insecurity during the summer to levels normally seen in the fall.
As part of USDA??s mission to address increased child hunger during the summer, USDA has conducted a series of projects examining ways to better serve children from low-income families, particularly those living in remote areas or areas otherwise underserved by USDA??s summer meal programs. The interventions tested included delivery of meals in rural areas, providing backpacks with food for weekends and holidays when summer meal sites were not available, and providing summertime nutrition assistance benefits through electronic benefit transfer (EBT).? The studies found that some of these innovative strategies were effective in reaching additional children, and some substantially reduced childhood hunger in low-income families.
The Department of Health (DH), through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and its NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCRI) has recognised the need to develop a national interdisciplinary research strategy to bring coherence to existing activities in the UK looking at nutrition and cancer and provide a coordinated framework as a basis for future translational research.
The Southampton BRC has been tasked with carrying out a mapping exercise to capture the existing work. We are seeking to bring together relevant and interested parties to start to consider how different aspects of the current work in nutrition and cancer might better inform each other to help determine complementarities, and define opportunities for collaborative working.
From raw ingredients to foodsWhile some foods can be eaten raw (like most fruits and some vegetables), most foods need to be processed in some way to ensure safety and digestibility, and to improve colour, flavour or texture, to meet consumer expectations. The most basic definition of food processing is “a variety of operations by which raw foodstuffs are made suitable for consumption, cooking, or storage”. Hence, you could consider washing, peeling, slicing, juicing, and removing inedible parts, to be forms of processing. Legislation defines “food processing” as actions that substantially change the initial product, including heating, smoking, curing, maturing, drying, marinating, extraction, extrusion.1 How does food processing affect nutritional value?Simple procedures like washing, cutting and packaging of fresh vegetables have little effect on their nutritional quality. Heating and boiling can reduce vitamin content (particularly water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C, for example up to 40% of vitamin C can be lost from boiling peeled potatoes2), which varies with heating time and temperature. The process of blanching or boiling vegetables for a few minutes, followed by freezing, drying or canning, retains vitamins and minerals. Refined grains like white pasta, rice and bread, contain a lower amount of fibre and of vitamins and minerals than their whole grain counterparts; unless these are added back after milling (by the process of enrichment). In other cases, processing can release nutrients and make them more readily available for our bodies to use.
Whether shopping at a chain grocery store, a fish market, or a neighbourhood butcher, Canadians want to know the food they purchase for themselves or their families is safe, and they want to be able to make informed decisions about healthy eating.
Under the Minister of Health, the Government of Canada has brought together under one portfolio the three organizations that are responsible for meeting these expectations:
Health Canada develops food safety and nutrition standards and policies, assesses food safety risks, and promotes healthy eating through initiatives like Canada's Food Guide..
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, guided by the Government's Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan, verifies that industry is meeting federal food safety and regulatory requirements, and sets standards to detect and prevent risks to Canada's food supply..
The Public Health Agency of Canada conducts food-related illness surveillance and outbreak investigations, and provides advice to Canadians on how to protect themselves during an outbreak..
Aligning these three federal organizations under one minister ensures clear focus, strong partnerships and timely communication.
The Healthy and Safe Food for Canadians Framework illustrates how the Government is working to promote healthy and safe food choices to consumers, prevent food safety risks, and protect Canadians when unsafe products enter the marketplace.
Helping consumers make informed choices for healthy and safe food
Canada's Food Guide – Canada's Food Guide is the most trusted source of nutrition information in Canada. Available in 12 languages, the Guide translates the science of nutrition and health into practical healthy eating advice so families can make healthy choices at home, at the grocery store, and when eating out.
Safe food handling guidance – There are approximately 4 million cases of food-related illnesses in Canada every year. Many could be prevented by following four food handling practices – clean, separate, cook and chill.
Both Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are responsible for food labelling in Canada.
In this section you will learn how to read a food label, and receive information on certain parts of the label, including best before dates and country of origin labelling. For more detailed information on the Nutrition Facts table, ingredient list, and nutrition claims, visit the Healthy Canadians website.
Interactive tool - Understanding a Food Label
The food label is one of the most important tools Canadian Consumers can use to make informed choices about healthy and safe foods.
Interactive tool - Food Label Requirements
This interactive image of a food product label depicts the mandatory information and requirements for certain voluntary information such as claims and brand names.
The proportion of elderly people in Europe is currently around 20% and this is predicted to increase to 25% by 2020. The most dramatic demographic changes are in the oldest age group (80 years and over). A number of factors, including nutrition, have contributed to this increase in life expectancy. This global phenomenon has spiked renewed interest in the ageing process amongst researchers, policy makers and industry alike..
At a November, 2004 European Commission Workshop, scientists shared progress reports on research related to nutrition and ageing in order to draw lessons for health care and identify priorities for the future. Nutrition and ageing was a priority in the European Union??s Fifth Framework Programme that funded ten research projects on this area. Among them, some of the topics addressed were: diet and prevention of Alzheimer??s diseases (LIPIDIET); functional foods for the older population (CROWNALIFE) or vitamin D and bone health (OPTIFORD). The focus of this article is on Vitamin D and bone health and the goal of the OPTIFORD Project.
The sheer fact that the population is living longer is fueling the prevalence of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. This leads to increased bone fragility and risk of fracture, particularly of the hip, spine and wrist. Among an ageing population, several factors contribute to the risk of osteoporosis including poor-quality diets, an inability to fully adapt to low calcium intakes, low physical activity and exposure to sunlight, and low levels or a lack of female and male sex hormones. Although osteoporosis is less common in men than in women, men can be at high risk for this disease. A consequence of this is that men are often unaware of the preventative measures they can take to protect themselves against the disease. While inadequate calcium in the diet is a known dietary factor in the development of osteoporosis, chronic Vitamin D deficiency also plays a role. With an insufficient supply of Vitamin D the body??s capacity to utilize calcium is compromised ?C thereby contributing to the development of osteoporosis.
Consumer survey of UK kitchens reveals poor food safety perceptions and behaviour in older people
Research conducted by the University of Hertfordshire, UK, and commissioned by the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA), investigated what happens in household kitchens to assess food safety risks in domestic environments. The study revealed that food safety was not a priority for most households and in some cases，knowledge took precedence over expert advice.
Insights into the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in certain ready-to-eat foods
The European Food Safety Authority recently published the findings from a European Union(EU) survey on the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in certain ready-to-eat foods, i.e. fish (hot smoked, cold smoked or gravad fish), packaged heat-treated meat products and soft and semi-soft cheeses. Overall, the proportion of samples exceeding the legislative limit for Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods was low. However, considering the popularity of these foods and the severe implications that infection with Listeria monocytogenes can have on health, vigilance is required by everyone in the food chain...
In response to The Relationship of Sugar to Population-Level Diabetes Prevalence: An Econometric Analysis of Repeated Cross-Sectional Data, a correlation study appearing in the February issue of the journal PLoS ONE, the American Beverage Association issued the following statement:
This study does not show C or even attempt to show C that consuming sugar causes diabetes. In fact, its most robust finding confirms the well-established relationship between obesity and diabetes risk. Importantly, however, the studys conclusions on sugar and diabetes should be viewed cautiously given that the underlying model failed to consider the potential impact of solid fats C such as butter, cheese and lard C or factor for family history.
As advised in the last newsletter, Associate Professor Lynn Riddell, from Deakin University.
Lynn will be taking over from Professor Vicki Flood as chair of the nutritionist registration
committee for a two year period through 2015-16.
We currently have 337 members who are registered as a nutritionist, in one of the following
categories: Associate Nutritionist (ANutr), Registered Nutritionist (RNutr), Registered
Animal Nutritionist (RANutr) or Registered Public Health Nutritionist (RPHNutr).
The Committee evaluates each application to NSA to determine eligibility of NSA members
for registration as a nutritionist. The Committee meets quarterly via teleconference,
examining each application in relation to eligibility criteria ratified by Council.
Researchers speculate that the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish may help maintain good blood flow to the inner ear.
Are you finding it tougher to follow conversations in a noisy restaurant? Or does it seem like people are mumbling when you speak with them?
These are two questions commonly used to screen for hearing loss, which affects more than one-third of people over age 65, according to the National Institutes of Health.
So, what to do to cut the risk
Women who eat fish regularly have a lower risk of developing hearing loss compared to women who rarely or never eat fish, according to a study published Wednesday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Women who ate two or more servings of fish per week had a 20 percent lower risk of hearing loss, according to Dr. Sharon Curhan, a researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital and co-author of the study.
And though she and her colleagues had a hunch that certain types of fish may be more protective than others, it didn't turn out that way. "Eating any type of fish whether it's tuna, dark fish [like salmon] or light fish was a associated with a lower risk," Curhan told Shots.
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish are linked to a range of health benefits, including cutting the risk of heart disease, depression and possibly, memory loss.
Review of The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, by Nina Teicholz, Simon & Schuster, 2014, 496 pages, $17.95, ISBN 1451624425
In her outstanding book The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, investigative journalist Nina Teicholz reveals everything we thought we knew about dietary fat is wrong. She documents extensively how the low-fat nutrition advice of the past 60 years has amounted to a vast uncontrolled experiment on our nation??s entire population, with disastrous consequences for our health.
For decades, we have been told the best possible diet involves cutting back on fat, especially saturated fat, and that if we are not getting healthier or thinner it must be because we are not trying hard enough. In fact there is now undeniable proof the low-fat diet is itself the problem and the very foods we have been denying ourselves, including butter, eggs, milk, and meat, are the key to reversing the virtual epidemic of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.