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News stories tagged with "nutrition"

Preview: Food Day Youth Summit in Potsdam

High school students and staff from around the region are invited to attend GardenShare's Youth Summit on October 24th at SUNY Potsdam. It's National Food Day, and organizers want young people, and their mentors, to explore issues like healthy eating, sustainable farming and junk food. GardenShare executive director Phil Harnden spoke with Todd Moe. He says the event is free and there's financial aid for schools to help offset the costs of transportation.  Go to full article
Carrots and tomatoes are favorite veggies for this group of young gardeners.
Carrots and tomatoes are favorite veggies for this group of young gardeners.

Crazy for school food from the backyard

The end of the growing season hasn't dampened excitement about a school garden project in Canton. Students and teachers at Canton Central School will celebrate the produce from their school garden and local farms with a series of meals and programs this season. Five schools in St. Lawrence County will take part in the state's "Farm to You Fest", an event highlighting local food in schools.

Ingredients for today's lunch will be taken from a garden plot behind the high school and donated by local growers. Next week, the school will celebrate its first "Harvest Festival". Elementary classes will take part in food-themed relay races and taste tests, while high school students will help younger students learn about the health benefits of eating locally grown food.

Todd Moe stopped by this week and found second and third graders enjoying the harvest as much as they did planting seeds last spring.  Go to full article
Tender seedlings may need water.
Tender seedlings may need water.

TLC for the young garden

It's a challenging year, no doubt about it, for gardeners and commercial growers -- and the plants they're tending. There may be too much water in some places, but not enough in others, after a series of dry, sunny and windy days, and a couple of nights in the 30s. Cornell Cooperative extension horticulturist Amy Ivy has some reminders about garden TLC in her weekly chat with Martha Foley.
And they preview workshops on using local food, homegrown or not, starting next week in Sacket's Harbor, Canton and Plattsburgh.  Go to full article

Article provokes anti-cheese firestorm

A cool glass of milk is an American icon of health. But a New York Times article over the weekend casts milk's dairy cousin, cheese, as a poster child of artery-clogging, obesity-inducing fast food.

The article details the efforts of a USDA-sponsored marketing agency called Dairy Management to get people to eat more cheese. Among its projects is a partnership with Domino's to put 40% more cheese on its pizzas. That effort included a $12 million advertising campaign, paid for by Dairy Marketing.
Meanwhile, the USDA itself says cheese is the largest source of cholesterol-causing saturated fat in the American diet.

The Times article set off a flurry of blog posts and opinion pieces with outraged titles like "Strap on Your Feedbags" and "Cheese Industrial Complex." Some commentators called for the new Congress to axe the program as a symbol of excessive government spending.

Reaction in the dairy industry has been muted. But Beth Meyer of the American Dairy Association emphasizes a fact that appears halfway through the article. Dairy farmers - not taxpayers - foot most of the $140 million a year bill to fund Dairy Management as a part of their monthly milk check.

"It's 15 cents per hundredweight," Meyer says. "Ten cents of that money stays local for organizations such as ours, based in Syracuse, NY, so of that goes nationally. So it's really a program of dairy farmers supporting promotion of their own product, which obviously makes a lot of sense."

Still, Dairy Management did get more than $5 million through the USDA last year to promote sales overseas.

Dairy Management is credited with helping to slow the decline of milk drinking with its popular "Got Milk?" campaign.

Meyer says she doesn't think the criticism of the program will hurt North Country farmers. She says there's a place for cheese in moderate eating. "Cheeses are an excellent source of calcium," Meyer says. "They're a nutrient dense food, and we talk about fitting foods into the daily diet, so we think this continues to be a strong program for the dairy farmers in northern New York and certainly throughout our marketing area."

Dairy Management's efforts raise thorny questions about the balance between supporting farms and promoting good nutrition. Local agriculture groups across the North Country encourage farmers to sell so-called "value added" products like cheeses, maple candies, or jellies and jams. Many of them are high in calories.

David Sommerstein put the issue to Bernadette Logozar, local food specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension.  Go to full article
Potsdam elementary students tend to a bed of lettuce...
Potsdam elementary students tend to a bed of lettuce...

Back to reading and weeding

When school resumes next week, some North Country students will return to the classroom and the garden. Since last spring, students, faculty and parents have tilled, planted and tended to vegetable gardens from Cape Vincent to Keene Valley. The result is edible schoolyards. In many schools, gardens are being integrated into the educational curriculum to teach children not only about plants and nature, but other subjects as well. School leaders say gardens can teach children about economics, poetry, math and science studies. In Potsdam, the result has been more than just a pretty garden patch in the school's courtyard. Fresh, school-grown veggies are being served at lunch. Todd Moe has more.  Go to full article

Government revising diet guidelines as obesity rises

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the obesity epidemic in America continues to get worse. In nine states - all in the South or Midwest - a third of the population is obese. Not a single state had a rate of adult obesity below 15 percent, the goal set by federal government's Healthy People program.

The Northeast is slimmer than other parts of the country. But, still, a quarter of all New Yorkers are obese.

Jeffrey Levi of the Trust for America's Health calls obesity "one of the biggest public health challenges the country has ever faced."

Some people say the government is partly to blame for America's obesity problem - because of the federal dietary guidelines. Julie Grant reports on efforts to improve how the government offers nutritional advice.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Nutrition in Vegetables

Did you know the green ends of the cabbage leaf has twenty times the vitamin E of the whiter stem end, or that tomato varieties vary 3-fold in the the amount of vitamin C they contain? Martha Foley talks with Dr. Curt about how to maximize the nutritional value of the vegetables you eat.  Go to full article

Calcium Weighs In

The Jefferson County town of Calcium celebrated the dietary benefits of milk, cheese, and yogurt yesterday as a part of the national "Got Milk?" dairy campaign. About 150 people in the Watertown area spent 4 months on a high dairy, low calorie diet and lost an average of 14 pounds each. The diet was based on research by Dr. James Hill of the University of Colorado School of Nutrition, who found eating more calcium causes the body to burn more fat. David Sommerstein talked with participant Tony Bova.  Go to full article

Farm-to-School: Improving Farm Income and School Lunches

Cornell Cooperative Extension officials in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence county say the time is ripe to start serving more North Country-grown produce in local schools. Cooperative Extension started its first farm-to-school pilot programs last summer in Canton, Massena and at SUNY-Potsdam. The aim this year is to get more farmers and schools involved. Request program information. Todd Moe reports.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Fruits and Vegetables

Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager talk about how we classify foods. Hear Curt assert the nonexistence of vegetables.  Go to full article

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