University of Florida

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UF/IFAS part of $4.9 million national child obesity study

Topic(s): Agriculture, Families and Consumers, Nutrition, Research
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida students will create obesity prevention programs for their peers and later, for high school students, as part of a $4.9 million federal research and extension grant awarded last week.

University of Tennessee Assistant Professor Sarah Colby will lead the national study, called “Get Fruved,” a phrase that alludes to fruits and vegetables.

“Get Fruved” is a campaign that uses peer interaction to try to get high school and college students to eat more fruits and vegetables, exercise more and manage stress more effectively.

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Florida cooking show debuts Jan. 4 on WUFT-TV, will include UF/IFAS food topics

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Nutrition

chef's table photo1

Gainesville, Fla. —  A new television show that starts Jan. 4 on WUFT Channel 5 will give viewers tasty tidbits about Florida food along with a focus on fresh, sustainable food and native Florida cooking.

Independent videographer Jeff Goertz produces and directs the program, “The Chef’s Table with Randal White,” from his home studio in Ocala, said Sue Wagner, WUFT’s community relations director. Studios for public television station Five WUFT are located on the University of Florida campus. WUFT (digital channel 5.1) can be located on Cox Cable Chanel 3 in Gainesville and Channel 5 in Ocala.

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UF/IFAS study: Confusion surrounds added vs. natural sugar in drinks

Topic(s): Agriculture, Families and Consumers, Nutrition, Research

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Consumers who are more concerned about what types of sugars are in their drinks will likely choose a less-sweetened beverage, although most people don’t know the difference between natural and added sugars, a new University of Florida study shows.

Gail Rampersaud, a UF registered dietitian, and Lisa House, a UF food and resource economics professor ─ both with the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences ─ teamed with other UF researchers to conduct the 60-question online survey, in which people from across the U.S. answered questions about their perceptions about various drinks.

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UF survey: Adults lack basic knowledge on caloric intake

Topic(s): Agriculture, Families and Consumers, Nutrition

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Adults generally don’t know how many calories they should consume daily to maintain their current weight, according to a new University of Florida survey, but that may not be a bad thing.

That’s because knowing one’s calorie needs can be a double-edged sword, said Cassie Rowe, who worked on the survey as a graduate student and is now a study coordinator at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

“On one hand, it may allow people to balance energy intake with physical activity to manage their weight,” Rowe said. “On the other hand, I think most Americans get bogged down by the numbers. In this respect, knowing your calorie needs may lead to unnecessary stress surrounding counting calories.”

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New UF-developed strawberry varieties are bred with a focus on flavor

Topic(s): Agriculture, Crops, Cultivars, IFAS, Nutrition, RECs, Research

Vance Whitaker

Click here or image above for video about UF/IFAS’ strawberry breeding program.

Vance Whitaker

For high-resolution version of above photo, click here. Caption below.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With the time for Florida growers to plant strawberries right around the corner, it won’t be long before Florida-grown strawberries appear in grocery aisles.

And for some of the best-tasting strawberries on the market according to multiple taste panels and tests, shoppers can simply look for those grown in the Sunshine State, thanks to work by the University of Florida.

Researchers with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have continued to improve the quality and flavor of Florida-grown strawberries, as evident in their latest releases of the cultivars Winterstar and Florida Sensation.

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Local food makes up 20 percent of Florida’s eat-at-home market, UF study shows

Topic(s): Agriculture, Crops, Economics, Families and Consumers, IFAS, Nutrition, Research


Baskets of okra offered for sale at a farmers’ market. UF/IFAS photo by Tyler L. Jones

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Floridians are buying more food grown locally or regionally and retail sales are higher here than in other states, according to a University of Florida study.

It showed local food represents about 20 percent of all Florida food purchased for at-home consumption, except restaurant take-out food, said Alan Hodges, an Extension scientist with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The study was based on a statewide consumer survey. Prior estimates from other states had local food accounting for about 5 percent of all food sales, he said.

“We are doing relatively better in Florida, in moving toward food self-sufficiency,” Hodges said. “I can only attribute that to the favorable year-round growing conditions we have for fruits and vegetables.”

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UF researchers share expertise at prestigious AAAS meeting in Boston

Topic(s): New Technology, Nutrition, Research

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two University of Florida scientists will share their research on a natural way to sweeten foods with colleagues and journalists at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting this week in Boston.

Harry Klee, of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and Linda Bartoshuk, of UF’s College of Dentistry, have been asked to meet with journalists Thursday morning.

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UF/IFAS Family Day at the Dairy Farm returns March 16, public invited

Topic(s): Agriculture, Economics, Families and Consumers, Food Safety, IFAS, Livestock, New Technology, Nutrition, Research


Cutline at bottom. Click here for high-res image.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Last year’s open house at the University of Florida dairy farm was so successful that organizers were “moo-tivated” to repeat the event, which returns to Alachua County on Saturday, March 16.

Free and open to the public, Family Day at the Dairy Farm takes place 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Hague, 20 minutes northwest of Gainesville just off U.S. Highway 441. For directions, see http://tinyurl.com/d3a5626.

Visitors can watch cows being milked, pet calves, walk through free-stall barns, make butter, see farming equipment and learn how UF research helps keep dairy cows happy, healthy and productive. There will even be free samples of dairy products, a giant cow statue to admire, and a hayride to transport visitors to and from the parking area.

Local actor Houston Wells will reprise his role as President Abraham Lincoln, greeting visitors and posing for photos. It will be one of his final appearances commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, a bill Lincoln signed in 1862 to establish the land-grant university system. UF is the state’s flagship land-grant university.

Organizers hope to exceed last year’s attendance, which was about 800 people, said dairy Extension specialist Albert De Vries, an associate professor with UF’s animal sciences department.

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UF scientists identify natural compounds that enhance humans’ perception of sweetness

Topic(s): New Technology, Nutrition, Research
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida taste scientist Linda Bartoshuk and her colleagues want to play a trick on you — but it’s for your own good.

The UF team has identified a group of naturally occurring compounds that enhance the way people perceive sweetness, and believe that those compounds can be used to make foods taste sweeter using far less sugar and no artificial sweetener.

The group, which includes eminent scholar Harry Klee and professors David Clark and Charles Sims, all of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, has collaborated for several years on flavor- and aroma-related research studies. Bartoshuk is a professor with UF’s Center for Smell and Taste, part of the UF College of Dentistry.

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UF/IFAS team wins NIFA Partnership Award for innovative graduate course

Topic(s): Extension, Honors and Appointments, Nutrition

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two faculty members with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have won a prestigious U.S. Department of Agriculture award for their work creating a graduate-level course that combines the three-part mission of land-grant universities: Extension, teaching and research.

Karla Shelnutt, an Extension nutrition specialist and assistant professor in family, youth and community sciences, and Gail Kauwell, a professor in food science and human nutrition, will accept the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Partnership Award for Innovative Programs and Projects Oct. 11 in Washington, D.C.

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