GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A professor with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has been awarded a $499,348 grant to study the effects of blueberries and probiotics on the digestive tract.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded Graciela Lorca, associate professor of microbiology and cell science at UF/IFAS, the grant to examine the interaction between microbes that are found in the intestine and phytophenols in blueberries.
In the study, some research subjects are given a high fat diet and others a modified diet. “A high fat diet is known to cause inflammation in the digestive tract. So, we are excited to see if adding phytophenols to the diet will reduce the inflammation,” Lorca said. “We want to see how the phytophenols affect the immune system and behavior, too.”
The Alaska salmon fishery is touted as one of the best in the world. When measured with an ecological yardstick, it is – fish stocks are healthy and the fishery is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council as consistently meeting rigorous biological standards. Fish are individually counted as they swim upstream to ensure there are enough to breed.
But Alaska salmon falls behind some of the world’s fisheries in how it benefits local fishermen, processing workers and nearby rural communities, according to a new assessment that ranks the vitality of a fishery by looking at its economic and community benefits as well as its ecological health.
“We wanted to develop a new set of metrics to determine how well fisheries management systems work and to test what factors are most effective in improving them,” said James Anderson, professor of Food and Resource Economics and director of the new Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Anderson is a lead author of a paper published May 6 in the journal PLOS ONE, describing the new methodology.
“These new Fishery Performance Indicators (FPIs) are designed to help us evaluate a fishery system’s performance toward achieving economic, community and ecological sustainability – the ‘triple bottom line,'” he said.
Linda Bobroff. Family, Youth and Community Sciences.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Get the latest and greatest information on how to control your cancer risks through a new online UF/IFAS Extension program.
Linda Bobroff, professor of nutrition and health in the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, developed the program, called “Take Control to Reduce Your Cancer Risk,” which went live in April.
“This program was developed to help participants make lifestyle changes that can improve their health and decrease cancer risk,” Bobroff said. “Cancer is one of the major causes of death in the U.S. and worldwide, and many types of cancer are preventable. Tobacco use, improper sun exposure and poor dietary habits contribute significantly to the burden of diabetes, and we address all of these in this program.”
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Diet and exercise can help people lead more effectively, a new University of Florida research project shows.
Chris Mott, a UF doctoral student in agricultural leadership development, investigated how food and lifestyle impact emotional intelligence, an idea that calls for people to manage feelings so they can express them appropriately and effectively.
“We know that prior research separately links the food we eat and exercise (or the lack thereof) with the brain, triggering neurogenesis and affecting moods,” Mott said. “But this study is the first of its kind that ties diet, exercise and emotional intelligence together. Emotional intelligence is about knowing one’s true self and using awareness to best respond and relate to others ─ vital for a trusted and effective leader.”
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Some people are changing their attitudes about the meat industry after taking the popular online course, “The Meat We Eat.”
The course, intended to give the consumer a more educated view of the meat industry, started up again April 20, and so far, about 5,000 people are registered. Chad Carr, a UF/IFAS animal sciences associate professor and meat Extension specialist, hopes that number rises above last year’s enrollment of 20,000 – students from around the world.
Jeong, left, and Folta, right
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida scientist will try to figure out how antibiotic-resistant microorganisms get into cattle. Another will study how to get tomatoes and strawberries to retain their flavors and last longer.
The two vastly different questions will be the focus of separate studies led by UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty members. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has awarded KC Jeong $2.19 million to study the cattle antibiotic question. NIFA also has awarded Kevin Folta and Thomas Colquhoun $500,000 to investigate the strawberry/tomato issue.
UF/IFAS Food Science and Human Nutrition Professor Sue Percival
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Could a mushroom a day help keep the doctor away?
A new University of Florida study shows increased immunity in people who ate a cooked shiitake mushroom every day for four weeks.
Of the thousands of mushroom species globally, about 20 are used for culinary purposes. Shiitake mushrooms are native to Asia and are cultivated for their culinary and medicinal value.
In a 2011 study led by UF Food Science and Human Nutrition Professor Sue Percival, 52 healthy adults, age 21 to 41, came to the Gainesville campus, where researchers gave them a four-week supply of dry shiitake mushrooms. Participants took the mushrooms home, cleaned and cooked them. Then they ate one, 4-ounce serving of mushrooms each day during the experiment.
Through blood tests before and after the experiment, researchers saw better-functioning gamma delta T-cells and reductions in inflammatory proteins.
IMMOKOLEE, Fla. — Adelaida Rodriguez, 34, walked quickly along North 1st Street in Immokalee recently, keeping up with her three sons, ages 8, 6 and 4, as they rode their bikes to Ciclovia Immokalee!, what is becoming a monthly healthy living festival in the small, Southwest Florida town of about 24,000 people.
“I like to go just because it’s a good thing for the family to do,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a good day to do family activities and be outdoors.”
One of the stops she and her sons made was at a booth measuring body mass index to make sure they were all within healthy weight ranges, which they were.
In a town known for poverty and migrant workers, the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is working with local community agencies on Ciclovia Immokalee! to change area families’ health habits, including exercising more and making better choices in the foods they eat. (more …)
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Faculty from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences produce some of the nation’s tastiest fruits and vegetables.
Researchers at UF’s Plant Innovation Center breed new cultivars and conduct research to boost the taste, smell and appearance of Florida fruits, vegetables and foliage. But the PIC does much more, said UF environmental horticulture Professor David Clark.
“The big thing is this: No other university in the country can pull off what we’ve put together here, so we are novel,” Clark said. “We cover the whole supply chain, from the conception of an idea to the realization of a product.”
UF faculty, administrators and friends gathered Monday at the UF president’s house in Gainesville for Flavors of Florida 2015, a premier event showcasing the edible research products of the UF/IFAS Plant Innovation Center. Industry leaders, donors and guests savored the sensations of tasty tomatoes, flavor-filled fruits and other Sunshine State food and drinks while learning more about the impact that UF/IFAS makes for the agriculture industry. This is the second year the event has been held.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Remember that New Year’s resolution to diet and exercise?
You can increase your odds of sticking to your weight-control plan by surrounding yourself with supportive people, setting realistic goals and logging your activities, a University of Florida expert says.
February is American Heart Month, a good time to learn more about cardiovascular diseases and how to stick with a weight-loss program. One in six people who try to fight the fat actually stay with their plans over a sustained period, said Anne Mathews, a UF/IFAS assistant professor in food science and human nutrition and a registered dietician.
But there’s hope.
“Making any changes can be beneficial,” Mathews said. “Making changes can also be difficult. So if you’re thinking about making a change in your health behaviors, some of the things we know will help are to get help from a registered dietitian or a doctor, get help from the people around you ─ asking them to help keep you more active. Keep track of what you’re doing, such as how often you drink water and eat fruits and vegetables. Plan ahead and problem-solve any foreseen challenges such as a change in schedule. And recognize your successes.”