Read the full article from the Washington Times.
The United States Department of Agriculture has issued new rules to improve the eating behaviors of the American youth in schools. Regulations inspired by Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" healthy eating campaign already restrict what schools are able to offer in cafeterias, but in July restrictions will expand to include vending machines. In July 2014, vending machines will only be allowed to sell "fruit, dairy products, whole-grain foods, lean-protein products or vegetable items that are less than 200 calories for 'snacks' and 350 calories for 'entrees'."
Read the full article from the Washington Times.
This new film, directed and produced by a team of experts and professionals with wide-ranging backgrounds including Stephanie Soechtig and Katie Couric, explores how the food industry has and continues to contribute to the epidemic of obesity, chronic disease, and decline of health among Americans and global populations.
Films like this one move public understanding of the link between the chronic disease crisis and our food supply in the right direction. A step forward, no matter its magnitude, is still forward.
Learn more about the film at http://www.fedupmovie.com/
The ethnobotanical study “A comparison of traditional food and health strategies among Taiwanese and Chinese immigrants in Atlanta, Georgia, USA” conducted by Emory undergraduate Sandy Jiang and her mentor Dr. Cassandra Quave of the Center for the Study of Human Health was recently published in the Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine.
Immigrant health and traditional medicinal knowledge is of great importance to public and global health. Every individual comes with his or her own different cultural background, especially in medicinal system beliefs such as Chinese immigrants, who use traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM is governed on the basis of homeostasis achieved through the balance of yin and yang energy. In this study, Jiang and Quave analyzed medicinal food usage and health preferences among Taiwanese and Chinese immigrants in the Atlanta community. They found significant differences in preference for Western and Eastern medicine, beliefs in the yin and yang system, usage of medicinal foods, and gardening for medicinal plants. This research highlights the importance of cultural competency training for allopathic medical practitioners who provide care to immigrant populations.
The Emory University Italian Studies Program, in collaboration with the Emory School of Medicine, Emory Center for Ethics, and Emory Center for the Study of Human Health offered an interdisciplinary course in Italian and Medical Humanities this summer. On June 15th, 2013, Dr. Cassandra Quave of Emory CSHH hosted the course participants and guests for a day of immersion in the traditional life-ways of the village of Ginestra, located in the Basilicata province in southern Italy. The group began the morning with a guided plant walk in the countryside surrounding the village, where they learned about the ethnobotanical importance of local plants. Next, they visited a local vineyard, where they learned about cultivated food plants and ate fresh mulberries off of the tree. In the shade of a grove of walnut trees, they were treated to a rare demonstration of how locals use dogs to hunt wild truffles.
Upon return the village, they enjoyed additional demonstrations in traditional ricotta cheese making and basket weaving. They visited the church of San Nicola, where they learned about the Albanian heritage of this small village and heard about the daily agro-pastoralist life from a 4th generation shepherd. The group then enjoyed a buffet of traditional local foods, including handmade pasta, bean soup, fried peppers, cured sausages, olives, local breads, local wines (including the Aglianico wine typical to this region of Italy), and a variety of local desserts. Lastly, the group visited the Borgo dei Sapori in Ginestra, which is a museum that documents the traditional means of wine making, oil pressing, medicinal plant processing, and wheat harvesting used historically in this territory.
We extend our deep thanks to the local government administration, linguistic institute, and cultural organization for organizing the luncheon and demonstrations of traditional life-ways for the students. We also thank the community of Ginestra as a whole for their hospitality and for sharing their cultural heritage with us.
Visit this website to view more photos of the day.
On June 15, 2013, Emory students enrolled in the interdisciplinary program in Italian and Medical Humanities will visit the village of Ginestra to learn about Arbëreshë history and medical traditions of the region. Ginestra is an Arbëreshë community founded in the second half of the fifteenth century. Located in the northern area of Basilicata in the Vulture area, it is home to about 750 inhabitants in the municipality.
The visiting students and professors will be guests of Dr. Cassandra Quave of the Emory Center for the Study of Human Health, the local administration of the municipality of Ginestra, the local language institute and cultural organization. Students will begin their day with a visit to a local vineyard and the Ethnobotanical Garden of Ginestra, where they will learn about local wild food and medicinal plants. After the lesson on local plants, students will be treated to a presentation on Arbëreshë history and experience a tasting of traditional foods. For the full announcement on this event, please visit the following news link (in Italian).
Recently Stanford University released a systematic review of the published literature regarding the health effects of organic foods compared with their conventionally grown counterparts. Their study found that, in general, organic products did not have significantly beneficial health effects. However, of the 237 research results they examined, only 3 actually commented specifically on clinical health outcomes and all of the rest were nutrient- or pesticide-specific studies. The average difference in pesticide presence between organic and conventionally grown produce was approximately 30%, with organic produce exhibiting less residue.
The public has had strong reactions to the study; for reactions to the Stanford review, please see the following NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/us/would-be-healthy-eaters-face-confusion-of-choices.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all.
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