Blueberries, onions and other crops

So many crops, so little time. Blueberries, onions, snap beans, peppers, rockmelons, broccoli, bananas and apples. Then there was bread and wine and rice and baby food. Why couldn’t I ever focus on only a few foods? My thirty years of research at the University of Georgia were great. Almost half of those years were in Griffin. Athens occupied the rest of my career. Those … Continue reading Blueberries, onions and other crops

What I learned about peaches during my research career

Another crop our Postharvest Systems Team studied was peaches. Georgia is the Peach State. They still represent a major fruit crop in the state, but we no longer hold the distinction of the top producer. South Carolina claims that title. California produces prettier peaches than those on the East Coast. Our peaches have much better flavor. We attribute our predominance to the freestone varieties. California … Continue reading What I learned about peaches during my research career

What I learned about tomatoes during my research career

Readers of this blog know me as a defender of processed foods. That does not mean that I avoid fresh, whole foods. My life as a researcher in food science focused on fresh fruits and vegetables. My foremost subject was tomatoes. Eighteen of my 103 published scientific articles featured fresh tomatoes. I benefitted from the knowledge of my students, my colleagues, and my reading. Note … Continue reading What I learned about tomatoes during my research career

Tomatoland: From Harvest of Shame to Harvest of Hope

The third edition of Tomatoland by Barry Estabrook called out to me for many reasons. My research involved tomatoes more than any other food. I live 50 miles from Immokalee (pronounced like broccoli). I listened to an impassioned speech by a Coalition of Immokalee Workers at a local meeting. The planets aligned inside my mind as I read this book. Farmworker inequity does not enter … Continue reading Tomatoland: From Harvest of Shame to Harvest of Hope

Ingredients revisited: Ultra-processed food, Random Chance, and a possible mechanism

Ontario must be a strange place. Aquarians are 23% more likely to experience chest pain than all other signs of the Zodiac. Their hospitals admit 13% more people with the sign of Pisces for heart failure. Librans suffer from 37% more fractures of the pelvis than other patients. Or so we learn from a publication (1) described in Ingredients by George Zaidan. No, our Zodiac signs don’t condemn … Continue reading Ingredients revisited: Ultra-processed food, Random Chance, and a possible mechanism

NOVA as seen by a cook and a food scientist

Linn Steward, a trained chef and RDN, wrote a post on this blog in March. Since then we have engaged in a running discussion on various food topics. I value her comments and consider her my muse. The most contentious topic we have discussed is on the NOVA classification of foods. She finds the classification useful as a guide when she cooks. I find the … Continue reading NOVA as seen by a cook and a food scientist

How much does homemade mayo differ from store-bought mayo? By Julie Jones

Data whole-heartedly substantiate Dr. Carlos Monteiro’s statement that the obese are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 and that it increases the risk for more severe illness. Obesity is a factor in other chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, which also increase COVID risk.  All of these underlying conditions create a state of chronic inflammation. Thus, an already overtaxed immune system … Continue reading How much does homemade mayo differ from store-bought mayo? By Julie Jones

Ingredients: The Strange Chemistry of What We Put in Us and on Us

George Zaidan is a chemist who does not appear to have a confirmed bias for or against processed food. He views product ingredients on the basis of chemistry. He is also a communicator with an unusual writing style—not one I particularly enjoy. It might be my age. His irreverent approach disguises a philosophical message. If nothing else, the book provides a step-by-step guide to critical … Continue reading Ingredients: The Strange Chemistry of What We Put in Us and on Us

Assorted books about food or pandemics for your reading pleasure

I love to read books. My mother taught me to love them. We had no public library in our small town on the Canadian Prairies. Christmas came every month when we opened a box of books from the University of Manitoba library. Books deliver a broader perspective than a blog, news story, or even a scientific journal article. If there is substance in a book, … Continue reading Assorted books about food or pandemics for your reading pleasure

Turning our focus to meals and away from classifying foods as healthy or unhealthy

In my Quora inbox I recently received the question, “Why does the food industry not create healthy food products?” As a scientist I can’t really answer that question without a definition of a “healthy” food product. As a blogger, I don’t have the same restrictions. There are so many concepts of what is healthy and what is unhealthy. It seems that the more that nutrition … Continue reading Turning our focus to meals and away from classifying foods as healthy or unhealthy