Legislators Bemoan 20-Year Delay in Adopting Water-Supply Master Plan

It has been nearly 20 years since the state updated its water supply master plan, a delay that legislators and conservationists said could jeopardize the ability to deliver safe and adequate drinking water to residents in the future… In those two decades, population has grown, water use has increased, and potential problems with providing potable water to consumers have multiplied. These include depletion of groundwater supplies, increased pollution, and uncertainty about where the supplies to meet tomorrow’s needs will come from… "In most cases, it comes down to ratepayers," said Daniel Van Abs, an associate professor at Rutgers University and a former project manager at the state Department of Environmental Protection, which developed the state’s last water supply master plan in 1996.

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National Park Celebrates Earth Day with Children’s Garden Opening

The scissors were barely through the ribbon at the borough’s newly opened children’s garden, when Mother Nature unleashed a brief Earth Day deluge on the soon-to-be growing crops. It was pretty good timing all around, said National Park School Principal Carla Bittner… "Today for Earth Day, in addition to opening the garden, we had health and wellness activities for the students, with different stations around the school," said Bittner following the ceremony, which at the end saw about 275 students fleeing from the rain. "Rutgers Cooperative Extension had a station where the students made veggie egg rolls, with food provided by Food Corps."… In addition, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension is expected to supplement some of the food supplies for some of the garden-related educational events at the school next year.

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CSI UV Goggles? How to Tell If An Egg is Bad

Friend of the barfblog and current Welsh tourist, Don Schaffner of Rutgers University, has a few things to say about egg safety, especially: most of those so-called tests are BS… The theory behind the float test? Egg shells are porous, and as time goes on the egg’s liquid evaporates through the porous shell and air enters. That makes the eggs more buoyant, so some say the older an egg, the more it floats… Forget this test, says Don Schaffner, PhD, a food scientist at Rutgers the State University of New Jersey. "Eggs do take in air as they age, but the size of the air cell in the egg varies from egg to egg. So a freshly laid egg and an older egg may react similarly." There is too much variability in air cell size from egg to egg to make this a valid test, he says… "Salmonella is the organism we are most worried about," Schaffner says. It could be inside the egg if it was infected before it was laid, or it could be on the shell.

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Grape Polyphenols May Protect Against Metabolic Sx Via Gut

Grape polyphenols (GP) may act in the intestine to protect against metabolic syndrome, according to an experimental study published online April 6 in Diabetes… Dietary polyphenols protect against metabolic syndrome, despite limited absorption and digestion. With this in mind, Diana E. Roopchand, Ph.D., from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., and colleagues examined one possible mechanism of action involving gut microbiota. C57BL/6J mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) containing 1 percent Concord GP… "These data suggest that GP act in the intestine to modify gut microbial community structure, resulting in lower intestinal and systemic inflammation and improved metabolic outcomes," the authors write. "The gut microbiota may thus provide the missing link in the mechanism of action of poorly absorbed dietary polyphenols.

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Ramapo Tomato Seed an Option With Flavor

This article was written by Mona Bawgus, a certified master gardener and consumer horticulturist with Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Atlantic County.. With a goal to find the tomato that best represented what people remember as the old Jersey tomato, in 2007 Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) began conducting tomato trials. They began with several varieties that gardeners and farmers associated with that old Jersey taste. NJAES grew each variety and then evaluated them not only for flavor, but also on performance. The public was also invited to participate in several taste tests to collect their opinions… Not only did gardeners love them for their flavor, but also for their resistance to cracking and other common tomato diseases. Commercial seed companies had previously sold this seed to farmers and gardeners, but over the years, had stopped supplying them. Frustrated gardeners contacted Rutgers and a small amount of seed was produced and made available for a short time. Rutgers eventually found a company willing to mass produce the seed and the Ramapo tomato was re-released in 2008.

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