Our Bodies Need Salt, But Not Too Much- Or Too Little

In the past, people thought that salt boosted health- so much so that the Latin word for "health"- "salus"- was derived from "sal," the word for salt. In medieval times, salt was prescribed to treat a multitude of conditions, including toothaches, stomachaches and "heaviness of mind."… "We humans eat more salt than is necessary. But we all do it. So the question is: Why?" says Paul Breslin, a professor of nutritional sciences who researches sodium appetite at New Jersey’s Rutgers University… Breslin believes there may be another evolution-based reason why we love salt: "Salt accelerates sexual maturation in animal models, resulting in more offspring," he says.

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Sneak Peak at OCPE’s Intro to Food Science Short Course: “Why Use Food Color?”

Video: Food Science Short Course - Why Use Food Color?

Every August, over 60 food industry professionals from all over the U.S. and abroad converge on the Cook campus with a common goal: to attend the Introduction to Food Science short course offered by the Office of Continuing Professional Education (OCPE) where they learn both the fundamentals and emerging technologies of food science. In a jam-packed five days – starting with a networking dinner and culminating with a tour of the Rutgers Sensory Evaluation lab – participants experience topics like food chemistry, nutrition, microbiology, color, sensory evaluation, and food engineering, all presented by top researchers, faculty and industry experts. It is one of six food industry training courses offered each year by OCPE. Learn more about the Introduction to Food Science class.

Advice About Salt is Evolving

Salt intake that is often deemed high may actually have benefits, scientists say… "We humans eat more salt than is necessary. But we all do it. So the question is: why?" asks Paul Breslin, a professor of nutritional sciences who researches sodium appetite at New Jersey’s Rutgers University… While governments have long pushed people to reduce their intakes of sodium chloride (table salt) to prevent high blood pressure, stroke and coronary heart disease, there are good reasons why cutting down on salt is not an easy thing to do… Scientists suggest that sodium intake may have physiological benefits that make salt particularly tempting- and ditching the salt shaker difficult. It comes down to evolution.

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Pass the Salt, Please. It’s Good For You.

Salt intake that is often deemed high may actually have benefits, scientists say… "We humans eat more salt than is necessary. But we all do it. So the question is: why?" asks Paul Breslin, a professor of nutritional sciences who researches sodium appetite at New Jersey’s Rutgers University… Scientists suggest that sodium intake may have physiological benefits that make salt particularly tempting — and ditching the salt shaker difficult. It comes down to evolution… "Over the last five decades, salt content of commercial food in our food [in the United States] has gone up. But if you look at people’s 24-hour urinary sodium excretion, you see that the amounts of salt people consume have been constant," he says. Irrespective of age, sex or race, between 1957 and 2003 Americans have been eating on average 3.5 grams of salt a day. "This suggests that we are somehow regulating the amount of salt we are eating," Breslin says.

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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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