Are microwave ovens safe & nutritious? Or just convenient?

Over the last several decades, microwave ovens have become a standard kitchen appliance in many American homes. But for some, doubts remain about their safety and impact on the nutritional value of food cooked in them… This week on "Take Care," food scientist Don Schaffner takes us behind the microwave door to explain how microwave ovens work, and the ways this kind of cooking technology interacts with food. Schaffner is an extension specialist in food science and distinguished professor at Rutgers University. He is a world-renowned expert on food safety and protection and is the co-host of a podcast on microbial food safety.

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Eliminate the TB Scourge

It’s 1 a.m. A young mother approaches me during my hospital shift. She asks if her 2-year-old son will survive the night. He has been given a diagnosis of severe tuberculous meningitis, months after her husband was found to have drug-resistant TB… In terms of curing the disease, in the 1940s the microbiologist Selman Waksman, working with a graduate student, Albert Schatz, at Rutgers University, helped begin the anti-TB drug revolution. Waksman received a Nobel Prize for the discovery of streptomycin, the first antibiotic effective in treating TB.

Read the entire article at The New York Times »

Meatballs made in a lab: Ick or slick?

Scientists and businesses working full steam to produce lab-created meat claim it will be healthier than conventional meat and more environmentally friendly… "Maillard reactions are very important," says Paul Breslin, a nutritional sciences professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey. "They are the flavour of cooking and give baked cookies, fresh-baked bread and grilled ribs their characteristic flavours, which we obviously love."

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Why the new Rutgers tomato is a sell-out hit with gardeners

The hunger for a Jersey tomato is so great that it’s already sold out… The Rutgers tomato has been popular for decades because it gave growers that "tomato tastiness" that came to be lacking in the tomatoes sold at grocery stores. Those tomatoes have to be tough enough to withstand factory farming and transportation, Rutgers plant biologist Thomas Orton says.

Read the entire article at New Jersey 101.5 »

Breahnna Saunders (SEBS’16): Passionate About Helping People

Breahnna SaundersMeet Breahnna Saunders (SEBS’16), a Nutritional Sciences major whose attraction to the field stems from the respect she feels we owe our bodies. She was identified by Rutgers Division of Student Affairs as one of the university’s 250 most involved and accomplished students, and is featured in the commemorative series, 250 for 250,” on the division’s I Am Rutgers website.

“I would say that I’m passionate about respecting and admiring our bodies. I want people to take care of their bodies because they can do these amazing things. People can climb mountains, they can dance, they can bend all sorts of ways. The body is just so amazing, so my passion in life is to inspire people to want to respect their own and admire what it can do.”

Exclusive: Chipotle hires former critic to help improve food safety

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG.N) has retained two leading food safety experts – including a critic of the burrito chain’s early response to disease outbreaks last year – as it redoubles its efforts to guard against health scares… "If I had to put together a dream team to fix something, you could do a lot worse," said Don Schaffner, a food science professor at Rutgers University. But, he added: "I’ve begun to wonder a little bit about too many cooks. Each of those guys is going to have a perspective on what to do to fix the problem."

Read the entire article at Reuters »

Mosquito Control Experts Say EPA Regs Hamper Efforts to Fight Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes

Members of the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) gathered on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to request the help of Congress in combatting the Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes… Karl Malamud-Roam, Public Health Pesticides Program Manager at Rutgers University, said at the "Mosquito Control to Minimize Zika Virus Risk" event that the tools in place to confront the Aedes breed of Zika-carrying mosquitoes were "okay, we will do a good job with the tools we have, they’re good tools."

Read the entire article at CNS News »

FDA Looks to Redefine ‘Healthy’ on Food Labels

Let’s take a quiz. In moderation, these are all considered healthy foods, right? Wrong. Not if you’re using current FDA guidelines… "The FDA’s current guidelines are based on scientific evidence that’s a little old, circa 1990, and at that time we demonized fat and said fat was the culprit. So a lot of recommendations are based on how much fat is in the item," said Peggy Policastro, director of behavioral nutrition at Rutgers New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health… "The government certainly has some bad diet advice. You can see that through the course of many decades with respect to trans fats and margarines and things like that," said Ian Keith, chef manager at Harvest Café at Rutgers New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health.

Read the entire article at NJTV News »

Chipotle Hires Food Safety Experts After E. Coli Outbreak

Chipotle is taking some major steps to heighten their food safety and have hired two experts in the field… A food science professor at Rutgers University, Don Schaffner, commented on these new hires, saying that ‘too many cooks’ may be a problem since ‘each of those guys is going to have a perspective on what to do to fix the problem.’

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Exclusive: Patient safety issues prompt leadership shake-up at NIH hospital

The National Institutes of Health is overhauling the leadership of its flagship hospital after an independent review concluded that patient safety had become "subservient to research demands" on the agency’s sprawling Bethesda campus… "This is a black eye for the NIH," said Richard Ebright, a professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University who conducts biosafety research. "The NIH is the crown jewel of science and technology. The NIH needs to have a safety record, a compliance record, transparency and leadership befitting a crown-jewel organization."

Read the entire article at The Washington Post »