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Gardening is fun…and it's an important activity. What we grow in school, home and community gardens can improve our health, and the health of our families and communities. What we grow can increase the resiliency of food systems in our communities. And what we grow, ultimately, can connect us more closely with the earth that sustains us. There are valuable lessons in gardening…too many to list here. Even if you live in a small apartment, you can grow food. If you have a yard,...
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Happy summer! It's time to get the barbecue grilling and the pool party started. To keep your summer healthy and fun, UC ANR offers some important safety tips. Food safety Food poisoning is a serious health threat in the United States, especially during the hot summer months. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 6 Americans suffer from a foodborne illness each year, resulting in thousands of hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Both the CDC and U.S....
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Different varieties of hops can be used to create an array of flavors and styles of beer. Does the variety of barley used in beer-making affect the flavor of the brew? This is a question UC Cooperative Extension advisor Konrad Mathesius hopes beer drinkers will answer on Friday, July 12, at YOLO Brewing Company in West Sacramento. To find out if barley makes a difference, the public is invited to taste a flight of five beers – four beers made from the specially grown barley varieties...
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Native Americans suffer from the highest rates of food insecurity, poverty and diet-related disease in the United States. A new study finds that Native American communities could improve their food security with a greater ability to hunt, fish, gather and preserve their own food. “How food security is framed, and by whom, shapes the interventions or solutions that are proposed,” said Jennifer Sowerwine, UC Cooperative Extension specialist at UC Berkeley, who led the study in...
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Enjoying a tasty sunflower seed snack? Cooking with sunflower oil? Thank a California sunflower seed grower for producing the hybrid seed that's used for planting sunflower crops throughout the United States and the world, for confectionery and oil seed production. California farmers grow about 70,000 acres of sunflower, mostly in the Sacramento Valley, for hybrid seed stock. “We have perfect conditions for growing sunflowers, with hot, dry summers and plenty of good irrigation water...
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Try topping your salads with some tasty garbanzo beans this summer. Not only are they a healthful source of protein, vitamins and minerals, but the ‘green' legumes are produced in California with a small environmental footprint! California farmers grow about 10,000 acres of garbanzo beans, mostly for the canning market. “We have the right growing conditions, including cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers, to produce high-quality, large, creamy-white garbanzo beans for high-end...
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The food production environment introduces many potential points of contamination risk from the soil to the table. Consumer demand for food safety practices along with new government regulations for fresh produce have raised grower awareness of the need for best practices to reduce microbial risks during the production and processing of nuts, fruits and vegetables. Produce Safety Courses Available in Northern California Produce safety training courses offered through the Western Institute...
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Why do you love fruits and vegetables? Is it their bright colors? Their many shapes and varieties, the way they can makeover your plate with the seasons? The opportunity to taste local terroir in a very fresh bite of fruit or forkful of salad? Is it more about the juiciness, crunchiness or succulence? Or do you think more about nutrition? About vitamins, micronutrients and fiber, after decades of being encouraged to eat “5 A Day” to be healthy? Is it about that feeling of...
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The affordability of healthy food is often cited as a barrier to low-income families eating nutritious meals. A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that with menu planning and access to stores selling items in bulk, the average daily cost for serving healthy meals to a family of four was $25 in 2010 dollars. This cost was consistent with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) low-income cost of food meal plan, but higher than the cost of the USDA...
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The U.S. honey industry is thriving, according to a new study from the University of California Agricultural Issues Center (AIC). The research found that the U.S. honey industry in 2017 was responsible for more than 22,000 jobs and its total economic output was $4.74 billion. Total economic output includes direct effect, such as workers hired to move beehives, indirect effect, like packaging supply companies for honey products, and induced effects, the wages honey industry workers spend at...
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