Food News Today transcripts for July 6th, 2011

July 08, 2011

Want a personal cooking coach at your local supermarket? The food world and its relationship to bats & with the aging boomers comes a new need for calcium For July 6th 2011. This is Food News Today.

 Good Morning.  Today's broadcast is pre-recorded as I am attending the MIDA Food Conference in San Juan Puerto Rico - more on that in coming weeks. Food News Today is sponsored by ConAgra Foods, who shares with me the desire to provide the most current, interesting and unbiased food news. 


In Consumer Trends today we take a look at yet another industry innovation being tested by Whole Foods - the idea of an in-store cooking coach.  

Have you ever seen an ingredient, really wanted to try it but had no clue how to use it? Well the help of a cooking coach is a dream come true for many shoppers - and imagine them right in your local supermarket.

Whole Foods supermarket is doing just that, and they have hired a “cooking coach” to help shoppers really shop the entire store, and on top of that to teach them what to do with the purchases when they get home.  Today we chat via Skype with Michael Kiss, a trained chef and Whole Foods’ first cooking coach at the Rockville Maryland store.



Thanks Michael...


It is one thing to understand where our food comes from, and it's another to go a bit deeper and understand the ecological balance of our food supply. In Food Sense it is all about trouble with the bats; and i'm not talking baseball or crime fighting.

A crisis in the bat world could mean trouble for the US food supply, according to a recent report from the US Geological Survey (USCS), the University of Pretoria, the University of Tennessee, and Boston University. Ironically our bat population in North America provides farmers more than $3.7 billion worth of pest-control services each year, and loss of bat populations from infectious disease and wind turbines could lead to major agricultural losses.

Bats are incredibly diverse; there are over 1,100 species.  Most of the bat diversity in temperate zones is built upon the seasonal availability of insects.  In the US and Canada 42 different species feed on crop-damaging insects and decrease the need for additional pesticide use.

Bats are currently facing two very dangerous enemies. White Nose Syndrome (WNS)- an emerging infectious disease affecting populations of hibernating cave-dwelling bats throughout eastern North America- and wind turbines- affecting migratory bats.  A fungus likely causes WNS, triggering a premature and often fatal depletion of energy reserves, forcing bats to wake early from hibernation – before food supply is readily available. To date, over one million bats are thought to have died from WNS.

Wind turbines are threatening migratory tree-dwelling species of bats. Scientists have estimated that by 2020, 33,000 to 111,000 bats could be killed annually by wind turbines in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands alone.

The recent bat fatalities are unlike anything researchers have ever seen – and scientists are currently working towards better ways of conserving bat populations.  Bats are relatively long-lived animals that reproduce very slowly, and thus do not rebound quickly after rapid declines.

You'll probably never look at bats the same again.


This year, 2011 marks the year when the 76 million baby boomers begin to turn 65 years of age and in health & wellness this morning we look at the impact on one nutrient - calcium.

New approaches to increasing the frequency of calcium supplementation may be necessary to reduce osteoporosis risk among older Americans, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut and published in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 

The study looked at data from more than 9,000 adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that although supplemental calcium use and calcium density were highest in older age groups, they were still not sufficient in meeting recommended levels. 

Upon further examination, median dietary calcium intake in men decreased by 22.7% as age increased ; in women, it decreased by 14.1%.  

Preventing bone loss, especially in older adults, is extremely important, considering that fractures are the 12th leading cause of disability in the US. The Institute of Medicine has defined the Adequate Intake of calcium as 1,000 mg/day for people aged 19 to 50; and 1,200 mg/day for women older than 51 and men over 70.

And lets not forget about promoting consumption of the top calcium rich foods? Low fat yogurt, sardines, goats and cows milk, sesame seeds, spinach, collard greens, mozzarella cheese, turnip greens – Spice up your meals with basil, dill seed, thyme, cinnamon, and peppermint leaves which are also very good sources of calcium. And of course....cow's and goat's milk lead the pack.


For Food News Today, I’m Phil Lempert, thanks for joining us. If you have a colleague in retailing, the media or a blogger who would like to also receive our advance email - please send them to to sign up. Next weeks stories will be in your Tuesday email.