Food News Today Transcripts for the week of August 20th, 2012

August 24, 2012

A new device to detect ripening produce, are the recent heat waves due to climate change, and new food words in the dictionary.

 >Every year, U.S. supermarkets lose roughly 10 percent of their fruits and vegetables to spoilage, according to the USDA. To help combat those losses, MIT Postdoctoral Associate, Dr. Jan M. Schnorr and his colleagues have built a new sensor that could help grocers and food distributors better monitor their produce – earlier this week I interviewed Jan about his latest invention.

Thanks Jan!

>The recent heat waves might be something we need to get used to as there is some talk that the high temps are related to climate change and global warming – for that we have Rebecca to tell us a little about what’s been going on with the environment…

REBECCA: Thank you Phil, I am here in Washington D.C. reporting on the recent heat wave affecting most of the county. Let’s start with a bit of history: In a landmark 1988 study, James Hansen predicted that if greenhouse gas emissions continued, which they have, Washington, D.C., would have about 9 days each year of 95 degrees or warmer in the decade of the 2010s. So far this year, with about four more weeks of summer, the city has had 23 days with 95 degrees or hotter temperatures. Now a NASA scientist, James Hansen has completed research linking the warming temperatures of recent years to man-made global warming. Hansen’s study states that the likelihood of high temperatures occurring from the 1950s through the 1980s was rarer than 1 in 300. Now, the odds are closer to 1 in 10, according to the NASA study. Hansen says that statistically what is happening is not random or normal, but pure and simple climate change.

>Food is an increasingly important part of popular culture, and with that comes many new words or even not so new words that describe food, type of eaters, and more. Considered the premiere dictionary of the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary has been around since 1847, and contains about 600,000 words. The Oxford Dictionaries Online adds "dozens of new words" to its online dictionary every quarter - so here are the latest food additions.

Locavore (n): A person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food.

Affogato (n): an Italian dessert consisting of vanilla ice cream topped with a shot of espresso coffee.

Red velvet cake (n): a rich chocolate-flavored sponge cake with a distinctive reddish color, typically with layers of buttercream or cream cheese icing.

 Don’t worry Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, is also adding food words and here are the latest.

Flexitarian (n): one whose normally meatless diet occasionally includes meat or fish.

Obesogenic (adjective): promoting excessive weight gain: producing obesity. It most commonly refers to an environment where something or some pattern — food deserts in a city, for example — is suspected of putting people at risk for obesity

Have any favorites? Let me know!

Remember to log on to Food News Today DOT com any time to access the archives and replay past episodes. Thanks for watching.