Food News Today transcripts for the week of March 21st, 2012

March 30, 2012

Chef Greg Silverman tells us about Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters®, can trans fats make you aggressive and clean up your drinking water.

To start today we have some great info from Chef Greg Silverman, Senior Manager|Educational Outreach from Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters® - to tell us about what’s going on in educating consumers as they shop- here’s what Greg had to say…

Thanks Greg!


>From supermarket store tours to the environment, we’re all connected – here’s Rebecca with this weeks segment about cleaning up our waterways. ----


REBECCA: The waterways of the United States have historically been collecting spots for accumulations of trash and debris. This debris can be harmful and even fatal to all manners of marine wildlife, can damage a state's economy, and can even become a human health hazard. Here in Durham, NC, local businesses and NGOs come together for the county's annual Creek Week. Creek Week provides opportunities for Durham residents to do their part in protect waterways through volunteer projects. Of the many projects included in Creek Week this year was a clean up of Jordan Lake, the municipal drinking water source for the towns of Cary, Pittsboro, and Raleigh. The marine debris that clutter Jordan Lake pose a significant threat to human health in these cities. Syringes, broken glass and other hazardous items can cause serious harms to beach goers. Furthermore, the plastic bags, fishing line, and nets can wrap around boat propellers and clog seawater intakes resulting in significant damage and creates a safety hazard. More importantly, fish and marine mammals are greatly harmed by marine debris. Fish will ingest plastics that mimic their natural food sources and they could feel full leading to malnutrition or starvation. Ways you can reduce marine debris in our nation's water ways is by participating in a beach or lake cleanup, recycling, and always remembering that the land and sea, no matter where you live, are connected.


PHIL: Thanks Rebecca and I hope everyone will participate in cleaning up our waterways one way or another – just doing your part by recycling is a huge step in the right direction. 


>In our next segment we take a look at an ingredient that is making its way out of the standard American diet.. thankfully! The latest news on trans fats is that they can lead to aggressive behavior- wow and many of us thought these man made fats were bad enough - affecting the fat ratios in our bodies, insulin response, ageing, inflammation, and heart health – yikes and now aggressive behavior! It’s definitely great news that these fats are being fazed out of our food supply – a recent study looking at the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data found that blood levels of trans fats of a nationally representative sample of Americans had declined by a whopping 58 percent. This significant drop can be linked to the fact that some cities and regions have instigated trans fat bans, and the government has required labeling of the fat on all nutrition facts labels – and most consumers know it’s an ingredient no-no.

Lead researcher Beatrice Golomb, associate professor at the University of California San Diego Department of Medicine, commented, "If the association between trans fats and aggressive behavior proves to be causal, this adds further rationale to recommendations to avoid eating trans fats, or including them in foods provided at institutions like schools and prisons, since the detrimental effects of trans fats may extend beyond the person who consumes them to affect others.”

I certainly agree with that! Researchers also said greater trans fat intake was more consistently predictive of aggression and irritability, across the measures tested, than the other known aggression predictors that were assessed… 

But know that not all fats are bad, on the other hand omega-3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel as well as from seed like chia and flax) have been linked to reduced aggression and irritability.  Keep in mind that consumption of trans fats inhibits omega-3 production.