Posts Tagged: Carl Winter
“In virtually every (rice) product we tested, we found measurable amounts of total arsenic,” said the article.
However, Carl Winter, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Nutrition at UC Davis, said it’s too early to recommend any changes in diet because of these findings.
“Arsenic is a naturally occurring element, found in a lot of different foods and some drinking water at different levels,” Winter said. “We’ve been consuming it all our lives. It’s too early to say whether it is causing any harm.”
He suggests people continue to eat a balanced diet that includes a wide variety of foods while the federal officials who are charged with protecting the United States’ food supply draw scientific conclusions about dietary arsenic exposure.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently collecting thousands of samples of rice-containing foods to develop a database that will allow the agency to establish acceptable levels in foods. Preliminary data released by the FDA in September found that the average levels of inorganic arsenic to be 3.5 to 6.7 micrograms per serving. The data collection is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
“The scientific approach is being taken right now to get a real handle on the typical level people consume,” Winter said. “Before you do that, it’s hard to say any population is at risk.”
Arsenic may be present in some other foods, but most crops don’t readily take up much arsenic from the ground. Rice is different because it is grown in flooded conditions. In an anaerobic environment, arsenic changes into a form that is easier for plants to absorb.
Take your time to peruse the sites listed below. There is some fascinating and very handy information to be had. Many of these sites also offer terrific publications at nominal prices, but this blog lists only those that are free . . . and we all love a bargain! Many more publications and programs are available than those listed below.
After looking at these lists, you never know when you’ll be inspired to pickle some olives or field dress a deer. As for me, my latest food craze is cheese-making. Two weeks ago I made goat cheese (chèvre, to be sure), and last weekend I made camembert and blue cheeses. Now I just have to be patient for two months while they ripen . . .
Bon appétit and healthful eating!
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources publications [link]
- Tomatoes: Safe methods to store, preserve, and enjoy [link]
- Olives: Safe methods for home pickling [link]
- Egg basics for the consumer: Packaging, storing, and nutritional information [link]
- Guidelines for food safety during short-term power outages: Consumer fact sheet [link]
- Key points of control and management for microbial food safety: Edible landscape [link]
- Safe handling of fruits and vegetables [link]
- Safe methods of canning vegetables [link]
- The healthy brown bag: 15 lunches for school-aged children [link]
Postharvest Technology Research and Information Center [link]
- Storing fresh fruits and vegetables at home – poster (first copy free) [link]
Fruit and Nut Research and Information Center [link]
- The Backyard Orchard – A plethora of publications on growing and harvesting in the home orchard [link]
Nutrition publications from UC Davis [link]
- Nutrition and health information sheets on everything from energy drinks to osteoporosis to anemia, and more [link]
- EatFit - An interactive web program to aid middle-school students in personal dietary analysis and "guided goal setting" [link]
- “Nutrition Perspectives” newsletter - Research-based information on ongoing nutrition and food-related programs [link]
- “Nutrition to Grow On” - A curriculum for grades four through six that offers teachers a direct link between the garden and nutrition education [link]
Food Safety Videos
- Take a look at these humorous — but serious — music videos on food safety by renowned food safety expert Dr. Carl Winter. Who knew that the Beatles’ classic “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” could morph into “You’d Better Wash Your Hands”? [link]
- More food safety music [link]
Cooperative Extension Offices [link]
- Many county offices have publications on food production that is specific to climatic or regional needs of that county.
Publication of the Day!
- Protecting food safety when shooting, field dressing, bringing a deer home, and cutting the carcass [link]
Carl Winter has been called the “Elvis of E. coli” and the “Sinatra of Salmonella,” but you won’t find him headlining a lounge act in Las Vegas. Instead, the UC Davis food toxicologist crosses California – and the United States – to sing about a subject near and dear to him: food safety.
Combining science-based information with a synthesizer, Winter performs food safety music parodies such as “You Better Wash Your Hands” (from the Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand”) and “Don’t Be a Gambler” (from Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler”). He also has created animated food safety music videos such as “Stomachache Tonight,” a parody of the Eagles’ “Heartache Tonight” that, ironically, recounts a time he got sick in Georgia while on tour performing about food safety.
Although a lot of food safety information exists already, food safety music is a great way to supplement the message, said Winter, who has produced parodies for nearly 15 years and distributed more than 20,000 copies of his CDs with songs about food safety, nutrition and pesticides. “We found people retain information better through music,” Winter said.
Food safety is a timely topic. The Food and Drug Administration just held meetings April 26 and 27 in Monterey County to discuss plans to develop a nationwide produce standard for growing, harvesting and packing fruits and vegetables. Foodborne diseases cause about 76 million illnesses in the United States each year, according to an estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We need to understand the science better,” said Winter, who directs UC Davis’ FoodSafe program. “We need to communicate better.”
Winter is doing his part to spread the word about food safety. He is in the middle of putting together a new CD for kids, with songs such as “Who Left the Food Out?” – a parody of the Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out?” – as well as some original music.
The lyrics may change, but the message remains the same: Wash your hands, avoid cross contamination, cook meat to proper temperatures and refrigerate leftovers promptly. It’s important to eat a balanced diet and take as much control over your foods as you can, Winter said. Eat fruits and vegetables – just wash them first. And enjoy Winter’s songs. For more information, visit Winter’s home page at http://foodsafe.ucdavis.edu and his YouTube page at www.youtube.com/foodsafetymusic.