Archive for July, 2010

Drinking 100 percent fruit juice linked to improved diet quality in kids

Monday, July 26th, 2010

WASHINGTON – Children and teens who drink 100 percent juice have higher intakes of key nutrients compared to non-consumers, according to a new study.

The study has been presented at the Experimental Biology (EB) 010 meeting.

Two new studies from researchers at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and Baylor College of Medicine clearly highlight the benefits of drinking 100 percent fruit juice.

Researchers used data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to compare the diets of juice drinkers to non-consumers.

According to the findings, children 2-5 years of age who consumed fruit juice had significantly higher intakes of vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium and significantly lower intakes of added sugars compared to non-fruit juice consumers. In addition, higher intake of fruit juice was directly correlated with increased consumption of whole fruits and whole grains.

Children 6-12 years of age showed a similar positive association between intake of 100 percent juice and higher intakes of the key nutrients, as well as dietary fiber. Overall diet quality, as assessed by the Healthy Eating Index (a measure that evaluates conformance to federal dietary guidance) was higher in all fruit juice consumers assessed.

The researchers reported that a significantly higher percentage of non-fruit juice consumers 2-18 years of age failed to meet the recommended levels for several key nutrients, including vitamins A and C and folate, compared to those who drank 100 percent juice. Comparatively, a greater percentage of those in the fruit juice group exceeded Adequate Intake levels for calcium versus non-consumers.

“One hundred percent fruit juice plays an important role in the diets of children and teens, supplying important nutrients during a key period of growth and development,” notes lead researcher Dr. Carol O’Neil. “Drinking 100 percent juice should be encouraged as part of an overall balanced diet.”

Researchers show that organic farming enhances biodiversity and natural pest control

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

A team of researchers from Washington State University and the University of Georgia have found that organic farming increases biodiversity among beneficial, pest-killing predators and pathogens. In potato crops, this led to fewer insect pests and larger potato plants. “It’s always been a mystery how organic farmers get high yields without using synthetic insecticides,” says co-author Bill Snyder, associate professor of entomology at Washington State University. “Our study suggests that biodiversity conservation may be a key to their success.”

Ecosystems with more total species, and more beneficial species that are relatively evenly distributed, are thought to be healthiest. The use of insecticides harms biodiversity by reducing the number of species and by making some species (often pests) much more common than others. The study, which was funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and published in the July 1 edition of the journal Nature, shows that organic farming practices lead to many equally-common beneficial species, and that this reduces pest problems.

In potato fields that used conventional control practices (e.g., applications of broad-acting insecticides), usually just one species of beneficial predatory insect or pest-killing pathogen was common. In contrast, in organic fields several beneficial species were about equally common. Experiments showed that groups of evenly-abundant beneficial species, typical of organic farms, were far more effective at killing potato beetle pests. Because natural enemies are usually more even in organic crops of many different kinds, not just potato, these benefits could be widespread.

Sugar and Spice and Everything Gneiss loves Uncle Matt’s!

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Sugar and Spice and Everything Gneiss posted a review of Uncle Matt’s OJ. We love our supporters! Read an excerpt below.

On my last trip to whole foods, I bought a container of Uncle Matt’s Orange Juice.  naturally, I got the pulp free version but they did have the other kinds.  (I think I established that i was a minority on my pulp-free passion… but, just so you know, I have tried the with-pulp version since that poll and I still prefer it smooth and junk-free.) Anyway, this is the best OJ I’ve ever had!

…this OJ, though – UNCLE MATT’S OJ – it was REALLY sweet and very thick and not watery at all.  YUM.  It tasted so thick it was almost milky.  Do you know what I’m talking about?  Sorta like a dreamsicle without the frozen part.

Read the full review here.