You Asked It!

Category: December 2018

Have a Healthy Holiday Season!

The holiday season is here and parties and gatherings are being planned to celebrate the season. Whether it is a small gathering or a large office potluck, remember to bring healthy treats to curb high-calorie snacking.

Holidays offer many food temptations. Spread out the sweet treats so they are not lurking around every corner. Guests will appreciate lighter, non-sweet options more than you think. Parties can be stressful for some because they feel overwhelmed and forget that the season should be fun. This leads to mindless snacking and extra calories.

Offer healthy choices such as using whole wheat bread for sandwiches and seltzer water with fruit instead of soda. Encourage people to take a walk to work off holiday stress and anxiety.

Do you have several parties to attend? Plan ahead to help reduce those extra calories. Eat a small meal for breakfast with whole grains, fruit and protein. Don’t starve yourself thinking you’ll save room for party food. Take small bites and savor the delicious party foods. Go through the buffet once to reduce nibbling.

Above all, take time to relax and enjoy the holiday season!

Source: and


2019 Consumer Food Safety Education Conference

Registration is now open for the 2019 Consumer Food Safety Education Conference on March 6-9, 2019. Early bird registration is available until January 25, 2019. The theme is From Consumers to Chefs: Food Safety Education Matters.

This conference is sponsored by the Partnership for Food Safety Education and aims to explore consumer food safety behavior, networking opportunities with public health, government, corporate, non-profit and many others.

Learn more at


New Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

The second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans has been released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. So what’s new in this edition?

Since 2008, new knowledge has been gained on the proven benefits of physical activity for all ages and populations. New information on physical activity benefits include:

  • Health benefits in relation to brain health, fall-related injuries, and cancer.
  • Benefits for sleep, how people feel and how people function.
  • How sedentary behaviors affect overall health.
  • Guidelines for children ages 3 through 5 years.
  • Tested strategies to get people more active.

These guidelines will be incorporated into the Walk Kansas program for 2019.—Telling the Story

Speaking with one voice is the mission of to speak for agriculture and farm production practices.

This campaign is driven by Kansas wheat farmers to help consumers learn where their food comes from and how it is grown by caring farmers. After one year of operation, has reached millions of people. Read farmer stories; learn about wheat and the foods made with wheat; get inspired with wheat décor; and enjoy tasty recipes for any occasion. Follow them on a variety of social media platforms. is sponsored by Kansas Wheat and the Wheat Foods Council


Promoting Classroom Physical Activity

Research has shown that students need physical activity to improve classroom concentration and attention, reduce classroom behavior issues, become more engaged in learning, and above all boost grades.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Springboard to Active Schools has released new educator resources to add physical activity in the classroom each day. Incorporate physical activity into academic instruction so that there are several activity breaks during the day. Physical activity can be added into all grade levels. These activities can also be used in other organizations such as 4-H and Scouts.

The program has many resources available at


Tracking Food Expenditures

Over the years, consumers have changed how they acquire food. Foods purchased away-from-home have increased over purchasing food to eat at home. The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) studies all food purchases to get a broad picture of consumer buying habits.

The ERS study looked beyond eating at restaurants to include sources such as airline food, hospital and nursing home food, and prison food. They also looked at food purchased through assistance programs such as food and nutrition assistance programs, meals at work locations, and meals served at government-sponsored locations. In the last two decades, shoppers have increased food expenditures from warehouse club stores and supercenters instead of traditional grocery stores.

Away from home, food purchases are increasing at fast food restaurants while full-service restaurants have remained steady.

For details, see

The complete report can be found at


After the Hunt

Hunting season is in full swing and many have had successful results. Keep that success going by handling the animal safely from the field to the freezer. Always abide by hunting regulations.

Observe large animals for any disease. Watch for any unusual actions such as stumbling, tremors, excessive salivation, and other traits. Be cautious for signs of Chronic Wasting Disease.

Field dress animals as soon as possible and cool the animal quickly. Improper temperature is the meat’s worst enemy. Be prepared with tools and equipment to transport it safely.

For more information on handling wild game, see the resources at


Allergen in Red Meat Associated with Heart Disease

Lone Star Tick

Diets high in saturated fat may lead to heart disease. But, another potential factor could be a cause of heart disease, an allergen in red meat.

Research done at the University of Virginia has found a specific allergen called galactose-α-1,3-galactose, a sugar in red meat which can cause sensitivity in people bitten by the lone star tick. Prior research showed hints that this linkage was possible. Now, the specific allergen has been identified.

The specific antibody blood marker to this allergen has shown higher levels of fatty deposits inside arteries which could be associated with heart disease.

As a reminder, this is just a preliminary association. More research must be done to show that testing for this allergen will be helpful in managing heart disease.

Lone Star tick


Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotics are important tools to fight disease and illness. But, some bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics which can lead to problems in food safety but also in healthcare and in communities.

Learn how to reduce the chances of becoming ill from antibiotic resistant bacteria at See more information at