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Category: March 2018

What is the Keto Diet?

With the new year underway, so are many types of diets to kick the year off in a healthy way. One of those diets is the ketogenic, or “keto”, diet. But is it a safe diet to use?

The keto diet is a high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate diet. It has been a treatment for those with epilepsy since the 1920s as it can help reduce seizures. Today, anti-seizure medications are more commonly used. The diet does not allow fruits, some vegetables, grains, potatoes, sweets, or other high carbohydrate foods. The main purpose of the diet is to create ketones to get fuel into your cells instead of glucose. Excess ketone production results in ketosis.

While the keto diet may help you lose weight, it is a difficult diet to stick with in the long run. You miss out on beneficial nutrients from fruits, vegetables and grains. Once ketosis sets in, a rapid loss of “water weight” occurs which is not successful weight loss. And, in the long run, this type of diet can lead to eating disorders.

To learn more about the keto diet, see “Keto Diet 101: What to Know Before You Commit” from

Using Pyrex® in Pressure Cookers

The popularity of electric pressure cookers has brought up other safety issues besides food safety.

One is about using Pyrex® inside the electric pressure cooker. According to Corelle Brands, makers of Pyrex®, it is not recommended to put this glassware in these appliances. The glass is not made to be put under pressure and it could crack or explode. If you have further questions, contact the Corelle Brands Consumer Care Center at 1-800-999-3436.


Homemade Play Dough Safety

Photo: Iowa State University

If you or someone you know makes homemade play dough, it is important to remember that flour is a raw food and has been linked to serious food safety problems.

Iowa State University Extension offers this recipe that is cooked to heat the dough.

Homemade Play Dough

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 cups cold water

Mix all of the ingredients together and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring constantly. When finished, it will be the consistency of mashed potatoes.  Divide it into 3-4 equal portions and add a few drops of different colors of food coloring to each.  Kneading the dough will distribute the color and make it smooth.  Store it in a freezer bag or air tight container and it will keep for a long time.

Incubator Kitchens for Food Businesses

In an effort to provide support to small food-business startups, the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) has developed an Incubator Kitchen Resource Guide to provide critical information about incubator resources throughout the state of Kansas.

Incubator kitchens are food facilities that can be rented for short periods of time to allow individuals starting a food business to access commercial kitchen equipment in a cost effective manner. In recent years, nine incubator kitchens have been established across the state. As KDA works to provide support and assistance to help promote success for Kansas businesses, the Incubator Kitchen Resource Guide helps make this information more accessible.

A new kitchen is now available in Arlington, KS! Contact KDA for more information at 785-564-6767.


Walnut Syrup and Birch Syrup

Harvesting birch sap
Photo courtesy Cornell University

While maple syrup rules on many breakfast tables, walnut syrup or birch syrup may be an alternative. It is not common knowledge that syrup is tapped from walnut trees or birch trees. So, currently, the market is small.

Birch syrup has an intense fruity molasses flavor. It takes about 150-200 gallons of birch sap to equal one gallon syrup.  It is quite expensive at $350-$400 per gallon due to the expensive and time-consuming process. Walnut syrup has a nutty butterscotch flavor and is much like a light maple syrup.



Science and Our Food Supply Curriculum

What captures the interest of students? FOOD! Yes, food can be used to engage students in inquiry-based science — really!

The Science and Our Food Supply Teacher Guides are challenging hands-on, minds-on activities that link food safety and nutrition to students’ everyday lives. They are crafted in a teacher-friendly modular format that easily fit into science, health, and other classes.

FDA in collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have created Science and Our Food Supply: Investigating Food Safety from Farm to Table, an innovative, interactive supplementary curriculum for use in middle level and high school science classes.

The topics include learning about bacteria, food storage and handling, pasteurization technology, the science of cooking a hamburger, DNA fingerprinting, and outbreak analysis. Nutrition topics include the Nutrition Facts Label, serving size and calories, sugar in beverages, sodium in snack foods, meal planning, and eating away from home.


Keep the Beat™ Recipes

Looking for recipe ideas for you and your busy family? The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute can help.

These recipes were developed in partnership with the National Institute of Health We Can!® program for children. The book gives ideas to involve kids in meal preparation. It also includes tips on meal planning, cooking, and nutrition for all. Recipes categories include main dish, pasta, lunch/brunch, vegetable side dishes,  grain side dishes, and snacks.

Download this publication at:


Home Baking Association Educator Award

The Home Baking Association is looking for a winner! It could be you! Each year, they award an “Educator of the Year Award.” So do you teach baking in the classroom or community? You could win $1,000!

Submit a baking lesson or baking community service program or adult or teen leader skill training. Baking community service program may include “Bake for Family Fun” month, Bake and Take Day, bake sales or community service baking programs.

The competition is open to professionals or adult and youth leaders and volunteers. For more information and online application, go to

Kansas Nutrition Council Conference

March is designated as National Nutrition Month®. Along with that, the Kansas Nutrition Council (KNC) is holding their annual conference.

This year the KNC is being held March 29, at the K-State Alumni Center in Manhattan, KS. Registration is now open! The registration includes membership to KNC.

A featured speaker will be Cara Harbstreet, a registered dietician in Kansas City. Her program is known as Street Smart Nutrition. She helps people rediscover joy in eating deeply nourishing food without restriction or fear. She shares her messages via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Register for KNC at Early bird registration ends February 15!


2018 Urban Food Systems Symposium

The 2018 Urban Food Systems Symposium will be held August 8-11 at The Graduate Hotel in Minneapolis, MN.

Our goal is to bring together a national and international audience of academic and research-oriented professionals to share and gain knowledge on urban food systems and the role they play in global food security. This symposium includes knowledge on: urban agricultural production, local food systems distribution, urban farmer education, urban ag policy, planning and development, food access and justice, and food sovereignty.

For more information and upcoming registration, go to