You Asked It!

Category: March 2019

Eating Healthy Can Equal Cost Savings

Sometimes putting dollars behind the message can really motivate people to change behaviors. That’s what a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found regarding the reduction of health costs when eating a quality diet. This study is the first of its kind to associate cost savings to healthy eating.

They study looked at two eating patterns recommended by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. They included the Healthy US-Style and the Healthy Mediterranean-Style diets. Health issues evaluated included reductions in cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and hip fractures.

The overall results showed cost savings ranged from $16.7 billion to $31.5 billion. This is based on a 20 percent increase in following the Mediterranean diet and Healthy US-Style respectively. That increase reduced cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes when following a Healthy US-Style diet and these same diseases plus Alzheimer’s disease and hip fracture reductions when following the Mediterranean diet.

I think we all can use a little extra money in our pockets!



Farmers Market Publications Updated

KSRE and KDA have updated three publications, available from, for farmers market vendors and others on the following topics:

  • Food Labeling for Kansas Food Producers and Processors;
  • Food Safety for Kansas Farmers Markets: Regulations and Best Practices;
  • Sampling Safely at Kansas Farmers Markets, Farm Stands, and Related Events

These publications are now available in Spanish. Note also that we update or check these publications every January, so the versions on the website are current.


Ball® Fair Awards Program Discontinued

In an email from Newell Brands, Inc., it states:

“It is with deepest regret that we must inform you the Ball® Fair Awards Program sponsored by Newell Brands has been discontinued effective 2019. Thus we are not accepting registrations for the 2019 fair season and onwards. “

“This has been a difficult business decision for us to make and are very sorry for any inconvenience it may cause you. It was concluded we could no longer support this national program at its current level. Rather than disappoint hundreds of loyal food preservers with a lesser commitment, we have decided to step away at this time. Should you have any concerns or questions, feel free to contact our office.”

“For those fairs who have not yet submitted your 2018 registration form, fair book page, and winner’s and participant’s lists, we will honor our commitment to you for the 2018 program.”

“Please complete and present your outstanding documents by March 31, 2019 so that coupon awards can be mailed directly to the recipients.”

For questions, contact:

Mary Jo Harber

Fair Program Coordinator


At-Home Safe Food Handling

Safe food handling doesn’t stop at the grocery store. It is equally or more important to handle food safety at home!

Shopping, storing, preparing, cooking, serving, and handling leftovers all have risks for food safety issues. Handwashing, temperature control, and other key steps help reduce risks of foodborne illness.

Learn more in this updated publication At-Home Safe Food Handling: It’s in Your Hands, MF2465.

A food thermometer is safest way to determine doneness for meats, poultry, seafood and eggs.


Bread Sculpture Contest Returns!

The 2018 winner!

If you didn’t get the opportunity to host or enter the State Fair County Contest last year, here is another chance! Once again, the Kansas State Fair will partner with the Kansas Wheat Commission and offer the Bread Sculpture Contest where you can send your County Fair Winners to represent you at the State Fair with their amazing creations!

There are some great “dough” prizes available, but first you “knead” to enter. All entries MUST be pre-entered with the Kansas State Fair by August 15th to participate. This contest is offered by the Kansas State Fair Foods Department located in the Domestic Arts Building. This is where entries need to be received, will be judged, displayed and released from. A $1.00 handling fee, per exhibitor, is due at the time of entry.

Complete details can be found at

Additional questions may be directed to: or



Egg Safety from Hen to Consumer

When buying eggs, always open the carton and check eggs for cracks or other damage.

Eggs are very nutritious and versatile. But, they also bring a food safety risk due to Salmonella contamination. This risk can occur inside the egg and on the egg shell.

If a chicken is infected with Salmonella, it can contaminate the egg when it is formed inside the chicken. Farmers, big and small, must be vigilant to identify infected chickens and separate them from the rest of the flock. Chickens are messy, and they can pick up pathogens anywhere in their environment. Keeping coops clean is important.

Eggs are refrigerated for safety. If temperature abuse happens, that causes the egg to sweat and the porous shell will pull any contamination from outside the shell into the egg interior through osmosis.

In some locations, consumers are demanding cage-free egg production. This type of production only removes the cages. The chickens are still under one roof. The debate is ongoing whether this will be an advantage to make eggs safer.

Source: Food Safety Magazine, Dec. 2018/Jan. 2019,

Egg Safety: What You Need to Know


National Nutrition Month®

Since 1980, National Nutrition Month® has promoted nutrition to consumers during March. It is sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

How can you promote nutrition? From social media to school events, incorporate simple nutrition messages. Organize a food donation drive for a local food bank. Explore ways to reduce food waste in your community. At schools, sponsor a coloring contest of fruits and vegetables. Take a field trip to a local farm. Offer nutrition education at a local grocery store.

Learn more at


A Potential Vaccine for Celiac Disease

The possibility is getting closer for a potential vaccine to treat celiac disease. The therapeutic vaccine, Nexvax2®, is an immunotherapy treatment to use the body’s own immune system to treat celiac disease. The immunotherapy is given in several treatments to build up resistance in the immune system and to the HLA-DQ2.5 gene most commonly associated with celiac disease.

The treatment essentially tricks the immune system to accept gliadin, the protein that commonly causes celiac disease, to be a normal part of the diet. This reprograms the immune system to learn to accept gluten.

As of January 2019, the FDA has put this vaccine on the fast-track to speed up development and review because celiac disease is a serious or life-threatening condition. Learn more at


Bioengineered Food Labeling

By January 1, 2022, all retail foods that are bioengineered (BE) or contain bioengineered ingredients, must be labeled with the labels pictured above. This USDA National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard is being enforced by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.

According to the standard, it states, “Nothing in the disclosure requirements set out in this final rule conveys information about the health, safety, or environmental attributes of BE food as compared to non-BE counterparts. In fact, the regulatory oversight by USDA and other Federal Government agencies ensures that food produced through bioengineering meets all relevant Federal health, safety, and environmental standards.”

This label is a marketing label only. It does not apply to restaurants, other food service establishments, or to very small food manufacturers. It is only for foods that have been modified through in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (rDNA) techniques.

Learn more at


The ABC’s of Health News

The news comes at us from many sources, so confusion can occur quickly. Use the “ABC” approach to identify good information.

Authority—Look for experts from reputable organizations or in publications that specialize in a specific field. Authors and reviewers should be listed and easily found. References also increase validity of information.

Bias—Whether blatant or not, look for personal bias or a slant on the topic. Inconclusive or “cherry picked” information can be problematic. Look for the funding source. While industry and trade groups offer funding, research must remain unbiased.

Complete and Current—Science evolves to show direction of research. A single study  rarely gives a dramatic breakthrough. Websites should show updates and when information was last reviewed. Expect quality in spelling and grammar to increase professional merit.

Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, February 2019