The Road to RDville: This and That

Hi all! Man, things have been crazy busy around here…in a good way. So busy that I missed a few rounds of The Piglet! Yes, that busy! I’m sad to say Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day lost out to Momofuku Milk Bar in Round Two. Boo-hoo! On the up side, Nigel Slater’s Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch (which is on my wish list) won his Round Two matchup, which gives me even more reason to add it to my library. We’ll just ignore that fact that I added the gignormous new The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook tome (2,000 recipes!) to my library this weekend. It followed me home from Costco…what was I supposed to do? (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.)
Anyhoo…do you have young kids? Have they played with Smash Your Food on the Food N’ Me website yet? Have you (kids or no kids)? Why ever not?
Last week, Food ‘n Me creator Marta DeWulf spoke to my graduate seminar on Food Marketing. She’s really created an amazing tool for teaching kids about just how much salt, sugar and fat is in many favorite foods…all in a non-judgmental way. She even won an Apps For Healthy Kids award (part of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign). Even better…Smash Your Food will soon be an iPad/iPhone app! She said the full version will debut for $2.99, with a scaled-down version offered for free. She did a demo of it on her iPad, and it looks even cooler than the web version. I don’t buy a lot of apps, but I will be buying this one.
One reason I’ve been so busy is that I’ve been lining up a thesis project, which involved a lot of e-mailing and paperwork. I’ll be working with a childhood obesity researcher, looking at data from a study that just wrapped up. It deals a lot with behavioral health, which is an area I’m deeply interested in. It’s also an area that my graduate program curriculum doesn’t deal with much, so I’ll really be broadening my education. I’m  excited!
I’ve also been in major paper-writing mode. Here’s what I’m working on now:
  • Raw milk (food safety, regulation and the science behind health claims)
  • Conjugated linoleic acid in grass-fed vs. grain-fed beef and dairy + the science behind the health claims
  • Seafood and mercury exposure during pregnancy: Striking a balance between an unhealthy toxin and healthy fatty acids
  • Sub-therapeutic antibiotic use in farm animals: Does it really contribute to antibiotic resistance in humans?
  • GMO’s: The bad and the ugly (this is for a class debate…someone else is arguing the “good”)
  • The 2011 listeria-on-cantaloupe outbreak
  • The CDC’s Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Program (PowerPoint and handout)
We had a good guest lecture this week on cholesterol, saturated fat and metabolic syndrome. I’m going to try really hard to write a user-friendly post about it this weekend. I also have a ton of good links to share…I just have to get them organized.
Have a great week!