February: All About the Food

It seems like each passing month is bringing more and bigger news about our food, food system, and food faux pas. This month, we have a packed issue.

Connie Ray and Emily Finnan take a deep dive into the process and politics of creating the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, which have been making headlines since they were published. Ray tackles how the guidelines were made and the early hangups in the political process. Finnan chronicles the differences we see between the 2015 guidelines and previous iterations.

Next, a major change at the Friedman School is underway as we say goodbye to a longtime faculty member, Dr. Miriam Nelson. Katherine Pett takes a retrospective look at the 30 years Dr. Nelson spent with Tufts University. Notably, Dr. Nelson was on the panel for the 2015 and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.

As promised, February is delivering up the food news:

Disha Gandhi gives us an overview of Indian cuisine and how you can create your own spicy dishes.  Julia Sementelli delivers up a delicious recipe for an açai bowl, a healthy way to mix up your morning—or anytime—meal!

Micaela Young visits the locavore restaurant in Somerville, Cuisine en Locale, and tells us about the experience. You’ll want to check this one out! Apparently, this restaurant has everything.

Another restaurant has been in the news a lot lately, but not for good reasons. Shannon Dubois takes a look at the food safety issues that seem to be plaguing popular fast food restaurant Chipotle.

Katie Mark examines a food that’s been shown to increase performance in athletes, and it’s a bit of a surprise. Should you try beetroot juice before your next workout?

If Katie’s article inspires a trip to the gym, be sure to bring Justin Zabinski’s Welcome “Back” Workout so you have the right circuit and playlist to start your February off right.

Covering medical nutrition, Katelyn Castro revisits the difficult topic of diabetes. What does the current research say about the physiology and treatment of this disease? Is there one way of eating for diabetic patients that’s best for all?

And finally, Ally Gallop and Claire Whitney tackle a topic frequently visited by writers and dietitians a like: How can you write for different audiences?

Enjoy this month’s Sprout. We hope everyone’s spring semester is getting off to a great start!

Matt & Katherine

In this issue:

2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Process & Politics

by Connie Ray

On January 7, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the highly-anticipated Dietary Guidelines for Americans for the years 2015-2020. The guidelines, released every five years, always brew up some controversy among food and nutrition professionals, but this year’s may be the most hotly debated in history.

2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Content & Controversies

by Emily Finnan, RD

With the next five years of Americans’ nutritional recommendations at stake, a hot debate surrounding the Dietary Guidelines is a guarantee!

Looking Back on the Work of Dr. Miriam Nelson

by Katherine Pett

A retrospective look at the illustrious career of Tufts scientist Dr. Miriam Nelson as she moves to her new position as the Director of Sustainability for the UNH Sustainability Institute.

Indian Cuisine: Spicing Up the World

by Disha Gandhi

Growing up in a vegetarian Indian household taught me to develop quite a taste for savory and spicy foods, become obsessed with everything mango flavored, and to not be afraid of vegetables like bitter melons. It also taught me how to cook very complicated, but delicious, Indian food. So, I would like to provide some information about Indian cuisine with some nutrition facts.

The Acai Bowl

by Julia Sementelli, RD

I am all for using 2016 to become our best selves, but when I hear people berating themselves for their holiday eating behavior and talking about their new fad diet, I just want to say, “Stop! “ Our bodies are simply craving a return to routine and a few extra fruits and vegetables. My current favorite way to get fruits and vegetables back into my diet is with an açai bowl.

Restaurant Review: Cuisine en Locale

by Micaela Young

Apart from sitting blocks away from my apartment, I was anxious to check out this restaurant because of its mission: to partner with local farmers and bakeries to source all of its ingredients from within Massachusetts. The result? Delicious, fresh food. Drawn by both the eclectic, friendly atmosphere and the great menu, Cuisine en Locale attracts a diverse crowd that makes this lounge and bar a fun place to hang out, get a taco and a locally-brewed cider, and catch up with friends.

Chipotle in the News

by Shannon Dubois

Chipotle is a very popular restaurant, with more than 1,500 locations across the US, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK. Chipotle claims fame for its quick and casual service of touted healthy foods and the catchphrase, “Food with Integrity.” However, in the past six months, Chipotle has been under fire, as many different foodborne illness outbreaks have been reported all across the US.

Should Athletes Juice It Up with Beetroot Juice?

by Katie Mark

Lettuce begin our workout at a higher beet. I’m not just talking about the new Beyoncé song, but the beetroot that comes from the beet plant. Beet it with the juicing cleanses, and juice up your water with beetroot (BR) juice.

Welcome “Back” Workout

by Justin Zabinski

It’s time to make wise diet and exercise choices to eradicate excess calories stored after feasting away while watching copious amounts of holiday movies with friends and family over the break!

Nutrition and Diabetes: A Closer Look at Current Research

by Katelyn Castro

No one ever said understanding the components of a healthy diet would be simple. The connections between nutrition and disease continue to grow and evolve as scientific research emerges. Consider the most recent publication of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). All of the past and present dietary guidelines may share some common themes, but every five years they are updated after an extensive review of the current scientific literature.

Health Literacy 101: How You Write Matters

by Allison Gallop, RD, LDE & Claire Whitney, RD, LD

Health literacy. Ever heard of it? Well, there’s a 99.9% chance you’ll stumble upon it in your future career. You will need health literacy if you want a population or an individual to comply with your suggestions, be it to eat more vegetables or exercise daily. Over the winter break, Tufts University’s Public Health and Professional Degree professor Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi led an eye-opening course in health literacy (HCOM 509). We were shocked by our carelessness! So where are we, as future communicators, going wrong?

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