A Friedman Carol

Dear Readers,

This month at The Sprout, we are keeping our heads up, wrapping up final projects and papers, and looking forward to the holidays and a well-deserved winter break (aka sleep). Leaving the Ebenezer Scrooge of years behind–2016–our contributors take you on a trip through nutrition past, present, and future.

Nutrition misconceptions abounded this year, and Julia Sementelli and Katelyn Castro are here to close the book on some hot topics. Julia gives us the blue-green scoop on the Instagram hit microalgae, while Katelyn sheds light on the media’s favorite winter-time nutrient, vitamin D. She even answers the hot-button question: Do you really need to take a D supplement?

Next stop, nutrition present. First, Yifan Xia explores current thinking on how meal timing influences our health, taking cues from both modern science and traditional Chinese medicine. Then, Micaela Young covered Branchfood’s November event, hosted by Branchfood founder and Friedman alum Lauren Abda, where a panel of experts and app start-up companies detailed the state of technology in food, health, and behavior change.

In nutrition’s future, Delphine Van Roosebeke sees apples, particularly non-browning ones. She gives us the intel on these new GM fruits that could be available next year. As in Charles Dicken’s tale, there are always opportunities for redemption, to grow and evolve. The Friedman Justice League urges the Friedman School to do just that, as they give us their thoughts on the school’s new Strategic Plan.

And in the more immediate future, Friedman students are looking forward to winter break. Need a good book to snuggle up with in-between naps? Danièle Todorov has you covered with a sneak peek of: You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice.

The Sprout‘s editors would like to thank their fall contributors for all of their hard work, and wish the graduating Friedman students luck with adventures that lie ahead. As for our readers, we look forward to bringing you another issue in February 2017!

Cheers,

Micaela & Kathleen

Microalgae: Do They Have a Place in Your Diet or Should They Be Left in the Pond?

by Julia Sementelli

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetIf you have an Instagram account, chances are you’ve seen a slew of blue-green smoothies pop up on your feed. High in antioxidants, healthy fats, and protein, microalgae are the latest superfood to take over the nutrition world. The most popular types of algae include chlorella, spirulina, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), Blue Majik…the list goes on. Microalgae are claimed to boost your energy, decrease stress, and reduce your risk for diabetes and heart disease. The question, of course, is whether these microalgae have any science-based health benefits beyond the nutrients they provide. 

What’s the Deal with Vitamin D?

by Katelyn Castro

castro-1There is always one nutrient that seems to linger in the media for a while. Lately, vitamin D has been the lucky winner! Considering that over 40% of Americans are vitamin D deficient, according to the
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 
it’s worth taking a closer look at vitamin D.

Timing of your Meals–Does it Matter?

by Yifan Xia

How would you feel if you were told to not have dinner for the rest of your life? Skipping dinner every day might sound shocking to most of us, but it was once a very common practice in ancient China in the Han Dynasty. In fact, even today Buddhism and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) promote this practice as a healthier choice than eating three meals per day. But does this practice have roots in science? Of course, controversy exists around this topic, but one thing that we can be certain of today is that the timing of our meals can have a much greater impact on our health than we originally thought.

Food Techies Commence: Insights from Branchfood’s November Panel

by Micaela Young

Perkins + Will, an architecture firm in downtown Boston, was the unlikely gathering place of health and food innovators on Wednesday, November 16. The event? Friedman alum and Branchfood founder Lauren Abda hosted an evening entitled “Innovators in Food Tech & Health,” a panel discussion and product tasting event showcasing startups and companies creating new solutions to age old problems of behavior change. Discussed was everything from the potential for food tech as a tool in preventative health, to how innovative start-up apps are using new ways to promote healthy eating and exercising.

Can I Eat An Engineered Apple, Please?screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-5-08-34-pm

by Delphine Van Roosebeke

The days of throwing your half-eaten apple away because it turned brown are over. Shiny non-browning apples are about to hit the consumer market in a few months. And this time, it’s not a fairy tale. Read on.

 

The Friedman Justice League’s Response to the Strategic Plan Launch

by The Friedman Justice League

The Friedman Justice League (FJL) assesses how the recent unveiling of the Friedman School’s Strategic Plan aligns with its own goals and vision for the future, and offers input on how the plan can be effectively implemented. FJL’s internal goals are also expressed, and all Friedman students are welcomed to engage with these efforts, as they please!

Book Review – You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice

by Danièle Todorov

We pick from a dozen entrée options, a couple hundred Netflix movies, or thousands of grocery store products by referencing our intuitive tastes. Or so we think. Tom Vanderbilt delves into the near-irrationality of our preferences in You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice.

 

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