Tracy Turner

Technical Editor
Focus Areas: 
Chow Line, consumer news, food safety, nutrition.
  1. Photo by: Kenneth D. Chamberlain

    Donations help fund CFAES student scholarships

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Looking for a worthy cause for donation? The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Undergraduate Scholarship Fund (#317468) is one good option. The fund helps provide scholarship monies for undergraduate students enrolled in CFAES to attend school and earn a college degree. The fund is also a part of the new larger effort by Ohio State to raise $800 million for student scholarships for the Scarlet & Gray Advantage program, which is designed to offer a debt-free bachelor’s degree within a decade. In addition to student scholarships, the Scarlet & Gray Advantage program will expand job and internship programs that allow students to gain experience while earning a paycheck; will provide grant...
  2. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Refrigerated leftovers safe to eat up to four days after Thanksgiving

    Even though I’m only celebrating Thanksgiving this year with my immediate family, I still plan to make a large turkey (22 pounds) and plenty of trimmings because we love Thanksgiving leftovers. How many days after the holiday is the food safe to eat? You aren’t alone. Some 72% of families say they plan to celebrate Thanksgiving this year with only household family members due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19, according to a nationwide survey from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The survey also found that 51% of families say they plan to ask dinner guests to wear a mask to the holiday celebrations this year, while 46% of people will ask unvaccinated guests to test negative for COVID-19 to attend the holiday meal. Safety, it seems, is on the mind of...
  3. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Thawing a frozen turkey safely

    I’m buying a frozen turkey this week to serve for Thanksgiving this year. However, I’m not sure how to thaw it. Can you tell me how? It’s likely that you aren’t the only one who is grabbing up a frozen turkey now to make sure you’ll have one for the dinner table this year. Supply chain issues have caused turkey production to be down this year as compared to this time last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In fact, the supply of turkey in cold storage at the end of August was down 20% as compared to the same time last year, according to the USDA.   And the cost of turkey is higher this year, according to the Consumer Price Index. For the year ended September 2021, the federal agency said the overall price of food...
  4. Photo: Getty Images

    Two-day Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference to offer information on what’s in store for farmers in 2022

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Wondering what’s going to happen with the next U.S. Farm Bill? Want to know more about consumers, shopping, and local foods? Or do you have questions regarding the U.S. trade policy and what the prospects are for agricultural trade? Answers to these questions and more can be found next week at the Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference Nov. 18–19 offered by agricultural economists at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). The conference is a series of one-hour webinars focused on Ohio’s agricultural and food industry. It is hosted by experts with the CFAES Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics. The conference will be held virtually over two days, with...
  5. Photo: Getty Images

    Tips to keeping holiday spending in check

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Increased expenses that typically occur during the winter holiday season can make it hard for some consumers to avoid overspending, with many struggling to stay within normal spending limits, often taking months into the next year to pay off the resulting debt. While this has become an annual issue for many consumers, the economic stress many faced last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic has many consumers saying this year they plan to spend more to make up for missed celebrations put on hold to prevent virus spread last year. In fact, some 40% of consumers say that the pandemic won’t impact their spending this year, and an additional 30% of consumers say they plan to spend more this year than last year, a time when fear and uncertainty caused by the...
  6. Shannon Washburn

    Washburn named new chair of CFAES Teaching, Advising and Learning

    COLUMBUS, Ohio— Shannon Washburn, professor and chair of the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL) at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), has been named the college’s Sanford G. Price and Isabelle P. Barbee Chair in Teaching, Advising, and Learning. His term begins Nov. 1. Washburn, who joined ACEL as professor and chair in 2020, previously served as an assistant dean for Academic Programs for the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University, from 2015 to 2020. In that role, he led the college’s student retention efforts, facilitated professional development opportunities for faculty and instructional staff on teaching and advising, and coordinated the course and...
  7. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Stay safe against Ohio hepatitis A outbreak

    I just heard about the health warning advising Ohioans about the ongoing hepatitis A outbreak across the state. What is hepatitis A, and how do I protect myself against it? Hepatitis A is a highly contagious virus that infects a person’s liver. It can be spread through close contact with a person who has hepatitis A or by eating food prepared by a person with hepatitis A. In a written statement published last week by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), the agency warned about the ongoing hepatitis A outbreak impacting Ohio and advised those who believe that they are at high risk for hepatitis A infection to contact their healthcare provider or local health department for information about vaccination. As of Sept. 23, there have been 3,758 reported cases of hepatitis A...
  8. V.M. “Bala” Balasubramaniam

    Balasubramaniam wins Research and Development Award

    COLUMBUS, Ohio–V.M. “Bala” Balasubramaniam, a professor of food engineering in The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) departments of Food Science and Technology and Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, is the 2021 recipient of the Research and Development Award from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). Balasubramaniam was honored for his ground-breaking work in high-pressure processing, IFT President Noel Anderson, said in a written statement. IFT is an international, nonprofit scientific society of professionals engaged in food science, food technology, and related areas in academia, government, and industry. “What makes this recognition especially distinctive is the fact that (he) was...
  9. Hannah Epley

    Epley named associate state 4-H leader

    COLUMBUS, Ohio– Hannah Epley, an associate professor of Extension education and the interim associate state 4-H leader and Ohio State University Extension specialist for camping and older youth, has been named associate state 4-H leader, effective Sept. 1. Ohio 4-H, the youth development program of OSU Extension, which is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), annually offers or sponsors 4-H camps to youth in all 88 of Ohio’s counties. Epley joined CFAES as the 4-H educator in Fairfield County in 2005, becoming the camping and older youth state 4-H specialist in 2014. During her time as a 4-H educator, Epley provided overall leadership for the county 4-H program, which now has more than 1,600...
  10. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Pumpkin-carving the safe way to avoid injury

    I plan to carve some pumpkins for Halloween, but I’m trying to avoid injuring myself like I did last year. Do you have any tips on how I can do that? It’s that time of year when pumpkins are being harvested and readying to carve. And while carving a pumpkin can be a fun, festive, fall family event—as long as you know what you’re doing—it’s important to do so safely. Even though pumpkins are a beautiful, tasty vegetable (or fruit, depending on who you ask), carving them can result in injuries if you aren’t careful. One thing to keep in mind is choosing the right pumpkin to carve. There are several kinds of pumpkins—some that you eat, and some that are typically used for carving, said Jenny Lobb, a family and consumer sciences...
  11. Pasha A. Lyvers Peffer

    Lyvers Peffer named interim chair of CFAES Department of Animal Sciences

    COLUMBUS, Ohio–Pasha A. Lyvers Peffer, a professor in The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Department of Animal Sciences, has been named interim chair of that department. Her term begins Oct. 1 and will continue until a permanent chair is named. Lyvers Peffer joined CFAES as an assistant professor in 2005, becoming an associate professor in 2011, and a professor in 2018. She previously served as undergraduate program leader and chair of Academic Affairs in the Department of Animal Sciences from 2014–17, as interim associate chair of Animal Sciences from 2016–7, and as acting assistant dean of CFAES Academic Affairs from 2017–18. In her role as interim chair of the Department of Animal Sciences, Lyvers...
  12. Photo: Getty Images

    Ohio 4-H School Garden Conference is Oct. 22

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—A school garden can provide students access to a green space to relax and learn more about nature. Research shows that school gardens can also support and encourage healthy eating as a key factor of childrens’ physical well-being, which can aid their social and academic success. That’s just one of several reasons why Sue Hogan, an Ohio 4-H youth development educator for Ohio State University Extension, is coordinating the seventh annual Ohio School Garden Conference, whose theme is “Voices From the Field.” The conference is hosted by OSU Extension 4-H personnel. Ohio 4-H, the youth development arm of OSU Extension, offers 4-H programs to youth in all 88 of Ohio’s counties. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State...
  13. Photo: Getty Images

    Oct. 24–25 Tri-state community-supported agriculture conference focuses on sustainable farming practices

    ARCHBOLD, Ohio—Want to learn more about how to start a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program? How about learning how to expand your existing CSA to make it more sustainable and successful? If so, then the “Thinking Inside the Box: Growing CSAs Across the Tri-State” conference is a place to find answers to those and other CSA-related questions. Experts with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES)—in collaboration with Purdue University and Michigan State University—will host the conference Oct. 24–25. It runs from 1 to 8 p.m. Oct. 24 and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at Sauder Village and Farm, 22611 State Route 2, in Archbold, Ohio. “The goal,” said Christie Welch, who is an...
  14. Ahmed E. Yousef. Photo: CFAES

    $3.5 million gift funds new CFAES endowed chair in food science; Ahmed Yousef named holder

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Ahmed E. Yousef, Distinguished Professor of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), has been named the college’s Virginia Hutchinson Bazler and Frank E. Bazler Chair in Food Science. His five-year term began Aug. 15. Yousef, who joined the CFAES Department of Food Science and Technology (FST) as an assistant professor in 1991, has won numerous national and international awards and authored or co-authored more than 200 publications that include books, book chapters, and research papers. His research focuses on improving human health through combating emerging foodborne pathogens and making the best use of beneficial microorganisms. This research also...
  15. Farm Science Review. Photo:CFAES

    Ask the Experts offers timely insight into 2021 growing season

    LONDON, Ohio–Whether it’s learning how to navigate new tax laws, understanding the complexities of the U.S. trade policy and its impact on agriculture, or dealing with drought or excess rain, Ohio farmers likely have a lot of questions as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic amidst the challenging 2021 growing season. Faculty and staff from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), will answer those questions and address some of the top farm management and veterinary medicine challenges facing Ohio farmers in 2021 during this year’s Farm Science Review. The annual farm trade show, sponsored by CFAES, takes place Sept. 21–23 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, 135 State Route 38 NE, in London, Ohio...
  16. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Food safety after a flood

    My home was flooded yesterday, impacting food I had stored in cabinets, my pantry, and my fridge. As my home dries out, what do I do with the food? Many Ohioans have experienced similar problems recently as heavy rains, flash floods, and flooding have caused water-soaked homes and businesses across the state. Because your question is very similar to others that were asked in previous “Chow Line” columns, it’s best answered by reissuing a combination of those columns here. If your home becomes flooded, it is important to throw away any food that might have come into contact with floodwater. That includes cartons of milk, juice, or eggs, and any raw vegetables and fruits. In fact, unless they were in a waterproof container, any foods in your home that...
  17. Photo: Courtesy Jim Jasinski

    Learn pumpkin production at Aug. 26 Pumpkin Field Day

    SOUTH CHARLESTON, Ohio—Still can’t tell the difference between a squash and a pumpkin? With fall nearing, those who plan to harvest pumpkins or those who want to learn how to tell the difference between pumpkins, squash, and gourds, can attend the Aug. 26 Pumpkin Field Day, offered by Ohio State University Extension. The free event is from 5:30–7:30 p.m. at the Western Agricultural Research Station, 7721 S. Charleston Pike, in South Charleston. The field day will offer beginning and experienced growers valuable research updates regarding disease management, insect management, weed control, weather impacts on production, and new pumpkin and squash varieties. Whether you are an experienced or a beginning grower, the field day can offer pertinent information, said...
  18. Chow Line: Deep yellow field spot on watermelon key to choosing sweet, ripe melon

    What’s the best way to choose the perfect melon? Whether it’s watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, or other melons, summer days (or any day!) are a wonderful time to indulge in these delicious, nutritious fruits. Not only do these fruits taste wonderful, but they are also healthy, low-calorie treats that are packed with vitamins. For example, a cup of cantaloupe has 60 calories and is rich in vitamins A and C, while a cup of honeydew has 64 calories and is rich in vitamin C and potassium and provides B vitamins. A cup of watermelon has about 45 calories and has significant amounts of vitamins A and C. Watermelon is also 93% water, and the red variety is a good source of lycopene, a phytonutrient that gives watermelon its color. Lycopene appears to protect the body...
  19. Cathann A. Kress, dean of CFAES and vice president of agricultural administration at Ohio State. (Photo by Ken Chamberlain)

    CFAES dean appointed to Council for Agricultural Science and Technology board of trustees

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Cathann A. Kress, vice president of agricultural administration and dean of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), has been appointed to the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) board of trustees. Kress will begin her three-year renewable term on the CAST board on Aug. 1. “I look forward to serving in this role and advancing the understanding of the science and technology that are critical to our modern food and agricultural industries,” said Kress. Established in 1972 as a result of a 1970 meeting sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, CAST is based in Iowa and is an international consortium of scientific and professional societies,...
  20. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Healthy red food options for Juneteenth

    We’re having a cookout as part of our Juneteenth celebration. Do you have any ideas about what foods to serve? First, it’s important to understand what Juneteenth is. Juneteenth is a holiday that began in Texas, signifying the date of June 19, 1865, when Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger told the slaves in Galveston, Texas, that the Civil War was over and that slavery had been abolished—two years after President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves. The freed slaves began celebrating when they realized they were free, and thus the celebration became an annual tradition. As a result, the celebration of June 19 was coined “Juneteenth” and later became an official holiday in Texas in 1980. Yesterday, Juneteenth...
  21. Lone Star tick. Photo: Getty Images.

    Chow Line: Tick season could result in red meat allergies for some

    Can some ticks cause you to be allergic to meat? In some cases, yes. Spring marks the beginning of tick season and this year, the tick population is expected to surge.  With it comes the potential for tick bites, which could result in several complications, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and in some cases, cause some people to develop an allergy to red meat after being bitten. As mentioned in a previous Chow Line, lone star ticks in certain cases, can cause an allergy to red meat after being bitten by the tick.  This species of tick entered Ohio over the last decade or so. It has since spread throughout the state, although it is more common in southern Ohio, said Tim McDermott, an educator with Ohio State University Extension, the...
  22. Fried Cicadas on as skewer. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Cicadas can be a tasty treat, but they can be hazardous to those allergic to seafood, FDA warns

    I’ve heard that cicadas can be eaten. Is that true? Yes, it is true. Cicadas are among those insects that are safe to eat. And if you are among those who want to give them a try, this is the summer to do it. The periodical cicada known as Brood X will arrive in the millions in the Midwest over the next few weeks as the temperatures warm. Brood X is one of 12 periodical cicadas that emerge every 17 years, from mid-May to late June. Another three broods emerge every 13 years, primarily in southern states. Brood X includes three species–Magicicada septendecim, Magicicada cassini, and Magicicada septendecula–each of which will come up at different times during the spring, says David Shetlar, a professor emeritus of entomology with...
  23. Photo: Getty Images

    Ohio State expert: Lessons learned from COVID-19 pandemic likely to stem potential meat supply shortage

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Consumer alert: There’s no need to panic and no need to stock up on meat as of now. Despite this week’s cyberattack on JBS USA—one of the largest meat producers nationwide—beef and pork supplies could possibly avoid being in short supply at grocery stores, and consumers should not panic just yet, says Lyda Garcia, an assistant professor of meat science and an Ohio State University Extension meat specialist. OSU Extension is the statewide research arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).  JBS is one of four large-scale meat producers, accounting for an estimated 20% of beef production in the United States. The Brazilian-based company suffered a cyberattack last weekend, prompting it...
  24. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Not sure what to do with fresh, harvested radishes? Pickle them

    I’ve got a fresh harvest of spring radishes in my garden, but other than adding them to my salad, I’m not sure what to do with them. Got any ideas? First, congratulations on your harvest! Radishes are an easy-to-grow vegetable because they can be planted directly from seed in the early spring and are typically among the first plants ready to harvest. Additionally, radishes are low in calories and are a source of potassium; calcium; sodium; and vitamins A, B, C, and K. Radishes are a cruciferous vegetable in the same plant family as kale, turnips, and broccoli. They can also help lower blood pressure and can be associated with a lower risk of heart disease, research shows.  Radishes have a peppery flavor and a crisp, crunchy texture. Several varieties exist,...
  25. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow line: Spring a good time for asparagus, strawberries and other fresh produce

    Which fruits and vegetables are in season now? As mentioned in a previous Chow Line, rain and bright sunny days make spring a good time to indulge in a wide range of plentiful produce such as asparagus, cabbage, kale, spinach, and strawberries. Not only are these items extremely fresh and flavorful because they’re currently in season, but they’re also widely discounted because of the abundance of supply based on this time of year. Because fruits and vegetables grow in cycles and ripen during certain seasons, produce typically is fresher and tastes best when ripe. And while most fruits and vegetables are available to consumers year-round thanks to agricultural innovations, seasonal fruits and vegetables are typically cheaper to buy because they are easier to produce...

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