Tracy Turner

Technical Editor
Focus Areas: 
Chow Line, consumer news, food safety, nutrition.
  1. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Safe ways to thaw and cook a frozen turkey

    I’m buying a frozen turkey this week to serve for Thanksgiving this year. What’s the best way to thaw it? With the traditional holiday just days away, if you’ve purchased a frozen turkey, the time to think about how to defrost it is now. Depending on how large your frozen bird is, it could take up to six days to safely defrost it in a refrigerator. It’s very important that you thaw and cook your turkey safely to help avoid developing foodborne illnesses. Thawing a frozen turkey correctly helps minimize the growth of bacteria, which can cause foodborne illnesses. While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely. However, as soon as it begins to thaw, any bacteria that might have been present before freezing can begin to grow again, according to the USDA...
  2. From left to right: David Benfield, Mary Rodriguez, Steve Neal, and Mary Kay Pohlschneider.

    Four CFAES professionals honored by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

    COLUMBUS, Ohio–An expert in community leadership, a food scientist, a retired associate dean and a retired associate vice president of Agricultural Administration were honored this month for their research, teaching and service to The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). Mary Rodriguez, assistant professor of agricultural communication, education and leadership; Mary Kay Pohlschneider, senior lecturer in the CFAES Department of Food Science and Technology; Steve Neal, retired associate dean, and director of CFAES academic programs; and David Benfield, retired associate vice president of Agricultural Administration, director of the CFAES Wooster Campus, and associate...
  3. Susan Colbert and Amber Broadus stand outside Broadus' new home. Photo: Amber Broadus.

    OSU Extension increases keys to homeownership

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Knowing is half the battle—especially when it comes to homebuying. That’s where Ohio State University Extension comes in. OSU Extension educators specializing in healthy finances offer homeownership education and homebuyer counseling to assist Ohioans throughout the homebuying and homeownership process. Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Already, some 2,200 people in Franklin County have attended classes offered by OSU Extension and have received a HUD-approved completion certificate, said Courtney Warman, an Extension program specialist that works with the homebuyer education program. And an additional 497 homebuyers were served across Ohio through...
  4. Photo: Thinkstock

    Chow Line: How to enjoy holiday meals without packing on the pounds

    My kids brought home a large haul of Halloween candy that I’m trying to avoid snacking on. With the remaining fall and upcoming winter holidays coming, I’m wondering if you can offer any tips to help me avoid gaining weight but still enjoy the holidays?   Take heart – you aren’t the only parent tempted to eat their kiddos’ Halloween goodies. In fact, two-thirds of parents report that they do eat some of their children’s Halloween candy haul, according to the National Confectioners Association,  With the remaining fall and winter holidays approaching, many people are concerned about trying to stay healthy while also enjoying all the rich, delicious foods and traditions associated with the many celebrations that are or will be soon...
  5. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Black licorice warnings and tips for safe Halloween celebrations

    Can eating too much black licorice really cause heart problems? In some cases, for some people, yes. With Halloween this week and candy sales expected to top $3.1 billion this year, according to the National Retail Federation, it’s a good time to revisit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s warning regarding black licorice. The FDA warns that people over 40 who eat 2 ounces of black licorice a day for at least two weeks could experience an irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia that could land them in the hospital. Black licorice can also interact with some medications, herbs, and dietary supplements, FDA says. This is significant, considering that two-thirds of parents report that they do eat some of their children’s Halloween candy haul, according to...
  6. OSU Extension’s Mobile Design Lab

    Grant helps 4-H expand access to computer science education to multiple counties statewide

    COLUMBUS, Ohio–Thanks to a grant from Google, at least 1,500 more Ohio youth will have increased access to computer science education offered by Ohio 4-H. The funds are part of a $5 million grant to National 4-H Council to help expand access to computer science. In Ohio, the funds will go towards offering computer science programming to an additional 1,500 youth across the state by Ohio 4-H professionals, said Kirk Bloir, state 4-H leader and assistant director, Ohio State University Extension. 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 University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). As America’s largest youth...
  7. Farm Science Review. Photo: CFAES

    Farm Science Review celebrates 60 years

    COLUMBUS, Ohio–Ohio State’s Farm Science Review, which turns 60 this year, plans to highlight its decades of providing valuable information to farmers and producers, while focusing on continuing to educate for the future. The premier agricultural education and industry exposition is set for Sept. 20–22 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, 135 State Route 38, near London. Hosted by CFAES, the 60th FSR will focus on “Embracing Time and Change.” More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the event, which will feature more than 100 educational sessions including “Ask the Expert” talks, the most comprehensive field crop demonstrations in the United States, 600 exhibits, a career exploration fair, and immersive virtual reality videos of...
  8. Photo: Getty Images

    July 20 webinar focuses on long-term impact on farm operations

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Farmers and producers who may now—or will soon—face questions regarding long-term care costs can learn how to fund such care by finding the best ways to mitigate long-term care risks during a July 20 webinar offered by an agricultural law specialist from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). The hourlong webinar will be presented from noon to 1 p.m. by Robert Moore, CFAES agricultural and resource law specialist with Ohio State University Extension’s Agricultural and Resource Law program. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of CFAES. The issue of planning for long-term care costs for farmers and producers is significant, considering that nursing homes can cost some $100,000 per year, a cost...
  9. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Food safety during a power outage

    I’ve got a fridge full of food and our power went out for several hours due to severe storms. Is there any food that can be saved, or do I have to throw everything out of our fridge due to spoilage? It’s that time of year when severe weather can leave consumers without power for a few minutes to multiple days, in some instances. Rounds of severe weather and extreme heat have already impacted many consumers nationwide this spring, with thousands experiencing widespread power outages issues in Ohio and throughout the country.  It’s incredibly frustrating to think you must discard groceries that you’ve just purchased due to a power outage. Understanding the basics of food safety and how perishable foods are impacted when the temperature is 40 degrees...
  10. Photo: Getty Images

    CFAES report focuses on ways to expand, enhance rural access to broadband internet in Ohio

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—While most Ohioans have access to broadband internet, nearly 1 million still lack access to the fast, reliable broadband services in their homes, says analysts with the C. William Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). “This unserved population largely lives in less populated rural regions of the state where it is prohibitively expensive for internet service providers to extend service,” according to Mark Partridge, chair and professor in the CFAES Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics. The Swank program, housed in the department, conducts research, teaching, and outreach within the college. An April report released by...
  11. Photo: Getty Images

    Expect more ticks in Ohio this season and beyond

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Ticks—and the diseases they carry—are on the rise in Ohio this season and will likely continue to increase. While you can encounter a tick during any season, spring marks the beginning of heavy tick season, and this year, the tick population statewide is expected to continue to rise, said Tim McDermott, an educator with Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Global climate change and tick-host range expansion are some reasons for the increase, McDermott said. “Ticks are extraordinarily adaptable and can travel on host animals,” he said. “Ticks expand when their habitat range expands due to global climate change. They take...
  12. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Tick season could result in red meat allergies for some bitten by lone star ticks

    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...
  13. Photo: Getty Images

    Majority of CFAES grads report positive job outlook

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ninety-five percent of recent graduates of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences report either having a job or being enrolled in an advanced degree program within six months of graduation. That’s according to a recent survey by school officials that found that of those graduates, 79% reported accepting positions in Ohio, which contributes to the state’s overall economic strength, said Adam Cahill, career development manager for the college. The remaining graduates reported accepting positions in 35 other states, Washington D.C., and two other countries, Cahill said. “The fact that our students have secured positions in multiple states and internationally shows that our programs are well known...
  14. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Tips to save money on groceries

    My grocery bill has risen by nearly $100 a month recently and it’s becoming harder to keep spending so much more than we used to. Do you have any tips on how we can cut our food costs? You are right–the cost of food is up by more than 8% over last year according to government statistics, with prices for foods including meat, chicken fish and eggs have risen at an even higher increase in costs. And prices are expected to continue to rise throughout the year. That’s according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Price Outlook for 2022, which says food prices are predicted to increase between 4.5 and 5.5% this year. For example, beef prices are forecast to rise 16.2%, pork 14%, poultry 12.5%, fish 10.4%, eggs 11.4%, fresh fruits...
  15. Barbara Kowalcyk

    Ohio State scientist appointed chair of FDA Science Board

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Barbara Kowalcyk, who directs the Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention (CFI) at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), has been appointed chair of the Science Board to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Kowalcyk, who was first appointed to the FDA Science Board in 2013, is faculty with the CFAES Department of Food Science and Technology (FST) and Ohio State’s Translational Data Analytics Institute. Established in 1992, the FDA Science Board advises the federal agency on complex scientific and technical issues and provides input on the agency’s research agenda and on upgrading scientific and research facilities and training opportunities. The board is composed of 21 voting...
  16. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Spring is a great time to add more fresh spinach to your diet

    I’ve got a lot of fresh spinach from my parents’ garden, and I’m looking for more creative ways to eat it. Do you have any tips? Spinach is in harvest right now, making this a great time to add this vitamin- and mineral-packed plant into your diet. Spinach is a healthy, dark, leafy, green vegetable that is full of protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, folate, fiber, phosphorus, thiamine, and vitamins A, C, and K. Also considered a superfood, spinach, as part of a healthy, balanced diet, is important for skin, hair, and bone health. Additionally, spinach can help improve blood glucose control in people with diabetes, and it lowers the risk of cancer, improves bone health, and can promote digestive regularity. There are three types of spinach, including...
  17. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Reusable containers just one of many ways to pack waste-free lunches

    With Earth Day occurring next week, I’m wanting to do more to benefit the environment. Do you have any tips on how I can pack more sustainable lunches with less waste? There are several ways that you can pack waste-free lunches and save money in the process. For example, one way to spend less on lunch is to grab food to pack that you may already have in your refrigerator or cabinets so that you can stretch your food budget and reduce wasted food in your home, said Laura Stanton, educator, family and consumer sciences, Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). “For example, instead of buying single-use dips and condiments, pack your own from home,...
  18. Photo of a small grain–including wheat–resiliency field trial located at the Northwest Agricultural Research Station in Wood County. Photo: Glen Arnold, OSU Extension.

    Record wheat prices prompt more Ohio farmers to plant wheat this year

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—With wheat prices already hitting a 14-year high this year, more Ohio farmers are now planning to plant more of the grain. The war in Ukraine and its impact on wheat exports is driving wheat to record prices, leading more farmers statewide to consider planting more wheat as a result. That’s according to Laura Lindsey, a field crops expert with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Lindsey, a soybean and small grains specialist with Ohio State University Extension, CFAES’ outreach arm, said she’s already fielded numerous calls, emails, and Twitter messages from farmers statewide wanting to know the feasibility of planting wheat this year and what they can do to take advantage of the record...
  19. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Grow your own veggies even without access to a garden

    I’d like to grow my own fruits and vegetables so that I can increase my access to fresh, healthy foods. But I live in an apartment and don’t have access to a garden or patio. Any tips on what I can do? First, I want to commend you on seeking innovative ways to add more produce to your diet by choosing to grow your own vegetables. And even though you don’t have access to a plot of land or space in a garden to plant vegetables, you can still grow your own produce indoors using home hydroponics. In fact, home hydroponics is one of the hottest ways for you to grow your own fresh vegetables and herbs indoors, says Tim McDermott, an educator with Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and...
  20. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Spring is a good time to increase and diversify your fruit and vegetable intake

    Now that it’s officially spring, I’m looking to add even more fresh fruits and vegetables into my diet. Which fruits and vegetables are in season now? Even though snow flurries are predicted this weekend throughout parts of Ohio, yes, it is indeed spring. And with soon-to-be-warming weather, now is a good time to seek out fresh fruits and vegetables that are even more abundant because they are in season in spring. 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...
  21. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: food safety knowledge, not luck, needed to cook corned beef safely for St. Patrick’s Day

    I’m new to cooking and plan to make corned beef for the first time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year. Do you have any tips to prevent the potential for any foodborne illnesses? That’s a great question, considering that corned beef, just like any other raw meat or poultry item, should be handled with care to lessen the potential for foodborne illnesses. That safe handling starts the moment you purchase the meat in the grocery store or butcher shop. Uncooked, whole corned beef is typically sold wrapped in packaging that still contains the salt brine with spices used to cure or pickle the beef. Be sure to check the sell-by date on the package of the meat, and make sure to store the meat unopened in the refrigerator for no more than 5 to 7 days from that date....
  22. Photo: Getty Images

    Conservation Tillage Conference focuses on soil health, water quality and other farm issues

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Wondering how climate change can impact agriculture, food quality, and public health? Want to learn how tile drainage impacts river flashiness? Or how about what kind of insects are beneficial for sustainable agriculture? The answers to these questions and more will be discussed during the annual Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference (CTC), held March 8–9 at the McIntosh Center of Ohio Northern University (ONU), 525 S. Main St., in Ada. CTC is presented by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and other supporters. The event focuses on providing information to farmers on promoting and maintaining soil health, said Randall Reeder, a retired Ohio State University Extension agricultural engineer...
  23. A view of the new pilot-scale ultra-shear technology equipment housed in Ohio State’s Advanced Food Processing Technology Pilot Plant. Photo: CFAES.

    Ohio State installs, commissions new pilot-scale ultra-shear technology equipment for liquid foods and beverages processing

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Food processing companies looking for innovative new ways to preserve clean-label liquid food without artificial preservatives will soon have a new option to do so thanks to new technology being developed at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Researchers in the CFAES departments of Food Science and Technology as well as Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE) have installed and commissioned a new, innovative manufacturing technology that preserves foods and beverages using wholesome, recognizable ingredients; no artificial preservatives; and reduced heat. And they will soon launch an outreach program to food and beverage companies to join the Food Industry Consortium to begin using the new...
  24. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Nonperishable foods to stock up on in advance of a snowstorm

    There’s a snowstorm predicted. What are some foods I should have on hand if I think I’ll be housebound for a few days? Generally speaking, bread and milk are typically the first items that many people stock up on when a winter weather emergency is forecast. While there are several theories as to why many people hoard bread and milk in anticipation of winter storms, the meteorologists at AccuWeather.com attribute the trend to the record-breaking Blizzard of 1978, when New Englanders were trapped in their homes for several weeks and the items that were most purchased prior to the storm were, you guessed it, bread and milk. However, if you really want to be prepared in the event of a snowstorm or other weather event that may keep you inside for a few days, you should...
  25. Photo: Getty Images

    Feb. 9 webinar offers update on Ohio farmland leasing

    COLUMBUS, Ohio–Farmers, producers, and landowners who need to update their farmland leases can learn the latest about the 2022 rental market outlook and the current economic outlook for Ohio row crops during a Feb. 9 webinar offered by farm management specialists from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). “Winter is a good time to review farm leases, and making sure that you have the most current information is critical to that process,” said Barry Ward, director of the Ohio State University Extension Income Tax School and leader of the Production Business Management program. “During the webinar, we’ll provide the latest economic and legal information relevant to farmland leasing in Ohio.” The...

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