Tracy Turner

Technical Editor
Focus Areas: 
Chow Line, consumer news, food safety, nutrition.
  1. 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...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. 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...
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    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,...
  10. 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...
  11. 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...
  12. 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...
  13. 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....
  14. 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...
  15. 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...
  16. 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...
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    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...
  18. 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...
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    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...
  20. 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...
  21. 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...
  22. 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...
  23. 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...
  24. 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...
  25. 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...

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