Tracy Turner

Technical Editor
Focus Areas: 
Chow Line, consumer news, food safety, nutrition.
  1. Corned beef. Photo: Thinkstock

    Chow Line: Don’t Count on Luck to Make Corned Beef Safely for St. Patrick’s Day

    I’m hosting dinner this year to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and I plan to serve corned beef. Are there any measures that I need to take to prevent the potential for any foodborne illnesses? Corned beef, just like any other raw meat or poultry item, should be handled with care to lessen the potential for foodborne illnesses. That starts the moment you purchase the meat in the grocery store or butcher shop and bring it home. 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 store it unopened in the refrigerator for no more than 5 to 7 days from that date. If you purchase corned beef with a use-by date, make sure...
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    Growers, Producers: Learn How to Effectively Market Your Business

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio farmers and food producers can learn how to target and communicate with consumers to help increase the visibility and economic potential of their businesses at a workshop offered at three Ohio locations in March and April. The Educational Marketing Program workshop is being offered by specialists from the Direct Agricultural Marketing Program of Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Ohio Proud program. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The Ohio Proud program identifies and promotes food and agricultural products made and grown in Ohio. The workshop is designed to offer food producers practical information on best...
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    Chow Line: Eat More Fruits and Veggies! National Nutrition Month a Good Time to Start

    I do most of the cooking in my house and try to make sure that the meals I prepare are both good tasting and healthy. However, I am in a rut when it comes to healthy food ideas. Do you have any suggestions on any clever, tasty ways to add more fruits and veggies to my family’s diet? The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommends that people make half their plate fruits and vegetables. That includes eating whole fruits – fresh, frozen, dried or canned in 100 percent juice and eating fresh, frozen or canned vegetables either raw, steamed, sautéed or roasted. Make sure to include dark green, red and orange vegetables as well as legumes such as beans and peas and starchy and other vegetables. Why is this important? People should eat more fruits and vegetables because they...
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    East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference Is March 24

    MASSILLON, Ohio – Female farmers, growers and those women interested in becoming farm operators can learn more about the industry during a conference offered by Ohio State University Extension, which is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference is March 24 from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the R.G. Drage Career Technical Center, 2800 Richville Drive Southwest, in Massillon. The event is targeted toward women, including those of high school age, who are interested in, involved in or want to become involved in food, agricultural or natural resources production or small business, said Heather Neikirk, an OSU Extension educator and co-organizer of the conference....
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    March 29 Soil Health Workshop Focuses on Benefits of Cover Crops

    XENIA, Ohio – Farmers who want to improve their soil’s health and cut input costs all while benefiting Ohio’s water quality may want to consider adding cover crops to their fields. Additional benefits for growers to add cover crops such as oilseed radish, cereal rye, Austrian winter pea and crimson clover include reducing soil erosion and nutrient losses, according to Alan Sundermeier, an Ohio State University Extension educator. Farmers who want to learn more about cover crops, including how to decide which is best for their soils, can attend the Cover Crop Soil Health Workshop, March 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Greene County Fairgrounds, Buckeye Room, 100 Fairgrounds Road, in Xenia. The workshop is offered by the College of Food, Agricultural, and...
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    Ohio Soil Health Symposium Offers Insight on Promoting, Protecting Soils

    TIFFIN, Ohio – Farmers, certified crop advisers and other members of the agriculture industry can gain in-depth insight into soil health and conservation during a daylong Ohio Soil Health Symposium on March 28. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is sponsored by the Seneca Conservation District and will feature presentations by experts with the district, the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, and other agriculture industry experts. “The symposium will provide the latest research and policy information which will guide soil health improvement,” said Alan Sundermeier, an Ohio State University Extension educator. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. “The Seneca County area in north-central...
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    Chow Line: Water, Other Nonsugary Drinks Best Option for Kids

    My children used to drink a lot of high-sugar soft drinks. A few years ago we cut back, limiting them to one a day. But I saw something recently that makes me think even that might be too much. What is the recommendation? The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommends that people consume less than 10 percent of their daily calories from added sugars. The guidelines also recommend that people either avoid sugar-sweetened drinks from their diet overall, or at the very least, limit the amount of sugary drinks they consume. Other organizations, such as the American Heart Association, say kids shouldn’t consume more than 100 calories a day of added sugar. The group further recommends that children limit their consumption of sugary drinks to 8 ounces a week. But the reality is, many kids...
  8. Malting barley. Photo: Thinkstock

    March 24 Malting Barley Conference Focuses on Future of Barley as Ohio Cash Crop

    XENIA, Ohio – Ohio malting barley growers are experiencing increased demand for the specialty crop used as a key ingredient in craft beers, experts say. With a growing craft beer industry in Ohio, malting barley growers can expect that the demand for the crop likely will continue to grow, said Brian Kleinke, an Ohio State University Extension Educator. “As of 2016, there were more than 170 licensed breweries statewide, meaning that the income potential for malting barley growers is significant,” Kleinke said. To help new growers learn how to get started growing malting barley in Ohio, as well as provide more insight for established growers, a Malting Barley Conference and Trade Show will be held March 24 at the Greene County fairgrounds, 100 Fairground Road in Xenia,...
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    Conservation and Tillage Conference Focuses on Soil Health, Water Quality and Other Farm Issues

    ADA, Ohio – Ever wondered why farmers should care about bees? The answer to that and more will be discussed during the annual Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference, held March 7-8 at the McIntosh Center of Ohio Northern University, 525 S. Main St., in Ada. 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. From offering a workshop on “Farms and Pollinators: Why Farmers Should Care About the Bees,” and a discussion on “Correcting Tillage Effects with Cover Crops,” the two-day event is designed to provide opportunities “for farmers to learn about the latest technology and practices for conserving soil and...
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    Chow Line: Tapeworms in Salmon a Potential Risk

    I heard a recent report that some salmon in the U. S. has been found to have tapeworms. That has me worried — is salmon still safe to eat? In most circumstances, yes. The report you are speaking of comes from a new study published this month in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. The study said that the parasitic Japanese broad tapeworm, also known as Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense, was found in wild pink salmon from Alaska. The study authors said that salmon from the American and Asian Pacific coasts and elsewhere pose potential dangers for persons who eat these fish raw. When the wild-caught salmon are transported on ice instead of frozen, the parasitic tapeworm may survive transport. However, the risk of consumers...
  11. Dark chocolate that has at least 70 percent cocoa or more is a healthier choice. Photo: Thinkstock

    Chow Line: Dark Chocolate a Healthier Option for Valentine’s Day

    I want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a sweet treat for my wife this year, but I don’t want to derail her healthy eating regime. What kind of sweets can I present her? If you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with sweet treats while keeping your wife’s health in mind, you can still consider presenting her with some chocolate. However, make sure you choose a dark chocolate, with which she can both enjoy and gain some heart-healthy advantages. In moderation, dark chocolate is believed to provide multiple health benefits. This is because of its high levels of flavonoids, which are antioxidants that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can alter and weaken cells, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Research...
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    Workshops on Complying With 2015 Revised Worker Protection Standard

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – New regulations and safeguards under the 2015 revised Worker Protection Standard took effect on Jan. 2, 2017, and owners of farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses that use pesticides in agricultural plant production can learn how stay in compliance during a series of workshops offered by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The free, three-hour workshops will be offered at several locations around Ohio on Feb. 16, March 13, 23 and 27, and April 13, said Mary Ann Rose, program director for Ohio State University Extension’s Pesticide Safety Education Program. OSU Extension is the college’s outreach arm. All workshop participants will receive a new worker training DVD and employer compliance manual...
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    Chow Line: Slow Cooker Is a Good Option for Healthy, Hearty Meals on Cold Winter Days

    One of my resolutions this year is for my family to eat healthier while I save time and money. Preparing hearty meals in a slow cooker could be one answer, but is it really safe to use? In a word, yes. For many people, coming home after long hours of work, school or other activities to the delicious and inviting smells of a warm, hearty meal ready to eat is a perfect ending to a hectic day, especially during a cold winter spell. Not only are slow cookers convenient, they can also help families save money by making less expensive, tougher cuts of meat — like shoulder, round and chuck steak — more tender and shrink less.  However, there are some precautions you should take to ensure that the meals you cook in your slow cooker are both safe and nutritious to eat. For...
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    Chow Line: Serving Game Day Food Safely

    I am hosting a Super Bowl party for the first time and I want to make sure that my guests have a good time. But, I’m not the best cook in the world – what are some things I should do to make sure I serve good food without getting anyone sick? First things first, take a deep breath and relax. Serving up an appetizing buffet for the Big Game isn’t as hard as you may think. Hundreds of thousands of households across the country partake in that time-honored tradition annually. In fact, Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest food consumption day of the year, second only behind Thanksgiving, according to the National Chicken Council. With that in mind, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers several tips to help you ensure that your guests have a good meal...
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    Chow Line: Select Healthy Snack Choices in 2017

    Help! It’s January and I’m among the folks who’ve made eating better one of my New Year’s resolutions. I’ve heard that snacking between meals is a good option, but I’m having some difficulty finding snacks other than carrot sticks and celery stalks to munch on that are healthy. What are some other options? Glad you asked! Healthy snacks are a part of a balanced, healthy eating plan by offering extra nutrients that may be missing from your meals, as well as providing an energy boost and satisfying midday hunger pangs. The key is to choose a snack that will be beneficial to your overall health and diet. And that takes some planning. The ChooseMyPlate.gov website offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers suggestions on healthy snacks: Prep...
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    Chow Line: Kids’ Menu Choices Not Always the Best Option

    When I take my family out to eat at a restaurant, most often I choose an option for my kids off the children’s menu because it’s food that they would eat and, frankly, it’s less expensive. But lately I’ve been hearing reports that say children’s menu options aren’t always the best choice nutritionally for kids. That leaves me to wonder — is the kids’ menu the best option? That really depends on which restaurant you go to. According to a study led by the RAND Corp., an independent health policy research organization, and published recently in the journal Nutrition Today, many items offered on children’s menus at the nation’s top 200 restaurant chains have too many calories. The study authors consulted with a panel of child...
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    Chow Line: Fructose intolerance manageable with proper diet

    My son has been complaining recently about tummy aches after eating certain fruits like grapes and watermelon. Lately, he can’t seem to tolerate apple juice even though it’s his favorite drink. Could the fruit be causing his pain? I thought that feeding him fruits was a healthy choice? Generally, fruits and vegetables are a healthy choice for children. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it is recommended that children ages 2-3 eat 1 cup of fruit per day, those ages 4-8 consume 1-1.5 cups, those ages 9-13 consume 1.5 cups, and those 14-18 consume 1.5-2 cups of fruit per day. Fruits, fruit juices and some vegetables, however, contain a naturally occurring sugar known as fructose. Fructose is also found in honey, table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup...
  18. Planter University Focuses on Placement, Yield Potential

    LONDON, Ohio – Proper seed placement, along with applying just the right amount of fertilizer needed to maximize yields while saving money, will be the focus of the daylong Planter University workshop offered Feb. 28 by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The workshop, held at Beck’s Hybrid’s, 720 U.S. 40 in London, Ohio, will offer farmers a hands-on opportunity to learn more about advancements in planter technology as well as hear directly from researchers and experts on the issues, said John Fulton, precision agriculture specialist for Ohio State University Extension. Fulton, who is also an associate professor in the college’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, said the...
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    Holidays Can Be Enjoyable Without the Extra Calories

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – For many people, holiday celebrations mean family, friends and food – plenty of sweet, rich, hearty, calorie-laden foods. But, fear not – you can still enjoy all the season’s festivities without overdoing it on the buffet line by simply planning ahead, says Carolyn Gunther, an assistant professor of human sciences and a state specialist for Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. One key to avoid overeating during the holidays is to make plans ahead of time about what you’ll have to eat at the party … and be mindful about the decisions you’re making once at the party, she said. “Coming up with a game...
  20. An Ohio wine expert says determining which wine to serve with which cheese is really about finding out what pairs well for your senses. Photo: Thinkstock.

    Local Flavors: Ohio Wines and Cheeses Offer Options for Holiday Pairings

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Want to try local fare to serve for your holiday seasonal celebrations but are unsure of what Ohio wines best complement which cheeses? An Ohio wine expert says determining which wine to serve with which cheese is really about finding out what pairs well for your senses. “There really is no right or wrong when it comes to appropriately pairing wine to food or cheese,” said Todd Steiner, who leads The Ohio State University’s enology program, the science of winemaking, part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The goal, he says, is to move away from the notion of wines being intimidating and for people not to feel daunted when being introduced to a new wine or when choosing a wine to enjoy with food or,...
  21. VIneyard in winter. Photo: Thinkstock

    Grape and Wine Workshop Offers New Approach to Winter Protection Techniques

    PIKETON, Ohio – With temperatures dropping statewide, some of the best ways wine growers and vineyard operators can protect their crops from harsh winter weather is by using high tunnels, employing windbreaks or by selecting cold-hardy cultivars, says a small fruit crops expert with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Understanding multiple techniques for protecting wine grapes from cold weather is key for successful vineyard operations, especially in Ohio where temperatures can drop below zero for days on end in winter months, said Gary Gao, an Ohio State University Extension specialist and associate professor of small fruit crops at the Ohio State University South Centers at Piketon. “Smart winter protection...
  22. Black vultures spotted near S.R. 37 in Lancaster, Ohio, in October 2016. Photo: OSU Extension.

    Black Vultures on the Rise, Growing Problem for Livestock Producers

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Livestock producers beware – black vultures are on the hunt and they aren’t just looking for dead animals. These migratory birds are known to attack and eat live animals, too. The birds have become a problem for many Ohio livestock producers in recent years, said Stan Smith, an Ohio State University Extension program assistant in agriculture and natural resources. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Black vultures have been a growing problem for Ohio livestock producers over the past 15 years, Smith said. Recently, they were spotted on the northeast side of Lancaster. “Folks in several areas across the state have reported having problems with black...
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    New Field to Faucet App Helps Farmers Plot Farm Management Decisions

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – A new app from The Ohio State University allows growers to compare the effectiveness of different management decisions within fields. The aim, in part, is to improve water quality throughout the state. Called Ohio State PLOTS, the free app allows growers, as well as consultants and others who support growers, to design replicated plot layouts by creating on-farm trials that can compare hybrids, seeding populations, fertilizer rates and nutrient management systems, among other practices and inputs, said John Fulton, precision agriculture specialist for Ohio State University Extension. The app allows users to digitally compare various treatments within their fields to determine the best management plan for their fields, before extending financial or labor...
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    New Worker Protection Compliance Manual Now Available for Growers

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Owners of farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses that use pesticides in agricultural plant production now have access to a new manual that outlines the new regulations and safeguards under the revised 2015 Worker Protection Standard. The new manual, called “How to Comply With the 2015 Revised WPS for Agricultural Pesticides,” was recently released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and details the important new rules that impact employers of agricultural workers, said Mary Ann Rose, program director for Ohio State University Extension’s Pesticide Safety Education Program. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The rules impact thousands of...
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    2016 Tax School Available November and December in Multiple Locations Throughout Ohio

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – How to deal with tax liabilities in the event of the death of a taxpayer and how to report financial distress are among the topics to be discussed during the upcoming Tax School workshop series offered throughout November and December by tax experts with the IRS and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The annual series is designed to help tax preparers learn about federal tax law updates for this year as well as learn more about issues they may encounter when filing individual and small business 2016 tax returns, said Barry Ward, director of the Ohio State University Income Tax School Program of Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of the college. The series of...

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