News Releases

  1. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Don’t bleach your food to protect against COVID-19

    I’m really worried about COVID-19 and want to keep my family safe, so lately, I’ve been rinsing my fresh fruits and vegetables with a mixture of bleach and water. That’s safe, right? No, that is not safe. You should NEVER wash or rinse ANY food product with any form of bleach, disinfectant, or any other household cleaning chemicals. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a notice to consumers alerting them to the dangers of rinsing, soaking, or washing any food products with bleach or disinfectant, after a significant number of consumers have been doing just that. Calls to poison centers around the country regarding exposures to cleaners and disinfectants have increased sharply since the beginning of the COVID-19...
  2. Scientists expect this year's bloom to measure 4.5 on the severity index. The 2018 bloom had a severity of 3.5. Photo: Ohio Sea Grant.

    Moderate summer harmful algal bloom predicted for western Lake Erie

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its research partners predict that western Lake Erie will experience a moderate harmful algal bloom this summer. This year’s bloom is expected to measure 4.5 on the severity index – among the smaller blooms since 2011 – but could possibly range between 4 and 5.5, compared to 7.3 last year. An index above 5 indicates the more severe blooms. Lake Erie blooms consist of cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, capable of producing the liver toxin microcystin which poses a risk to human and wildlife health. Such blooms may result in higher costs for cities and local governments that need to treat drinking water, prevent people from enjoying fishing, swimming, boating and visiting the...
  3. (Photo: Getty Images)

    Agricultural exports doing relatively well

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Though the COVID-19 pandemic has cut demand for many U.S. products, agricultural exports are holding up well, according to a new analysis by an agricultural economist with The Ohio State University.  The reason?  “We all have to eat,” said Ian Sheldon, a professor in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).  Even when consumer income declines, the demand for food changes very little, Sheldon said. People in the developed world might be dining out less frequently, but they’re still buying groceries. Exports of U.S. agricultural goods, including soybeans, which are Ohio’s top agricultural export, are up, Sheldon said. By the start of June, the amount of U.S. soybeans exported was 200,000...
  4. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow line: Salad recall prompts questions of parasite

    I read something about a salad recall due to cyclospora, but I’ve not really heard about cyclospora before – what is it? Cyclospora cayetanensis is a microscopic parasite that can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and fatigue. When people eat food or drink water that’s contaminated with cyclospora, they can develop an intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced June 19 that they are investigating a multistate outbreak of cyclospora potentially linked to ALDI Little Salad Bar Brand Garden Salad from ALDI grocery stores, Hy-Vee Brand Garden Salad from Hy-Vee grocery stores, and Signature Farms Brand Garden Salad from Jewel-Osco.  As of now, the recalled...
  5. New veggie garden? 6 tips for keeping it healthy through summer

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Lots of Ohioans started gardening this spring, some for the very first time, possibly including you. In a time of pandemic and staying at home, gardening gets you out into fresh air and sunshine, keeps you properly socially distanced, and yields healthy food for your family. Call it, yes, a victory garden—one that stretches your food budget, limits your time in the grocery store, and helps ease the strain on food supply chains. So how, now that your garden is growing, can you keep it strong all summer long? Tim McDermott, an educator with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), shared his top six tips, especially for beginners. He runs the Growing...
  6. Grapevines showing leaf damage

    New fact sheet series for specialty crop growers focuses on dicamba and 2,4-D drift

    WOOSTER, Ohio—Dicamba-related drift is causing significant stress for educators, agricultural regulators, and soybean farmers this year. For many specialty crop growers, though, this is familiar ground as their crops are especially sensitive to drift. Since 2016, soybean farmers have quickly adopted dicamba- and 2,4-D-ready crops in their fight against herbicide-resistant weeds. However, the expanded use of these herbicides during the growing season has led to an increased threat of drift damage for specialty crop growers. High-value crops such as grapes, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes can be damaged by concentrations of 1/300th the labeled rate or lower. While recent legal issues have limited the use of three dicamba products for this growing season, both dicamba and 2,4-D will...
  7. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: First day of Summer? A look at what fruits and vegetables are in season now 

    Summer is finally here and I’m craving fresh cherries, sweet corn and delicious ripe tomatoes fresh off the vine. What other fruits and vegetables are in season during the summer? With tomorrow, June 20, being the first day of summer this year, now seems like a good time to revisit what fruits and vegetables are in season now. As published in a previous “Chow Line,” summer heat and long days make it a good time to indulge in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables like berries, melons, sweet corn and tomatoes, among a wide range of plentiful produce. Not only are these items extremely fresh and flavorful because they’re in season, they’re also widely discounted because of the abundance of supply based on the time of year. Improved technology and...
  8. Tax value of farmland expected to drop

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—There’s a bit of good news for Ohio farmers to counter the bad news caused by COVID-19, as well as by last year’s historic rain. In counties scheduled for property value updates in 2020—about half of Ohio’s 88 counties—the average value of farmland enrolled in the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) program should be about 40% lower than 2017–2019, or about $665 per acre. That’s according to projections by researchers at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). The same projections say that in counties due for property value updates in 2021—another quarter of Ohio’s counties—average CAUV values should be about 25% less than 2018–...
  9. Judit Puskas, wearing a homemade illustration of her polymer face mask. She is currently in the final stages of developing a new polymer face mask that she expects will be more effective in the fight against COVID-19. Photo: Judit Puskas.

    Ohio State researching, testing polymer face masks to protect against COVID-19

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—While many people are encouraged and, in some cases, mandated to wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there are some complaints that have become a common refrain: the mask doesn’t fit correctly, it’s uncomfortable, it’s too hot, or the mask is hard to breathe through. However, a material scientist at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) is working to change that.   Judit Puskas is in the final stages of developing a new polymer face mask that she expects will be more effective in the fight against COVID-19. Puskas, who is a Distinguished Professor in polymer science in the CFAES Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, has a ...
  10. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Vitamin D and COVID-19

    My wife heard that vitamin D can help with symptoms of COVID-19. Is that true? Your question is on the minds of many consumers, as more people have been reaching for vitamin supplements to boost their immune system amid the coronavirus pandemic. Vitamin D, which plays a wide variety of roles in boosting the immune system, is one of those supplements that has seen increased sales in recent weeks.  It helps the body absorb calcium, which builds strong bones and prevents osteoporosis. Vitamin D’s effect is significant: If you don’t get enough, your body absorbs only 10% to 15% of the calcium you consume. With vitamin D, absorption jumps to 30% to 40%. In addition, muscles, nerves, the immune system, and many other bodily functions all require vitamin D to do...

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