News Releases

  1. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Face masks and eating

    I now wear a mask every time I leave my house, and I plan to do so as long as we are faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. But I haven’t figured out how to eat or drink with a mask on. Do I take it off or pull it up between bites? Any tips on what to do? As states ease their stay-at-home orders and people return to venturing out of the house, your question of how to eat or drink while wearing a face mask is one that is likely to come up frequently. According to published reports, some restaurants in Hong Kong, for example, have begun providing patrons with a clean bag to store their masks in while they eat at the restaurant. With that in mind, if you do plan to eat when out in public, you should carefully take your mask off completely without touching the outside of the mask, said...
  2. Photo: Getty Images

    Got financial questions? Ask a financial expert

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Many Ohioans struggling financially have questions, and The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) might have the answers. With Ohio’s unemployment rate hitting a five-year high as the nation continues to deal with the health and financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, numerous consumers statewide have financial questions as many try to manage the biggest economic challenge they’ve ever faced. More than 1.1 million Ohioans have filed for unemployment benefits since March, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Nationwide, some 33.5 million Americans are out of work, with 14.7% of the population unemployed, the highest since the Great Depression, economists said today....
  3. (Photo: Getty Images)

    Where’s the beef … pork … chicken … lamb?

    Meat prices are up. And some grocery stores have limited how much meat you can buy. While shoppers might be paying more for meat, the prices livestock owners are earning for their pigs, chickens, cattle, and other animals are down—that’s if they can even sell them. Meatpacking plants have had to shut down fully or partially because of the number of their employees sick with COVID-19 or concerned about catching the disease. As a result, farmers have had to keep their fully grown livestock on the farm, though they were ready to go to market. In some cases, farmers in Ohio and nationwide have had to begin reducing their flocks or herds by euthanizing them. Stan Smith, a livestock owner and program assistant for Ohio State University Extension in Fairfield County, and Lyda G...
  4. (Photo: Getty Images)

    Backup in meat processing leads farmers to painful decisions

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—The COVID-19 pandemic has led farmers to some excruciating decisions to cut their losses, including euthanizing animals. There’s a financial toll, for sure, but an emotional one as well.  “They’re cringing,” said Lyda Garcia, an assistant professor of meat science with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). “It really hurts to have to do that.” With meat processing plants partially or fully closed or backed up with orders, some Ohio farmers who raise pigs and chickens for slaughter are reluctantly turning to reducing their flocks or herds. It’s not a decision they want to make, nor a decision they ever expected to make. This is happening amid other...
  5. Working from home

    OSU Extension to continue teleworking arrangements during Stay Safe Ohio order

    Columbus, Ohio—Ohio State University Extension will continue operating via its teleworking plan for all employees and will keep physical OSU Extension offices closed to the public until further notice. This remains in accordance with The Ohio State University’s decision that all university employees, with the exception of essential facilities workers, are to continue teleworking and remain off campus, physical distancing and taking all other precautions to stay safe. Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton recently extended Ohio’s Stay Safe Ohio order through May 29. While some businesses and organizations in the state are starting to reopen as of early May, the guidelines for reopening offices via the governor’s office require personnel to work from...
  6. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow line: Not all foods fit for humans are fit for dogs

    I’ve recently adopted a dog. He’s been a great companion for me as I’ve been sheltering at home alone during the coronavirus pandemic. As this is my first time as a dog owner, I’ve given my dog bites of food from my meals in addition to his own dog food. Is that OK? Congratulations on becoming a new dog parent! Many people such as yourself have become new dog owners in recent weeks as people continue to abide by stay-at-home orders and have sought companionship by welcoming new pets into their homes. In fact, animal rescue centers and shelters nationwide have reported a spike in adoptions and foster applications since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, including for example, the Franklin County Dog Shelter, which has reported an increase in pet adoptions,...
  7. A supermarket meat counter

    Media advisory: COVID-19’s effect on the meat supply

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—The U.S. meat supply is on the minds of many, as some larger processing plants have slowed production. Others have temporarily closed, as workers have fallen ill with COVID-19. According to data compiled by USA Today and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, at least 4,400 workers have fallen ill across 80 plants in 26 states, causing 28 to close for at least one day. Sensational headlines, meat company executives buying full-page ads warning that the U.S. meat supply could be at risk, farmers euthanizing animals, and a presidential executive order have confused consumers and stoked fears. Two professors at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) are available to talk with media about what the...
  8. (Photo: Getty Images)

    Buying milk during the pandemic

    Got milk? Depends on who you ask. At times, some stores seem to have very little milk. Dairy farmers, meanwhile, have plenty. But milk straight from the cow needs to be processed into products consumers want—like butter, cheese, yogurt and milk in one-gallon jugs. Because of the coronavirus and the shutdowns, demand for milk and dairy products for schools and restaurants has dropped off. So, milk processors have been trying to shift gears—from producing small containers of milk for schools and sizeable packages of cheese for restaurants, to packaging and bottling more products an individual shopper would buy. Either way, dairy farmers have to milk their cows every day. Early in April, for the first time, two companies that buy milk told some of Ohio’s dairy...
  9. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Fresh produce and COVID-19

    Is it safe to buy and eat fresh fruits and vegetables in light of the coronavirus pandemic? Can I get COVID-19 from eating fresh fruits such as apples? Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is a great choice that promotes a healthy diet, so it’s important that you don’t let fears of the coronavirus pandemic prevent you from eating these healthy foods. In fact, they provide considerable nutritional benefits that help maintain personal health and can enhance the ability to fight off infections. As such, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines suggest that you should fill half your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables at each meal. With that in mind, it’s important to know that food safety experts consider the risk of acquiring COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus,...
  10. Frost damaged early blooming grape varieties last week in southern Ohio.

    Frost grips grapes in southern Ohio

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Southern Ohio vineyards took a hit last week when frost killed off early emerging buds, and northern Ohio grape growers are bracing for the potential in their area as well. “Some grape varieties like Chardonnay got absolutely obliterated in southern Ohio,” said Maria Smith, viticulture outreach specialist at the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science within The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). “For grape growers and some wineries, it’s a very big deal. You have vineyards that can’t cover the cost of the season because they lost one or two varieties of grapes.” While spring frosts can threaten vineyards across the state, the prospects for Ohio’s grapes this...

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