News Releases

  1. Study participants were most open to buying bunches containing imperfect carrots after being presented with marketing messages promoting ugly carrots’ personal and societal benefits. Photo: Getty Images.

    Giving ugly food a chance

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Explaining the value of misshapen vegetables—that they are as healthful as their picture-perfect counterparts and buying them helps reduce food waste—could help improve sales of “ugly” produce, new research suggests. The study measured consumers’ responses to hypothetical shopping scenarios for carrots. Participants were most open to buying bunches containing imperfect carrots after being presented with both of those marketing messages promoting ugly carrots’ personal and societal benefits. Either message alone was not effective at convincing consumers to buy misfit carrots. Findings also showed that respondents were willing to pay, with a small discount, for some level of mixed bunches containing both ugly and standard...
  2. CFAES researchers noted that plastic is a major category of solid waste, responsible for an estimated 60-80% of marine litter.. Photo: Getty Images.

    Giving shoppers a nudge to forgo plastic bags

    COLUMBUS, Ohio–The opportunity to make a small charitable donation on a store owner’s nickel may be just the encouragement shoppers need to forgo toting their goods home in a single-use plastic bag, new research suggests. In the study, conducted at two convenience stores on a college campus, giving customers a 5-cent token toward a charitable donation in exchange for their rejection of a disposable bag reduced plastic bag use by about 30%. The researchers experimented with the 5-cent donation concept as an application of the behavioral economics theory known as nudging. According to the theory, nudging can gently guide people in a certain direction but not restrict their options. And to count as a nudge, an initiative has to be low-cost. “We had seen that a few...
  3. Photo: Getty Images

    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...
  4. 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...
  5. CFAES Wooster event to explore robotics in agriculture

    WOOSTER, Ohio—Farming is becoming even higher-tech, and an upcoming event will talk about how. “Robotics in Agriculture: What Will It Mean to the Food You Eat” will feature five speakers from the farm industry and from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). It takes place at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 in Fisher Auditorium at CFAES Wooster, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster. “We hope attendees will broaden their understanding of the possibilities for using robotics, artificial intelligence, and related technologies to improve food production,” said co-planner Mary Wicks, a program coordinator for CFAES’ Program for Bioproducts and the Environment. Wicks said the speakers will give a variety of...
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. 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...
  9. 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...
  10. Photo: CFAES

    Ohio State packs, delivers 188,300 meals to fight food insecurity in northeast Ohio

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Some 188,300 meals were packed and delivered to families in northeast Ohio last week as part of an effort by more than 500 volunteers from The Ohio State University who joined some 200 community organization partners to fight food insecurity in Ohio. The effort was part of “Urban October,” a worldwide campaign the United Nations launched to focus on the opportunities and challenges created by the fast rate of change in cities. The theme of Ohio’s monthlong campaign is “Celebrating Ohio Cities—Where We Live, Work, Play, Learn, and Serve.” As part of that service, Ohio State students, staff, faculty, alumni, volunteers, and families packed and delivered free meals to those struggling with food insecurity. In an effort led by...

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