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USDA Helps Make Nutrition Education Fun For Kids

Here is a poster from the Dig In! curriculum that educators can post in the class room to encourage healthy eating.

Here is a poster from the Dig In! curriculum that educators can post in the class room to encourage healthy eating.

Research shows that students with healthful eating patterns tend to do better in school, and it’s important that children begin learning about food and nutrition when they’re young. In support of that goal, the Food and Nutrition Service recently released three free sets of curriculum educators can use to empower children to make healthful food choices and develop an awareness of how fruits and vegetables are grown.

The Great Garden Detective Adventure curriculum for 3rd and 4th grades includes 11 lessons, bulletin board materials, veggie dice, fruit and vegetable flash cards, and ten issues of Garden Detective News for parents/caregivers.  Kids will discover what fruits and vegetables are sweetest, crunchiest, and juiciest through investigations and fun experiences connecting the school garden to the classroom, school cafeteria and home. Read more »

Scientists’ Secret Ingredient for a Better Burger

Studies have shown that olive powder has potential to suppress the foodborne pathogen E. coli O157:H7 in hamburger patties and to retard the formation of potentially carcinogenic heterocyclic amines that can form when the burgers are cooked.

Studies have shown that olive powder has potential to suppress the foodborne pathogen E. coli O157:H7 in hamburger patties and to retard the formation of potentially carcinogenic heterocyclic amines that can form when the burgers are cooked.

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

Chances are that you—or whoever’s the “grillmaster” at your house—have your own “secret ingredient” for making grilled burgers taste even better.  But it might surprise you to know that  Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their university colleagues also are working on secret ingredient for a better burger, although their interest focuses on food safety rather than flavor.

They’ve been testing the capacity of olive powder, a byproduct of olive processing, as a weapon against Escherichia coli O157:H7, and the powder’s potential to retard the formation of undesirable substances called heterocyclic amines while the patties are being grilled. Read more »