An Apple a day for a Baby’s Brain

We’re all aware that fruit is a recommended part of the daily diet.  However, new research suggests that fruit may be even more important for expecting mothers by increasing the intelligence of a normal, healthy baby.

The University of Alberta study found that each additional serving of fruit the pregnant participants consumed corresponded with an increase in cognitive scores for their children a year after birth. The results from 688 children tested are preliminary and best seen as a suggestion for future studies.  However, the data is interesting because only fish has been linked to enhanced cognitive development.

After analyzing the data, Piush Mandhane, an associate professor of pediatrics at University of Alberta and one of the two senior authors of the paper, was so surprised that he sought out a colleague to double check the results using fruit flies–which yielded similar results.

What’s perhaps less surprising is that half of the pregnant women surveyed did not meet the US government’s guidelines of 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit a day.  This is roughly equivalent to an apple and a large banana per day.

To read more, click here.

Mount Mozzarella: The US Cheese Surplus Piles Up

CHEESEThere are 1.3 billion pounds of cheese in storage this year.  That’s a lot.  That’s the record, in fact, and it’s a global phenomenon that we’re struggling to deal with.  Two years ago, dairy farmers responded to a spike in demand by massively increasing production, but that demand has trailed off, and our supply is now bulging like a ball of mozzarella.

Fortunately, the USDA is making a conscientious move to help those in need: by purchasing $20 million of the surplus to give to food banks across the country.  This is great for food banks, which don’t usually get much of the good stuff.  However, it’s only a small shred in the pile–less than 1% of the 1.3 billion pounds in storage.

Additionally, it won’t do much for the falling milk price, which is hurting groceries across the country.  In fact, “The Chicago Mercantile Exchange spot prices for cheddar cheese were down following the announcement,” said Mark Stephenson, director of dairy policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

To read more, click here.