- Author: Pat Bailey
Restaurant patrons with their varied food preferences play a huge role in determining which food items are included on the menu. Now an international team of researchers, including a UC Davis plant scientist, is finding that plant-eating insects do much the same in the natural world, maintaining and shaping the genetic variation of their host plants in a geographic area.
The plant-grazing bugs accomplish this by forcing the plants to create diverse natural defenses to avoid being eaten, which in turn shapes the genetic makeup of the plants in a region. The researchers discovered this by studying aphids and the broccoli-like research plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Their findings provide the first measurable evidence...
- Author: Brenda Roche Wolford
Two weeks ago, my colleague wrote about LA County Cooperative Extension’s popular “Grow LA Victory Garden” initiative – Resources for beginning vegetable gardeners develop from LA initiative. This exciting initiative has achieved great success in LA County over the past two years by teaching more than 1,100 beginner gardeners how to grow their own vegetables at home through Master Gardener-led classes.
These classes impart an array of useful skills onto beginner gardeners, potentially translating into positive outcomes, such as improved diet and savings on...
- Author: Iqbal Pittalwala
It’s easy to finish half a bag of chips, or more, while being spread out on a couch, watching TV, the remote near and handy. So robotic can such chip consumption be that it’s easy, too, not to glance at the chip parade traveling resolutely from bag to mouth. But glance we must, for had it not been for the work of a research team, those healthy potato chips for most of us today would be out of reach and pricey, crunched into a crisp footnote in potato history.
The research team, which rescued the potato chip industry from major losses, is the “Zebra Chip Research Team.” It has just won the Integrated Pest Management Team Award...
- Editor: Shelby MacNab
- Author: Brittanny Zweigle
Remember when you were a kid and it was Tommy’s birthday and his mom brought those delicious cupcakes with the mounds of frosting to school? Picture with me all that syrupy sweet frosting in dazzling colors piled to the sky on top of a fluffy cupcake. While we are visualizing cupcakes, let’s do some cupcake math. If a teacher celebrates 30 students’ birthdays during the year, or about one per week in a nine-month school year, in addition to holidays like Halloween, Christmas, Valentines, and St. Patrick’s day, that can add up to a lot of sugary treats.
MyPlate teaches moderation, so there is nothing wrong with a
- Author: Rachel A. Surls
Home vegetable gardening has always been popular in Los Angeles County. At the UC Cooperative Extension office in Los Angeles, we have a long history of teaching people how to garden through our Common Ground Garden Program. We began to get even more inquiries than usual from beginning gardeners starting three or four years ago. As it turned out, this was part of a larger trend. A national survey showed a 19 percent increase in edible gardening in U.S. households in just one year, between 2008 and 2009. We were excited about this new enthusiasm for home food production....