- Author: Penny Leff
It might be pouring rain today, but soon enough California will be dry again. As demand for water for a growing urban population and for environmental restoration increases, farmers throughout the state are working to grow crops using as little water as possible, and UC is working with them.
"Water supplies are being constrained. Farmers are facing reduced access to water," said Shermain Hardesty, a UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis.
A team of researchers, led by Hardesty, is in the middle of a three-year investigation into the effects of different irrigation levels on the quality, shelf-life, nutritional...
- Author: Brenda Dawson
What if you could significantly improve the nutritional quality of your diet, just by switching one of the vegetables you eat every day?
In parts of Africa, some people are doing just that by switching from yellow or white sweet potatoes to orange-fleshed varieties.
In many African countries, sweet potatoes are a common staple—though not the orange-fleshed varieties I’m used to finding on the Thanksgiving table.
That orange color signifies the potato’s beta-carotene content, which our bodies convert to vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children and is crucial to the survival of...
- Author: Sandra Ortega
Betsy Knapp, a former social worker, always knew that she loved helping people. But the experience of becoming a UC CalFresh Master Education Extender revealed her passion for nutrition education.
The Master Education Extender Team (MEET) was designed to recruit volunteers in the community and train them to extend UC CalFresh family-centered nutrition education in the community.
MEET is growing rapidly. Just nine months old, MEET has six active extenders who have delivered nutrition education based on USDA's MyPlate guidelines at various targeted...
- 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...