Farro, a hearty grain eaten by ancient Greeks and Romans and long considered a world staple, is becoming popular on California Bay area menus -- and cookbook author Mark Scarbrough can't get enough of the whole grain variety. "It has earthy tones much like mushrooms, a toasted walnut overtone to it that is just missing from pearled [varieties]," Scarbrough said. His recipes for farro with nectarines, basil and toasted pine nuts and farro smoked chicken salad capitalize on the grain's earthy, nutty flavor.
A study to be presented at the American Chemical Society meeting found that "stone fruits" such as nectarines, plums and peaches contain bioactive compounds that may help stave off metabolic syndrome. Four major phenolic groups found in stone fruits work "simultaneously in different fronts against the components of the disease, including obesity, inflammation, diabetes and cardiovascular disease," researcher and food scientist Luis Cisneros-Zevallos said.
Students at 27 public schools in the District of Columbia will have a cafeteria salad bar this year, and 10 high schools will use an "Eat More Salad" campaign to help them build nutritious meals. The District's nutrition chief, Jeff Mills, says he spent the summer testing local sources for salad-bar greens and produce, and students will have access to locally grown nectarines, mushrooms, watermelons, tomatoes, squash, arugula and spinach.
A Canadian study found no relationship between dietary intake of vitamin D or calcium and breast cancer risk, but women who took a vitamin D supplement of at least 400 international units daily had a 24% lower risk of the disease. Study authors noted that U.S. and Canadian health officials are considering recommendations to increase daily vitamin D intake but said more research is needed on the effects of larger doses.
Food researchers are touting the health benefits of burgers infused with blueberries to schools and restaurants. The berries, added in the form of puree or powder, add flavor, cancer-fighting antioxidants and make the burger juicier, researchers say.