June 24, 2019 – Variety is the spice of life – especially when it
comes to food. When we think of food crops, we usually think of the
basics: wheat, corn, soy, potato and vegetable crops. These staple foods
help sustain us for needed calories and nutrition. But, what about the
challenges of food crops that add a little extra flavor to our diet? The
June 22ndSustainable, Secure Food blog explores the challenges in breeding hazelnut, hops and mint with guest bloggers from Oregon State University.
of us don’t eat hazelnuts by the handful – but that could change one
day! On their own, hazelnuts are delicious, and their fatty acid profile
is identical to olive oil. Healthy snacks, here we come!
to Shawn Mehlenbacher, Oregon State University’s hazelnut breeding
project is “developing new cultivars resistant to eastern filbert
blight. This disease is caused by the fungus Anisogramma anomala
accidentally introduced from the eastern United States. We are also
looking for new cultivars that can resist insect pests, like
filbertworm, brown marmorated stink bug, and Pacific flatheaded
borer…The Willamette Valley is well-suited to hazelnut
production. Acreage devoted to growing hazelnuts Oregon has expanded
from 29,000 to 65,000 in the past decade. By creating hybrids between
the European and American species, we hope to expand the areas suitable
for hazelnut production.”
Craft brewing fans are also fans of hops – the crop that gives bitterness, flavor and aroma to beer.
the fun side of breeding challenges, breeders are working to develop
new types of aroma hops – the types that add rich flavors to beers,”
says Shaun Townsend. “These types of hops are dominating the market, and
breeders are looking for new sources of flavor and aroma. Hop breeders
are identifying and incorporating new disease and pest resistant genes
into hop, and with aroma hops dominating the market, new sources of
flavor and aroma are being sought. Beer is an important beverage for
many cultures, and hops will continue to be in demand as one of the key
ingredients in beer production.”
fresh breath. Many of us can thank the mint oil in our toothpaste for
that. “Distilled mint oil is used not only in toothpaste, but in a wide
variety of consumer products, candies and medicines,” says Kelly Vining.
“The fungal disease Verticillium wilt has been the biggest
challenge to mint production in the Pacific Northwest for decades… The
wild relatives of cultivated mint may have genes responsible for
conferring the wilt resistance trait. Introducing a new cultivar with
fungal resistance will help create a more sustainable mint industry.”
This blog is sponsored and written by members of the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America.
Our members are researchers and trained, certified professionals in the
areas of growing our world’s food supply, while protecting our
environment. They work at universities, government research facilities,
and private businesses across the United States and the world.
these young adults slipped by without an age check most often when they
visited small stores, tobacco shops and shops plastered with tobacco
“One implication of this finding is that enforcement may benefit from targeted outreach and monitoring at these locations.”
study included fieldworker visits to a randomly sampled list of 103
tobacco retailers in the summer of 2017. The visits were made in
Columbus, Ohio, where enforcement of a new Tobacco 21 law had not yet begun.
plan was to get a baseline idea of how young adults on the edge of the
cutoff age were being carded in the city, information that could
potentially drive future enforcement decisions, said Niru Murali, who
participated in the study as part of her undergraduate work in Ohio
State’s College of Public Health.
Though the frequency of carding
found in the study was low – and disappointing from a public health
standpoint – it aligned with previous research, she said.
most interesting new information found in this study was that certain
retailers were less likely to ask for ID, Murali said.
64 percent of grocery stores checked IDs, compared with about 34 percent
of convenience stores and tobacco shops. Bars, restaurants and alcohol
stores were even less likely to card the fieldworkers: only 29 percent
“In addition to variation by type of store, we saw
that those that heavily advertised were less likely to card us. It makes
sense, if you think about it, that people who are plastering their
windows with tobacco ads probably are trying to make a lot of money off
those products and may be more likely to look the other way when selling
to a young adult,” Murali said.
Retailers are supposed to card
anyone who looks younger than 30 under the Columbus Tobacco 21 law. The
idea behind the city’s law, and others like it, is to decrease the
long-term health toll that tobacco takes by preventing young people from
starting to smoke. Previous research has shown that those who start by
the age of 18 are almost twice as likely to become lifelong smokers when
compared to individuals who start after they turn 21.
said strategic enforcement is important, and it may be helpful for those
enforcing the laws to be sensitive to the fact that they present a
financial hit, particularly for small business owners.
public health standpoint, we’re trying to stop people from smoking
initiation that has an effect on the rest of their life. But from the
business perspective, tobacco is a huge source of income for them,” she
“I think it’s going to be really important to work on this
during enforcement – how do you make this an easier pill to swallow for
folks who are losing income?”
Added Roberts, “Having a minimum
legal sales age for tobacco is important for reducing youth access to
tobacco. Not only does it prevent young people from purchasing tobacco
for themselves, but it prevents them from buying tobacco and
distributing it to other, often younger, peers.”
Amy Ferketich and Brittney Keller-Hamilton, both of Ohio State, also worked on the study.
The National Cancer Institute supported the research.