Fresh from the Field, July 12, 2018

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Fresh from the Field Banner

Fresh from the Field is a weekly album showcasing transformative impacts made by partners supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Editor: Falita Liles                                                                                              July 12, 2018

Success Stories 

Fresh from the Field NIFA Impacts. USDA photo Lance Cheung July 12

Study Shows Oregano Essential Oil’s Ability to Reduce Parasite Infectivity

University of Illinois (U. of I.) researcher Juan Andrade and his team collaborated with organizations, such as the Office of Food for Peace at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to address malnutrition in children in low-income areas is by creating calorie/nutrient-dense ready-to-use food (RUF) products.

RUF’s are typically a supplementary food, much like a peanut butter or nut spread, that provide needed calories, protein, and fats, such as a quota of omega-3 fatty acids, which enhance brain development and provide anti-inflammatory benefits. They can also be used as a therapeutic food (RUTF).

“For the most part, these technologies address the nutrient needs of these children, however it’s been pondered how we can enhance the functionality of these RUTFs. We ask if we can target parasitic infection at the same time we’re addressing nutrition,” according to Andrade.

In a recent study, Andrade and his team, along with Theresa Kuhlenschmidt and Mark Kuhlenschmidt, from veterinary medicine at U. of I., focused on infection from the protozoan parasite Cryptosporidium parvum. Crypto infection is one of the leading causes of persistent diarrhea among children in low-resource low-income areas settings. Crytpo infection in children has been of particular concern in India, where there are more cases—through contaminated water—of Crypto than flatworms or roundworms.

Andrade and his team looked at the use of oregano essential oil in fighting the infectivity of the Crytpo parasite. Other essential oils of plants have been used in Ayurvedic medicine to address parasitic infection. Oregano essential oil (a mix of different phenolics, mostly carvacrol and thymol), acts as a bioactive and has shown activity against many gram-negative bacteria, Andrade explains, but adds that there is no literature on its effect against Crytpo.

NIFA supports this research through Hatch Act funding.  

Read the full story at U. of I. College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.

News Coverage

Getty image opioid Fresh from the Field West Virginia NIFA Impacts

West Virginia's Family Nutrition Program Helps State's Drug Court Participants

West Virginia is taking measures to help those battling drug addiction with alternative education programs, including nutrition classes, to strengthen the county's drug court programs. County drug court programs are an alternative for non-violent drug-related offenders instead of jail time. West Virginia has the highest drug-related deaths in the United States, with one in ten people battling some form of drug addiction.

Gina Wood, who oversees the Family Nutrition Program through the Extension Service at the University of West Virginia states “Family Nutrition Program operates in 53 of West Virginia's 55 counties, and reach more than 20,000 youth and 2,000 adults each year. Among our adult participants, 82 percent improve their food resource management practices, 87 percent improve nutrition practices, 60 percent improve food safety practices and 34 percent increase their physical activity.”

NIFA supports the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).

Read the full story at the West Virginia Record. Photo: Getty Image. 


Photo Steve Elliott Western SARE Fresh from the Field NIFA Impacts

Helping Barn Owls Help Farmers

Barn owls are rodent-killing machines,” said Sara Kross, an assistant professor in environmental studies at Sacramento State University. “They are natural predators of gophers and voles which can be really horrible pests for agriculture.”

But as good as the owls can be at controlling rodents on farms, growers may still need rodenticides to control the population explosions that can happen with any small rodent species. Because rodenticides don’t kill immediately, barn owls can eat exposed voles, mice and rats and get exposed themselves, which may limit their ability to hunt and control pests.

It’s an example of one pest-control method affecting another, and something Kross and a team of students from the University of California, Davis and Sacramento State are studying at five different California farms. They’re looking specifically at the frequency barn owls are being exposed to rodenticides and whether or not that affects the pest-control services that farmers get from the owls as a result.

NIFA supports the research through the Western Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program.

Read the full article at the Western IPM Center News. Photo: Steve Elliott.

Tweet of the Week


NIFA Impact Fresh from the Field July 12