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Check out these info-bites regarding food at MU


From avocado to orange zest, Mizzou has lots to talk about when it comes to food. Nibble on these factoids. 

Eating good in the neighborhood

Residents of Old North St. Louis typically had to ride the bus 30 to 40 minutes to reach the closest grocery store — that is, until MU Extension assisted in the July 2010 opening of the Old North Grocery Co-op at 2718 N. 13th St. The community-owned store, the first of its kind in St. Louis to target underserved neighborhoods, provides locally grown food at affordable prices to five nearby neighborhoods. Extension provided economic and community development assistance, research and resources. More:

Great eggspectations

For decades, Mizzou has been working to improve egg safety. In 1947, MU poultry scientist Ernest M. Funk patented a process that preserves shell eggs through high-heat exposure. Today, the MU Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab helps ensure the safety of chicken eggs by working with Missouri and Iowa farms to test environmental samples and baby chicks for salmonella.

Since 1984

Mizzou’s Food for the 21st Century Program was established in 1984 to help Missouri food producers maintain a competitive edge by conducting research in a number of food-related areas. The program is designed to help every citizen, says Robert Mitchell, retired College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources dean. The program’s current director, Matthew Lucy, won one of the first Mizzou Advantage grants to study reproductive biology in farm animals.

Meaty fake chicken

The June 14, 2010, issue of Time magazine highlighted the work of Fu-Hung Hsieh, professor of biological engineering and food science, who transforms soy protein powder into a heart-healthy chicken substitute. After more than 10 years of research, Hsieh has created a product with the appearance and texture of real chicken.

Research rankings

MU ranks eighth in the nation and 15th in the world for its impact in plant and animal sciences. The ranking is based on citations in scholarly publications from 1999–2009.

Supplementary elderberry

MU has one of five dietary supplement research centers the National Institutes of Health recently launched to study the safety, effectiveness and biological action of botanical products. Mizzou’s new center, created with a $7.6 million grant, will look at supplements such as soy, garlic and elderberry.

Pigging out


Frank Booth, professor of biomedical sciences, studies the animal model of childhood obesity — Ossabaw pigs, which store fat similarly to humans. He earned one of the first Mizzou Advantage grants to help his team research how pigs respond to high- versus low-fat diets.

Top teachers

Recipients of recent USDA teaching awards include Joshua J. Millspaugh, a wildlife biologist who studies quantitative ecology, wildlife stress physiology, and ecology and management of large animals; and Mark R. Ryan, who directs the School of Natural Resources, and studies non-game and endangered bird species in grassland and wetland ecosystems.

MO wine, please

In 1876, Missouri State Entomologist Charles V. Riley traveled to France to help diagnose an insidious louse that was decimating French vineyards. By grafting a Missouri grape, which was louse resistant, to the French version, healthy vines were grown and harvested, and the Franco wine industry was saved. 

Rx: Sun

Catherine Peterson, associate professor of nutrition, discovered that low Vitamin D levels correlate with increased inflammation, which is often found in obese individuals. Her studies show 75 percent of Americans don’t get enough Vitamin D. For Caucasians, Peterson suggests exposing 25 percent of skin surface to 10 minutes of sunlight three days a week. Vitamin D supplements are needed for the winter months and for individuals with more darkly pigmented skin, such as African-Americans.

Served on Campus MU

Campus Dining Services buys and serves increasing amounts of local and regional foods. Some 2009–10 purchases:

9,200 pounds of apples from Missouri Food 4 Missouri People, Columbia

17,000 pounds of Missouri Legacy Beef roasts and burgers, Salisbury, Mo.

19,766 pounds of Louisa pasta, St. Louis

24,000 loaves of Interstate Brands bread, Kansas City, Mo.

37,000 gallons of Central Dairy milk, Jefferson City, Mo.

A better bean

Mizzou researchers used national pollination procedures to develop a soybean variety that yields a healthier oil. Most soybeans converted to oil require hydrogenation, which stabilizes the oil but creates trans fats. The new bean produces oil low in trans fats and saturated fats, but high in oleic acid, which is the main component of olive oil.

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