UC ANR NEWS
The Sacramento Bee ran a story Nov. 9 with advice from two UC nutrition experts that Californians may take to heart next week when the holiday "eating season" begins. Linda Bacon, a San Francisco City College teacher who is on staff at UC Davis, and UC Davis nutrition researcher Judith Stern suggest people don't count on dieting after the holidays to make up for heavy eating. By and large, the diets don't work.
Dieters may get early results, but "every major study shows that a majority of dieters gain the weight back, and sometimes more," Bacon is quoted in the article.
The story reviewed a research project conducted by Stern and Bacon that found behavior change works better than dieting to improve overall heath. The researchers tracked 78 women, half were told to restrict their food consumption, keep food diaries and monitor their weight. The other half were instructed to train themselves to pay more attention to internal body cues that signal hunger and fullness. After two years, 42 percent of the first group dropped out, but only 8 percent of the second group. The second group maintained their weight, decreased their bad cholesterol and blood pressure. The dieting group lost weight in the beginning but gained it back by the end of the study.
"People are better advised to focus on behavior change than weight to achieve their health goals," Stern was quoted.
ABC 30 News, a San Joaquin Valley TV news program, ran a story yesterday about work done at UC Davis by professor Frank Mitloehner to study the effects of dairy production on air quality.
The research, according to the reporter, "won't clear the air, but it may help clear up some misconceptions."
In conducting his research, Mitloehner kept dairy cattle inside bubbles and closely monitored the air going in and the air coming out.
"See this here, methanol, ethanol, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide and methane is measured continuously," Mitloehner said, according to a transcript of the story on the ABC30 Web site.
The story said Mithoehner has found that cows pass gas from both ends.
"And these gases do come out through the mouth. We know that belching is the main source of methane from cows," said Mitloehner.
The study is now complete and the results will be published in about five months, according to the report. The TV reporter promised to bring viewers the results when they are available.
ABC TV-7 news reported last night that sudden oak death has made a comeback in Northern California oak woodlands.
"There is a resurgence of sudden oak death from Monterey through Mendocino, more than a million trees killed so far and that number rises daily. Those dead oaks can contribute to the fire danger and change the look of our forests in more ways than one. Experts say we're one major wildfire away from changing the look of some of our forests forever," says the story posted on the program's Web site.
The reporter went to UC Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor Steven Swain for expert comment.
He said the warm, wet springs of 2005 and 2006 has resulted in a new crop of dead tan oaks in the hills of Marin.
"(The fungus) stops the roots from feeding the leaves and the leaves from feeding the roots," Swain told the reporter.
In addition to the wildfire risk, dead trees threaten wildlife that rely on oak forests for food and shelter.
Oak woodland stricken with sudden oak death.
The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies held a telephone news conference yesterday featuring UC Davis agricultural economist Phil Martin, who has written a paper titled "Farm Labor Shortages: How Real? What Response?" The paper examines workers' wages, farmers' earnings and the prospects of mechanization.
According to the media reports, Martin pointed to three indicators supporting his conclusion that there isn't a farm labor shortage:
- Fruit and vegetable production is rising
- The average earnings of farm workers are not going up extraordinarily fast
- The retail cost of fresh fruits and vegetables hasn't increased
Farmer and labor groups, however, dispute Martin's findings.
The immigration reporter from the Express News, Hernán Rozemberg, reported that the farm lobby was quick to dismiss the report as "flawed" and "superficial."
An immigration reform advocate quoted in the article says: "Dr. Martin's 'analysis' is extremely superficial. His 'study' ignores ... data that clearly point to a severe shortage of legal U.S. agricultural workers and raise troubling public policy questions."
A Bay Area television station called on UC Cooperative Extension wood durability advisor Stephen Quarles to comment for its story about "house-eating" fungus found in an East Bay home.
CBS TV-5 produced a story for yesterday's broadcast and Web site about the "rare fungus attack." Poria, the report said, is most common in the Gulf states, but it has attacked more than 200 homes in Northern and Southern California.
For the story, the TV station gave Quarles the title "fungus detective."
"You'll see them often behind a door you don't open so often," Quarles told the station. "The feeling that you're always dusting, always cleaning, there's always dirt."
This fungus gets into the home from the soil beneath, providing it's own water supply. According to the report, the only way to get rid of the fungus is to dig it out -- and the roots can grow up to 25 feet long. There are no chemical treatments.
The East Bay homeowner expects that ridding his home of the fungus will run $10,000 and is not covered by insurance.