To do that, PacificSource Healthy Life has teamed up with OSU’s Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health, which has offered the GridIron Chef contest three years running. Together with other partners, including OSU Catering, University Housing and Dining Services, OSU Healthy Campus Initiatives and Bob’s Red Mill, PacificSource will prepare and offer free samples of the winning GridIron Chef recipe contest to OSU tailgaters on game day.
Arsenic-containing minerals are common in the bedrock of North America. In Oregon, testing by the Oregon Health Authority and county health departments has found well water with arsenic concentrations over that standard in communities such as Tualatin, Sweet Home and Ontario.
College of Public Health and Human Sciences PhD candidate Kelli Lytle got just such an opportunity when she spoke one-on-one with senators and representatives about the value of biomedical research, including research studies she’s working on at Oregon State.
“I have always enjoyed explaining my work to people, and in science we are constantly talking about the poor funding situation due to NIH – National Institutes of Health – budget cuts,” says Kelli, who is studying nutrition and will defend her dissertation June 2016. “Given my past experience winning the three-minute thesis, I thought it would be a great experience explaining the importance of what we do.”
As a graduate research assistant, Kelli studies the remission and treatment of a disease called non-alcoholic steatoheaptitis (NASH), which is a progressive liver disease induced by poor diet. “It parallels rates of obesity and is said to be present in about 30 percent of the population. And many people are undiagnosed,” she says.
Her other major area of study is the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which is found in fish oil.
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“Yummy, yummy,” she shouted before jumping and up and down and taking another spoonful. “It’s really, really good.”
Leah said loved the taste of every one of the tailgating snacks available at the Third Annual GridIron Chef Contest. But what she didn’t know is that every single one of the snacks was also good for her.
“That’s great,” Leah said, before hopping up and down the steps to the Women’s Building and doing a little dance.
Following a Beaver Bowl Fun Run and 5K, more than 100 people got to taste healthy tailgating recipes like Benny’s Butternut Squash Bruschetta and Mediterranean Cauliflower “Wings” with Tzatziki Sauce during the GridIron Chef Contest hosted by the College of Public Health and Human Sciences and the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health.
“I came to the PhD program at OSU with a lot of questions,” Meg says. “I wanted to know more about justice, health systems and equity in resource-poor settings – how to better reach and work with communities. My training at OSU provided a foundation for global health as an interdisciplinary field. My mentors taught me to ask harder questions, to be comfortable with uncertainty and to think outside the box in addressing health challenges.”
When it comes to water, Lauren Smitherman doesn’t mind getting a little personal. As a graduate student in Water Resources Science at Oregon State University, she asked people in rural Oregon for permission to collect samples of their drinking water. Assured of confidentiality, most people welcomed her into their kitchens where Smitherman ran a stream of cold water from their faucets for a few minutes before filling a plastic bottle.
The student researcher was looking for arsenic, the tasteless, odorless element that, in high enough doses and over a long period of time, can cause preterm birth, skin lesions and different types of cancer. It’s the same contaminant that has poisoned thousands of people in Bangladesh and other parts of the world. In the American West, it shows up in groundwater from Arizona to Idaho and Southern California to Oregon.
Smitherman wanted to learn more about the origins of the toxic metal and to evaluate the reliability of two over-the-counter arsenic detection kits. Such kits are potentially useful because the only way to know if the element is present is to test for it. She received financial support from Oregon State’s Institute for Water and Watersheds through a gift from the estate of Paul Peyron of Baker City
Working with Molly Kile, assistant professor of public health, Smitherman first traveled to Harney County to help with an arsenic awareness workshop held by the local health department. Kile is studying the health impacts of low-level arsenic exposure, and the health department runs domestic well-water safety programs that help homeowners test their water for arsenic and interpret the results.
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