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College of Arts and Sciences nutrition

Hungry for health

Grocery bags.Sociologists and nutrition experts agree: food insecurity is a public health issue. Thinking of food banks and other programs as charity not only stigmatizes recipients but obfuscates the fact that we all pay, in the long run, for one another’s ill health. Whether it’s through increased healthcare costs or loss of economic productivity, not having enough to eat—or not enough nutrition-dense foods—is a cost we all share.

Read more in an excerpt from Washington State Magazine. » More …

WSU/UI team to develop national milk conference

Female black and white cowA team of researchers from Washington State University and the University of Idaho has received a $50,000 grant from the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program to organize a national conference in Washington, D.C., on the compositions of bovine and human milk.

“Human milk is the only food ever designed by nature to feed humans, but cows’ milk comes close,” said Michelle McGuire, professor in the WSU School of Biological Sciences. “The more we can learn » More …

McGuire honored for contributions to nutrition education

Shelley McGuireShelley McGuire, a professor in the School of Biological Sciences, has been selected to receive the 2018 “Excellence in Nutrition Education Award” from the American Society for Nutrition. She will receive the award, given for “outstanding contributions to teaching nutrition,” at the society’s flagship meeting in Boston this June.

For more than two decades, McGuire has taught introductory nutrition to classes of as many as 500 students. She has co-authored two college-level nutrition textbooks while researching maternal and infant nutrition » More …

A mother’s microbial gift

Illustration by Colin JohnsonOld assumptions about human breast milk are giving way to new thinking about microbes in milk and their role in children’s health and our immune systems.

It happened again, most recently at a conference in Prague. After she gave her talk, a scientist came up to Shelley McGuire, a pioneer exploring the microbial communities found in human breast milk, and told her, You don’t know how to take a sample. Your samples must have been contaminated. Human milk is sterile. » More …

Plant inner workings point way to more nutritious crops

plant interior animation still imageAlmost every calorie that we eat at one time went through the veins of a plant. If a plant’s circulatory system could be rejiggered to make more nutrients available – through bigger seeds or sweeter tomatoes – the world’s farmers could feed more people.

Washington State University researchers have taken a major step in that direction by unveiling the way a plant’s nutrients get from the leaves, where they are produced through photosynthesis, to “sinks” that can include the fruits and seeds we eat and the branches we process for biofuels. The researchers found a unique and critical structure where the nutrients are offloaded, giving science a new focal point in efforts to improve plant efficiency and productivity. » More …

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