Fort Valley State discusses food safety and consumption

by Jeff Brothers

Posted on Oct 08, 2012

Dr. Young Park, professor of animal science at Fort Valley State University.

Dr. Young Park, professor of animal science at Fort Valley State University.

Scientific research can often provide useful data when it comes to the proper handling of food and how it is consumed. Data can also track how certain eating habits can affect one’s health. Thanks to the work of a scientist at Fort Valley State University, some useful information concerning food handling and safety and eating habits has been obtained from his colleagues in the scientific community.

Dr. Young Park, professor of animal science, presented a seminar entitled, “Recent Trends in Consumption of Animal Products and Food Safety Research in the United States,” to approximately 25 faculty, staff and students in the Stallworth Agricultural Research Building conference room on Oct. 8. The presentation was part of the FVSU College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology’s monthly research seminar program.

Park covered a range of fields dealing with American’s consumption of animal-based products, and touched on how the consumption of red meat products affects their health. One example he gave was the height and weight differences between Americans and Europeans, which he says is influenced by dietary habits. “Europeans consume more dairy products than Americans, and they drink more milk, therefore they are taller than Americans,” Park said. The researcher says this happens because milk is high in calcium and prevents bone disease. Also, Americans tend to be heavier, he added, because they don’t consume as much dairy products.

Park said Americans can improve their health by reducing their consumption of fat, sugar and sodium. Those substances can lead to heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure - three health conditions the United States is taking the lead on compared to the rest of the industrialized world.

During his PowerPoint presentation, Park mentioned that the proper preparation of food can prevent food borne illnesses. He said this could be done by using sanitary techniques when cooking food. Also, food can be cooked to the proper temperature to kill bacteria such as salmonella. He presented information concerning the proper storage of food after cooking. One method was to be sure food is refrigerated at 40 degrees because chilling slows the development of bacteria.

Dr. Mahipal Singh, an assistant professor for FVSU’s College of Agriculture, started the seminars in 2008 to provide FVSU students and faculty an opportunity to share their work.

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