This Week's Nutrition News Feed

Organic milk, that thermometer in your kitchen drawer and exercise does a brain good, in this week's Nutrition News Feed.

In this week's news: Organic milk may not be all that; a paltry few of us follow proper poultry protocol; working out may benefit your brain as well as your abs.

Don’t cry over spilled organic milk

Should you splash out the extra cash for organic milk, or stick with the conventional stuff and save? The answer to that question may have just gotten murkier. A new detailed research review published in the Journal of Dairy Science has concluded that the difference between organic and conventionally produced milk is difficult to determine and "largely ambiguous." "The vast majority of differences reported between organic and conventional milk come from what cows are fed and their breed, and is not anything unique to being organic or conventional in itself," the researchers said. Compositionally and nutritionally, the researchers determined, organic milk was not clearly distinct from conventionally produced milk after various factors – animal genetics, health, breed, diet, etc. – were factored in.

Something to cluck about

If you own a food thermometer but often leave it sitting neglected in a kitchen drawer when you cook poultry, you’re hardly alone. Fewer than two-thirds of U.S. consumers own a food thermometer, according to a new study, and of those who do, less than 10 percent actually use it to check for doneness whenever they cook all kinds of poultry – not just whole chickens and turkeys. “Using a food thermometer is the only reliable way to ensure food is cooked to a safe internal temperature to destroy any harmful bacteria that may present,” said the lead author of the study, which was published in the Journal of Food Protection. “USDA recommends that consumers cook all poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F.” In other words, it may be time to dig through that drawer.

Time for a total tone-up
Many of us are motivated to exercise because of the effects on our bodies, but a new study has found that working out regularly may tone up our minds, too. A new, albeit small, study found that women between the ages of 18 and 30 who exercised most days of the week had more oxygen circulating in the frontal lobe of their brains while they took a series of mental tests – and did better on some of the most-challenging tests – than did their less active peers. Although the study did not measure cause and effect, its lead author, Liana Machado, of the University of Otago in New Zealand, said that "it seems reasonable to deduce that a causal relationship likely exists – where regular physical activity increases oxygen availability in the brain, which in turn supports better cognitive performance, particularly for more challenging tasks." Who’s up for a jog?
Amy Reiter also contributes to FN Dish.

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