Heirlooms—what are they, exactly?

photo courtesy of Mette Nielsen Photography Authored by Jillian Tholen, University of Minnesota Public Health Nutrition student It is entirely possible that you grew up with certain expectations about ripe fruits and vegetables—they are supposed to look a certain way. Tomatoes are red, peppers are green, and watermelons are pink, easy.  And really, there is […]



Authored by Rachel Bowers, UMN Public Health and Nutrition The words parsnip, turnip or rutabaga brings back memories of admonishments to “eat your vegetables!”  These roots don’t promote themselves very well with appearances either- they are often gnarled and nubby.  However, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas and other root vegetables can be deliciously sweet. Root vegetable is […]


Farm to School, Revolutionizing School Lunches

By Jennifer Kret, UMN Public Health Nutrition Graduate Students A nutritious diet is an important part of a healthy childhood. Likewise, reducing childhood obesity is a major public health challenge, since obese children are more likely to become obese adults, increasing their risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Because children spend a significant amount of […]

The Skinny on FAT

Authored by Dustin Nelson, UMN Public Health Nutrition Fat is an important nutrient for the body as it is critical for proper growth and development and maintaining normal health.  Fat has a whopping 9 calories per gram which makes it a form of stored energy that the body uses for energy.  Fat also acts as […]



Authored by: Jillian Tholen, U of MN Nutrition Dept. Some of the most unassuming foods are the ones that pack the most nutritional value. Case in point: sprouts. It’s hard to believe that these tiny shoots can offer us so much, given their minute size and meek appearance, but they contain an incredibly wide range […]



Authored by Jennifer Kret, UMN Public Health Nutrition June is already here, and that’s right, it is rhubarb season! As you may know, rhubarb is often treated as a fruit, commonly found in tarts, compotes, or a slice of Garrison Keillor’s favorite, Bebop-a-Reebop Rhubarb Pie. Although, rhubarb is truly a vegetable. It belongs to a […]