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The Ingredients In The Food We Eat

Christi Nielsen

NOTE: Audio is unavailable from today's show. We apologize for the technical difficulties.

Consumers are getting smarter about the food they eat.  We know to check labels for the levels of sodium and saturated fat, and that "high fructose corn syrup" is still sugar.   Most of us hit a wall though when it comes to ingredients such as malodextrin, flavonoids and silicon dioxide.  What are these ingredients found in the  foods we eat and drink

Steve Kraske talks with reporters Jessica Naudzianas and Kathleen Masterson from Harvest Public Media and food scientist Dr. Kanthe Shelke for a review of ingredients most of us can’t even pronounce.  They examine the reasons these components are added to food products and discuss if anything is known about the effects of consuming them on our health.  Plus, they look at whether the word “natural” on a label necessarily means better and if we need to be concerned about what the animals we eat, eat


Dr. Kantha Shelke, Ph.D.,is a nutritional scientist and principal at Chicago-based Corvus Blue LLC, a nutritional technology think tank specializing in the natural products industry, nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, and functional foods and beverages. She writes and lectures on the health, wellness, and business aspects of the food and beverage sector. She has worked for the Grand Metropolitan Food Sector, Continental Baking Company, Ben & Jerry’s, The Nielsen Company, and as an adjunct professorship at the University of Vermont.  Jessica Naudziunasis Harvest Public Media's connection to Central Missouri. She joined Harvest in July 2010. Jessica has spent time on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday and WNYC's Soundcheck, and reported and produced for WNIN-FM in Evansville, Ind. She grew up in Chicago, studied at the University of Tulsa and has helped launch local food gardens in Oklahoma and Indiana. Kathleen Masterson is an Iowa-based reporter for Harvest Public Media. In college she studied English and Environmental Studies. She taught high school English for a few years, and then swung back to science when she traveled to rural Argentina to work on a bird research project. She returned home to study science journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduate school she went on to work as digital producer for NPR’s science desk.


When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.
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