Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Benefits of Hunting

Thousands and thousands of people every year go out and harvest an animal, which will provide for them, and for their family if they have one, for the rest of the year. For some people this is the most affordable way for their family to get meat to eat. It costs a Montana resident $40 dollars to acquire a deer and elk permit. It then costs around another four hundred dollars to get both of these animals processed which means that they spend in total around $550 dollars a year for meat with the tag, gas, ammunition, and the processing of the animal. For people who are not very well off financially, this is something that is attainable and very beneficial to their nutrition and their family finances.



Unfortunately, this is a topic that is being challenged. Through organizations like The Human Society of the United States (HSUS), Pita, and the Defenders of Wildlife, there are individuals who are beginning to stand against hunting. The leader of Human Society of the United States president stated in the Bozeman Chronicle that “Our goal is to get sport hunting to the same level as cock fighting or dog fighting.” Doing this would take away a past time activity for some people and a way of life for others. This would also take away many citizens sources of income. The individuals who would be affected are guides, landowners, and the employees working for fish, wildlife, and parks. This is also taking a great amount of nutritional benefits out of some cultures. In small town mountain towns a lot of café’s and mom and pop stores serve many venison on the menus. Venison has plenty of nutritional benefits. A 4 ounce flank steak contains 9 grams of fat, 4 of the grams being saturated fats. In a 4 ounce venison steak there are 3 grams of fat, with only 1 one of the grams of fat being venison. A 4 ounce serving of porterhouse steak contains 76 milligrams of cholesterol, while a 4 ounce serving of venison contains 20 milligrams of cholesterol. Saturated fats and cholesterol are the two leading components in our foods that cause unhealthy hearts, veins. It would be nutritionally better to eat venison instead of beef, but many people are thrown off due to the meat coming from a wild animal. This is very unfortunate because obviously the venison that is consumed the most such as, deer, elk, and moose actually live much better lives than the cattle which are sometimes held up in very confined spaces, living only to be killed and processed for their meat one day.

All in all it would be very disappointing if the hunting rights were taken away from the American people. Many would lose their jobs, others would lose their way to put food on the table, and overall some Americans would lose one of their favorite past time activities.


Wilson Brott


High Blood Pressure Vs. Diet

Blood Pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. When this becomes too great, and it remains that way for too long, you risk extreme health problems such as heart disease. If your family has a history of high blood pressure or maybe even you have high blood pressure, there are ways you can prevent and potentially eliminate the need of medication through the use of a proper diet and moderate exercise. The key to going about this process is to realize you will only be able to control it and manage it. The first step is to make lifestyle changes that include eating healthier, be active, and don’t smoke.blood pressure chart

Systolic pressure measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart is contracting, diastolic pressure is the measure of the pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rest and refilling with blood. Higher numbers means the heart is working harder and therefore is at a much higher risk for a bigger problem. You can make this less of a problem if you simply eat less salt, saturated fat, carbohydrates, and cholesterol. And replace it with more fruits and vegetables.



This is the healthy option of what nutritional value we need each day. All of these things need to be consumed at moderate amounts but when done so they will all aid you in preventing hypertension and gaining control of it. As you can see you do really become what you eat. So begin with eating the right foods, exercise more, and take care of your body, and it will do the same to you.

Athletic Performance and Nutrition

How can nutrition help your sport performance?

Many athletes, especially ones who are still in high school tend to eat everything they can. There is not a clear understanding at this age on how nutrition can either help or hinder your sport performance. A well balanced diet will provide the athletes with enough energy to finish their sport and still give 100% at the end.

The body will likely be tired and perform poorly during the activity because it is not getting enough:

  • carbohydrates
  • calories
  • fluids
  • vitamins and minerals
  • protein

although they might not be providing their body with enough nutrients, they still have to understand that a diet for an athlete is not very different than an average healthy persons, but it the quantity of each food they should eat is going to be based on three different factors, type of sport, time training, time spent doing the activity or exercise.

Having a better understanding to how much energy they are going to be using during their specific sport will help determine what the quantities of each food they should be consuming. This will keep them from taking in more energy than they are expending while exercising or participating in an activity.

Once an athlete moves on from high school, they have an option to participate in collegiate sports or not. Depending on what school they are going to, there is generally a nutritionist who works closely with the athletes to help make sure they are meeting the right quantities of nutrients. It is their job to make sure the athlete is healthy and fueling the body properly in order to excel in their sport.

Low-Income food insecurities

Low income neighborhoods and communities often lack the ability to access grocery stores, farmers markets, co ops, etc. This problem has been something I have personally witness traveling around the country. Obesity along with food insecurity in most cases are linked to one another and often reflect low income based families or individuals. Within the low income community in our country there are many factors that coexist with both obesity and food insecurity. The reasons for these are often because of things such as, lack of transportation, portion sizes, and food availability. The lower income community in America is lacking important resources that they are not able to maintain. There is a reason why lower income communities have such a high obesity rate in comparison to neighboring communities. Another concept about this topic that I find to be a ongoing problem which for a few years of my life I personally experienced is the stress level that a lower income families have to deal with on the regular basis. Paying the bills and making sure your family has what they need is one thing, furthermore having to worry about putting a healthy meal on the table when you can hardly afford to keep your electricity on is something that is challenging and sad to myself. Research has linked stress and poor mental health to obesity among both children and adults. With factors such as these, results in food insecurity and portion sizes that are flat out unhealthy.

One of the most important factors I believe that we as Americans can do to better to fix  the health rate in these low income communities is make physical activity more accessible. This includes more parks, sidewalks, events. With having more access to resources that cause physical activity will allow more people to experience physical activity and in the long run will help with the overweight/obesity rate in the future. Furthermore, having access to good produce and stores that contribute healthy foods for a reasonable price is another key concept that can lower these rates in the lower income based families. Just because they area is not a nice or the crime rate is high is no excuse for our countries citizens to be suffering from lack of resources. A key concept to think about is if we can help the obesity rate in the lower income families or individuals we can therefore lower the whole countries obesity rate and allow the less fortunate to have healthy opportunities and live a life that financially they do not believe to be possible.

Take a look at this graph below and it will help you further understand this problem:

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-Austin Groesbeck

Farm Wisdom




Farmers and farmland in the United States are on a steep and steady decline. Between 2007 and 2012, the total amount of US farmland decreased by 7 million acres. That’s three Yellowstone National Parks! (USDA census data) Yet amongst the decline, some parts of the country are seeing an increase in younger individuals pursuing small scale Organic agriculture. They’re motivated by the idea of a quiet lifestyle spent outside and feeding their communities in a sustainable manner. There are a myriad of obstacles that need to be overcome when starting up a farm, and keeping it running is no small task either. But, great news! Consumers can help the movement and the farmers, and reap the quality of life benefits all at the same time.

There are many outlets for local farmers to sell there fair, particularly in the Gallatin Valley. There are three farmers markets throughout the seasons, offering fresh vegetables from right here in the valley. Check out the Bogert Farmers’ Market, Gallatin Valley Farmers’ Market, and the Bozeman Winter Farmers’ Market. These markets offer a great opportunity to chat with the people growing your food. Ask them some questions, they love to talk farming!WinterMarket

Okay but maybe going to a crowded market every week to pick out vegetables from multiple  vendors isn’t your cup of tea. What if you could pay for all of your vegetables for the summer in the winter/early spring, give the farmers a monetary boost to get their operations going, then pick up a box full of vegetables pre-packaged every week for a 20 week season? Community Supported Agriculture is the all inclusive answer! Reap all of the benefits described above, get to know your farmer, and expand your vegetable palette by taking part in one of these fantastic programs.

Food is strongly reflected in culture, community and relationships. What better way to share the love with your friends and family than gathering together to cook up some local vegetables together? You’ll love the community interactions of the local food system as much as these carrots love each other.



Check out young farmers in the media

NPR: A Young Generation Sees Greener Pastures in Agriculture

Young Farmers: Building a Future With Farmers

Local Farms in the Gallatin Valley

Strike Farms

Gallatin Valley Botanical

Three Fiddles Farm

Three Hearts Farm

Amaltheia Organic Dairy


-Kelly Kjorlien

Understanding Food Allergies


Understanding Food Allergies

Today, many people suffer from mild to severe allergies. While this isn’t something enjoyable, it is useful to understand the reaction taking place and why we experience these symptoms.  Our body protects us with our immune system. While this is mostly beneficial, in common immune disorders such as psoriasis or allergies, it is not.

Sometimes our immune system mistakenly recognizes the proteins in a food item, such as dairy, as a threat. They send out a “response team” which consists of an enormous amount of antibodies to intervene and attack the intruder by releasing Histamines. This is what causes those afflicted with food allergies to experience a wide variety of symptoms.

There is a spectrum of severity in food allergies, which goes from mild to severe. Here is a detailed list from FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) to help better understand the wide range…

“Mild symptoms may include one or more of the following:

  • Hives (reddish, swollen, itchy areas on the skin)
  • Eczema (a persistent dry, itchy rash)
  • Redness of the skin or around the eyes
  • Itchy mouth or ear canal
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Nasal congestion or a runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Slight, dry cough
  • Odd taste in mouth
  • Uterine contractions

Severe symptoms may include one or more of the following:

  • Obstructive swelling of the lips, tongue, and/or throat
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Turning blue
  • Drop in blood pressure (feeling faint, confused, weak, passing out)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chest pain
  • A weak or “thread” pulse

Severe allergic reactions are known as Anaphylaxis and most commonly obstruct breathing.  To relieve this form of an allergic reaction, we now use Epinephrine. Epinephrine is the only way to quickly combat Anaphylactic shock. While this is unsettling, it is important to avoid foods that cause any of the above symptoms and seek medical help from an Allergist who can further test. For those who experience severe allergies, it is highly recommended to carry Benadryl or another form of antihistamines alongside your Epi-Pen. Anybody is capable of developing an allergy, regardless of age or previously ingesting that food without problems. It is important to be extra careful with children. If they say something about discomfort when they eat a certain food, seek help and discontinue use of that food in their diets.

-Victoria Heuer

Energy Boost


 Energy is a very valuable resource to most college students in today’s world. Grabbing a quick breakfast and cup of coffee before walking out the door to class, hitting the gym, clocking in at work, and studying until your eyes close is not an unusual day for a student. Too many people rely on getting enough sleep at night and caffeine during the day to give them the right amount of energy. Your energy is directly connected to your diet habits, if you eat right you can avoid feeling fatigued and drinking those extra cups of coffee or a Red Bull to get you through the day. I am providing three strategies to boost your nutritional knowledge and your energy!

  1. EAT NUTRIENT DENSE FOODS: The process of converting food to energy requires a lot of vitamins and minerals. Sub-optimal cellular energy metabolism can occur when we don’t get enough nutrients from food, this causes us to feel tired and fatigued. Processed snack foods that we tend to carry in our backpacks contain a lot of calories with little nutritional value leaving us feeling tired. Instead, eat foods that contain a lot of nutrients per calorie like vegetables, whole grains, fruit, and nuts.
  2. ALWAYS MAKE TIME FOR BREAKFAST: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and also the most commonly skipped meal. Skipping breakfast is not a good way to cut some calories or save time in the morning. Breakfast gets your metabolism going in the morning, this helps you to burn more calories throughout the day and to feel awake and alert. Making healthy breakfast choices is also very important. A bagel with cream cheese or a sugary granola bar probably aren’t the best choices. Try having some fresh fruit with some whole wheat toast. The antioxidants from the fruit will fight of those nasty chemicals making you feel sluggish. Making healthy choices at breakfast will set the tone for healthy eating all day!
  3. STAY HYDRATED: Your body needs water to function. Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to stay energized. Keeping a water bottle in your backpack is so simple and a great reminder to keep drinking! Add some fresh fruit or some mint leaves for some extra flavor and nutrients.


Blog by Elizabeth Fullerton


Pekka Puska: And How He Changed Finland Through Nutrition and Community Health

Pekka picture

Pekka Puska:

And How He Changed Finland Through Nutrition and Community Health


In an excellent blog post written by Taylor Adams earlier this semester, Dan Buettner’s ‘blue zone’ study and his findings were well laid out. After Buettner conducted these studies around the world, his goal became implementing these ‘blue zone’ solutions in communities in the United States. His biggest inspiration on how to achieve American ‘blue zones’ is the topic of this post.

Most professions, sports, hobbies, and other walks of life have their fair share of heroes. In nutrition and public health, one particular hero resonates deeply with me. His name is Pekka Puska, and he is the man who saved North Karelia, Finland from a public health crisis many were willing to write off as a lost cause.

Finland map

In 1972, North Karelia, Finland a region made up of 170,000 Finns, had the unfortunate distinction of having the highest rates of heart disease in the world (Buettner, 2015; 87-88). Dr. Puska, a 27-year-old with a medical degree and a master’s degree in social sciences was assigned to identify the problem and fix it.

Puska’s first task was to define the nutritional problem and identify the target population (Boyle, Holden, 2013; p.42). The problem turned out to be a diet based around animal fats, animal products, and salt. Typical staples of the North Karelian diet were butter, high fat milk, and heavily salted meats. Vegetables and fruits were conspicuously absent from the diets North Karelian inhabitants. As well as poor diets, more than 50% of the male population smoked cigarettes.

Over the course of the next five years, Dr. Puska launched a campaign to educate the population, build a coalition of ambassadors and stakeholders, and create change by working through existing health and economic infrastructure. He and his team tirelessly interviewed and educated community members about the causes of heart disease, how to incorporate vegetables and fruits into their diets, alternatives to using butter, as well as the health risks of smoking and how to quit. While educating community members, they simultaneously reached out to the local businesses and food industries and worked with them on ways to improve the health of their products while actually making more profit. An example of a profitable initiative that Pekka helped to establish was getting a local sausage maker to replace a portion of the pork fat in his sausage with local mushrooms. This small change in sausage production drastically increased the health and nutrition of the sausage while also reducing the price of sausage production (Buettner, 2015; 95). Pekka realized he could recruit local industry to drive his public health programming by incentivizing change.

Once people were educated and had the healthy choices available, the rest of the plan fell into place. Dr. Puska effectively transformed the environment of North Karelia into an environment that made the healthy options the easiest options. Instead of lecturing the community members about self-discipline or personal responsibility, he found community leaders and stakeholders who could see the need for change and could alter their environment to fit the needs. In small terms, this meant changing a pork dish cooked with high fat pork and salt into a dish with leaner pork, less salt, and lots of vegetables.

This dish transformed into                                this dish

First pork picture2nd pork picture


Ultimately, the biggest magic trick Dr. Puska was able to accomplish was: improving the lives of thousands without forcing large scale interventions on the target population. By the end of his intervention in North Karelia, all of the following accomplishments were achieved with very few people in North Karelia even realizing they had made lifestyle changes (Buettner, 2015; 99):

  • From more than 50% of the male population smoking to less than 20%
  • Consumption of high fat milk went from 70% to less than 10%
  • 60% of families now cook with vegetable oil instead of butter
  • Less than 5% use butter on bread compared to 84% in 1972
  • Salt intake fell by 20%
  • Vegetable intake increased threefold
  • Average cholesterol level dropped by 20%
  • And heart disease death rate among working-age men fell by 85%

(Buettner, 2015; 99)

Even more impressively, Dr. Puska’s intervention and approach was used as a model for all of Finland with equally impressive results.

Finland CHD chart

As someone going into the field of nutrition as a Registered Dietician with a background and strong interest in public health and community health, Dr. Pekka Puska is a model of effectiveness and inspiration.

You can read more about his unprecedented public health accomplishment in Dan Buettner’s book, Blue Zones Solutions: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People as well as in The Atlantic article “The Finish Town that Went on a Diet,” (


Boyle, M.A., Holben, D.H. (2013). Community Nutrition in Action: An Entrepreneurial Approach. 6th Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning

Buettner, D. (2015). Blue Zones Solutions: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People.     Washington D.C.: National Geographic

Blog by: Luke Shealy

“Hog Fever”: Farmed VS Wild Salmon


                Growing up in a household with strong encouragement on harvesting your own wild meat, I have come to the realization that many people are still ignorant as to where their food originates from. After taking a handful of nutrition classes, scouring through online sources out of curiosity and even working in the industry, it is evident that the meat industry has some obvious flaws across the board which could (and has) affect Americans and our health.

             One of the most controversial topics on this is whether we should be eating farmed or wild fish. This is of course an issue with many sub-topics to debate such as sustainability of the wild salmon runs, pollution and contaminants, disease, genetic modification and ethical issues of the actual farming of “sea kittens” (Landau).

What exactly is salmon farming? Basically, it is the industrial production of salmon from egg to market. Typically, farms use open-net cages in sheltered bays. One of these nets can stock up to “one million fish in the size of a football field” (Farmed and Dangerous). Not much room to swim. When these farms fail and the farmed salmon escape, it has a major effect on the local ecosystem. The escaped farmed fish bring more competition for food and resources against the wild salmon, affect run-timing and breed with the wild schools -which reduces the specie’s resistance toward disease.


Right now, salmon is the fastest growing food production system in the world, and about 2/3rds of Americans eat farmed fish.



In contrast to farming salmon, wild salmon harvesting is commonly known as commercial fishing where fishermen use techniques such as long-lining, seining and gill-netting to harvest during seasonal salmon runs typically in the spring, summer and fall months. The fisherman then transfer/sell the fish to a company’s tender who pack and flash freeze the fish then proceed to sell it to the appropriate markets.

Simply, salmon or any type of fish is a great staple in any person’s diet. With almost just as much protein as beef (21g vs 26g in a 100g serving), salmon’s nutritional status has the upper hand. When compared to beef in a 100g sample, salmon has but 5.9g of fat while beef comes in with a total of 19.7g. Besides the nutrition facts, the difference in taste between farmed and wild salmon is obvious –at least for myself. Below is a picture of the difference between wild and farmed sockeye salmon.

While wild salmon and its benefits has the obvious upper hand on farmed, a world without salmon farming is inconceivable. The demand for the oily protein increases daily and the supply of wild fish just cannot fill that demand alone. On a college kid’s diet, wild salmon twice a week could really hurt a wallet, but the luxury of being able to prepare wild salmon on occasion outweighs the option of supporting the salmon farming industry and the lack of flavor the meat offers.

Anna Mounsey


The Importance of Eating at Home

There really isn’t anything better than eating a home cooked meal. There are a lot of components that go into making a meal at home such as the buying of the groceries, preparing the food, cooking the food, and serving the food. When meals are made at home all of that is in your control and can lead to a healthier diet for you and your family.

Eating out: when you are choosing to eat at a restaurant, you are paying the company to do something that you can easily do on your own and probably do it much better. Most restaurants in America are not at all concerned about serving natural and sustainable foods from local farmers and ranchers around the surrounding area; instead they serve what they can get for cheap and serve to you for twice or three times the amount. Cooking at home promotes people to go out and shop at their local stores that sell fresh, local, and whole foods that they can bring home and prepare for their families in a healthier way.


Keeping it Simple: While you are making a meal for your family you are the one who chooses what goes into the meal and how the food is prepared. Keeping it simple is key; you don’t want to add extra fat or chemicals into the food. That is what most restaurants provide to you when you buy their food; Almost every restaurant in America has unhealthy food options on their menu, having the option of unhealthy foods in front of you has an influence on what you choose to order from that place. Most of what restaurants serve includes a very high fat content of which can lead to high cholesterol, weight gain, and if very serious diabetes. The CDC stated that 75% of healthcare spending goes to treating preventable chronic disease, most of which are diet-related.

With that, cooking at home makes it easy to know exactly what you’re putting into your meals and how to control the amount of carbs, protein, and fats that you will be consuming. There are many websites and cookbooks that have healthy options, is a great website that gives many different ideas on different recipes that use 5 ingredients or less. There are also multiple benefits to using less ingredients in the meals you make, such as lower costs at the grocery store, buying things that you don’t use daily, and just end up taking space in your pantry. Finally finding a way to cook the food also has a big influence on the healthfulness of the meal you’re making; it is recommended that you choose alternatives to frying your food. Frying lowers the nutritional qualities of the food you’re cooking. The American Heart Association has made a site with a lot of great recommendations for healthy preparation of foods: It all just comes down to the choices that you make, but just know that the choices that are made do affect your daily life.

-Kiana Black