• Beth

When we think of bees, most of us think of honey. Except bees are so much more than honey. Some would argue that without bees, we would essentially have nothing. Rumor even has it that Einstein once said, “If the bees ever die out, mankind will follow four years later.”.


DYK: Bees perform about 80 percent of all pollination worldwide? Wind and birds contribute to pollination as well (e.g. wheat is pollinated by the wind). In fact, about 70 out of the top 100 human food crops are pollinated by bees (think fruits, vegetables, nuts). Yes, even vegetarians depend on industrial animal agriculture. Believe it or not, we have bees to thank for one in every three bites of our food. Without them, our diets would be significantly limited.


Now let’s talk honey. Honey starts as nectar in the flowers of blooming plants, where it’s collected by bees and taken back to the hive. In the hive, the nectar is broken down and deposited into the honeycombs where it’s concentrated into *drum roll* honey! According to the National Honey Board, the average hive will produce about 65 pounds of surplus honey per year. Even cooler, one single bee will produce ~1 tsp. of honey in a 4-5 week lifespan. Think about that. That’s a lot of bees! Beekeepers extract the honey by scraping off the protective wax later found on the honeycombs and spinning the trays until all the honey is drained.


Unfortunately, most of the commercial honey found in your local grocery store is no better than common table sugar. Commercial hives use insecticides to combat against bee mites however, the residue from this chemical agent can be found in the beeswax and honey. During processing, commercial honey is heated to high temperatures and pasteurized, destroying all the beneficial vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants. The product is then thinned out with corn syrup and artificial sweeteners and strained to remove traces of pollen.


Organic raw, local honey, on the other hand, is unheated and unfiltered leaving all the benefits that come with it. Que the benefits!

1. Honey is a natural sweetener packed with antioxidants.

- Honey, buckwheat in particular, contains increased organic acids and phenolic compounds like flavonoids which has been shown to increase antioxidants in the blood. Antioxidants help to reduce our risk of many diseases while supporting a healthy immune system.

2. Honey supports heart health.

Regular consumption of honey has been shown to lower levels or triglyceride while the antioxidants found in honey has been linked to reductions in blood pressure.

3. Honey is shown to improve the gut microbiome.

Raw honey contains oligosaccharides which has shown to promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the gut. These prebiotic properties of honey can be an important aspect of our gut health (which I will save for another post!).

4. Honey has antimicrobial properties.

Honey is one of the world’s oldest forms of medicine and has been used for centuries to treat wounds. Due to its low pH level and enzymatic production of hydrogen peroxides, honey demonstrates antibacterial activity which can increase tissue growth and its high viscosity helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection.

5. Studies have suggested local bee pollen may help with seasonal allergies.

Although not definitely proven, recent studies suggest that people who suffer from seasonal allergies can alleviate symptoms by ingesting bee pollen made from their local environment.


Did I mention it tastes good and...sweet? :)


Xo

Beth


Pollination and Bees 101:

Pollen: the male fertilizing agent of the plant/flower

Pollination: the transfer and deposit of pollen grains from a male part of a plant to the female part of a plant to allow for fertilization and production of seeds

- The first step of all flowering plants during reproduction

Pollinator: animals (in this case bees) that fertilize plants, resulting in formation of seeds

- Seeds can only be produced when pollen is transferred between flowers of the same species

Nectar: the sweetness of a plant/flower that attracts bees; by doing so, the pollen grains attach themselves to the bees and when bees visit another flower, the pollen grains can fall off, initiating the fertilization phase

- Nectar is stored in the hive, broken down into the honeycombs where it eventually turns to honey




Drafted by Kawai Bitto

Edited by Beth

  • Beth

My Pledge to Supporting Non-GMO Month


October is non-GMO month. A time to celebrate food as it should be: real, simple and high quality. That’s why I support eating non-GMO foods and I am thrilled to be partnering with Townhall to celebrate accordingly.


So what exactly is a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)?

  • Genetically Modified Organism (GMO): “an organism produced through genetic modification” (i.e. genetic engineering).

  • Genetic Engineering (GE): “manipulation of an organism's genes by introducing, eliminating or rearranging specific genes using the methods of modern molecular biology, particularly those techniques referred to as recombinant DNA techniques”.

GMO foods were introduced into our food supply in the 1990s. Cotton, corn and soybeans are the most common GE crops grown in the U.S. Other GE crops found in U.S. are sugar beets, canola, apples and potatoes. In 2012, GE soybeans accounted for 93% of all soybeans planted, and GE corn accounted for 88% of all corn planted. Scientists claim to use GMOs to modify crops for a variety of reasons such as improving resistance to insects, weeds and other pests, improving tolerance to inclement weather and improving characteristics such as color, shelf-life and nutritional content.


However, we know that the increased use of GMOs over the past two decades have resulted in “super weeds” and “super pests”, leading farmers to use even more toxic pesticides to help control the increasing resistance. Sounds like a vicious cycle, huh? That’s because it is.


Take for example glyphosate: the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. Roundup is the most widely used herbicide in the US and “its agricultural uses increased considerably after the development of glyphosate-resistant genetically modified (GM) varieties”. In 2015, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified the chemical as “probably carcinogenic to humans”. In August 2018, a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a terminally ill man, which he says was caused by his repeated exposure to large quantities of Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed killers while working as a school groundskeeper.


My thoughts? When it comes down to it, I like to keep things real and simple. My food philosophy is no different. I encourage people to eat real, whole foods. I strongly support the need for increased transparency in our food system to distinguish GMO vs. non-GMO foods. I believe we have a right to know what is in our foods and how it was produced. More than 60 nations require transparency in labeling of genetically modified food. In the U.S., it is not mandated to label GMO foods, despite increasing consumer demand. I have outlined a few tips below from the Non-GMO Project to help avoid consumption of GMOs:


1) Avoid processed foods, especially those containing ingredients from corn, soy, canola, sugar beets, and cotton. “More than 70% of processed foods found in retail stores and restaurants contain ingredients derived from GE corn, soybeans, canola, and cotton.”


2) Look for Non-GMO Project verified products. The Non-GMO Verified Project is a third-party verification for non-GMO food and products. These food products have gone through a rigorous verification program to minimize the risk of GMO contamination.


3) Buy locally grown foods. Get to understand your local farmers’ practices. Although there may be some farmers in your area who are not Certified Organic, they may still be following the guidelines and utilizing non-GMO practices. At the end of the day, I always recommend supporting local, eating local and keeping the dollars in your community.


4) Grow your own. When we grow our own foods, we have 100% control over our products and how we choose to grow.


5) Buy organic when you can.

The use of GMOs is prohibited in organic products. To meet the USDA organic regulations, farmers and processors must show they aren’t using GMOs and that they are protecting their products from contact with prohibited substances from farm to table.” - One of my favorite resources for buying Organic is the Environmental Working Group (EWG). If there’s a time to buy Organic, I strongly encourage starting at EWG’s Dirty Dozen list.


I am thrilled to be teaming up with Townhall, a local restaurant in Cleveland, OH who is the first and still the only restaurant in the country committed to being 100% non-GMO. Here’s to moving forward with transparency in our food system and keeping food as it should be: real, simple and of course, delicious!


Xo,

Beth







Resources

1. Agricultural Biotechnology Glossary. USDA.gov. https://www.usda.gov/topics/biotechnology/biotechnology-glossary

2. Herbicides and GMO Crops. Environmental Working Group. https://www.ewg.org/key-issues/food/herbicides-gmo-crops#.W7vps6om7IU

3. Can GMOs Be Used in Organic Products?. USDA. https://www.ams.usda.gov/publications/content/can-gmos-be-used-organic-products

4. Organic Farming and Food Benefits. The Organic and Non-GMO Report. http://non-gmoreport.com/article-categories/organic-farming-food-benefits/

5. What is a GMO? Non-GMO Project.

https://www.nongmoproject.org/gmo-facts/what-is-gmo/

6. Organic 101: What the USDA Organic Label Means. USDA. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2012/03/22/organic-101-what-usda-organic-label-means

7. Consumer Info about Food from Genetically Engineered Plants. FDA. https://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GEPlants/ucm461805.htm

8. Glyphosate toxicity and carcinogenicity: a review of the scientific basis of the European Union assessment and its differences with IARC. NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5515989/

9. What is Non-GMO? What are Genetically Modified Foods?. The Organic and Non-GMO Report. http://non-gmoreport.com/what-is-non-gmo-what-are-genetically-modified-foods/


  • Beth

Updated: Sep 25, 2018

Hi there! I’m Beth, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) licensed and practicing in Ohio. I wanted to introduce myself and do a little Beth 101 so you can get to know the real me.


I grew up in Sandusky, Ohio right down the road from Cedar Point, the ‘Roller Coaster Capitol of the World’. I graduated from Perkins High School in 2009 and moved to Pennsylvania where I went to Slippery Rock University on a basketball athletic scholarship. I played basketball for two years and initially studied public health. I always knew I wanted to study food and nutrition, however SRU did not offer a nutrition program and frankly, free tuition sounded pretty good at the time. Playing a sport at the collegiate level was one of the best, yet hardest, experiences of my life. It taught me a TON about responsibility, hard work, discipline, team work and how to get sh** done. However, it also brought a lot of exhausting and lonely days. Looking back, I wouldn’t change it because it was a great, two year life lesson.


After my sophomore year, I decided to transfer to Kent State University to study nutrition. I worked my butt off to graduate on time in May 2013 with my Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nutrition.


I found out in April of 2013 that I was matched to the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) for my Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics and to complete my Dietetic Internship in Medical Nutrition Therapy. It was a two year coordinated program. I remember match day so vividly. I was too nervous to check myself to see if I was matched to a program so my then boyfriend (now husband) did it for me. I will never forget after 20 minutes of trying to log on (the site crashed), he looked at me and said “you were matched” then 10 seconds later replied “you’re going to Kansas”. I looked back at him and said “Kansas?” in such confusion. To this day, I truly don’t know exactly why I applied to KUMC which makes me laugh. A lot. I mean it’s a 12-13 hour drive from where I grew up. I had no family there. I knew no one there. But I guess if I really think about it, that is me. I love to be spontaneous. I love to live in the moment. I love to experience new, exciting and scary things because that’s what shapes you as a person.


In the fall of 2013, I moved out to Kansas City, Kansas. I met a girl online who was looking for another roommate. We Face Timed once a few months prior to my move. Realistically, I had no idea who my roommates were nor the house I would be living in until I showed up at the door. Luckily, it turned out to be a great situation. My roommates were awesome and the house was great. After 6 months of living there by myself, my then boyfriend moved out there to be with me. We moved to downtown Kansas City, Missouri. It’s pretty cool that I can say I have lived in both Kansas City, Kansas as well as Kansas City, Missouri. I completed my Dietetic Internship in June of 2014. Fun fact: my then boyfriend proposed to me on my last day of my Dietetic Internship! I definitely thought we were just celebrating the fact that I would finally be paid for my hard work ☺ (my internship was unpaid). My rotations during my internship included sports nutrition at the University of Kansas (go Jayhawks!; super cool rotation as a former athlete), nutrition marketing at FleishmanHillard with the Food and Beverage team, food service (yay) at Children’s Mercy Hospital and clinical nutrition (main rotation) also at Children’s Mercy Hospital. My preceptor during my clinical rotation at Children’s Mercy Hospital later became a close friend of mine and is a big reason why I am married (I will save that story for another time). I mainly worked with patients who were diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. I sat for my Registered Dietitian Examination in the summer of 2014. Best.day.ever.


I completed my Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition and Dietetics in May of 2013. I worked as a Graduate Research Assistant for a short period of time before I was offered a full time position where I completed my clinical rotation for my internship. I worked there full time for almost a year.


I lived in Kansas City for over two years. It was truly some of the best years of my life. I moved out to Kansas City by myself. I was proposed to in Kansas City. I became a Registered Dietitian in Kansas City. I completed my Master’s in Kansas City. I met friends and some really good people who became family in Kansas City.


But home is Ohio. Our family is in Ohio. We moved to Cleveland in October 2015. I got married in 2016, we bought our first home in 2017 and I have been working for an amazing healthcare organization as their only Registered Dietitian since.

In terms of my practice, I follow an Integrative and Functional Nutrition approach. I personally follow a plant-based lifestyle (have been for the past +7 years) and I believe everyone, including our environment, could benefit from eating more plant-based foods, regardless of what their specific lifestyle and eating habits look like. I also believe there is no ‘one diet’ fits all. It should be individualized to that particular person and their body’s needs.


With all that being said, I love food. It’s what led me to my career. I am a huge foodie. Food brings people together. Food heals. Food is meant to be enjoyed.


That brings me to Cleveland. I adore this city. It’s a go-getter city. People here work extremely hard for what they have. And the food scene is incredible, which is why I dedicated an entire tab on my blog to all things Cleveland! I feel right at home here. Great people, great food, great sports (well most of them) and just all around great energy.


So anyways, thanks for stopping in. I hope to get to know you all like you now know me. ☺


Questions? Feel free to ask!

contact me

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