- With Mayo Clinic nutritionists
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.read biographyclose window
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.Katherine Zeratsky and Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer K. Nelson, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.N.S.D.
Jennifer Nelson is your link to a better diet. As specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, she plays a vital role in bringing you healthy recipes and meal planning.
"Nutrition is one way people have direct control over the quality of their lives," she says. "I hope to translate the science of nutrition into ways that people can select and prepare great-tasting foods that help maintain health and treat disease."
A St. Paul, Minn., native, she has been with Mayo Clinic since 1978, and is director of clinical dietetics and an associate professor of nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
She leads clinical nutrition efforts for a staff of more than 60 clinical dietitians and nine dietetic technicians and oversees nutrition services, staffing, strategic and financial planning, and quality improvement. Nelson was co-editor of the "Mayo Clinic Diet" and the James Beard Foundation Award-winning "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook." She has been a contributing author to and reviewer of many other Mayo Clinic books, including "Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody," "The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and "The Mayo Clinic/Williams Sonoma Cookbook." She contributes to the strategic direction of the Food & Nutrition Center, which includes creating recipes and menus, reviewing nutrition content of various articles, and providing expert answers to nutrition questions.
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, she is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She's active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
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Aug. 10, 2011
Animal-pollinated crops essential to the food supply
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
A recent study has made me marvel at the simplicity and beauty of our ecosystem — and it's fragility.
The study evaluated the contribution of animal-pollinated crops on nutrients in the food supply. Researchers examined the nutrient availability in more than 150 animal-pollinated crops. The results were striking:
- Most of the available vitamin C — a major antioxidant — comes from pollinated plants.
- Nearly 75 percent of food oils come from plants that rely on pollination. These fats also serve as primary sources of fat-soluble vitamins.
- Pollinated crops provide between 70 and 98 percent of the plant substances that the body turns into vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to blindness.
- Pollinated plants also provide 58 percent of calcium and 62 percent of fluoride — minerals crucial for development of bone and teeth. Although calcium in dairy products is more bioavailable than that in plants, dairy farming is less environmentally efficient and more costly.
- More than one-fourth of iron is derived from pollinator-dependent crops. Iron deficiency is thought to be the most common nutrient deficiency. Iron plays a role in prevention of infection and cognitive impairment. As with calcium, iron from animal sources is more costly and taxing to the environment.
Why is this important? Because pollinating animals, including bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and bats, are in decline. Reasons for the decline include winter kill, natural diseases unique to the species, and human-induced habitat loss, disruption of migratory routes and pesticide use.
The researchers estimated that up to 40 percent of key nutrients provided by crops could be lost without pollinators. This could have dramatic impact on global health.
It makes me more mindful and appreciative of the foods I choose. It also makes me more mindful of our precious environment. Thoughts?
- Jenniferblog index