- 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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Jan. 3, 2013
Is 'pink slime' making a comeback?
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Is lean finely textured beef (LFTB) — also known as "pink slime" — making a comeback? Possibly.
Some companies that produce LFTB filed a lawsuit against ABC News and others for knowingly or recklessly making false and disparaging statements about their product.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs make the following case in defense of LFTB:
- The process used to separate lean beef from trimmings produces more lean beef than what could be accomplished by hand. When added to ground beef, LFTB results in an overall lower fat content, cost to consumers and waste. It also decreases the number of animals that must be slaughtered to produce lean beef.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved LFTB for use in ground beef in 1993 with no requirement that it be labeled as a separate ingredient.
- In more than 20 years, there have been no reports of foodborne illness caused by LFTB.
The claims against the defendants include:
- Making false and defamatory claims by describing LFTB as "pink slime" and thereby inflaming and misleading the public into believing that it was not beef and not safe for public consumption.
- Waging a disinformation campaign based on misstatements of facts despite being provided with contradicting information by the USDA, the Food and Drug Administration and other food safety organizations.
- Creating a grassroots movement against ground beef processors, grocery stores and restaurants that used beef containing LFTB, resulting in halting purchase of the product and the subsequent closing of processing plants and significant job losses.
Whether or not the lawsuit has merit, there are some things that I'd like to weigh in on:
- I'm grateful that we have a robust system comprised of ranchers (farmers), processors and manufacturers of all sizes, distributors (restaurants, grocery stores), and a surveillance system committed to food safety.
- I'm grateful that we have freedom to choose from a wide variety of foods.
- This situation shows me that the public is very interested in food safety.
- It seems to me that the checks and balances of our system are working — allowing for dialogue about food and its nutritional value, safety, sustainability and cost.
What's your take?
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