News headlines about our food supply are frequent and often upsetting, especially to consumers. Questions about how technology affects our food supply and diet abound -- will irradiation, genetic modification, functional foods, pre- and probiotics, fertilizers, pesticides, additives and preservatives end famine, improve food safety and lead to a healthier, more abundant future? Or are we blindly walking a path leading to disaster? This course deals honestly and objectively with the risks and benefits of pest and microbe control, and additives that may impact nutritional content and safety and allergies. Updates on research and regulatory issues, including a long discussion on the political push-pull over genetically modified (GM) foods and the role of functional foods are highlighted in this revision.
The goal of this course is to educate healthcare professionals about issues surrounding the food supply so they can educate patients, clients and consumers and dispel the fear and anxiety about the quality of the foods they eat. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Explain the relationships between nutrition, health, food and agriculture.
- Describe changes in the U.S. food supply over the last 100 years and the effect on life expectancy, disease patterns, nutritional status and health.
- Distinguish between the concepts of absolute risk, acceptable risk and risks versus benefits and describe how risk is assessed.
- Distinguish between a scientific and a sociocultural view of risk.
- Summarize current information about organic food, including nutrition, taste and safety and understand the new USDA national standards for the labeling of organic foods.
- Describe the recombinant DNA process that is used to produce GM foods and identify foods that may become more nutritious through genetic modification.
- Identify debated issues regarding GM foods and explain the pro and con positions.
- Describe how added nutrients, antimicrobials, antioxidants, and artificial colors and flavors are regulated, and discuss controversial health and safety issues including iron, nitrates, BHA and BHT, sulfites and human intolerance to additives and preservatives.
- Explain how pesticides are used in food production and how safety is assessed.
- List ways to limit exposure to pesticide residues.
- Discuss risks associated with unintentional food additives such as growth hormone and antibiotic residues and heavy metal contaminants such as mercury.
- Describe the effect of the changing U.S. food supply on the incidence and prevalence of foodborne illness and how the current food safety system is being strengthened to protect against bioterrorism.
- Identify contentious issues regarding irradiated foods and explain the pro and con positions.
- Explain the concept of “functional food” and identify foods, products and nutrients that are likely to be promoted as functional food products.
- Discuss the social, economic and political issues surrounding the globalization of food.
Course content may take a few minutes to display fully.
This course is intended for an interprofessional audience, including dietitians and health educators.
Health educators: Take this version of the course to ensure you receive appropriate credit.
For the version accredited or approved for another profession, go to your specific profession at www.continuingeducation.com
. If you have a CE Direct login ID and password (generally provided by your employer), please log in as you normally would at lms.nurse.com
and search for this topic title.
Sponsored by OnCourse Learning, a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES) to receive up to 9.0 total Category I continuing education contact hours.
Provider ID: CA0084 (98709) for 01/01/2012 to 12/31/2015, 114941 for 01/01/2016 to 12/31/2019.
Course Originally Released on:
Date of Most Recent Review:
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Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. OnCourse Learning guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.
Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.