Magic Valley's Magic & Plastic Bag Trouble

Magic Valley's Magic & Plastic Bag Trouble

Magic Valley’s Magic & Plastic Bag Trouble plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Plastic bags. You either love them or hate them and in a lot of instances the government is making up your mind for you by the outright banning of the bags. Besides being harmful to the environment Ann Savageau, researcher at the University of California at Davis, explains how animals can be harmed by plastic bags.

SAVAGEAU: Camels, cattle, sheep, goats are eating plastic bags because they’re often free grazers and they smell whatever has been in the bag and eat it and it never passes out. It simply accumulates in the stomach and after that the animal slowly starves to death. And so a lot of people never realize that it’s the plastic bags.

Agriculture is good business in Idaho’s Magic Valley according to new study released by the University of Idaho. The study shows two of every three dollars of sales generated in the six counties of the Magic Valley are tied in some way to agribusiness. The study also finds that agribusiness in the Magic Valley accounts for half of the state's total farm cash receipts -- valued at $5.8 billion in 2010 and 7.4 billion in 2011. Dairy continues to be the dominant farm industry. The report found the dairy processing industry accounted for a fifth of all sales and a seventh of Magic Valley jobs.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

We’ve all heard about the health benefits of drinking cranberry juice, but do those benefits outweigh the amount of sugar added to cranberry juice in order to make it palatable to most consumers, since unsweetened cranberries are quite tart indeed. The President and CEO of Ocean Spray attests that the nutritional value of cranberry juice far outweighs the added sugar. Who hasn’t downed a big glass of cranberry juice to ward off a urinary tract infection? Cranberries are one of nature’s natural antibiotics, but recently questions have arisen about their health benefits because of the current administration’s goal of removing all sugared drinks from school vending machines. Nutrient packed fruit juices that also contain added sugars should not be considered the same as sweetened beverages that lack any nutrients whatsoever. A lot of foods that pack a nutritional punch are going to get a bad rap if we start placing all foods with added sugars or sodium under the same blanket. Like my grandmother used to say, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”. In other words, getting rid of something good while trying getting rid of something bad can, and usually does, lead to great regret.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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