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Healthy, but not dull

One of Dr. Dean Ornish’s points half an hour ago was that people won’t make permanent diet and lifestyle choices because they are scared of death. That fear is a short term thing.

Instead, people will make permanent changes if they offer something enjoyable, liberating and fun.

So that seems to be part of the Canola Council of Canada’s strategy of promoting canola oil through cookbooks. Canola was endorsed by the American Diabetes Association, which proves its healthfulness, but the council also worked with famous cook and cookbook writer Nancy Hughes to produce a canola cookbook that wouldn’t just be health-promoting, but also seem fun. That way consumers are more likely to stick with canola.

Nancy Hughes, Brett Halstead and JoAnne Buth
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Reuters) - In an end-of-the-year report, United States agriculture secretary Dan Glickman said efforts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture ensured U.S. agriculture exports maintained a near-record level of $57.4 billion, the second highest rate ever.In a statement prepared for a news briefing, Glickman said the USDA had succeeded in opening up new markets around the world during the past year, including rice to Honduras, pork to Venezuela, grapes to China and tomatoes to Japan.The U.S. ag export surplus remained a "robust" $21.6 billion (U.S.), he said."The public often perceives USDA as an agency that only serves a small number of people working on America's farms," Glickman said. "Production agriculture is and will always be the heart of what we do at USDA, but what this department has done during 1997 shows that the work we do affects every American, on and off the farm, every day."The USDA helped U.S. farmers achieve record yields in winter wheat and the third-highest corn crop in history, he said.Glickman also touted the department's 1997 achievements in civil rights - an area that has drawn harsh criticism and a lawsuit by U.S. black farmers. The USDA initiated new foreclosure and lending policies at USDA to assure that no one loses their farm because of racial discrimination, Glickman said.

Hughes, with an infectious laugh and a rare ability to cook and tell stories at the same time, showed how to use canola to make a number of dishes, including some that would usually use olive oil. It was a keenly watched demonstration, and as the smells of the dishes wafted above the crowd, stomachs were heard to gurgle, and some jealousy was felt for the four test subjects who were serving as Hughes’ demonstration eaters.

So after a couple of days of sometimes heavy industry information, the CCC convention is wrapping up at the end of the supply chain, at the opposite pole to the farmer who grows the crop: on the plate, where canola produces good food.

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