Hannibal Regional Blog


Our blog offers content about healthcare, healthy living and the culture at Hannibal Regional.

Food Waste HannibalMany consumers are concerned about the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s), antibiotic use in animals, and whether to buy organic vs non-organic. Many worry about certain diseases, cancer and illness. Yet very few of us consider the amount of wasted food in our world on a given day and the consequences that follow. An estimated 9 million people die each year (1 every 4 seconds) due to hunger and malnutrition. Approximately 1 billion people don’t have enough food. In 2010, 48.8 million Americans lived in food-insecure households. Yet the statistics on food waste are environmentally, morally and economically outrageous.

The Waste:
• An estimated 1.3 billion tons of edible food is wasted worldwide
• In the USA, approximately 40% of the food supply is wasted, equaling more than 20 pounds of food per person per month.
• In 2010, nearly 34 million tons of food was wasted in the USA - enough to fill the Empire State Building 91 times.
• Fruits and vegetables, along with roots and potatoes have the highest wastage rate (yet the average person does not consume the recommended amount of fruits/vegetables).
• Annually, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa
• A single restaurant in the U.S. can produce approximately 25,000 to 75,000 pounds of food waste in a year
• In processing New York City’s waste alone, garbage trucks make 250,000 trips throughout the city and the same number of long hauls out of state…the average garbage truck, with its frequent stops and idling, gets about 3 miles per gallon.
• “A more recent estimate by Kevin Hall, a researcher at the National Institute of Health, found that a quarter of the food we squander would provide three meals per day for 43 million people. What’s more, it would yield enough to lift 430 million Americans, out of hunger.”
• Worldwide, we are estimated to grow by 2-2.5 billion by 2050, that’s an increase of 75million people a year. We all need to eat, and need an estimated 60-80% more food by 2050. People worry how agriculture is going to feed our growing population, when so many are already starving. Rather than waiting on an answer, maybe we should look at our food waste instead?

The Cost:
• Food losses and waste amounts to roughly $680 billion in industrialized countries and $310 billion in developing countries.
• Food loss costs a family of four at least $589.76 annually.

The Environment:
• Food waste leaves a big carbon footprint, an estimated 3.3 billion tons of CO2 equivalent of greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere each year. This contributes to global warming and climate change
• Food waste that goes to the landfill breaks down anaerobically and produces methane; methane is 21 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.
• Every ton of food wasted results in 3.8 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
• Food waste means inefficiently used water, land and energy, which in turn leads to a diminished natural ecosystem and the services provided by.
• Less than 3% of food waste was composted in 2010. (Environmental Protection Agency). Is this as good as we can do?

References: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Economic Research Services, USDA Economic Research Service, FaceTheFactsUSA.org, Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), Green Restaurant Association, American Wasteland, Environmental Protection Agency, University of Arizona

Certified Organic

Organic Food

The Statistics

• 8 out of 10 parents purchase organic products “at least sometimes,” according to a 2013 survey by the Organic Trade Association (OTA), and fresh produce is the leading category of organic purchases.
• Organic food sales make up about 4% of the $760 billion annual food sales in the U.S., according to an industry survey conducted for the OTA by Nutrition Business Journal.
• In 2014, 51% of parents surveyed by the OTA said that cost limited their organic purchases.

Why Shop Organic?

Organic shoppers are typically health conscious and convinced that organic foods and beverages “are healthier”. Also fueling the organic trend is the concern about the environment, interest in where food comes from, how the food was grown, and the desire for “clean eating”. There is a growing population of people who like to see environment-friendly companies/industries, and offering organic foods is one way that companies get that reputation.

The Truth about Organics

• The “USDA Organic” designation refers to a unique set of sourcing, growing, harvesting and processing methods, and does not mean that a product is healthful, more nutrient-dense or safer.
• The term “organic” is often misinterpreted. Many consumers assume that “organic” means “nutritious,” or “more nutritious” than conventional foods when this is not always the case. For every study that says organic food is nutritionally superior, there’s another study that says the differences are insignificant. There are several variables that can impact the nutritional composition of food crops, such as variations from field to field and growing season to growing season.
• In 2014, 51% of parents surveyed by the OTA said that cost limited their organic purchases. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, affordability is a big factor when discussing appropriate food choices with patients/clients. Consuming the recommended amount of nutritious conventional foods such as fruits and vegetables is more beneficial and far more important than consuming a limited amount of organic fruits and vegetables. For example, 1 serving of organic fruit may be 2-3 times the cost of 1 serving of conventional fruit, thus a household with a limited food budget would likely consume less produce if recommended to buy organic.
• It is important to note that organic potato chips still contain calories, fat and sodium, and organic cookies still contains calories, fat and added sugar.
Just because it is organic, does not mean it is healthy, and just because it is non-organic does not mean it is not healthy.
• Pro Organic: Organic foods are often locally grown and support small families which is both healthful and environmentally friendly! Organic foods may offer many benefits to your health but do your homework first and know who you are buying your food from and where it was grown (preferably the USA)!
• Take home message: choose more whole foods and less processed foods, choose more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low fat dairy, regardless of whether they are organic or not. 

Workout and Sleep Hannibal

Now that spring is here many of us are anxious to get out and exercise more. The weather is nice and we want to squeeze more activities into each day. Many times, sleep is the first activity to be sacrificed. Sleep is an essential part of fitness and exercise, yet it’s is often overlooked.

Athletes know that the quality and quantity of sleep they get is often the key to success. Training and nutrition can help create a fit and athletic body, and so can sleep. During sleep, the body is building muscle, consolidating memory, and releasing hormones.

The Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory conducted a study in which a group of athletes was followed over a three-week period. They did nothing different but increase their amount of sleep and saw marked improvements in performance, including faster sprint times, longer endurance, lower heart rate and an overall better workout.

Experts suggest that sleep deprivation increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Sleep deprivation has also been linked to decreased production of glycogen and carbohydrates that are stored for energy. Without enough quality sleep, your body cannot fully recover from exercise. A lack of quality sleep can also affect diet and eating habits. Sleep loss has been found to interfere with hunger hormones, increasing appetite during the day and bringing on cravings.

The Better Sleep Council estimates that 70 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep. Sleep disorders and chronic short sleep are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, memory loss and other serious cognitive issues as well as an increased risk for osteoporosis and cancer.

Make sleep a priority and an essential part of your fitness and exercise regime. The 2013 “Sleep In America” survey by the National Sleep Foundation reported that regular exercisers claim they get better quality sleep. The study also found that vigorous exercisers get the best sleep, non-exercisers have the least energy and those who sit less during the day also sleep better.

Let sleep work for you, quality sleep keeps you performing at your best, and it’s free!

Mary Duesterhaus, RPSGT, REEGT, CRT Clinical Coordinator Neurodiagnostics - Hannibal Regional Hospital - Sleep Services

Breakfast Casserole HannibalRecipe Request: “A Healthy Breakfast Casserole”
Recipe Re-Do: Garden Vegetable Crustless Quiche
Breakfast casseroles are popular because they are a one-dish meal and can be prepped the night before and baked the next morning. Most casseroles call for croissants/bread, whole milk or heavy cream, lots of cheese, high sodium cream soup and fattening meats.  However, a breakfast casserole can be very nutritious while still being a big hit Easter morning, or for any meal. The recipe below is packed with nutritious vegetables and provides more than 1/3 of the recommended amount of calcium per day. 

9 large eggs
1 cup (6 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup (6 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (16-ounce) carton fat-free cottage cheese
Cooking spray
4 cups sliced zucchini (about 4)
2 cups diced potato 
1 cup diced onion
1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper (about 1)
1 (8-ounce) package pre-sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400°.
Beat eggs in a large bowl until fluffy. Add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Jack cheese, milk, flour, baking powder, salt, and cottage cheese; set aside. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add zucchini and the next 4 ingredients; sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the parsley and sautéed veggies to egg mixture. Pour mixture into a 3-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup Jack cheese and cheddar cheese. Arrange tomato slices over cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° (do not remove dish from oven), and bake for 35 minutes or until lightly browned and set.

Yield: 12 servings 
Nutritional Information:
Calories per serving: 209
Fat per serving: 7.8g
Saturated fat per serving: 3.6g
Protein per serving: 17g
Carbohydrates per serving: 17.9g
Fiber per serving: 1.9g
Cholesterol per serving: 158mg
Sodium per serving: 514mg
Vitamin A 31.1 %
Vitamin C 32.3 %
Vitamin D 9.6 %
Calcium 35.2 %

Katie Foster, RDN, LD - Hannibal Regional Hospital

Savor the Flavor of Eating Right!

During National Nutrition Month our Registered Dietitians want to help you Savor the Flavor of Eating Right!  Our Dietitians have each chosen a quick tip to help you maintain your healthy eating goals or help you on your journey to better.  

Katie Foster, RDN, LD says to try a couscous salad, "Couscous is slightly lower in calories than most pastas and higher in Selenium. Couple that with vegetables, lite salad dressing and the healthy fat in olives, you have a winning combination!"

Marie Niemeyer, RDN, LD, CDE, reminds you, "If you really want a dessert, make it better for you by choosing one with fruit, nuts (walnuts have omega-3’s), and oil vs. solid fats. Share the piece or reduce portion size to save calories."

Nancy Hays, RDN, LD says to try a Pork Chow Mein, "By using very lean pork (low saturated fat), lots of vegetables (with phytochemicals and antioxidants) and low sodium ingredients, this recipe packs in nutrition and taste for everyone!"