Friday Roundup: Black Women's Health Study + A Rhubarb Recipe

As I write this post, I'm listening to my recently created Miles Davis station on Pandora. Because I just can't listen to enough of him. As a matter of fact, listening to more Miles Davis is #91 on my life list. Listening to good music makes life so much better.

And so does good food. I have a new recipe for you today. I bought some rhubarb, because so many food bloggers blog about it and I've never cooked with it. I find it rather intimidating actually. Fruit? Vegetable? What is it? A strange celery looking thing. That's what it is. Well, I guess actually it's a vegetable, but treated as a fruit. Odd, huh?

I bought one little stalk, because I didn't want too much in case I hated it. I found this recipe for Orange-Rhubarb Butter from the blog Whitney in Chicago and adapted it based on what I had. Whitney's recipe was based on this recipe by Marisa from the blog Food in Jars.

Sorry about the fuzzy picture. It's rather cloudy out today, so there wasn't enough natural light. The pictures that I took with a flash look even worse. Here's the adapted recipe below.

Orange-Rhubarb Butter

1/2 cup chopped rhubarb
2 T sugar
2 T orange juice
2 T water

Combine ingredients in a sauce pan and boil down over low heat. It took about 20 minutes.

After I boiled this, I poured it in a clean jar. Screwed on the top and put it in the fridge. I've never done real canning, so I can't tell you all the particulars of how to do it safely. However, via the resources on Food in Jars, here is the 2009 USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning.

This morning I spread some of the orange-rhubarb butter on wheat toast. It wasn't bad. A mild flavor with a bit of acidity. Will I buy more rhubarb? Maybe.

*Updated 8/3/2010* Punk Domestics is a new blog and website with lots of information about canning and other food preservation techniques. Check it out!

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One more thing that I wanted to mention today is the Black Women's Health Study. The study is based out of Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center. I'm not sure if I've written about this study before, but the information that is being gathered is very important. I've been part of the study since it began in 1995. There are 59,000 participants and it's the first study to focus on the health issues of black women. I was really glad to participate and it's been interesting answering the questions over the years.

Below is an excerpt from the website.
In the early 1990’s we knew that black women were more likely to develop many health problems, and to die of them, than white women. We also knew that most of the previous studies of women’s health had included only small numbers of black women or none at all. We felt that improving the health of black women required more knowledge of the causes of these health problems and also more knowledge about how women stayed healthy. More knowledge meant more research. We decided that we would do our best to take the lead in carrying out that research.

We wanted to design a study that would gather information on many conditions that affect black women—breast cancer, lupus, premature birth, hypertension, colon cancer, diabetes, uterine fibroids —the list was long. To study many diseases at the same time, the best possible design is a “follow-up” study. A follow-up study enrolls participants and then follows them over time. When the participants enter the study, they provide information on factors that might influence health and disease, such as contraceptive use, cigarette smoking, and diet. At regular intervals, participants provide updated information on these factors (because the factors may change over time), and also on any illnesses they develop.
I just received the July 2010 Newsletter and the focus is on food. Here are some of the results below.

~ Participants who ate the most cereal fiber had a 20% lower risk of diabetes than women who ate small amounts.

~ Participants who frequently ate foods with a high glycemic index had a higher risk of diabetes, and possibly a higher risk of uterine fibroids.

~ Participants who ate 2 or more restaurant meals of burgers a week and or 2 restaurant meals of fried chicken a week had about a 1.5 times the risk of developing diabetes than women who ate none. Increases in diabetes risk were smaller for women who frequently ate Chinese food or fried fish, and there were no increases in risk from eating Mexican food or pizza.

~ Diabetes ocurred more often in BWHS participants who drank 2 or more sweetened soft drinks or sweetened fruit drinks a day than in women who infrequently drank those beverages.

Some rather interesting findings.

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alessandra said…
I didn't imagine that black women had a different illness rate, weird!
What is due to? Culture, way of living, genetics?
Sorry for my ignorance ;)
Anonymous said…
Really enjoying your blog a great deal! Thank you!Your blog's informative is very rich in contents. I like your way of
Lisa Johnson said…
alessandra - There are many factors and I'm no expert, but from what I've read sometimes it's genetics, diet, and sometimes stress, which can stem from the impact of racism. Take a look at the website. There's some really good information.

anonymous - Thank you!

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