May 18 2020
Episode 9 - Agriculture + Public Health
A Purdue entomologist talks about why we need mosquitoes even though most of us would prefer they go away ... and how to keep them from biting us during the summer months. And, a food science expert answers questions about whether we can trust the fresh fruits and vegetables in our produce section during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Part 1 of this episode, Catherine Hill, an entomologist in Purdue’s College of Agriculture, talks about why mosquitoes are important in ecosystems. Mosquitoes are an important food source for many animals in the ecosystems in which they reside, from fish to bats. Contrary to popular belief, when mosquitoes carry pathogens that are harmful to humans, they can also get sick themselves. Hill is concerned that it is becoming harder to control mosquitoes because they are becoming more resistant to insecticides, her field is currently trying to find new ways to control the mosquitoes without eliminating them in their environments. She offers practical recommendations for listeners to avoid mosquito bites.
In Part 2, Amanda Deering, a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Sciences, shares findings on the spreading of COVID-19 via food. Currently, there is no evidence that supports COVID-19 being spread through food. She recommends washing food with water, according to FDA guidelines, and that people with compromised immune systems should eat only cooked fruits and vegetables if they want to be extra pre-cautious.
Learn more about Catherine Hill
Learn more about Amanda Deering
Learn more about the Department of Food Science
Learn more about the Department of Entomology