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Has survival of the fittest food plants raised the prospect that a bacterial pestilence could ruin the world’s food supply? Maybe, according to a story in National Geographic published in the summer of 2011. Here’s one of the striking paragraphs in the story: "Most of us in the well-fed world give little thought to where our food comes from or how it’s grown. We stee…

Allen James wasn’t surprised to learn about a new study that suggests brisk walking likely has more benefits than running. He’s seen those results play out on the world’s biggest athletic stage. James, 49, of Sanborn, competed as an Olympic racewalker in 1992 in Barcelona and four years later in Atlanta. See how he did, and what he eats, today in WNY Refresh. "The av…

Jared Callahan, who just started his new business, City of Light Fitness, at Canalside, is thinking about a lot more than a stand-up paddle boarding gig along the Buffalo River. That’s just a launching point for much bigger ideas the 28-year-old Amherst native has been hatching during the sleepy winter months. He’s met with Robert G. Shibley, the dean of the University a…

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By Scott ScanlonRefresh EditorJared Callahan took the long way home, and now that he’s back in Western New York he plans to make his mark in his favorite spot – on the water – as he tries to improve the region’s health and make us more attuned to the environment.Callahan, 28, a Sweet Home High School alum who lives in the city, is the latest entrepreneur at Canalside. His …

Highland Hose volunteer firefighter Jean Cosenza, of Derby, was badly burned in a grease fire in 2010. She spent a week in the burn unit at Erie County Medical Center and five more weeks convalescing at home with the daily help of a home care nurse. "As a counselor, I knew the importance of seeking  support after such a traumatic event," she said. "The…

If you live on Grand Island, have $20 in your pocket and want to plant a garden with some of your neighbors this spring, the new Grand Island Community Garden program is just the spot for you. The project, undertaken with help from the nonprofit Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo, still has plots available at a 6-acre site at Ransom and Stoney Point roads. Volunteer ga…

Susannah Barton, the executive director of Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo, is the subject of our In the field feature in today’s WNY Refresh section in The Buffalo News. Along with the questions that appear in the feature, I asked her other questions about the nuts and bolts of how the nonprofit helps community gardeners in the City of Buffalo. Below are excerpts: So how …

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By Scott ScanlonRefresh EditorSusannah Barton works in the Tri-Main Building in downtown Buffalo, an architectural gem with steel beams, colorful corridors and eclectic gallery, office and light manufacturing space.But truth be told, Barton would rather be working outdoors, especially this time of year.Barton, 34, is a former commercial banking specialist who landed a mast…

The Buffalo Common Council has waived the fee and approved permission for the Buffalo Athletic Club to host free outdoor yoga classes at Niagara Square. The classes, open to the general public and BAC members, are designed to promote health and wellness downtown. Yoga classes will run from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays from June 24 through Aug. 29. On evenings …

The Niagara Glen – which features a host of trails between the top and bottom of the Niagara Gorge just north of Niagara Falls, Ont. – will be the setting for a spring hike on Saturday. The Niagara Parks Commission, Friends of the Niagara Glen and the Niagara Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada are combining to carry out various activities at the glen, 3050…

The American Diabetes Association, Western New York Chapter, has named Vincent Harrer, of Lockport, its Youth Ambassador for the 2013 Tour de Cure, a bicycle ride and fundraiser which takes place June 8 along Lake Ontario. Vincent, a fourth-grader at DeSales Catholic School, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 7 years old.  An avid athlete, who is a member…

Those interested in getting fit later in the week have two organized chances on Saturday, thanks to the nonprofit Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo. Both walks are part of the Be Active Erie County spring series and include health fairs. The first starts at 9 a.m. with a mini-health fair in the Field House at Emery Park, Elma, followed by a walk start at 9:45…

By Scott Scanlon Those who like bicycles and baseball have a unique opportunity to enjoy both Saturday, when GObike Buffalo brings them together for "Bike to Bisons Game." The gathering helps celebrate National Bike Month and starts at 4:30 p.m. at Ulrich’s Tavern, 674 Ellicott St., with discounted food, beer and free pop at the city’s oldest tavern. There will b…

By Scott Scanlon Jo Freudenheim has had the rare blessing of having two daughters – one biological, one adopted – both of whom bring lots of joy into her life, even though they’re teenagers. Freudenheim, chair of the UB Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, helped me with the cover story giving tips to new moms in today’s WNY Refresh section and we talked a bit abo…

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By Scott Scanlon Editor Mike Connelly told us when several of us started to develop concepts for Refresh several weeks ago that the cover was the most important thing about the new section. We have great photographers and graphic designers at The Buffalo News, and they work with Features Editor Bruce Andriatch and me on cover ideas. We want images that make readers smile a…