Experts on hand: Thanksgiving food safety, holiday budgeting, online shopping safety, and more | Virginia Tech News

Experts on hand: Thanksgiving food safety, holiday budgeting, online shopping safety, and more |  Virginia Tech News

Virginia Tech’s Office of Media Relations has the following experts available for interviews this week about issues in the news. To schedule an interview, please contact

Experts offer food safety tips for Thanksgiving and the holiday season

Thanksgiving meals are great social occasions to connect with family and friends. Delicious food on the table should not only be delicious and sumptuous, but it should also be safe. “Measuring the internal temperature of cooked foods is an important part of food safety,” said Melissa Wright, director of the Food Producers Technical Assistance Network at Virginia Tech. “Measurements should be taken with a food thermometer. You can order one from Amazon today and have it in time for Thanksgiving. Wright and other food safety experts have offered a variety of tips on holiday food safety. Read more here.

History of Thanksgiving food

Foodies aren’t the only people who appreciate the importance of Thanksgiving. For most people, the holiday conjures up visions of turkey dinners and pumpkin pies filled with all the fixings, like mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and green bean casserole. But just as traditional Thanksgiving dishes differ from the foods served at the first Thanksgiving in colonial America, the modern spread of the holiday is evolving to include international dishes that represent the diversity that characterizes America today. Anna Zaid, associate professor of history and director of the Food Studies Program at Virginia Tech, is on hand to share the history behind today’s food. More here.

Tips on how to avoid family arguments at holiday gatherings

The holidays are a great time to reconnect with family and friends. Unfortunately, it’s also a time for heated arguments and spoiled dinners when controversial topics flare up. “Often, family members don’t agree on important issues like climate change, immigration, election integrity, crime, and abortion,” says Todd Schenk, a Virginia Tech expert. “Careful thought about when and how to approach sensitive topics is key to having productive conversations. I would suggest explicitly seeking agreement between the parties that you will ‘go there’ and perhaps making time to do so.” Read more here.

Planning a holiday shopping budget is the best way to navigate the season

As the holiday season approaches, it’s important to start budgeting for your gift shopping in advance. Taking proactive steps now will help you manage expenses wisely and make the most of the holiday season. Virginia Tech economist Jadrian Wooten and financial expert Jesse Lineberry share why. More here.

A cybercrime expert offers safety tips when shopping online during the holidays

The holiday shopping season is heating up, and unfortunately, criminals are also looking to take advantage of your desire for discounted prices. And every year, these scams seem more sophisticated, making it more difficult to play the sport. Catalin Partee, a cybercrime expert at Virginia Tech, shares these tips to help you avoid becoming a victim. More here.

Research highlights

Are your Cyber ​​Monday purchases legitimate? There (will be) an app for that

A counterfeit handbag or imitation wagyu beef may rile up Cyber ​​Monday consumers, but a counterfeit ventilator or pacemaker could put them at risk.

Emma Minow, a researcher at Virginia Tech, is developing a mobile app to enable buyers to confirm that their purchases are legitimate. In a study published in the journal Micromachines earlier this fall, Meno and a team of researchers described their work to date.

“Counterfeiters are putting things on the market that look like licensed medical devices or intercepting a legitimate transaction,” said Emma Minow, a research associate at Virginia Tech’s National Security Institute. “A counterfeit biometric device poses a significant health risk, and the increasing number of people affected by it is alarming.”

In the days leading up to Cyber ​​Monday last year, law enforcement agencies shut down nearly 13,000 websites selling counterfeit luxury goods or pirated content. Although there are severe legal ramifications for counterfeiting, they are only enforceable if someone is caught.

The way some media outlets talk about artificial intelligence may have something to do with political ideology

Although AI has become embedded in every fabric of our daily lives — from language translation to virtual personal assistants — it remains a divisive issue. As its scope expands, researchers at Virginia Tech are seeking to understand which sectors of society may be more receptive to artificial intelligence and which sectors may be more averse to it.

In the recently published paper “Partisan Media Sentiments toward AI,” authors from the Virginia Tech Pamplin School of Business — Angela Yi, Shreyans Goenka, and Mario Bandelier — examine diverse reactions to AI by analyzing partisan media sentiment. Their work was published in the Journal of Social Psychology and Personality Science.

The researchers found that articles from liberal-leaning media had more negative feelings toward AI than articles from conservative media. In other words, liberal-leaning media tend to oppose AI more than conservative-leaning media.

(Marks for translation) College of Arts and Humanities; Media consulting; College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Food science and technology; the influence; Pamplin College of Business; College of Science

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