In brief

Taste trials could economically impact local, state, and midwest growers

FLINT — In the fall of 2017, a Genesee County, Michigan enchilada sauce developer asked Ben Phillips, a MSU Vegetable Extension Educator a question about Michigan poblano peppers. The question was, “With all the current dehydrating technology on the market, can Michigan growers cultivate and dry poblano peppers that can compete with Southwest poblano peppers?” To answer that question, Ben successfully cultivated and dried poblano peppers at Michigan State University’s AgBioResearch Center located in Frankenmuth, Michigan. “The next step in this research is to prepare and taste recipes made with the AgBioResearch poblano peppers. This is where the two scheduled taste trials come into play,” stated Hilda McShane, enchilada sauce developer.

“The outcomes from the two taste trials can potentially impact our area, Michigan and Midwest growers,” stated McShane. The first taste trial is ONLY for GCI students and staff and is scheduled for May 29 from 10 am to 1 pm at GCI’s culinary kitchen, room 281. The second taste trial is open to the public on June 15 from 11 am to 1 pm at the Saginaw Farmers’ Market Demonstration Kitchen. The media is welcome to both taste trials.

Participants of the two trials will sample, and survey, 10 enchilada sauces prepared and rolled into cheese enchiladas by Genesee Career Institute’s culinary students. Nine of the 10 sauces were prepared with peppers grown and dried at MSU’s AgBioResearch Center and dried at Leaman’s Green Applebarn in Freeland, Michigan. For research purposes, poblano peppers from Mexico are included in the taste trial.

Genesee Career Institute is located at 5081 Torrey Road, Flint, 48507. — G.G.

Flint physician testifies before Congress about harm to patients from surprise bills

EAST LANSING — S. Bobby Mukkamala, MD, a Flint otolaryngologist and the President-elect of the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) testified this week before the U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health about balance – or “surprise” – billing, the unexpected bills many patients receive when their insurers fail to cover care or procedures, especially in hospitals or with providers outside the insurer’s network.

“Physicians support solutions that keep patients out of the middle of payment rate negotiations,” said Mukkamala. “Patients should be financially protected from out-ofnetwork bills, and transparency is an important component of a solution.”

Mukkamala in his testimony identified common principles at the core of addressing and minimizing unanticipated out-of-network costs to protect patients, including network regulation, fair payment to providers, and transparency for patients from their insurers. — G.G.