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Morgan Co. Fair offers learning opportunities

July 31, 2010|By TRISH RUDDER
  • From left, Arnie, Carson and Becky Stotler were among those who attended the Morgan County Fair on Saturday at Berkeley Springs (W.Va.) High School.
By Trish Rudder,

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- The 10th annual Morgan County Fair got under way Saturday at Berkeley Springs High School, and people filled the hallways, classrooms and grounds to view the exhibits and learn new things.

The Forum for Arts, Sciences and Technology (FAST) had an exhibit that focused on healthy eating for Morgan County residents.

Working with area doctors, Dr. Bill Lands, who heads up FAST, is organizing a county nutrition program that encourages people to eat more Omega-3 fats and less of Omega-6 fats to improve their health.

"This is a demonstration project that will document the benefits of eating more Omega-3s and less Omega-6s," Lands said.

Lands' colleague, Douglas Bibus, a fatty acids researcher with Lipid Technologies in Austin, Minn., who works with the University of Minnesota, studies nutrition and health related to fatty acids.

Bibus was offering free Omega-3 blood tests as part of the FAST exhibit to show people their Omega-3 and Omega-6 levels.

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"He has the ability to monitor where we're at," Lands said. "Unless we know where we're at, we can't fix it."

The blood test kits will be offered by area doctors participating in the project, Bibus said.

"We want people to know that their Omega-3 levels should be high," Bibus said. "Most people have a 4 percent level and it should be raised to at least 8 (percent) or 10 percent or above."

Bibus said people need to read labels on food products and avoid products that use Omega-6 oils, such as soybean and corn oil.

"Nix the 6 and eat the 3," Bibus said.

Evelyn Tribole, author of the "Ultimate Omega-3 Diet," said she began studying Omega-3s in 2000 "because the evidence was astounding," she said.

Tribole said people have to reduce their Omega-6 intake and eat a Mediterranean diet, which focuses on Omega-3 foods and lowering Omega-6s.

"I wanted to learn about, write about and alert the public," she said.

Residents Becky, Arnie and Carson Stotler said they enjoyed the fair.

Carson, 7, a Widmyer Elementary School student, said the best part of the fair was looking at all of the exhibits.

Becky Stotler said they were looking forward to the cake auction.

Stotler's son, Andrew, won a blue ribbon for his Buckeye cake made with chocolate and peanut butter that looked delicious, she said.

The cake auction is sponsored by the Morgan County 4-H, and the auction proceeds go toward funding 4-H activities, she said.

Andrew Kurtz, 8, of Paw Paw in western Morgan County, made a twisted rope at the Jackson's Mill Farmstead "History Hitting the Road" exhibit.

Andrew said he was going to either hang his rope on the wall or use it "to catch my dog."

"Learning can be fun," said Dean Hardman, the Jackson's Mill exhibitor.

The fair brings out about 4,000 people, former fair board president Larry Lower has said.

Glenn Ryburn, president of the fair board, said the board has established the Morgan County Fair Association, a nonprofit organization recognized by the state.

"It gives an option to expand and possibly to include a fairground in the future," Ryburn said. "We need to attract more people to the area, and a fairground would help."




If you go



What: 10th annual Morgan County Fair

When: Today, noon to 6 p.m.

Where: Berkeley Springs (W.Va.) High School

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