Media releases

  • Brock professor available to discuss Canadian honey labels

    8 April 2016
    Brock University — Communications & Public Affairs
    Canadian beekeepers are trying to get the country’s biggest honey brands to buy more locally produced honey instead of packaging a blend of domestic and imported honey.

    The issue has led to a public outcry about brands not supporting local beekeepers. A recent petition takes aim at one of Canada’s biggest honey brands and its parent company, claiming they “import cheaper honey from countries like China and Argentina and blend them with just enough Canadian honey so that they can still say Canadian on the bottle simply to improve their bottom line.”

    Michael J. Armstrong, Brock University Associate Professor of Operations Management, teaches courses on quality improvement and holds professional certifications from the American Society for Quality.

    Honey packaged as ‘Canada No. 1,’ as one major brand does, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s Canadian honey in the jar, explains Armstrong. “It refers only to the quality grade when it was packaged here. Honey packaged elsewhere would say ‘Grade No. 1’”

    “The honey labels are precise and accurate, even if consumers sometimes misunderstand them,” he says.

    Armstrong is available to comment on:
    • What each part of the honey label does and does not mean.
    • How the food labeling system is based on manufactured products while trying to give credit to both farmers and processors.
    • Why Canadian consumers should be careful about being too “nationalistic” since Canadian honey exports exceed imports.

    “While it’s great to support local beekeepers, consumers should be cautious not to be overly ‘patriotic’ in purchasing. That could cause other countries to do the same,” he says.

    Agriculture Canada figures show Canada exports much more honey than it imports. In 2013, we exported 12.1 million kg (mostly to the USA and Japan), and imported 5.5 million kg (mostly from Argentina and Brazil).

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
    * Jane van den Dries, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Brock University or 905-688-5550 x6197
    * Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University,
    905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

    Categories: Media releases

  • Brock graduate student wins contest with research on body image and mirrors

    8 April 2016
    Brock University — Communications & Public Affairs

    Women working out in the gym won’t feel uncomfortable looking at themselves in full-length mirrors if their trainers get them to see beyond superficial appearances, says Brock University’s winner of this year’s Three Minute Thesis competition.

    Graduate student Carly Cameron says societal pressures to appear slim and beautiful may initially cause many women to be anxious when they view their reflections. But when those women use the mirror to develop correct techniques and form during exercise, that anxiety disappears.

    “My research showed that women can leave the gym feeling happy, healthy and ready to return tomorrow,” says Cameron. “They simply need to be reminded that, when they look in the mirror, they should be checking their form.”

    Cameron was one of five Brock finalists in Thursday’s international Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, in which students clearly explain their research in three minutes. They can only use a single PowerPoint slide, with no other props or visual aids.

    First developed in 2008 by the University of Queensland in Australia, the 3MT competition is now held in universities around the world.

    The idea is to develop presentation and communication skills among student researchers so that they are able to explain complicated concepts in plain language that general or non-specialist audiences can understand.

    “After years of using language that’s highly specialized in my field, this competition made me think about the big picture impact of my research and how to convey that to the public,” says Cameron. “To be given the opportunity to share this with the broader community is a fantastic way to bridge the gap between research and practice.”

    Cameron will represent Brock at the 3MT Ontario competition in Waterloo April 14. The top five presenters from there will move onto the national level, an online competition co-ordinated by the Canadian Association of Graduate Schools.

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
    * Cathy Majtenyi, research communications/media relations specialist,, 905-688-5550 x5789 or 905-321-0566

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    Categories: Media releases