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Each Friday, we share five things that are getting buzz around the Cooking Light offices—from what we’re reading around the Web, to what’s hot on Instagram, or even our latest favorite ingredient.

1. (Please) play it again, Sam: We love White House Assistant Chef Sam Kass (we recently talked to him about his ideas for making breakfast a healthy habit. This week, he revealed in an interview that he’ll likely be part of the White House staff facing furlough under sequestration. We're not picking political sides—and the White House has yet to confirm—but are sorry to see anyone temporarily off the job who's working to improve food and health for all Americans.

2. Take local food to another level: Seems like the latest trend in local is making your own cheese, yogurt, and “putting up” preserved fruits, jams, and jellies, but Cooking Light contributor Tamar Haspel and her husband are kicking it up a notch and making their own sea salt. Sure, they live in salty Cape Cod, but her passion for the process is interesting to the land locked as well.

3. Crack one open: A big new study out this month details the additional health benefits associated with walnut consumption and the reduction of type 2 diabetes in women. I talked to our nutrition editor, Sidney Fry, about it, and here’s what she had to say: “There has been a ton of studies on nuts, and I find each and every one of them interesting. They're highly caloric, but more and more studies are leading researchers to believe that our body somehow doesn't digest, process, and store the fat from nuts like it does from other sources of fat.”

The study we looked at found that women who consumed 8 ounces or more of walnuts per month lessened their type 2 risk by 24 percent. “That works out to about 1/3-oz per day, which is only about 5 walnut halves,” Sidney says. “I eat walnuts on my salads about 4 times per week.  I can't get enough of them when toasted and sprinkled with salt.”

4. Hit us with your best shot: Are you on Instagram? (If not—and you have access to a “smart” phone—you should be!) This week we launched our Pick Fresh Instagram Photo Contest. Snap a photo of our garden or beautiful, fresh produce, upload it to your Instagram account, and add the hastag #CLpickfresh. One winner each week will win a copy of our brand new cookbook, Pick Fresh Cookbook. For rules and more info, visit bit.ly/CLpickfresh. Get snapping!

5. Not exactly a “beach read”: You may be familiar with writer Mary Roach’s deep investigations into the world of sex, death, and outer space through a fascinating, somehow humorous lens. Her latest book, Gulp, takes a look at how the body processes and uses food. As per usual with Ms Roach, nothing is too taboo to discuss, so this is a book about eating that you may want to digest away from the kitchen table. Still, it sounds like a fascinatingly delicious read.

Photo of Sam Kass: NBCUniversal/Getty