According to Dr. Stephen Taylor, no one knows the exact answer to why the prevalence of food allergies is increasing. He doubts any experts would hypothesize that chemicals used in food production play a role in the prevalence of food allergies. He explains other theories that seem much more plausible, but have not been proven, like clenliness, c-section births and avoidance of specific foods.
Best Food Facts asks readers what they think about the possibility of GM food labeling.
A Best Food Facts website reader tells us she NEVER eats food from cans (except beans and stewed tomatoes), because she believes "anything canned or processed is bad for you... and besides, canned food tastes horrible." An expert says there’s not a single best choice, but rather, multiple options for a healthy diet year round.
In the post, Hormones in Milk: Are They Causing Early Puberty in Girls, we wondered, what is causing early maturity in girls? Based on what Dr. Ann Macrina indicated, it could be any of several factors.
One of our readers, Dan, asked for clarification from Dr. Macrina: "Dr. Macrina indicated it could be any of several factors – better nourishment, higher body weight and some even suggest exposure to chemicals. Does Dr. Macrina mean chemicals like pesticides and herbicides?"
Food has gotten more and more expensive over the last several years and protein sources seem to be some of the fastest increasing items. Even one of the most affordable protein sources – eggs – has seen an increase in price. Along with the general increases across the board, there’s plenty of chatter regarding the price differences for eggs produced in different types of housing systems.
Following up on Dr. Oz's research finding arsenic in apple juice, Connie Diekman, RD, says she's not worried about the juice we have at home in our cupboards, but she would like to see more research and education about how juice should more appropriately fit into a healful eating plan. As we exit a holiday filled with positive stories and reasons to give thanks, we find one causing much concern - and reasonably so. As reported by several online sources, television shows, videos and bloggers, there are, once again, questions about arsenic in juice.
Some people are perpetually adding salt to their dishes, while others prefer to use other spices to enhance flavors. Do you think the government should get involved?
We received the following question from Kat:
"Many of the experts’ responses indicate that the responsibility for monitoring food safety and standards, including the effects of GM food and pesticides on human health and living conditions for animals, rests with government agencies such as the EPA, the FDA, and the USDA. Given the frequency of corporate executives in government positions, especially in the food and agriculture industries, how heavily are food policies and legislature influenced by corporate interests? To what extent is there a conflict of interest and how can we be sure that food policies and legislation are in the best interest of the consumer rather than the corporation?"
To answer the question, we engaged two experts - one with a focus on public policy and another with experience serving in Washington. Here are their responses:
The time to give thanks for all we have is here… as is the stress of preparing a meal with big expectations! Let’s hope we can all get through it without starting the turkey on fire or sending our guests away with food poisoning!
Best Food Facts recently received a question from Marie asking, “It seems there were more food contamination issues in the past few years than usual. Is the problem growing?”
We’ve seen it in the news, too – Listeria outbreaks in cantaloupe, Salmonella in chicken livers and E. coli in ground beef, to name a few. To answer Marie’s question, we contacted Dr. Julie Albrecht, from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, for some insight on foodborne illness.
In response to our latest post, Study: Bt protein in your blood. Consumer beware?, we received a few tweets from @Jambutter. He had some questions that we thought deserved to be addressed, since these are on the minds of consumers everywhere. To do so, we asked one of the experts who we interviewed for the original post - Dr. Bruce Chassy, from the University of Illinois-Urbana.
It seems everywhere you turn these days, there is a new magic pill, a revolutionary diet, something that can forever shrink your waistline. Claims of simply popping a pill, never needing to count calories and never feeling hungry abound. We would love for these claims to be true, and millions of dollars are spent every year in hopes that they are.
Happy Halloween! It's a day for silly costumes, ghoulish decorations and sweet treats - and even President Obama is talking about the stigma of choosing the "right" treats for the occasion.
While a guest on NBC's The Tonight Show, Obama cited the fact that Mrs. Obama has passed out fruit and raisins on Halloween. He jokingly informed her that, "The White House is going to get egged if this keeps up.”
Food scientists are constantly exploring how to make foods taste better, digest easier, grow with fewer fertilizers, etc. We recently learned that a team of scientists at Iowa State University is working with the starches in sweet corn to try to create a response in the body that modify the starch to digest more slowly... which creates a more moderate insulin response, and release of glucose into the blood stream. This is important to the U.S.'s diabetic population of more than 21 million individuals, since moderating insulin and glucose through diet and medication is a constant need.