Lately, we have seen lots of consumer questions about glyphosate. Glyphosate, also referred to as “Roundup,” is an herbicide used in agriculture to kill weeds. So what’s all the buzz about glyphosate? Some resources link this herbicide to making crops more susceptible to disease, killing beneficial microorganisms, robbing plants of nutrients and more. We decided to reach out to Wayne Parrott, PhD, Professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia, and Tony Shelton, PhD, Professor of Entomology at Cornell University, to cut through conflicting information and to get the facts from university-based experts.
Currently, around 50 million Americans are considered "food insecure", or near hunger, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) participation is at an all-time high. To learn more about the topic of food insecurity, we reached out to George Kent, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of Hawai‘i.
Recently, a Best Food Facts reader asked about her concern of red meat, and if it can be unhealthy for you. We reached out to Dr. Ruth MacDonald, Chair of Food Science Department at Iowa State University, to talk to us about red meat.
One in every three bites of food you eat is pollinated either directly or indirectly by honey bees. With bees dying at a rapid pace, mentions of colony collapse disorder (CCD) are on the rise. What is CCD? What is causing it? What can be done to ensure bees stop suffering from it? Two experts respond.
While other genetically modified (GM) crops have been approved for planting in the U.S., GM wheat has not, so the discovery of a GM strain of wheat growing in a farm field in Oregon prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate. It was confirmed that it was the same herbicide resistant wheat variety that was authorized to be field tested from 1998 to 2005.
One in every three bites of food you eat is pollinated either directly or indirectly by honey bees. Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp says there can be a balance between modern agriculture practices and a thriving honey bee population.
We’ve been hearing about honey bees in the news lately – an increase in the rate of honey bee mortality over the winter is concerning to farmers who rely on them for pollination. The devastation of American honey bee colonies is the result of many factors. A recent comprehensive federal study says that pesticides, parasites, poor nutrition and a lack of genetic diversity are contributing factors. A decline in honey bees could create significant problems for American farms that rely on the pollination to grow their products annually. And it’s not a small issue. American agricultural products are worth tens of billions of dollars a year.
To answer a few questions, we reached out to Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp, Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Entomology, University of Maryland.
What do you know about the additives in your food? Particularly, those mysterious ingredients on the label that have us all scratching our heads and wondering “Is this stuff good for me and my family?” Food experts explore whether we should avoid foods with ingredients we cannot pronounce.
A recent study published in Environmental Health Journal assessed the risks to children from the cumulative exposure to chemicals and pesticides in a variety of foods. The study claims that cancer and non-cancer benchmarks were frequently exceeded by children for several food contaminants. Based on the study’s findings, the researchers suggested that new dietary guidelines be developed to minimize exposure to these contaminants.
Best Food Facts recently received a comment on YouTube stating, "The worry is that there are no external differences between GM corn and non-GM corn. The problem lies within. The GM corn has been developed to produce its own pesticide, and often the crops are registered as pesticides. This cannot be washed off as they are genetically engineered to make the toxins internally. This means that target pests eat any part of the plant and die as their guts split open. Since the introduction of GM foods the incidence of allergies in children has skyrocketed."
Every now and again we find a particularly compelling statistic or graphic related to food. Today, we came across this one focused on food waste and hunger. It may seem that, in a country like the United States, where we enjoy a food supply that never leaves our grocery store shelves empty, hunger wouldn't be an issue. But if you follow any of the statistics from groups like Feeding America, Share Our Strength, the United States Department of Agriculture or your local hunger relief organization, you'll know that hunger is an increasingly real issue for our neighbors throughout the country. This infographic outlines a great deal of information on the subject that we thought worthy of sharing.
The drought across the United States is setting records for heat, lack of rain and now, food prices. Dr. Chris Hurt from Purdue University explains how a drought leads to higher food prices.
A national study is taking a thorough look at the well-being of not only the birds housed on these farms, but also the people who care for them.
An article in The Washington Post discussed a study about the dangers of BPA, bloggers are concerned about it, soup companies are eliminating it, moms are taking plastics out of their homes, and an article posted on the website foodconsumer.org discussed the FDA’s denial of a request to ban BPA in products manufactured in the United States. Dr. Bruce Chassy concludes that while infinitesimal amounts of BPA do enter the food or beverage, it's all about the quantity of exposure that matters.