Just the facts. From the experts.
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Can a Spoonful of Honey Keep the Allergies Away?


Allergy season is upon us and with an estimated 50 million Americans affected, you probably are or know someone who suffers from what is often called hay fever. Those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies probably spend a lot of time looking for cures and wondering if anything can help prevent allergies. One of the more popular preventative measures people have adopted is taking local honey with hopes that its pollen content will help build one’s immunity - but does this really work? To help us answer this question, we reached out to Dr. Steve L. Taylor, PhD, Professor of Food Science and Technology and Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

How Cosmic-Ray Probes and Drones Help Grow Food


The use of technology in farming is nothing new. In fact, farmers are innovators. And with a global population expected to increase by 3+ billion people by 2050, technology will play a critical role in meeting the demand for food. One of the ways in which farmers are utilizing technology on the farm is for water conservation. For more information on ways farmers conserve this precious resource, we reached out to Dr. Derek Heeren with the University of Nebraska.

Let Us Eggsplain


Do you feel like buying eggs has become more complicated? You're not alone. Words like "organic," "cage-free" and "all-natural" are now found on egg cartons to the befuddlement of many consumers. We'd like to make your trip to the egg case a little simpler, so we've provided an infographic explaining the differences among three of the main laying hen housing systems used to produce eggs: conventional cage, cage-free aviary and enriched colony. We've also broken down the pros and cons of each housing system from a research study conducted by the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply.

How Eating Can Save the Planet


Today is Earth Day, a day when people around the globe demonstrate their support for the environment. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 in the United States and now includes coordinated events in more than 192 countries. And one constant in celebrations of any kind is...food!

Food Trends - What to Expect in 2015


Local. Vegan. Gluten-free. Umami. Oh, and pumpkin - anything and everything pumpkin. What food trends did you notice this year? These are just five of the top buzzwords/phrases that we found throughout the food industry in 2014. What does the future hold for these 2014 trends and what should we expect to be hot in 2015?

The Role of the Mighty Insect


Some may see insects and arachnids as being a pest in their home, a nuisance at their family barbeque or even something they are deathly afraid of; but do we ever consider the POSITIVE impact that these little critters make on our everyday lives? If you can look past the bee stings and the spider bites, you will see that simple things such as the growth of the vegetables you feed your family and the population control of all those pesky flies and gnats buzzing around your head on a hot summer day would be inhibited with the loss of the mighty insect.

New GMO Trait for 2,4-D?


The herbicide 2,4-D has been around since the 1940s. So why is it currently causing so much controversy? We asked Dr. Wayne Parrott and Dr. William Vencill to explain more about the herbicide and its uses.

What's All the Buzz about Glyphosate?


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.

Can We End Hunger by Building Stronger Communities?


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.

Red Meat: Good or Bad for Your Health?


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.

What is Colony Collapse Disorder?


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.

Does Palm Oil Cause Allergic Reactions?


Recently, Best Food Facts reader Natalie submitted a question about palm oil regarding whether it causes allergic reactions.To answer the question, we reached out to Dr. Stephen Taylor, Professor, Food Science & Technology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Egg and Milk Allergies: GMO Connection?


With food allergies on the rise, there's no shortage of concern about what is causing them. Best Food Facts reader, John, had a very specific question about allergies related to genetically modified food, after reading our post on GMOs and Food Allergies. Two experts respond.

Is Unapproved GM Wheat in Our Food Supply?


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.

Is Agriculture Killing Bees?


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.

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