Have you heard the theory that placing an onion next to your bed will keep you from getting the flu? Are you curious if onions absorb bacteria? Do onions help combat the flu? Will an onion turn black after attracting all of the bacteria? Do onions have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties?
We stumbled upon a Facebook post about onions curing the flu, and wondered many of the same questions. We had to find out if it was true, so we reached out to Ruth MacDonald, PhD, RD,Chair and Professor of the Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition at Iowa State University.
We're all looking for a cure for a cold and what better to fight it than a nice hot bowl of chicken soup? But will it really fight off what ails you? We wanted to get to the bottom of the age-old question to understand whether chicken soup really cures a cold. To help decide whether chicken soup is the go-to solution, we reached out to Wendy Dahl, PhD, RD, FDC, Assistant Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition, at the University of Florida.
Are you concerned about food prices? Last year, we looked at how drought affects food prices, and unfortunately, many parts of the United States are still experiencing drought conditions. On average, Americans spend about 10 percent of their income on food, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But what affects food prices each year? To answer this question, Best Food Facts reached out to Dr. Marc F. Bellemare, Assistant Professor, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University.
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.
Recently, Best Food Facts received a question from a reader asking, "Is stevia leaf powder better for us than regular sugar, and would it be better than regular sugar or artificial sweeteners if used by a diabetic or hypoglycemic person?”
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.
A leading European environmentalist, Mark Lynas, has apologized to the scientific community. He says he was wrong. After working for years to discredit the work of scientists responsible for genetically-engineered plants and being a contributor to the anti-GM movement, he has come to the conclusion that, "I was completely wrong to oppose GMOs." Why the change? He says, "I discovered science."
As the year winds down, we'd like to thank all of our readers for taking time to learn more about our food system. We appreciate your comments and questions! We'd also like to thank our food system experts for providing their thoughts and expertise throughout the year.
To close 2012, here's a listing of our blog posts with the most visits.
New York Times columnist, Amy Chocizk, asks “Can food, so often portrayed this time of year as the glue that binds a family together, also be the wedge that drives us apart?"
Vote on the food that always makes your holiday menus!
Nestlé SA and General Mills recently announced they will reformulate 20 popular breakfast cereals to reduce salt and sugar up to 30% by 2015. The move is focused on breakfast cereals sold outside the U.S., but reflects a growing consumer concern about the impact of sugar and salt on children’s health.
Best Food Facts recently received a question from Peg about genetic modification of wheat. Peg asked, “I have seen information about wheat that indicates genetic modification was taking place MANY years ago and that our current wheat crops are a result of that modification. Many sources state that there are inherent problems with this wheat. Would you please clarify?”
Best Food Facts recently received a question from Greg Shute on our YouTube video, What Do You Want to Know About GMO Food? GMO Safety. Greg asked, "Why do my children have food alleries and why have food allergies reached epidemic levels since GMO foods have been introduced to our food supply? Could it be that our bodies do NOT digest them just as unmodified foods and that a significant porportion of the population is now having their bodies view many of the foods as foreign substances? Why is Europe not seeing the numbers of food allergies that the USA is seeing?"
Have you finished planning your Thanksgiving menu and completed all of your grocery shopping? Do you ever wonder just where all of that Thanksgiving food comes from?
After posting our five-part video series on genetically-modified (GM) foods, we've gotten a lot of feedback and even more questions surrounding the safety of GM foods and crops. We're addressing those questions here since YouTube limits the number of characters for comments and we want to be sure the experts have the ability to respond fully.