Just the facts. From the experts.
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Is it Safe to Drink Soda with Brominated Vegetable Oil?


Have you ever noticed that a can of soda or a sports drink has the ingredient Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO), listed on the label? Recently, PepsiCo Inc. announced it would stop putting BVO in Gatorade, but the product is still in many drinks, like Mountain Dew

We contacted Dr. Keith Schneider, Associate Professor, Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Florida, to find out a bit more about BVO.

Could the European Horse Meat Scandal Happen in the U.S.?


Earlier this year, headlines broke the news about horsemeat being passed off as beef in Europe. This European horsemeat scandal had U.S. consumers wondering, "Should we be worried about this? Could horsemeat make its way into our food without us knowing it?"

Not to worry, says Best Food Facts expert H. Scott Hurd, DVM, PhD, Associate Professor of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, Iowa State University. On a recent episode of The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Hurd said, "There's not a chance it could happen in the United States."

Is it OK to Drink Diet Soda?


We've been noticing several posts about artificial sweetners in diet soda on Facebook, and wanted to know - is it true? Is diet soda bad for you? Or is it OK to drink diet soda?

For the answers, we reached out to Dr. Barry M. Popkin, W. R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Is There Aspartame In My Milk?


Milk is making headlines these days, thanks to a proposed amendment to change milk standards. So, what exactly is being proposed?

Expert claims Dr. Oz's "Secrets of the Fast Food Industry" is Misleading


Recently, The Dr. Oz Show aired an episode that addressed the "Secrets of the Fast Food Industry." We had some questions about the episode, so we reached out to Dr. Sean O'Keefe, a food science professor at Virginia Tech. Dr. O'Keefe originally helped us answer questions on Why Doesn't Fast Food Spoil? Below, Dr. O'Keefe has much to say about the episode and its inaccuracies.

Do Onions Absorb Bacteria That Cause Illness?


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.

I'm Sick. Can Chicken Soup Cure a Cold?


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.  

Is Food Coloring Dangerous?


Recently, we noticed a news story that questioned the safety of food dyes. We've read other articles, too, about food dyes linked to ADHD.

Best Food Facts wanted to know, is food coloring safe? To answer this question, we reached out to Dr. Ronald E. Kleinman from Harvard Medical School. When we asked him whether we should avoid food coloring, he said no... but that doesn't mean further research isn't warranted.

What Causes the Price of Food to Rise?


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.

Should I Avoid Food With Ingredients I Can't Pronounce?


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.

Stevia Better Than Sugar?


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?”

What Are Pesticides? Do They Harm My Kids?


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.

What Do Food Experts Eat? Organic or GMO Foods?


We recently received a question from website visitor "Chris" asking the experts if they prefer to eat organic or conventional food. To answer the question, we reached out to Dr. Barbara Klein and Dr. Ethan Bergman.

Top Posts of 2012


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.

Obesity: Are Sugar and Salt To Blame?


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.

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