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.
We noticed a discussion on a social media website asking, “Buying a chicken should be easy; labeling is confusing, what’s the healthiest?” Our food system expert Brenda Roche Wolford, M.S., R.D., University of California, Cooperative Extension, Los Angeles County, answers this question.
In the U.S., we are privileged to have so many food choices. When buying grocerries, we can choose from products labeled as natural, organic and free-range, among others. But what do all of those labels really mean? Best Food Facts searched out definitions for a few labels from the USDA, which regulates meat, poultry and processed egg products. For simplification, we have bolded the main takeaways in the definitions, but have kept the full definition available in case you would like more specific information.
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.
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.
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!
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.”
A national Food Day campaign is being launched later this month by The Center for Science in the Public Interest. The group encourages people to support “healthy, affordable food grown in a sustainable, humane way.” Best Food Facts spoke with Dr. Barbara Klein, Professor Emerita of Foods and Nutrition in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois, about what she views as the top healthy eating issues we face.
Dr. Dennis Savaiano discusses foods to help with lactose intolerance.
Dr. Nancy Keim discusses the difference between fructose and sucrose.
Blog post from Dr. Ruth MacDonald about using leftover vegetables and onions.
Dr. Darrin Karcher and Dr. Scott Beyer discuss behaviors of egg laying hens as well as current production practices. This is the second in a three-week series.