Just the facts. From the experts.
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Does Technology Help Grow Healthier Food?


Merriam-Webster defines technology as, "A manner of accomplishing a task especially using technical processes, methods, or knowledge." We're used to technology with the latest mobile phones, music players and cars, for example, but what about technology in food production? We received a question from www.FoodDialogues.com asking about technology in food.

What production practices or technologies have researchers found that help grow healthier food?

Hormones in Beef? Reader Question Answered


Recently, Best Food Facts received a question from Maddee asking, "What is the hormone level (estrogen) in beef compared to that of other animal protein products? With that, how does an animal that has been implanted with synthetic hormones (estrogen) excrete those hormones?”

To answer Maddee's question, Best Food Facts contacted Dr. Ann Macrina from Penn State.

Does Size Matter in Sustainable Food?


When asked whether there is a correlation between the size of a farm and whether it sustainably produces food, food experts say it all comes down to management.

Consumer questions: White goo on chicken - what is it?



We received this inquiry from Best Food Facts reader Kathleen:

“Can anything be done on how we raise our chickens? The breasts are huge. Way too big. Then they put some solution in them which leaks out white goo while they’re cooking. On top, they have no taste. We can’t afford to buy Bell and Evens. There’s got to be a better way.”

Antibiotics For Animals: Dangerous for Humans?



With all the buzz over questions about whether antibiotics fed to animals raised for food cause human antibiotic resistance, it seems apparent that this issue is at the forefront of consumer concerns. As well, we received the questions, “Why are antibiotics fed to livestock inside CAFOs or feedlots? Is this dangerous to humans?” from http://www.fooddialogues.com/. To address the topic, and as a follow up to our previous posts on the subject, we asked experts Dr. Peter Davies and Dr. H. Scott Hurd to respond.

"Pink Slime" in Chicken Nuggets?



After an inquiry regarding mechanically separated chicken in chicken nuggets, we asked Dr. Casey Owens from the University of Arkansas for some clarification. She maintains that this is not the process used to make nuggets.

Many of you have seen it: the so-called "pink slime" video where food celebrity Jamie Oliver seeks to demonstrate to children how chicken nuggets are made. 

Bleach on carrots? Consumer question answered.


We received the following inquiry from DeLyla regarding the white film on carrots:

"What is the scoop regarding baby carrots made from deformed carrots and then added bleach to them? Then, after a few days in your refrigerator the carrots get a white film on them? Is this chlorine and is it safe or does this cause health issues and or cancer?"

Top Posts of 2011


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.

Chicken: Keeping it healthy


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.

Genetically-Modified Foods: Should they be labeled?


Best Food Facts asks readers what they think about the possibility of GM food labeling.

What could be causing early puberty in girls? Expert clarifies reader question.


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?"

Eggs: What’s up with free-range and cage-free eggs being so expensive?


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. 

Arsenic in Your Apple Juice? Expert weighs in



Following up on Dr. Oz's research finding arsenic in apple juice, Connie Diekman, RD, says she's not worried about the juice we have at home in our cupboards, but she would like to see more research and education about how juice should more appropriately fit into a healful eating plan. As we exit a holiday filled with positive stories and reasons to give thanks, we find one causing much concern - and reasonably so. As reported by several online sourcestelevision showsvideos and bloggers, there are, once again, questions about arsenic in juice. 

Science, Sweet Corn and Diabetes - Research in the Making


Food scientists are constantly exploring how to make foods taste better, digest easier, grow with fewer fertilizers, etc. We recently learned that a team of scientists at Iowa State University is working with the starches in sweet corn to try to create a response in the body that modify the starch to digest more slowly... which creates a more moderate insulin response, and release of glucose into the blood stream. This is important to the U.S.'s diabetic population of more than 21 million individuals, since moderating insulin and glucose through diet and medication is a constant need.

What are farmers and ranchers doing to reduce fertilizer and pesticide use?


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