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.
As you make efforts to use up those holiday leftovers and prepare dishes like this low-fat turkey and veggie bake
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.
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 sources, television shows, videos and bloggers, there are, once again, questions about arsenic in juice.
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!
In response to our latest post, Study: Bt protein in your blood. Consumer beware?, we received a few tweets from @Jambutter. He had some questions that we thought deserved to be addressed, since these are on the minds of consumers everywhere. To do so, we asked one of the experts who we interviewed for the original post - Dr. Bruce Chassy, from the University of Illinois-Urbana.
Some prefer it as their first choice, some buy it when it's on sale, and some avoid it. Where do you fit?
We all want to do our part to help save the planet, right? Since farm animals create carbon emissions, will eating less meat create a cleaner environment?
Best Food Facts received a question from www.fooddialogues.com asking “Is it possible to feed the world’s growing population primarily on organic production methods?” We asked Dr. Robert Paarlberg, the Betty Freyhof Johnson Class of 1944 Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College and Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Associate at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, to respond.
Best Food Facts found strange news about food!