“Pink slime.” It’s everywhere, being talked about by everyone – from this mom blogger who is also a meat scientist, and this news report from an Albany, N.Y. TV station, to this food editor’s taste test and this science journal’s take on the matter. We’re curious about what you think! Vote in our poll below or tell us how you feel about lean finely textured beef/”pink slime” in your own words in our comments section.
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.”
In gathering facts from our food experts, we've come upon some interesting ones that may surprise you.
Seeing colorful, fresh and just plain beautiful fruits and veggies, like those in this ad for butter, tempts us to run to the market and stock up for our healthy eating endeavors - but what do you do when that produce nears its expiration date?
Wanting understand the issues with school lunches, we went straight to a top U.S. "lunch lady." Joni Davis won a Bronze Award at a White House reception hosted by First Lady, Michelle Obama, as part the USDA’s Healthier U.S. School Challenge. We talked with Joni to get her thoughts on the importance of providing healthful diets for our school children.
When it comes to sodium, Best Food Facts experts agree: we need to pay attention to sodium levels in the foods we eat. To decrease sodium consumption, experts encourage choosing foods closest to their natural state and checking labels for foods with less sodium.
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?"
We’ve been seeing some recent articles touting pickle juice as an aid to reduce muscle cramping. And companies are marketing the juice as a sports drink. To determine whether pickle juice packs this kind of a punch, we asked nationally renowned expert on nutrition and fitness Dr. Liz Applegate, Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of California-Davis, to weigh in on the topic.
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?"