Just the facts. From the experts.
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Know More, Eat More

1/3/2014

Registered Dietitian and author Carolyn O'Neil shares the benefits of knowing more about food.

Is Coconut Oil Good for Me?

1/2/2014

Coconuts are all the rage! Coconut water, coconut milk and coconut oils are continually touted for their health and nutrition benefits and versatility for baking and cooking. But is coconut oil really good for us? 

Top Posts of 2013

12/30/2013

As the year winds down, we'd like to thank all of our readers for taking time to ask questions about food. We appreciate being a trusted source of reliable information! We'd also like to thank all the food system experts we work with for providing their thoughts and expertise throughout the year.

Should You Worry About Acrylamide?

12/26/2013

Acrylamide continues to be a trending topic in many news outlets. And though you may have read an article or two on the topic, you might still find yourself wondering what acrylamide is and whether you should be concerned. We had similar questions, so we did some research.

Are Canned Fruits and Veggies Healthy?

12/18/2013

Missing some of your favorite juicy summer fruits? Or, maybe those crisp fall veggies? Enjoying the frozen, dehydrated or canned versions of these fruits and vegetables is a great way to get the wonderful taste and nutrients from your favorite out-of-season produce.

Is Aspartame Safe to Consume?

12/17/2013

Experts say a new study confirms aspartame is safe in food and beverages – but how is the newest research different from previous studies?  

Can You Trust Research?

11/22/2013

The university-based experts on Best Food Facts have completed research in their specialized fields of study. But one Best Food Facts reader, Blogger Amina Nevels of MommaMina.com, asked a question about research funding. "How do we know that we can trust your research if it's funded by organizations who could profit from that research?"

Food Expiration Dates – What Do They Mean?

11/19/2013

Confusion about food expiration dates can inadvertently cause unnecessary food waste or food safety issues; so we’ve compiled the definitions of some of the most common food expiration labels, according to the USDA. Tape the list on your refrigerator or cabinet for quick reference. A quick glance could benefit both your wallet and your health.

Peeling Back the Layers of the Worship-Worthy Onion

11/19/2013

A scan down the Facebook page can make you wonder just what’s accurate and what’s not. Does that high school friend really look the same 20 years later and how can those celebrities look so bright and perky every hour of the day? But how do you know when things are true or perhaps a little too good to be true? For instance, could an onion-filled cup really be the solution to the onslaught of colds and flu? Just remember what you read isn’t always true, but we probably don’t need to tell you that. 

Food Expiration Dates - Eliminating Confusion

11/9/2013

Looking for ways to eliminate food waste and increase food safety? Check out this handy Expiration Date graphic!

True? or Not? "When a company funds research, the results are biased."

We oftentimes get questions about the funding source of research cited, or whether the researchers within Universities are "paid for" by private companies. Here, Peggy Lemaux, PhD, from the University of California at Berkeley, weighs in on how university scientists receive funding and what that means for the results. 

True? Or Not? "Large farms are bad for the environment."

Manure from farm animals when used as fertilizer improves soil and increases crop yields. It can become a pollutant if it reaches water supplies.

Farm animal production in the United States has clearly shifted away from many small farms to an increasing number of larger farms. It takes several small farms to equal the manure production of a single large farm. On the large farm, the manure management responsibility lies with only one management system instead of several.

True? Or Not? "We will experience a bacon shortage in 2013."

When the National Pig Association of the United Kingdom sent out a press release warning of a worldwide pork and bacon shortages in an effort to prepare consumers in the UK for higher pork prices, the story spread quickly on social media in the U.S. prompting dramatic media reports of an impending bacon shortage.

True? Or Not? "Elimination of farm subsidies will reduce obesity and associated health problems."

Many advocates argue that US Department of Agriculture (USDA) policies that establish farm prices for crops, provide subsidies to farmers and provide consumers with access to an abundant and affordable food supply are responsible for the increasing number of adults and children facing the challenges of obesity and diabetes. However, Julian M. Alston, with the University of California-Davis Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, says his research shows that eliminating farm subsidies would do little to change obesity rates, noting that consumers do not necessarily change food purchase patterns based on cost and that advances in technology and efficiencies on the farm have more to do with the low cost of today’s food than USDA policies and programs.

What’s in Chicken Nuggets?

10/30/2013

Researchers in Mississippi recently tested chicken nuggets from two national fast food chains. They took one nugget from each restaurant and examined the ingredients. The result was that about half of the nuggets were muscle with the rest a mix of fat, blood vessels and nerves. Close inspection revealed cells that line the skin or internal organs. The second was 40 percent muscle and the remainder was fat, cartilage and pieces of bone.

Is this unusual? Is it a safety concern? We took these questions and others to Dr. Casey M. Owens at the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas.

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