Many consumers are nostalgic for the bucolic scenes associated with the small farms of generations past and have embraced farmers markets and other opportunities to buy their food from "local" producers. Consumers might be surprised to find that this approach may not provide the long-term benefits to agriculture or the environment as they believe.
Like all businesses, farming is subject to the prevailing market forces that dictate whether production is expanded or contracted based on input and labor costs as well as the existing market opportunities. While farm payments help some farmers navigate tough market conditions in the short-term, farm payments do not necessary effect the long-term viability of producers or the price of food.
For the average American consumer, the term "organic" has a positive connotation and the beneficial properties of organic foods may be misinterpreted or exaggerated. Surveys indicate many proponents of organic food production look beyond the final product to consider factors such as environmental impacts, worker safety, and economic considerations which are not related to organic production standards. U.S. consumers frequently have the choice between purchasing organic and conventional foods and make food purchasing decisions that reflect their values, concerns, and lifestyles.
Because the United States has such a large, affluent population, we spend more on food ($833 billion in 2007) than all other countries except China. But the average American spent only 6 percent of their money on food purchases, which is the lowest in the world.
Dr. Dave Weatherspoon says the following statement is true:
Enhanced food production technology and innovation will be necessary to feed the expanding global population over the next 20 years.
What is your favorite pumpkin-flavored food item? Take our latest poll!
Best Food Facts asked nutrition advisor Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RD, about all things fruit!
Whether you're looking for a boost of potassium, folate or fiber, Best Food Facts asked nutrition advisor, Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RD, says we can get them all in a form that's also low in sodium, fat and calories and has no cholesterol! What could possibly pack this nutrition punch? Fruit!
What color are your favorite fruits and vegetables? Take our latest poll?
While fresh foods are always a treat for the senses, be careful to avoid making the assumption that that in-season produce is more “fresh” and therefore nutritionally superior to fruits and vegetables that are canned or frozen.
Registered Dietitian Carolyn O'Neil digs into the mystery regarding whether fresh fruits and vegetables are really more nutritious than canned, frozen and other varieties in this Consuming Evidence episode.
We recently posted information about washing fruits and vegetables in vinegar. But what about wax on fruits and vegetables? Through social media, we have noticed photos of apples covered in wax. Is that what it really is, and is it safe to eat? To answer these questions, we reached out to Dr. Joe Kemble, Professor of Horticulture at Auburn University.
One in every three bites of food you eat is pollinated either directly or indirectly by honey bees. With bees dying at a rapid pace, mentions of colony collapse disorder (CCD) are on the rise. What is CCD? What is causing it? What can be done to ensure bees stop suffering from it? Two experts respond.
Have you ever washed fruits or vegetables in a mixture of water and vinegar? A Facebook post says to fill a sink with water, add 1 cup of vinegar and stir. Then, soak the fruit for 10 minutes and the fruit will sparkle with no wax or white, dirty film. The post says this will also make fruit last longer.
Last year, we asked Julie Albrecht, PhD, RD, about the best way to wash fruits and vegetables. To follow up, we wanted to know if vinegar really helps clean fruit. Dr. Floyd Woods and Dr. Joe Kemble answered questions about washing produce in vinegar.