Just the facts. From the experts.
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Holidays: A is for Apple


Did you know that apples are more than just a tasty snack? They are also a historically significant holiday decoration!

Food Expiration Dates – What Do They Mean?


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.

True? Or Not? "High Fructose Corn Syrup is a major cause of obesity in the United States."

An abundance of confusion has complicated the use of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) since it was introduced as an industrial sweetener - a substitute for sugar - in the 1960s. Some of the controversy derives from the dramatic increase in the prevalence of obesity in the U.S. (and in the rest of the world). The simultaneous occurrence of these two events is striking and it is tempting to relate one to the other.

Should I Avoid Gluten?


There’s a dilemma in the breadbasket! A growing number of people are being diagnosed with sensitivity to gluten found in grains. Additionally, some are claiming grains might be a culprit in the growing prevalence of certain diseases, like obesity and dementia. Registered Dietitian Carolyn O’Neil explains the issue and provides insight.

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.

True? Or Not? "Small farms and increased consumer purchases of locally-produced food products better for the future of American agriculture and the environment."

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.


True? Or Not? "Meat from grass-fed cattle is safer than meat from cattle that are fed corn."

Experts conclude that there is no greater level of meat safety from cattle fed grass versus those fed corn.

Will Garcinia Cambogia Really Help Me Lose Weight?


Recently, Best Food Facts received a question regarding whether celebrities are using garcinia cambogia to lose weight. We called Stephen Heymsfield, MD, the George A. Bray, Jr. Endowed Super Chair in Nutrition Professor, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, to find out.

True? Or Not? "Organic food is better for your health than non-organic food."

For the average American consumer, the term "organic" has a positive connotation and the beneficial properties of organic foods may be misinterpreted or exaggeratedSurveys 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.

True? Or Not? "Americans pay less for their food than consumers in any other country."

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.

Are Protein Shakes Healthy?


Recently, Best Food Facts received a reader question. Shelly asked,  "I see Facebook pages of people advocating against GMOs but promoting the use of protein shakes. What’s in them and are they healthy?" We asked nationally-renowned nutrition and fitness expert Dr. Liz Applegate, Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of California-Davis, to answer the questions.

True? Or Not? "Enhanced technology and innovation is necessary to feed the expanding global population."

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 the Paleo Diet? Is it Safe?


Recently, Best Food Facts received a reader question about the Paleo diet - what is it, and is it safe? We asked Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RD, about the diet and if it is safe for otherwise healthy adults.

ABCs of Food: F is for Fruit


Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RD, talks about all things fruit!

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