Just the facts. From the experts.
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Let Us Eggsplain

4/23/2015

Do you feel like buying eggs has become more complicated? You're not alone. Words like "organic," "cage-free" and "all-natural" are now found on egg cartons to the befuddlement of many consumers. We'd like to make your trip to the egg case a little simpler, so we've provided an infographic explaining the differences among three of the main laying hen housing systems used to produce eggs: conventional cage, cage-free aviary and enriched colony. We've also broken down the pros and cons of each housing system from a research study conducted by the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply.

What do Guacamole and Oysters Have in Common?

3/20/2015

Guacamole and oysters - not a very likely food combination. But even though they may not go well together, they do have something in common. We recently received a question about high pressure pasteurization and whether there are any health concerns associated with this technology. To find some answers, we reached out to Diane Barrett, PhD, Fruit & Vegetable Products Specialist in the Department of Food Science & Technology and Site Director for the Center for Advanced Processing & Packaging at the University of California-Davis.

Why Is the United States the Only Country to Allow Hormones in Food Animal Production?

3/10/2015

Do you buy milk labeled rBST-free? Are you worried about hormones in milk? We recently posted Are There Growth Hormones in Milk? and Hormones in Milk: Are They Causing Early Puberty in Girls?, but a recent consumer question about why hormones are used in food animal production had us reaching back out to Dr. Ann Macrina, Research/Teaching Associate at Penn State University.

The Pockmarked Cucurbit!

2/9/2015

What do you get when you soak zucchini and yellow squash in water and white vinegar? A pockmarked cucurbit! A Best Food Facts reader recently experienced this phenomenon and wanted to know more.

What's Healthier? Pork Bacon or Turkey Bacon?

1/28/2015

Bacon, bacon, bacon! Everybody loves bacon! These days, you can find bacon everywhere, it seems. It's not just a breakfast food anymore!

Recently, a reader asked about center-cut bacon. To find out about all things bacon, we reached out to Janeal Yancey, PhD, Meat Science, Animal Science Department, Divison of Agriculture, University of Arkansas.

Nutrition Advice on Processed Foods

1/12/2015

Carolyn O'Neil, MS, RD, and Best Food Facts nutrition advisor, dishes out some sage advice on processed foods.

Food Trends - What to Expect in 2015

12/30/2014

Local. Vegan. Gluten-free. Umami. Oh, and pumpkin - anything and everything pumpkin. What food trends did you notice this year? These are just five of the top buzzwords/phrases that we found throughout the food industry in 2014. What does the future hold for these 2014 trends and what should we expect to be hot in 2015?

What Foods Have the Highest Hormone Levels?

12/16/2014

To regulate the flow of traffic, road signs and stop lights are used for drivers to refer to. Regulation of traffic wouldn’t be possible without road signs leading the way. In many cases, hormones and road signs play the same role. Hormones act as regulators for growth and metabolism in plants, animals and even humans. These chemical messengers are naturally occurring throughout all cell systems. Best Food Facts recently received a question regarding the level of hormones in food. We reached out to Dr. Ruth MacDonald and Dr. Ann Macrina for their expertise in hormones within food and livestock production.

Are Organic Foods Worth the Extra Cost?

12/9/2014

The choice between organic and conventional foods has always been a hot topic for individuals striving to live a healthy lifestyle. One limiting factor for some is the cost of organic food, and Best Food Facts recently received a question on whether organic food is worth the extra cost. We let our experts weigh in. Many of us choose organic foods because they are nutritious and delicious, but whether they're healthier than conventionally-grown foods is a matter of debate. Certainly there's much to explore, so we sought out the professional opinions of several experts to get the whole story.  

Is Wheat Toxic?

11/28/2014

A recent blog post mentioned that a common wheat harvest protocol in the United States is to drench the wheat fields with Roundup® several days before the combine harvesters work through the fields as the practice allows for an earlier, easier and bigger harvest. Best Food Facts wanted to know if this practice is really happening, and if so, why? Does this mean wheat is toxic?

To answer this question, we reached out to Brett Carver, PhD, Wheat Breeding & Genetics, Regents Professor and Wheat Genetics Chair in Agriculture, Oklahoma State University; Angela Post, PhD, Weed Science Extension, Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University; and Jeff Edwards, PhD, Small Grains Extension, Warth Distinguished Professor of Agronomy, Oklahoma State University.

Why Are Sweet Potatoes Sweet?

11/27/2014

Recently, a Best Food Facts reader submitted a question asking, "Why are sweet potatoes sweet? Are they watered with sugar water?" To answer this question, we reached out to Kenneth Pecota, Researcher, North Carolina State University.

Thanksgiving by the Numbers

11/27/2014

Did you know that American farmers produced nearly 1.8 billion pounds of green beans and 9 million barrels of cranberries in 2013? The USDA gives us a look at Thanksgiving by the numbers.

New Potato: Less bruising and browning

11/10/2014

The USDA approved commercial planting of a potato that resists browning and has fewer unsightly and wasteful bruises. It’s called the Innate™ brand and could be coming to a supermarket near you in the not-too-distant future.

Why Do Animals Live on Factory Farms?

11/4/2014

Do animals live on factory farms? Do these farming practices result in animal abuse and environmental degradation? Is it safe to live close to a factory farm? Best Food Facts had many questions about factory farming and confined animal feeding operations, so we reached out to Amy Schmidt, PhD, PE, Assistant Professor & Livestock Bioenvironmental Engineer, University of Nebraska. Dr. Schmidt explains that large-scale and small-scale systems each have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages and no single system is perfect.

What's All the Buzz about Glyphosate?

10/28/2014

Lately, we have seen lots of consumer questions about glyphosate. Glyphosate, also referred to as “Roundup,” is an herbicide used in agriculture to kill weeds. So what’s all the buzz about glyphosate? Some resources link this herbicide to making crops more susceptible to disease, killing beneficial microorganisms, robbing plants of nutrients and more. We decided to reach out to Wayne Parrott, PhD, Professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia, and Tony Shelton, PhD, Professor of Entomology at Cornell University, to cut through conflicting information and to get the facts from university-based experts.

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