Just the facts. From the experts.
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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.

Can We Blame Obesity on Farm Subsidies?

10/23/2014

Obesity rates in the United States, along with many other countries, have rapidly increased. The simple reason for this is because people consume more food energy than they use. But could farm subsidies have contributed to the obesity epidemic by making some commodities more abundant and, therefore, more affordable?

Are There Antibiotics in Chicken Meat? Part 3

10/17/2014

Do you buy meat that is labeled “raised without antibiotics”? Is antibiotic resistance a growing problem when it comes to poultry meat? Should we be worried about antibiotics being fed to chickens?

To understand antibiotic use in chickens a bit more, we reached out to Charles L. Hofacre, DVM, MAM, PhD, Professor and Director of Clinical Services, Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia; and Ken Macklin, PhD, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist Poultry Health, Environmental Issues and Biosecurity, Department of Poultry Science, Auburn University.

Are There Antibiotics in Chicken Meat? Part 2

10/16/2014

Do you buy meat that is labeled “raised without antibiotics”? Is antibiotic resistance a growing problem when it comes to poultry meat? Should we be worried about antibiotics being fed to chickens?

To understand antibiotic use in chickens a bit more, we reached out to Charles L. Hofacre, DVM, MAM, PhD, Professor and Director of Clinical Services, Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia; and Ken Macklin, PhD, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist Poultry Health, Environmental Issues and Biosecurity, Department of Poultry Science, Auburn University.

Are There Antibiotics in Chicken Meat? Part 1

10/15/2014

Are There Antibiotics in Chicken?

Do you buy meat that is labeled “raised without antibiotics”? Is antibiotic resistance a growing problem when it comes to poultry meat? Should we be worried about antibiotics being fed to chickens?

To understand antibiotic use in chickens a bit more, we reached out to Charles L. Hofacre, DVM, MAM, PhD, Professor and Director of Clinical Services, Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia; and Ken Macklin, PhD, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist Poultry Health, Environmental Issues and Biosecurity, Department of Poultry Science, Auburn University.

Reappraising Processed Foods

10/8/2014

Are you trying to avoid processed foods? Best Food Facts nutrition adviser Carolyn O'Neil explains why the term 'processed' doesn't necessarily mean 'unhealthy.'

Tiny Blueberry Packs Big Nutritional Punch

9/30/2014

Good things come in small packages, and this is certainly the case with blueberries! Carolyn O'Neil, MS, RD, and Best Food Facts nutrition advisor, had the opportunity to participate in an educational farm-to-table tour to learn more about these delicious berries.

ABCs of Food: J is for Jam

9/29/2014

Do you know the difference between jelly and jam? Carolyn O'Neil, MS, RD and nutrition advisor for Best Food Facts, gets the answer from a canning expert.

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