The popularity of organic and other niche-market products has increased in recent years primarily boosted by consumer perceptions that they are healthier and of higher quality. There is limited scientific data to support or refute the safety of such products.
Studies have found that pathogen prevalence is actually higher in niche market/ free range antibiotic-free farm animal production systems compared to conventional confinement operations.
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.
Are antibiotics in livestock to blame for increased antibiotic resistance in humans?
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.
In all forms, fruits and vegetables are inherently nutritious, no matter whether eaten fresh, canned or frozen. In recent years, a number of marketing tactics have presented organic fruits to be safer, based on the premise that they are grown without pesticides. In truth, both organic and conventional farmers use pesticides on their crops.
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.
With the increasing number of recalls in the news, many Americans are wondering if their food is safe. There is still a lot of room for improvement but overall, the U.S. food safety system works as well or better than most countries.
Foods produced and processed in the most industrially developed countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia/New Zealand and the European Union (EU) are similar in quality and safety, but food from developing nations varies widely.
Experts conclude that there is no greater level of meat safety from cattle fed grass versus those fed corn.
The question is often asked by critics of modern animal agriculture but the size of the farm is not a reliable indicator of animal welfare. Research shows good animal husbandry has more to do with the people providing the care.
Small and large farms present different challenges, but both require skilled and conscientious management to promote good animal care. While there are fewer animals on a small operation, time spent caring for the animals must be juggled with various tasks. On larger operations...
Like other business owners, farmers have different skills, expertise, financial positions, and appetites for risk. Reducing costs and risk through contracts allows a farmer to establish a steady income source that is attractive to traditional farm lenders.
In contract production, the farmer is responsible for construction of the barns and the day-to-day labor while someone else, either another farmer or a company, provides...
Ever wonder what went into the steak that winds up on your dinner table? It’s common knowledge that corn is a dietary staple for food animals, but what else do they eat? We contacted Dr. Danelle Bickett-Weddle, lecturer and associate director at the Center for Food Security and Public Health, Iowa State University, to find out more.
Recently, Best Food Facts received a reader question asking, "Is tilapia safe to eat? I've heard that it's often farm raised in countries where there are no guidelines, and they are essentially raised in waste and pumped full of antibiotics."
To answer this question and learn more about tilapia, we reached out to Kevin Fitzsimmons, PhD, Professor, Extension Specialist & Research Scientist at the University of Arizona
A truly quintessential dessert, apple pie can please almost every tummy! The Science Channel has broken down how these individual pies are mass-produced. Now if we could only find that recipe for homemade ice cream!
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.
If you have questions about dairy, Best Food Facts experts can help. They’ve tackled some of the most common dairy myths to help separate fact from fiction.