Just the facts. From the experts.
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Do Antibiotics Do More Harm Than Good?

2/17/2014

When used correctly, antibiotics can be an important tool to keep animals healthy and create a safe food supply.

Are There More Hormones in Whole Milk?

1/14/2014

We have so many choices in our grocery store's dairy case - whole milk, heavy whipping cream, 2% cheese, fat-free skim yogurt. But are there more steroid hormones in the full-fat versions of dairy products? If so, are high-fat dairy products, like whole milk and whipping cream, more likely to have more steroids than those dairy products with less fat, like fat free/skim milk?  

Cheerios Gives GMOs the Old Heave-Ho

1/9/2014

General Mills, the maker of Cheerios, recently announced it was making the iconic cereal brand GMO-free. Naturally, an announcement like this creates questions in the minds of consumers, and Best Food Facts is here to help consumers understand just what this change means to their families. 

Holidays: A is for Apple

12/4/2013

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

True? Or Not? "Large farms are bad for the environment."

Manure from farm animals when used as fertilizer improves soil and increases crop yields. It can become a pollutant if it reaches water supplies.

Farm animal production in the United States has clearly shifted away from many small farms to an increasing number of larger farms. It takes several small farms to equal the manure production of a single large farm. On the large farm, the manure management responsibility lies with only one management system instead of several.

True? Or Not? "Food from organic and free-range farm animals is safer than animals raised in modern confinement buildings."

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.

What’s in Chicken Nuggets?

10/30/2013

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.

True? Or Not? "Regular use of antibiotics in healthy cows, pigs and chickens has led to increased antibiotic resistance in humans eating meat products."

Are antibiotics in livestock to blame for increased antibiotic resistance in humans?

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.

 

Are Fruits and Vegetables Sprayed with Pesticides Less Safe than Organic Produce?

10/28/2013

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.

True? Or Not? "Many U.S. farmers would not be able to make a living raising corn and other high-acreage field crops without government subsidies."

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.

True? Or Not? "Food grown and produced in the U.S. is as safe or safer than food grown outside the U.S."

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.

 

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.

True? Or Not? "The well-being of farm animals on larger operations is disregarded in the pursuit of higher profits."

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...

True? Or Not? "Contract production put farmers at an economic disadvantage and harms farming communities."

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...

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