One in every three bites of food you eat is pollinated either directly or indirectly by honey bees. Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp says there can be a balance between modern agriculture practices and a thriving honey bee population.
We’ve been hearing about honey bees in the news lately – an increase in the rate of honey bee mortality over the winter is concerning to farmers who rely on them for pollination. The devastation of American honey bee colonies is the result of many factors. A recent comprehensive federal study says that pesticides, parasites, poor nutrition and a lack of genetic diversity are contributing factors. A decline in honey bees could create significant problems for American farms that rely on the pollination to grow their products annually. And it’s not a small issue. American agricultural products are worth tens of billions of dollars a year.
To answer a few questions, we reached out to Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp, Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Entomology, University of Maryland.
Recently, Best Food Facts launched a series of videos about GMOs, which spurred many questions. One question that seemed to be on everyone's mind was the differences between organic and non-organic food. One viewer asked, "Is non-organic food full of chemicals?"
To answer this question, we reached out to Dr. Ruth MacDonald, Chair and Professor of the Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition, Iowa State University.
Are you concerned about food prices? Last year, we looked at how drought affects food prices, and unfortunately, many parts of the United States are still experiencing drought conditions. On average, Americans spend about 10 percent of their income on food, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But what affects food prices each year? To answer this question, Best Food Facts reached out to Dr. Marc F. Bellemare, Assistant Professor, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University.
What do you know about the additives in your food? Particularly, those mysterious ingredients on the label that have us all scratching our heads and wondering “Is this stuff good for me and my family?” Food experts explore whether we should avoid foods with ingredients we cannot pronounce.
A recent study published in Environmental Health Journal assessed the risks to children from the cumulative exposure to chemicals and pesticides in a variety of foods. The study claims that cancer and non-cancer benchmarks were frequently exceeded by children for several food contaminants. Based on the study’s findings, the researchers suggested that new dietary guidelines be developed to minimize exposure to these contaminants.
As the year winds down, we'd like to thank all of our readers for taking time to learn more about our food system. We appreciate your comments and questions! We'd also like to thank our food system experts for providing their thoughts and expertise throughout the year.
To close 2012, here's a listing of our blog posts with the most visits.
Best Food Facts recently received a question from Peg about genetic modification of wheat. Peg asked, “I have seen information about wheat that indicates genetic modification was taking place MANY years ago and that our current wheat crops are a result of that modification. Many sources state that there are inherent problems with this wheat. Would you please clarify?”
Consumer Reports released results of tests conducted on pork products that raise questions on the use of a compound called ractopamine – a feed additive that enhances growth in certain food animals.
Best Food Facts talked with Dr. Donald Beermann, director of the Institutional Animal Care Program and Research Compliance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, to find out whether we should avoid pork.
Have you finished planning your Thanksgiving menu and completed all of your grocery shopping? Do you ever wonder just where all of that Thanksgiving food comes from?
After posting our five-part video series on genetically-modified (GM) foods, we've gotten a lot of feedback and even more questions surrounding the safety of GM foods and crops. We're addressing those questions here since YouTube limits the number of characters for comments and we want to be sure the experts have the ability to respond fully.
The Dr. Oz Show recently discussed the issue of Genetically Modified (GM) foods and one of the scientists who appeared on the program does not feel the issue received balanced treatment. Dr. Alison L. Van Eenennaam specializes in Animal Genomics and Biotechnology at the University of California-Davis. We spoke with her about her appearance on the Dr. Oz show and the issue of GM Food safety in general.
We frequently get questions about which fruits and vegetables to buy organically and which ones are ok to eat without being labeled "USDA Organic." Many people asking this question are concerned about pesticides on fresh produce and have read or heard about the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists from the Environmental Working Group. Here, several experts weigh in on the impacts of pesticides on our food and, ultimately, our health.
Ever heard of BMO crops? A new study has looked at the effects of bioelectric magnetism organic (BMO) technology on okra yields. Bioelectric magnetism refers to electrical, magnetic or electromagnetic fields produced by living cells, tissues or organisms.
Do you buy organic? If so, why? A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine by Standford University researchers may change your mind about eating organic.
We’ve answered questions about genetically-modified food, but recently, Best Food Facts received a question via Twitter, asking if GM feed is linked to poor fertility in farm animals, particularly poultry and waterfowl.