Just the facts. From the experts.
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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?

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...

What Do Cows Eat?

10/18/2013

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.

Is Tilapia Safe to Eat?

9/24/2013

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

Is Nutrition Content Lost When Hamburgers are Well Done?

7/30/2013

Recently, Best Food Facts recieved a question asking "Is it better for you to eat a rare/medium-rare or well-done hamburger? Are you losing nutrition content when the burger is well-done?” We reached out to Dr. John Comerford, who is an associate professor at Penn State University, to help us answer these questions.

Red Meat: Good or Bad for Your Health?

7/26/2013

Recently, a Best Food Facts reader asked about her concern of red meat, and if it can be unhealthy for you. We reached out to Dr. Ruth MacDonald, Chair of Food Science Department at Iowa State University, to talk to us about red meat.

What is Colony Collapse Disorder?

7/24/2013

One in every three bites of food you eat is pollinated either directly or indirectly by honey bees. With bees dying at a rapid pace, mentions of colony collapse disorder (CCD) are on the rise. What is CCD? What is causing it? What can be done to ensure bees stop suffering from it? Two experts respond.

How Long Should I Cook Veggies?

6/17/2013

Cooking can be simple, but simple mistakes can turn vegetables into a complex disaster. This easy-to-use chart outlines how many minutes to steam, microwave, blanch and boil your favorite veggies. 

Is Agriculture Killing Bees?

5/22/2013

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.

What Are Pesticides? Do They Harm My Kids?

1/17/2013

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.

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