Food & Nutrition

Do condescending "food experts" make you feel like a war criminal for eating a so-called "unhealthy snack?" If so, there's a pretty good chance they're pontificating about something like a Twinkie. Or maybe a Pop-Tart. Is a Pop-Tart a food? A lab creation? Or a death sentence? All the yummy answers are here!
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently released its Strategic Plan for 2023-27. Most strategic plans are full of fluff and are meant only to check an administrator’s to-do box and end up sitting in a file drawer, never to see the light of day again. This plan is no exception, lacking a clear vision for a path to take on the nation’s agricultural threats. For this to happen, leadership must be held accountable for the agency’s progress.
The two long-term drivers for weight loss and control are your basal metabolic rate, the number of calories you burn while your carcass is at rest, and your muscle tissue’s ability to perform and sustain physical activity for extended periods moving your carcass. Both are dependent on the amount of muscle tissue you have developed through conditioning or granted through genetics. So, before you decide to withdraw from your 401K to pay for your hit of Wegovy or Ozempic or any other miraculously pitched expensive weight loss drug, you need to consider some basic physiology.
The use of dicamba, an herbicide, has become an extremely contentious issue in some farm states. It has been accused of “tearing apart the fabric of rural life.” The issues surrounding dicamba present a fascinating study on modern agriculture and problems that arise when technological advances impact farming choices and basic livelihood.
As plant-based diets gain more traction, the vegan population, especially in high-income countries, is rising. Is veganism – avoiding products produced by, or from, animals – a healthy lifestyle? (Spoiler Alert: you already know the answer. Vegans, like the rest of us, have varying lifestyles, some of which are not as good as others.)
There is nothing better than a crisp, crunchy, dare I add, slightly burnt pretzel – whole or in pieces. Add a bit of mustard, and we are set for the day. It is National Pretzel Day, time for a few pretzel factoids.
Kimchi, initially a household staple of Korea, has increasingly found its complex flavors of vegetables, garlic, ginger, and fish sauce being accepted as a global star. Long before refrigeration, fermented foods were a winter staple. A new study looks at the physics underlying the of making Kimchi.
Borlaug was a brilliant scientist and plant breeder, but the other secrets of his success were his perseverance and persuasiveness.
Social justice advocates continue to demand that professions like medicine become more "diverse." Critics contend this development could bring unqualified physicians into the profession and jeopardize public health. Should we be worried? The FDA wants to label certain foods in the grocery store "healthy." It's an awful idea.
Panicked headlines recently warned that the popular artificial sweetener erythritol could increase heart disease risk. The study that generated these claims in no way supports that association. Dietary supplements are a multi-billion-dollar industry; they've also killed people. Do they need more regulatory oversight?
Bees are vital to our lives; without them, there would be no almonds, and few apples, onions, blueberries, carrots, or even, perish the thought, coffee. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, "more than half of North America’s 4,000 native bee species are in decline, with 1 in 4 species at risk of extinction.” The standard narrative in the words of Food and Water Watch is that “Bee colonies are in the midst of a massive die-off, thanks to dangerous pesticides that poison them and destroy their habitats.” A new study in Nature debunks that belief.  
“Claims like 'healthy' on food labels can provide information to consumers to help them identify healthier food choices at a glance. Foods must meet specific nutrient-related criteria to use the nutrient content claim 'healthy.'” So begins the FDA’s quest to label what is healthy and what is not. Good luck with that fool’s errand.