Food & Nutrition

As part of a healthy diet, US federal guidelines recommend that adults eat 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that only 1 out of 10 Americans eat enough of these foods containing essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. There can be barriers to consumption. Fresh fruits and vegetables are pricey and have limited availability in some communities. They also have short shelf lives. Frozen and canned foods are more accessible and can be stored longer. Are these options to fresh just as nutritious?
The Non-GMO Project recently reassured its Twitter followers that seedless watermelon is not genetically modified. The only problem is that this delicious summer treat is a "GMO"—and it undermines the project's dubious business model.
Anti-GMO, anti-pesticide groups have tried to distance themselves from the political instability in Sri Lanka, fueled in large part by the disastrous organic-farming policies they told the country to pursue.
I wrote the other day about a study from China on the effect of dietary salt on blood pressure. The study was unique in that it distinguished four regional Chinese cuisines. This got me thinking about whether salt use varies among American cuisines and regions. The standard narrative is that the salt in our heavily processed foods is a significant factor in the nearly 50% prevalence of high blood pressure—but then I ran across this study.
You already eat seaweed but probably don’t know it. Seaweeds are multicellular macroalgae used as functional ingredients, a food additive. Hydrocolloids derived from seaweeds provide texture and structure, prevent the melting of frozen foods, providing edible coatings or other desirable properties to foods as different as ice cream, apples, and bread. No longer considered just an additive, seaweed is poised to enter the US market as a whole food due to its nutritive attributes, potential economic benefits, and unique cultivation requirements.
Do biotech companies lie about the pesticide-saving benefits of genetically engineered crops? The activist group GM Watch says yes. Do they have a convincing case? Nope.
Food deserts are areas frequently in urban settings where it is difficult to find stores providing fresh foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Food deserts have long been thought to contribute to poor nutrition because the food people need is just not available. A study in JAMA Pediatrics suggests that this long-held thought may be a mirage.
To increase a product’s appeal to consumers, food manufacturers place food certification labels on the front of their packaging - concerned with environmental, animal welfare, or fair trade, and ‘free from’ labels for those with dietary restrictions. And what exactly do ‘natural’ or ‘clean’ labels tell us?
Caviar, especially from Beluga sturgeon, is an acquired and expensive taste. With changing geopolitics, would it surprise you that China now produces a third of the global supply? Much of that supply is farm-raised, 500-fold more than wild-caught.
It’s summertime when we fire up our grills and move the cooking outdoors. Whether you use charcoal, propane, or wood as your fuel, scientists have linked the high-temperature cooking of meats to the formation of potential human carcinogens. This may cause some to pause and ask, “Are charred meats safe to eat?” While the long-term effects of consuming grilled meats remain debatable, some methods will help lower potential cancer-related compounds and improve the flavor and juiciness of your burnt offerings.
Whole Foods Magazine recently published a story alleging that there is no evidence vindicating the safety of "GMOs." How well does this claim stand up to scrutiny?
Is type 2 diabetes due largely to genetics? Does veganism lead to more weight loss than other common diets? On episode 9 of the Science Dispatch Podcast, we take a critical look at two studies, each tackling one of these intriguing questions.