Food & Nutrition

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.
A recent study examined the nutritional composition of meat and milk derived from gene-edited cattle bred to be hornless. The two-year-long project provided further evidence vindicating the safe use of biotechnology in food production.
Food producers and manufacturers, both large and small, want to increase their products' appeal to today’s discerning consumer. One way to market is at the point-of-sale, providing trusted and attractive labels that speak to the buyer’s health, environmental, moral, and social concerns. Who controls food certification labels, what do they mean, and do they deliver as promised?
A new mathematical exercise suggests that if we stop eating beef and simply substitute beans, we can reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 75%. The math is good. But the assumptions? Not so much.
In episode 7 of the Science Dispatch Podcast, we review New York University's experiment to offer students free medical school, the goal being to push doctors into under-served communities and understaffed specialties. We then tackle a popular nutrition myth: the dementia-fighting benefits of blueberries.