A tomato with a syringe stuck in it – does that depict GMO foods? GMO Answers – an interactive website that connects consumers with experts to answer their food concerns about GMO foods - has answered hundreds of questions from consumers in the year since the site was started. Cathy Enbright with the Biotechnology Industry Organization says the top questions are always about GMO health and safety. And, GMO Answers is countering some of those concerns with what it says are accurate images of GMO foods next to the inaccurate versions being perpetuated.
You may think you can but you cannot tell if your chicken is cooked to safety by looking at it. Christine Bruhn with the University of California Davis – who videotaped home cooks - says you have to use a thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is high enough. Going by sight alone, she says, can lead to under-cooked chicken and the risk of food-borne illness from eating it.
Putting raw chicken under running water before cooking has become a food safety no no. Christine Bruhn, with the University of California-Davis says the risk of splashing potentially harmful bacteria in the sink and other areas to be picked up and consumed is high. A study of more than 100 home cooks found that nearly half of them washed/rinsed their chicken before cooking it. Bacteria is killed when chicken is cooked to 165 degrees.
Are American’s washing their hands enough to prevent foodborne illness? Christine Bruhne, director of the Center for Consumer Research University of California Davis, videotaped 120 people in their homes preparing chicken and salad. Sixty-five percent of them did NOT wash their hands before cooking and nearly 40% did not wash their hands after touching the raw chicken.
How about Bison on the grill this summer? Dave Carter with the National Bison Association says bison is a good fit for the grill. He says any cut you can get out of beef you can get out of bison. Plus, he says, lean, nutrient-rich bison fits into a healthy diet.
The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council President Janet Riley says the industry has innovated like crazy over the last several decades to offer abundant choices, from low sodium hot dogs to fat-free hot dogs. Plus, she says, hot dogs - for decades – have not contained unusual meat parts.
These days there are a variety of egg labels in the grocery store about how the eggs are produced. Adele Douglass, executive director of Humane Farm Animal Care, says according to her organization’s certification standards for humanely produced eggs – the only thing that matters is their Certified Humane® label. When asked if Certified Humane eggs are healthier for you than conventionally produced eggs, she replied, “They taste better.”
Is gluten-free food a fad? Some say “yes.” Gluten – a protein composite in wheat, barley and rye grain - is not tolerated by the body of people who have Celiac disease. Harvard Medical School says while some 300-thousand Americans have been diagnosed with Celiac disease, 2-Million Americans are following a gluten-free diet. Many gluten-free foods do not contain vitamins and minerals that their gluten-counterparts do, so if you don’t need to eat gluten-free foods you may be shortchanging your nutritional needs.
It may seem like the public battle over GMO labeling of foods means consumers are evenly split but a new survey says not so. The survey by the International Food Information Council about consumer perceptions of food technology found two-thirds of those surveyed are fine with the current labeling policy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Pollination is the way that scores of fruits, vegetables and other crops come to be – and by doing so they provide us with a bounty of foods filled with healing nutrients. This is National Pollinator Week – a time to recognize the hard work of birds, bees, bats and more and their role in a healthy diet.