What makes a processed food an ultra-processed food? How dangerous to our health is ultra-processing?

Apparently processed foods are no longer as bad for us as we have been told. It is just the ultra-processed foods that we need to avoid. But just what is the difference between a processed food and an ultra-processed one? The answer may surprise consumers as there are many more foods found in the ultra-processed class of foods than most people realize. Chances are that … Continue reading What makes a processed food an ultra-processed food? How dangerous to our health is ultra-processing?

What does the NIH Ultra-processed food study really tell us?

This past month has been a difficult one for defenders of processed food. The recent NIH study is the first to directly implicate ultra-processed food as a contributor to weight gain and a potential cause of obesity, but this research should not be the end of food processing as we know it! Like any good study, this article raises other questions that should be looked … Continue reading What does the NIH Ultra-processed food study really tell us?

Processed Food as Seen through a Public Health Nutrition Lens by Bailey Houghtaling and Lily Yang

Nutrition is complex. Dietary choices stem from an interaction of socio-political, environmental, interpersonal, and individual factors. So, when we acknowledge that Americans eat poorly, thus increasing the risk of noncommunicable diseases (e.g., obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc.), placing concepts like “whole foods” and “fresh is best” on a nutrition pedestal as a feasible and system-wide solution is both unrealistic and detrimental. On the other hand, … Continue reading Processed Food as Seen through a Public Health Nutrition Lens by Bailey Houghtaling and Lily Yang

Processed food from a classical nutrition point of view by Anna Kathryn Colbert

As we know, processed foods come in many shapes and sizes. Some are minimally processed (i.e. fresh cut and packaged produce) and some are “ultra-processed” such as American cheese, frozen pizzas, and deli meats. While fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats are always better, nutritionally speaking, when eaten at peak freshness it is the classical nutritionist’s view that the health benefits start to diminish as they’re … Continue reading Processed food from a classical nutrition point of view by Anna Kathryn Colbert

A food scientist responds to the dark side of Unsavory Truth

When someone proclaims “The Truth” about any topic, they usually unveil a villain who is trying to obscure the message. Last week I described some points of agreement between Marion Nestle and me in Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat. This week I describe points of strong disagreement between the two of us. It should come as no surprise … Continue reading A food scientist responds to the dark side of Unsavory Truth

Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat

I am drawn into Marion Nestle books like a moth to a flame. When she preaches nutrition, I say a loud “Amen,” but when she goes on her rampages about how evil the food industry is, I just want to say “Give me a break!” Unsavory Truth is the fourth of Nestle’s books I have read. In each one, I picked up a gem of … Continue reading Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat

Processed Food, Disability, and Autonomy by Jonathan Katz

There is some dissonance in being a food blogger and a disability access professional. This gap is not just because these are two very different things. Rather, there is a broad frustration. In my work, I am immersed in a world where access is everything. Things that give people more options to do things independently are good. We encourage the development of practices that reflect … Continue reading Processed Food, Disability, and Autonomy by Jonathan Katz

The elusive connection between health, safety and food

Any normal person who lives with a food scientist can tell you that their partner has some strange ideas about food. Generally speaking, when it comes to the role of food in health, a food scientist tends to think about it in terms of nutrition. The trend among normal people with respect to food and health now is its role in the development of chronic … Continue reading The elusive connection between health, safety and food

Chemicals and Food Safety in the 21st Century by Danielle Robertson Rath

I’m at a party and I see a veggie platter, bags of chips, and a plate of raw hamburger meat. I’m confused, are people supposed to make burger patties themselves and barbecue them outside? This seems like an odd thing to do at someone else’s house. Other people at the party assure me this raw meat is actually steak tartare, perfectly fine to eat as-is, but … Continue reading Chemicals and Food Safety in the 21st Century by Danielle Robertson Rath

Notable food safety outbreaks in 2018

In surveying the CDC website, I found 24 multistate, foodborne outbreaks listed for the calendar year 2018. The investigations of these outbreaks identified 2584 cases resulting in 788 hospitalizations and 11 deaths. These outbreaks represent only a very small view of the estimated 48 million people who become sick due to foodborne illness, 128,000 become hospitalized and 3000 die. In the grand scheme of things, … Continue reading Notable food safety outbreaks in 2018