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“What The Health” Goes Wrong

In # 10: Communicating food science by Thanh0 Comments

What the Health is a 2017 Netflix documentary film which critiques the health impact of meat, egg, fish, and dairy products consumption. Soon after the film is released, it creates a firestorm from a lot of nutrition experts and food scientists. It is an extremely biased pro-vegan documentary that exaggerates weak data and misrepresents science. The filmmaker, Kip Andersen, talks about the genetics that run in his family with a history of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Thus, he concerns about his future health. This leads to his motivation in finding out the causes of these epidemics and how to prevent them. He decides to go on to interview experts that claim that sugars and carbohydrates do not cause negative effects to health but animal fat does. I agree with the filmmakers that processed meat is unhealthy due to its high content of sodium and preservatives. Processed meat is declared a carcinogen through many studies. However, it is not true that processed meat is equally dangerous as smoking cigarettes. What the Health says sugar and carbohydrates have no correlation with …

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Health Claims on Food Labels should remain under strict guidelines

In # 7: Gut health by Thanh0 Comments

Health benefits from food products have always been topics that have drawn a lot of attention.  Society is reaching to  higher and higher medical standards, education, and technology, thus people now care a lot more about their diet and what is in their food that helps promote their health. Probiotics and prebiotics have been proved through so many scientific studies that they contribute benefits to  gut health. However, only a few health claims for probiotics and prebiotics have been approved in the United States or Europe. The reason for this is the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have a really high bar on regulating the health claim labels, and they have not been convinced enough by the data from probiotics and prebiotics studies. Consumers nowadays care so much about the labels on their foods, but they do not have time or interest on researching or reading a whole bunch of studies about what health benefits the food ingredients bring. Plus, no one can stand in front of the food shelf for  hours …

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GMO, an Unreal Risk

In # 6: Labeling GMOs by Thanh1 Comment

In recent years, GMOs have become a controversial topic that a lot of people concern about. First, what are GMOs? GMOs stands for Genetically Modified Organisms, whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. In order to produce GMOs, a scientist has to extract genes from the DNA of one species and artificially force those into the genes of other species. The main goal of GMOs is to produce crops with pest resistant traits, and crops that are resistant to environmental effects like drought or extreme temperature. This results in higher growth and yield of the crops.   Because of all the genetic alterations, there have been a lot of concerns about GMOs on whether it can be harmful to consumers. As a student studying Food Science, I can surely confirm that there have been no studies providing evidence of harm from an approved GM in 20 years. On the other hand, GM crops have been proved to have good resistance to specific insects, plant viruses, bacteria, and fungi, tolerance to specific herbicides, improvement in nutrition values (minerals, …

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Justin’s Values Sustainability

In # 5: Sustainability by Thanh1 Comment

I am sure some of you have heard of Justin’s brand and have tried some of their products. Justin’s is an American brand of natural and organic nut butters and peanut butter cups. It was founded in 2004 by Justin Gold and sold to Hormel Foods in May 2016. Justin’s peanut cups are USDA-certified organic and are made with Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa. Justin’s products are distributed through Whole Foods, Target, and in health section at Hy-Vee, Cosentino’s, etc. Justin’s is not only a leader in producing high quality organic nut butter products and confections but also a leader in valuing sustainability. What is sustainability, and why is it important? Sustainability is the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources, and its goal is to conserve natural resources, develop alternate sources of power, and reduce pollution and harm to the environment. Almonds is the main ingredient in Justin’s almond butter, and it takes two beehives to pollinate an acre of farmland. Each hive contains about twenty thousands bees. Thus, in order to maintain the ongoing source of almonds, it needs …

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Vietnamese Street Food On My Mind

In # 1: You are what you eat, Food and Culture by Thanh0 Comments

I am always grateful for being born and growing up in Vietnam, a country that is best known for the famous Pho Bo (Beef Noodle Soup). Besides Pho Bo, Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich) is also an another signature dish that everybody loves. But do you know that Pho Bo and Banh Mi are served as street food in Vietnam, not like in fancy Vietnamese restaurants here in America? When I first came to the United States, I craved a big bowl of hot noodle soup, but I had hard time finding an authentic-taste Vietnamese restaurants in Lincoln. Some of my friends recommended their favorite Vietnamese restaurants in town, but for some reasons they don’t taste too excellent to me. Spending almost 6 years in the US, travelling all around the country, I then realized one thing that Vietnamese food here missed is the “street atmosphere”, which is the spirit and soul of Vietnamese culture. Authentic Vietnamese food is not supposed to be fancy or served as high-end dishes. Although it’s street food, it is still very healthy and nutritious because …