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    Do you ever wonder about the science behind your food? We do, too.

    Our group of writers serves up juicy topics like genetic engineering, gut bacteria and the chemical reactions that occur during cooking.

    Together, we’ll peer inside factory farms, dark jungles, cafeterias, laboratories and those trendy molecular gastronomy spots. Grab a bite, and sit down at the table to learn why Food Matters.

    Food Matters Crew:

    Kevin Bonham, Layla Eplett and Patrick Mustain
  • February Link Dump

    Food/Ag Feathers, beaver butt excretions and CHEMICALS!! in your food? Yeah, but it’s not what you think. Bill Gates weighs in on GMOs and their potential to feed to world. In a lot of places, there’s a lot of capacity to increase crop yields, just by catching up to the rest of the world Microbiology [...]

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    How to Study a Complex Microbial World – Part 3: Genes to Genomes

    The 16S profile of human skin [Image from Wikimedia Commons]

    In part 1 of this series, I talked about what DNA sequencing is, and why it’s an important tool. In part 2, I explained some of the technologies that scientists are currently using to actually “read” the letters of DNA sequences from organisms. In this final piece, I’ll explain how we go from reads of [...]

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    Confessions of a Nanny-State Food Cop: The Truth about Public Health

    The All-Seeing-Apple

    I’m not really sure when I first started hating freedom. Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved controlling people, interfering with their lives, and keeping them from having any fun. That’s why I went into public health. For years, people like Michelle Malkin and Richard Berman have been warning you about the meddlesome food police—determined [...]

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    How to Study a Complex Microbial World – Part 2: Next Generation Sequencing Technology

    Polymerase_chain_reaction

    In Part 1 of this series, I described a bit about why sequencing the DNA of microbes is a useful way to study them An individual microbe is like a single book in a vast library. Over the last 100 years, we’ve learned to read and interpret, at least to some extent, the language of [...]

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    Antioxidant Supplements: Too Much of a Kinda Good Thing

    Emergen-C

    There appears to be a continued public misconception (encouraged by the supplement industry) that free radicals are bad, and that antioxidants are good. Of course, like most phenomena affecting our health, it’s not that simple. Free radicals are molecules or atoms containing an unpaired electron. Unpaired electrons are attention seekers. They really don’t like being [...]

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    Vitamania: Why We Swallow the Supplement Industry’s Magic Pills

    Vitamania

    Now and then a book comes along that educates and entertains at the same time. When an author manages this with the beaten-to-death topic of nutrition, it’s doubly impressive. Catherine Price’s forthcoming (Feb 24) “Vitamania: Our Obsessive Quest for Nutritional Perfection,” is the surprisingly fascinating story of vitamins—their discovery, their functions in our bodies, and [...]

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    How to Study a Complex Microbial World- Part 1: DNA sequencing

    The cost of sequencing per million base pairs. Click for source.

    Over the next few months, I plan on writing a lot about research on microbial communities. This is somewhat self-serving, as my own research is moving in that direction, but I also happen to think it’s fascinating, and highly relevant to the most current research involving food. Complex microbial communities are of course involved in [...]

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    The World On A Plate: A Look At Diets Around The Globe

    WorldOnAPlate2

    From culture to religion, social status to political leanings, a lot can be learned from what’s on a plate. In What I Eat: Around The World In 80 Diets, photographer Peter Menzel and his wife, writer Faith D’Aluisio, take a fascinating look at diets of people around the world. Menzel and D’Aluisio have been doing [...]

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    Is Our Focus on Obesity Holding Back Public Health?

    gardening

    What causes obesity? Advertising junk food to kids? Cheap soda? The demise of physical education in public schools? Too much screen time? Or maybe, it’s one of the little boxes in this Obesity System Influence Diagram, developed in 2007 by British researchers for their government’s Foresight Project: Holy cow, I believe are the words you’re [...]

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    Invasion Of The Tomato Leaf-Miner

    Illustration by Steven White: sketchysteven.tumblr.com.

    Editor’s Note: Kelly Izlar is a Guest Contributor to Food Matters Darth Vader. Lex Luther. Tuta Absoluta. Megatronus Prime. Which of these is not like the other? Tuta absoluta is the scientific name of a moth no bigger than your eyelash. But considering how dastardly the pest can be, it might belong with the other [...]

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