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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
  • Blue Zones: What the Longest-Lived People Eat (Hint: It’s Not Steak Dinners)

    Photo by Gianluca Colla, Courtesy Blue Zones

    On April 7th, the book “Blue Zones Solutions” will hit the shelves. In it, Dan Buettner, CEO of the eponymous organization describes his work over the last decade visiting and studying populations throughout the world where people live extraordinarily long, healthy, and happy lives. Dubbed “blue zones,” these pockets of longevity feature a number of [...]

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    Fungal Foods, Science in Politics, and some GMOs – March Link Dump

    Here are some things I saw around the internet in the last month that might be of interest. Food If you can access it, read this week’s edition of Cell, it’s all about food, and there are some great articles in there. Bill Nye examines the science, and admits that he got some stuff wrong [...]

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    GMOs are Still the Best Bet for Feeding the World.

    Demand for staple crops will begin to outstrip supply in the coming decades if current trends continue. From Long et. al.

    It’s been a while since I’ve written on GMOs, but it may be time to start again. Recently, a huge amount of attention was given to an IARC report suggesting that glyphosate (brand name: Roundup), one of the most common pesticides, may cause cancer. The dangers of glyphosate have been a favorite whipping boy of [...]

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    Growing a Baby Microbiome

    Figure-1

    According to the world food program, 1 out of every 6 children on the planet suffers from malnutrition, and this is responsible for over half of deaths in children under 5 years old. The normal way to measure whether a child is malnourished is through weight – there are certain “normal” ranges of healthy weight [...]

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    New Issue of the Journal Cell is All About Food

    Microbes grow on all kinds of foods, from salami to cheese to tea (kobucha). Figure from Wolfe et. al.

    I suspect that the Venn diagram of Food Matters readers and readers of the journal Cell doesn’t contain a lot in the overlap portion, but this week, that should probably change. Cell is one of the big three in biology science publishing (the other two being Nature and Science), and usually contains predominantly wonky, jargon-laden cutting-edge research on [...]

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    Political Climates: Drought and Conflict in Syria

    PoliticalClimate

    Beginning in 2007, Syria and the greater Fertile Crescent experienced the worst three year drought ever recorded in the region. Recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests the drought may have contributed to the ongoing conflict in Syria. According to their study, the drought had detrimental effects on agriculture [...]

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    That Time Big Tobacco Hired a Sugar Researcher to Help Them Muddle the Science on Health

    candy-cigarettes_phillip_stewartz

    Much has been made in recent years about the beverage and food industries borrowing from the tobacco industry’s playbook as they fend off increasing scrutiny about their role in preventable chronic health problems, like type II diabetes and heart disease. A case study published last week in the journal PLOS Medicine revealed a surprising early [...]

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    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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