Top 5 Food Questions Consumers Ask Dieticians

By Wanda Patsche, pig, corn and soybean farmer from Fairmont, Minnesota

CommonGround Minnesota recently participated in a breakout session during the 2015 Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics conference. We presented information about how food is grown and answered many common food questions. At the conference, I asked a number of dietitians what food questions they most commonly receive. Here are the top five they shared with me, along with my answers:

5. How can I eat healthy on a budget?

  • Purchase fresh produce in season and freeze it.
  • Take advantage of sales at the supermarket.
  • Use less expensive cuts of meat.
  • Keep an organized fridge and pantry.
  • Repurpose leftovers.

4. What are GMOs?

GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in plant agriculture have come to mean the process of intentionally making a copy of a gene for a desired trait from one plant or organism and using it in another plant. The result is a GMO.

3. Are GMOs safe to eat?

Yes! Every plant improved through the use of food biotechnology is examined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or potential health risks. Scientists test plants before they enter the food and animal-feed supply. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that current foods containing biotech ingredients have passed human-health-risk assessments, and no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of biotech foods.

2. Are there hormones in our food?

All living organisms have naturally-occurring hormones. Some foods, such as milk and beef, can contain small amounts of additional hormones. According to the WHO and FDA, you should not worry about hormones in your food. With milk, pasteurization destroys 90 percent of hormones. The rest of the hormones are broken down during digestion. Both pork and poultry do not contain additional hormones.

1. Is organic food healthier than non-organic?

Organic does not necessarily mean a healthier product. In fact, a comprehensive review of some 400 scientific papers concluded organic and conventional food remain equally healthy. All foods – whether organic or nonorganic – must meet certain health and safety regulations before being sold to consumers.

One Comment

Linda Oszust

Thank you for this information I believe people have a misconception about GMO’s .


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