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Even at an early age, Cheryl Day was a passionate and practical advocate for agriculture. Check out her viewpoint on current agricultural topics.

5 Common Myths about Food

Oct 16, 2011

Today- October 16-is Blog Action Day, an annual event to focus bloggers on one global topic. The 2011 topic is FOOD- A fitting topic for this farmer. As a farmer, my life passion is all about using God-Given talents and his natural resources to produce food for the world. Unfortunately, the lack of knowledge about the food we eat is filling the consumer’s mind with fallacious statements about Food.

Therefore on this Call to Action Day, I present 5 Common Myths about Food

 

5. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is more fattening for me than Table Sugar (Cane Sugar)

corn sugar maze

Fact: High Fructose Corn Syrup is sugar made from Corn. In fact, it is more accurate to call it Corn Sugar. Corn Sugar and Table Sugar has the exact same number of Calories.   
Corn Sugar and Table Sugar both contain Fructose and Glucose. Cane Sugar is 50% Fructose and Glucose. Corn Sugar is either 42% Fructose and 58% Glucose -OR- 55% Fructose and 45% Glucose. As the commercial says “Sugar is Sugar”. Our body metabolizes it the same no matter if the sugar comes from corn or sugar cane.
 Do not take my word for it, ask an expert.
High fructose corn syrup … is nutritionally equivalent to sucrose. Both sweeteners contain the same number of calories (4 per gram) and consist of about equal parts of fructose and glucose. Once absorbed into the blood stream, the two sweeteners are indistinguishable.”
- American Dietetic Association,
Hot Topics paper on High Fructose Corn Syrup, December 2008
So why does the U.S. use so much Corn Sugar? In my opinion, it is Logistics. While we do grow some sugar cane in the U.S., it is largely grown in more favorable climates of Brazil and India (top world producers). Field Corn is widely produced in the United States. It is easier and cheaper for America’s Food Companies to use a home grown product.

 

4. Antibiotics fed to livestock and poultry are causing humans to be resistance to antibiotics.

2010 0412Image0036 (Meghan)

Fact: Farmers and Ranchers have been administrating antibiotics by the label approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after extensive layers of testing and protocol to treat sick animals, prevent illness, and maintain the health of animals for over 40 years.   As a result, the U.S. provides the consumer with the safest food possible.
Did you know that activists in Denmark called for the ban of all antibiotics? Result- more livestock and poultry became sick and required greater use of antibiotics. Furthermore, the ban on antibiotic in Denmark did not have a substantial impact on the incidence of antibiotic-resistant food-borne illness in humans  - SafeFoodInc.org
Experts actually concluded that overuse and improper use of antibiotics in humans is the leading caused to human resistance to antibiotics. So a run to the border to obtain Mexican Antibiotics to take at will is more dangerous than farmers and ranchers administrating antibiotics supervised by licensed veterinarians by the label. Get the Facts.
Editor Note: Each farm or ranch has an established protocol for the use of antibiotic. As a farmer of a cow-calf operation, the health of the animal is extremely important to me. I can only speak for my farm but we only use antibiotics to treat sickness. Our first line of defense for our animals that are under stress or going to be facing a stressful environment-weaning or traveling or extreme weather pattern-is to use a natural probiotic products filled with essential vitamins and minerals. If an animal is diagnosed as being ill then an antibiotic is administrated after consulting the veterinarian by the label.
 

3. Organic Food is more Nutritious

usda

Fact: First of all, it must be noted that organically raised food, plant or animal, must be meet or exceed the requirements of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be Certified Organic. Every step of raising the crop or animal must be inspected and certified by the USDA or it is NOT CERTIFIED ORGANIC. The USDA has never claimed that Certified Organic food is more nutritious than conventionally produced food. Certified Organic label defines the way the food was grown, handled, and processed.
Did you know that Certified Organic does not mean reducing Pesticides? 

Organic fruit and vegetable growers use insecticides and fungicides that are approved for organic growers. These are inorganic substances (such as copper and sulfur), microbes and toxic plant extracts. They are all registered as pesticides by the EPA and pass the same regulatory safety tests as do the synthetic chemicals used by non-organic growers.

However, since the inorganic substances, microbes and toxic plant extracts are not as effective as synthetic chemicals, organic growers spray more often than non-organic growers and use a greater tonnage of pesticides per acre than do non-organic farmers. -SafeFoodInc.Org

 

2. Genetically Modified Foods are bad for your health.

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Fact: For years, scientists have been naturally cross-breeding plants and animals to create the most desirable traits. In fact, the use of yeast to produce bread was one of the earliest uses of biotechnology.
Simple Facts about Biotechnology
Biotechnology can be a scary scientific name but its definition is the use of scientific discoveries about living things to solve problems. Biotechnology borrows the good gene from a healthier plant and lends it to the weaker plant. As a result, scientists make more healthy plant with good genes. In nature we see this is all the time- The survival of the fittest. So think of Biotechnology as the Survival of the Fittest with a BOOST OF INNOVATION.
Advances in Biotechnology, now allows scientists to extract desirable DNA from one species (naturally- occurring) and inserting it in another.   These GMOs are commonly used in agriculture to create seeds that are resistant to disease or insect. This exciting innovation has changed the world of farming. We now can plant seed that does not require as much pesticide to be applied.
The amount of land to farm or raise livestock is shrinking at alarming rate. We cannot scientifically produce land. At the same time the number of humans in the world is rapidly increasing. The amount of food we produce must also increase. Technology advancements, like biotechnology, can increase the amount of food raised on the same amount of land.
For the consumer, plant biotechnology benefits the consumers today by:
  • Nutritionally-Enriched Food
  • Reduce Pesticide Application
  • Longer-Lasting, Fresher Produce 
  • Allows farmers to produce more on less land

 Read the entire Biotechnology Guide.

There is no scientific, peer-reviewed, documented research or FDA statement that says GMO foods is bad for your health.   After all how long have you been eating products made with yeast?
 

1. Going Meatless can improve your health.

2363 00 20SpicyPortugueseBeefSteakKabobs thumb

Fact: Cutting out meat is not an instant remedy to improving your health. In fact it could do more harm than good.  The USDA’s latest information-My Plate, My Health- on a healthy lifestyle depends on a balanced diet from all food groups-Fruits & Vegetables, Grains, Dairy, and Protein- portion control, and physical activity.
The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage people to “get more nutrition from their calories” by choosing nutrient-rich food among all food groups. There is a large assumption that Americans are eating too much from the Meat & Bean group but in fact many Americans are not meeting the USDA’s recommended servings from this group each day. In fact, as you get older your body slowly loses muscle mass, strength, and endurance.
The Meat and Bean group provides protein but not all proteins are created equally. Animal Proteins provide all of the essential building blocks (amino acids) that your body needs for optimal health. Unlike most plant sources of protein, lean meats supply’s most readily accessible and easily absorbed source of iron and zinc-essential nutrients for muscle growth and good health. Meat can help you to get the most nutrition for your Calorie intake. Protein, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin Bs all wrapped up in tasteful serving.
Other thing to consider:
The biggest myth about Red Meat is its fat profile. For Example let’s look at Beef:  Half the fat in beef is monounsaturated-the same type of heart healthy fat found in salmon and olive oil. In addition 1/3 of the saturated fat of beef is stearic acid. Researchers have shown that stearic acid has neutral or cholesterol lowering effect.
 
Sources:

 

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