Cultured Meat Production: What is it? What Should we Expect?

This is the third in a series of collaboration between Don’t Eat the Pseudoscience and In Defense of Processed Food. Head over to the site and explore, and stay tuned for more! Check out our first collaboration HERE and our second HERE!

Cellular meat production has been proposed as a sustainable alternative to traditional animal husbandry and slaughter. It involves culturing muscle-like tissue in a liquid medium with a variety of techniques from tissue engineering. It has also been called clean meat, cultured meat, or in vitro meat, and it is part of the wider field of cellular agriculture in which efforts are being made to use this burgeoning research to reduce the amount of animal-derived material such as meat, milk, eggs, fish, and leather. It is an area of exploration that has garnered a lot of attention as consumers reduce meat consumption, partly in response to sustainability and animal welfare-consciousness. However, there is still desire for meat and animal-derived products which leaves the door open for cellular agriculture. And while there are meat analog products or milk alternatives such as almond milk, these are not replacing the original product closely enough for there to be a broad changeover from animal products. This brief review will cover how cultured meat is created, the proposed benefits of the technology, and consumer acceptance in the early stages of the field.


Bresaola and whole bone-in ham dry aging

Broadly, cultured meat uses chemical and biological cues to differentiate stem cells into muscle cells. Currently, there are two main approaches to do this. The first is tissue engineering-based. Tissue engineering uses cells from an animal, taken during a biopsy procedure, or a genetically modified cell line. Fermentation-based cellular agriculture, on the other hand, does not use tissue from animals, rather it uses bacteria, algae, or yeast that have been genetically modified. Those modified bacteria, algae, or yeast are fermented and then produce organic specific protein cells (1).

The next part of the equation is how to manipulate those cells into meat. In the body, muscle is created by three pathways. Cultured meat aims to stimulate two of these: regeneration of muscle after trauma and/or embryonic myogenesis, the process by which muscles are differentiated and formed in the womb (the third is muscle building that we typically think of that comes from stimulation/exertion of the muscle) (2).

These processes create meat cells that grow in two dimensions, in a flat sheet. I.e. those end products may be used to create ground burger or a sausage, but a steak or a chicken breast requires a scaffold to help it grow three-dimensionally and a blood vessel network to sustain the 3D structure (3). This technology will be instrumental for cellular agriculture to resemble whole cuts of meat.

One concern with the future of cultured meat is that most of the research and up-front development is being conducted by private companies that don’t share the technologies behind their progress. On the transparent academic front, New Harvest is one of the only research organizations that publishes its methods in research publications (4). For example, silk, collagen, or other animal-derived products are used to create the base scaffold for muscle growth due to their established use in the biomedical field for tissue regeneration. However, Natalie Rubio, one of the first PhD researchers at Tufts University for New Harvest group, is looking into non-animal-derived sources such as mushroom chitosan. Rubio is investigating how muscle cells interact with fungal chitosan on a fundamental growth level.

While the advent of clean meat is not widely understood on a larger scale, there have been some estimations and theoretical models developed for what cultured meat production would look like in contrast to conventional animal husbandry. In particular, the reduction of resources could be advantageous to increase sustainability of meat products. In one model by Tuomisto et al. (5), they quote the following estimations that cultured meat can deliver reduced water use by 82-96%, greenhouse gas emissions by 78-96%, land use by 99%, and greatly increase the health of the overall soil in the runoff areas with complete changeover. However, all studies at this point are theoretical as no authority is quite sure what cultured meat production will look like.

Other positives to cultured meat involve benefits to reduced dependency on livestock husbandry. For example, clean meat is less prone to biological risk and disease (6). It also cuts down on waste as ideally, cultured meat will produce only the choice cuts of meat rather than the entire carcass. A less popularized view is that cultured meat production as an alternative to large animal husbandry has the possibility of safeguarding biodiversity of livestock that less efficient/productive than the ‘workhorses’ of current livestock production. On the other hand, one downside of depending on cultured meat is that there is some risk of genetic instability of the cellular culture as it continuously divides and changes with each regeneration (7).

A large part of the success of clean meat once it is commercialized is the acceptance of the broad consumer group that purchases meat. In 2013, the first cultured burger was prepared and eaten in front of reporters in London with some of the first research techniques established in the field. That publicity stunt brought a lot of attention to the field from a positive light. However, there have been negative connotations including the views that cultured meat is ‘lab meat, synthetic meat, or even Frankenstein meat’ (4).

The first advents of cultured meat are likely to be mixes of traditional animal muscle and cellular meat for a few reasons. On one hand, the technology is not up to capacity yet to allow for large volumes of clean meat to be produced, so traditional meat will help fill the gaps. But on the other hand, mixing clean meat with ‘real’ meat will mimic the experience of the traditional burger more closely until the field is far enough along to compete from a sensory standpoint. And finally, it will help consumers cross over with some familiarity to the clean meat side with less unfamiliar product in the mix (8).

Transparency of food production is important to consumer acceptance of novel food items, however the race to create the first commercialized tech in the field leaves the consumer at a bit of a loss. There isn’t a lot of established content on what exactly clean meat is. And the brief descriptions that involve genetic modification without a lot of reasoning as to why that’s necessary could turn the demographic off entirely in the current GMO-phobic environment. Creative marketing that touts the benefits over the unknown will be required to ensure that cultured meat does not take an ‘icky’ connotation. But only time will tell what’s to come for the area of clean meat (9).

Kelsey is originally from Minnesota and received her B.S. in Food Science from Purdue University. After that, she attained an M.S. in Food Science from Penn State where her research focused on mitigating the taste of bitter for pediatric medications. She now lives in Boston as a food scientist for Incredible Foods while freelance writing and consulting for smaller food start-ups on the side. Kelsey loves eating cookie dough by the spoonful, collecting cookbooks, and watching old episodes of Top Chef. You can follow along with her adventures in the kitchen on her blog Appeasing a Food Geek! (Follow her on Twitter! @Kelsey_Tenney)

Resources

  1. Grefte S., Kuijpers-Jagtman A., Torensma R., Von Der Hoff J.W. Skeletal muscle development and regeneration. Stem Cells and Development. 2007;16:857–868. [PubMed]
  2. Bentzinger C., Wang Y., Rudnicki M. Building Muscle: Molecular regulation of myogenesis. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology. 2012;4:a008342. [PubMed]
  3. Bian W., Bursac N. Engineered skeletal muscle tissue networks with controllable architecture. Biomaterials. 2009;30:1401–1412. [PubMed]
  4. Bryant C., Barnett J. Consumer acceptance of cultured meat: A systematic review. Meat Science. 2018;143:8–17. [PubMed]
  5. Tuomisto H., de Mattos M. Environmental impacts of cultured meat production. Environmental Science and Technology. 2011;45:6117–6123. [PubMed]
  6. FAO . 2013. World livestock 2013 – changing disease landscapes. Rome.
  7. Mattick C.S., Landis A.E., Allenby B.R., Genovese N.J. Anticipatory life cycle analysis of in vitro biomass cultivation for cultured meat production in the United States. Environmental Science & Technology. 2015;49(19):11941–11949. [PubMed]
  8. Wilks M., Phillips C. Attitudes to in vitro meat: A survey of potential consumers in the United States. PLoS One. 2017;12(2):e0171904. [PubMed]
  9. Bekker G., Fischer A., Tobi H., van Trijp H. Explicit and implicit attitude toward an emerging food technology: The case of cultured meat. 2017;108:245–254. [PubMed]

Bite Coin? How blockchain can help us keep track of food from the farm to your plate.

By Matt Teegarden and Lily Yang

This is the first in a series of collaboration between Don’t Eat the Pseudoscience and In Defense of Processed Food. Head over to the site and explore, and stay tuned for more!

Around 2017, Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency craze exploded across the internet and popular media. At its core, cryptocurrency promised a new and decentralized financial system that could exist without banks, governance, or other entities keeping track of transactions. While cryptocurrency in itself is rather interesting, what has really begun to tickle our fancy is the technology that actually enables cryptocurrency: blockchain.

Block-whatnow?

A blockchain is…just as it sounds…a chain…of blocks.  But each of these blocks is essentially a small packet of data that details a transaction (like one company selling an ingredient to another).  The way this chain is set up makes the data within each block impossible to alter. What’s more, the chain is not stored in one single place; instead, information is stored and continuously updated across various sections of the chain as it gets longer (as one ingredient moves to join other ingredients in a food product). In this, blockchain actually has many applications far beyond virtual coins. But why are people geeking out about the application of this technology in the food industry?

One word: traceability.

OK, cool, but why is traceability so important?

Traceability is the ability to follow a food, or an ingredient in a food, back to its original source. Given how incredibly gigantic and global our food system is though, traceability is no easy task. Think about a food you really like- let’s take a peppermint hot chocolate mix, since we’re in the holiday spirit. The peppermint pieces inside this hot chocolate mix probably did not come from the same food company that sells it (or if you were to make a mix for a friend, you may have sourced many ingredients from different companies). The peppermint flavor in these pieces is likely sourced from yet another company who likely did not grow the herb the flavor was derived from. The flow of ingredients from the farm, into a food item, onto the store shelf, and into your home is known as the food supply chain.

Tracing things all the way through the food supply chain can be incredibly time consuming and complicated. Currently, most traceability information is not collected and stored in an easily accessible and centralized place. Because it is not all located in one place, right now, it can be very difficult to quickly trace a food or ingredient back to its original source.

Imagine a situation like the recent E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce. While the CDC was able to identify that romaine lettuce was the carrier of the harmful bacteria, for a while, no one knew from where this romaine lettuce came. Without a solid answer and just in time for Thanksgiving, the CDC’s initial advisory that ALL romaine lettuce be thrown away was very general. Let’s be real, though, who actually wastes valuable stomach space on salad at Thanksgiving dinner?  The process of tracing the tainted lettuce back to its original source (aka: where it was grown) is difficult because not only are there more than 1500 lettuce farms in the US, but, even a simple product like lettuce can pass through many hands (distributors, farms, etc.)  before it makes it to the store.

Eventually, the CDC was able to trace the outbreak source to a small region and is currently evaluating several farms there. In light of the scale and severity of this (and other) outbreaks, there has been a push for enhanced traceability in the food supply chain using…you guessed it: blockchain! Blockchain’s benefits to traceback and securing the food system has become so popular that both Forbes and Wired have addressed the issues as it pertains to food outbreaks and making our food system safe!

How could blockchain enhance traceability and what does that mean to me?

First off, blockchain has the potential to simplify food traceability by virtue of collecting data in one system that is mutually owned by all participants in the chain.  This allows all parts of the food supply or food system to “talk” to one another, creating a more harmonious, transparent, and accountable system: from the grower, to the packing house, to the distributor, to the markets, all the way up to YOU as the consumer.  And because all the information on how items travel through the supply chain is centralized and linked together, tracing something back to any point in the supply chain can take just minutes instead of days or weeks.

Is blockchain being used in the food industry now?

Because it is an emerging technology, blockchain is still making its way into actual practice for many companies.   One company that has widely publicised their commitment to blockchain is, Walmart. Through its new Food Safety Initiative, Walmart is working very closely with IBM Food Trust, to develop traceability capabilities (fun rhyme!) utilizing blockchain technology. This is actually a huge deal because Walmart is starting to demand that their food suppliers, like the companies that provide their stores with leafy greens, use blockchain-enabled technology themselves.   Other food-related start-ups, organizations, and initiatives like Goodr, Uber Eats, new food technologies, and the IFT Global Food Traceability Center are promoting and using blockchain technologies. .

Despite all its benefits, the integration of blockchain into the food industry still has a ways to go. As with most technologies, there is always an adaptability curve.  Most importantly, this technology needs to remain economically viable and also attainably accessible by all players throughout the supply chain. Nonetheless, blockchain shows incredible promise to enhance the way the food industry does business and improve the end product for the consumer.

For more dives and thoughts on all this, please refer to some other links at Food Safety News  and NeurochainTech.

You can also watch the now FDA Commissioner (but previously head of safety at Walmart), Frank Yiannias, discuss the Walmart Food Safety Initiative.


Matt

Matt is a PhD student at Ohio State, where he also finished his B.S. and M.S. degrees in food science.  His current research aims to understand how berries might impact oral health.  Outside of the lab, Matt enjoys cooking (that’s a given!), outdoorsy activities, and getting his hands on as many sweets as possible! (Follow him on Twitter! @teeinthegarden)

 

Lily

Lily L Yang (mind the “L”), consistently refers to herself in the 3rd person. Her magnificent Taiwanese hair – which has a life and body of its own hails from the great state of California. She once received a B.S. in Food Science from UC Davis before working for a few years at the USDA. Currently a PhD candidate – after obtaining a MS in Food Science – at Virginia Tech studying Food Science (specializing in food safety / food microbiology, risk communication / assessment, consumer behavior, and E. coli  in beef), Lily consumes inordinate amounts of food (usually noodles or dumplings), while randomly lifting heavy things and putting them down on an X, Y, and Z axis, while also simultaneously perusing the world wide interwebs for fabulously adorable pictures of puppies, hedgehogs, bunnies, bumblebees, Catbugs, Perry, and other such delightful fluffy things! Hellbent on world domination, Lily will endlessly rage to music +180bpm. (Follow her on Twitter! @glozu4ia)

Kombucha: The Fungus in Your Tea

For the uninitiated, kombucha, a slightly sweet, slightly acidic, carbonated beverage made from fermented tea, may not sound like an appetizing beverage. But some enthusiastic supporters claim that it is a miracle elixir, reporting that kombucha aids digestion, gives relief from arthritis, acts as a laxative, prevents microbial infections, helps in combating stress and cancer, and vitalizes the physical body.

A simple Google search for “kombucha health benefits” reveals more extreme conceptions about kombucha: that it is spiritually cleansing, comes from outer space, is a natural psychic defense against negative energies and protects from evil thoughts. In this article we will go into a little detail on the background of kombucha, how kombucha is made, and whether its suggested health benefits stand up to science.

Kombucha is made by fermenting sugared tea with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (scoby). This scoby is also referred to as a kombucha mushroom or tea fungus and is similar to the “mother” used to make vinegar.IMG_3630

Pictured: Kombucha beverage with scoby

Kombucha is sold worldwide in retail stores and online, usually in refrigerated, single-serve bottles. It can also made at home using a starter culture, sugar, and tea. Black tea and white sugar are the preferred substrates for preparation, but green tea can also be used. Fermentation gives the kombucha tea a lightly sparkling fruity sour flavor after a few days and a stronger vinegar flavor after prolonged incubation. While some enjoy the pleasant carbonated acidic beverage, others find it to be too strong; a large variety of flavored kombuchas including ginger, cherry, and guava have been formulated to appeal to varying taste preferences.

Food historians believe kombucha originated in in northeast China, in Manchuria, in 220 B.C. This “Divine Che” was prized during the Tsin Dynasty for its detoxifying and energizing properties. Kombucha is thought to have been given its name when a physician named Kombu brought the tea fungus from China to Japan. It was later traded to Russia and Eastern Europe and became popular in Germany and France in the 1950s. In the 1960s Swiss scientists reported that drinking kombucha was as beneficial as eating yogurt, which helps explain the health hype of kombucha today.  

Home-brewed kombucha is traditionally fermented for a week in gallon-sized glass containers.  During fermentation, the scoby floats as a cellulosic pellicle layer on top of the tea. The scoby consists of acidophilic yeast and acetic acid bacteria embedded in a microbial cellulose layer. The exact microbial composition of kombucha varies depending on the source of the inoculum but is guaranteed to contain various species of Acetobacter including Acetobacter xylinium. During fermentation, A. xylinum produces a thin cellulose film where the cell mass of bacteria and yeasts is attached, enhancing the association between the bacteria and fungi. 

During the brewing process, a new “daughter” tea fungus is formed at the tea surface while the “mother” is submerged below. The Internet abounds with a variety recommended uses for excess mother scobys including facials, smoothies, candy, pet food, compost, and crafts.  The cellulose matrix produced by A. xylinium is also the basis for the chewy Filipino delicacy “nata de coco.” A. xylinum cellulose mats have also shown potential as a novel wound healing system.

As the tea ferments, scoby microbes break down the black tea ingredients and sucrose to produce acetic, lactic, gluconic, and glucuronic acids, ethanol, and glycerol. Kombucha fermentation also produces B-vitamins—scientists found that kombucha contains 161% more vitamin B1 and 231% more vitamin B12 than unfermented sweetened black tea. The final composition and concentration of metabolites depends on the fermentation length, sugar concentration, and the tea fungus itself. Essentially, the yeast cells break down sucrose into fructose and glucose and then metabolize these sugars, mainly fructose, to make ethanol and carbon dioxide. The acetic acid convert the metabolized glucose into gluconic acid and the ethanol into acetic acid. The caffeine and xanthines in tea help A. xylinium stimulate cellulose synthesis. Ethanol and acetic acid are both antimicrobial agents, protecting the tea fungus from contamination.

Yeasts and bacteria in kombucha are involved in metabolic activities that utilize substrates by different and complementary ways. Yeasts hydrolyze sucrose into glucose and fructose by invertase and produce ethanol via glycolysis, with a preference for fructose as a substrate. Acetic acid bacteria make use of glucose to produce gluconic acid and ethanol to produce acetic acid. During fermentation the pH value of kombucha beverage decreases due to the production of organic acids.

Scientific studies suggest kombucha has probiotic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and detoxifying properties. However, all available research on kombucha was performed in cell or animal models. The lack of human clinical trials means it is impossible to truly substantiate whether these properties translate to real health benefits from regular kombucha consumption. (Read more about how important human studies are versus animal studies here)

Like sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, yogurt, and a number of other fermented foods, unpasteurized kombucha may contain good-for-you bacteria that can aid digestion and help maintain intestinal health. Kombucha tea fractions have been shown to reduce lung and prostate cancer cell invasion, motility, and survival. Microbes in scoby produce antioxidants from tea polyphenols that protect liver cells against oxidative damage. Due to its acetic acid and catechin content, kombucha has been shown to be effective in inhibiting both Gram positive and Gram negative pathogenic microorganisms. Kombucha also contains glucuronic acid, a compound known to react with toxins or carcinogens forming a glucuronide complex which can then be excreted, hence speeding the elimination of harmful compounds from the body. Glucuronic acid can also be turned into glucosamine, a beneficial substance associated with cartilage, collagen, and fluids related to the treatment of osteoarthirits.

     However, it bears repeating: these studies were all performed in vitro or in animal models—not in human clinical trials! There are therefore no proven benefits to consuming kombucha. Additionally, there are risks associated with kombucha. Consuming kombucha can result in an upset stomach, acidosis, and possible allergic reactions. The unpasteurized tea, while rich in probiotics, may also pose a food safety threat, particularly for those who are pregnant or have compromised immune systems. Even though the scoby protects itself against foreign microorganisms, contamination is always possible. Home fermentation carries an inherent risk and failure to take proper precautions with regards to sterility and acidification can lead to unwanted, harmful bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum. Adherence to strict preparation protocol, particularly maintaining a low pH, is necessary to avoid the risk of serious illness. Therefore any home-production of kombucha should be done with great caution.

        So, in the end, is kombucha truly a health drink? We may never know beyond anecdotal claims. Because kombucha is a living food and it changes from batch to batch, the scientific community is less likely to spend money researching its clinical effects. If you enjoy the taste, and have a healthy immune system, then drink commercial kombucha with pleasure, and homemade brews with caution. The probiotics and antioxidants may provide some small benefit as part of a healthy diet, but don’t expect that kombucha, by itself, will prevent or cure any illness.


 

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Erica graduated from University of Georgia with a master’s in Sensory Science. Her thesis project was on the emotions of coffee drinking with a focus on coffee connoisseurs. (Follow her on Twitter! @Ericalovesfood)

Understanding Processed Food

By Kathryn Haydon

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            “Don’t eat processed food!”

This is a common piece of advice for people who want to eat healthier to prevent diet-induced obesity and heart disease. But food scientists understand this advice as an over-simplification of a complicated issue, and we want to help you understand what processed food really is so that you can make more informed decisions in the grocery store.

Processing is any change made to a raw agricultural product after harvest.

Farms produce food, it’s true, but straight from the farm that food is a raw, sometimes inedible product. Although whole fruits and some vegetables can be eaten as-is, most foods are processed before they reach our grocery stores, restaurants, and home kitchens. Processing can be physical, such as sorting, washing, shelling/dehulling, peeling, milling, and chopping; thermal, such as freezing, cooking, drying, sterilizing/retorting, and pasteurizing; chemical, such as fermentation, salting, sweetening, and adding nutrients or preservative compounds; or transformative, whereby multiple ingredients are combined in prepared foods that don’t closely resemble their individual ingredients. (Packaging is also a form of food processing, but won’t factor into this post as much.) Most foods are subjected to several processes in these different categories before consumption. And as the level of processing increases in a food, the convenience of that food also tends to increase.

Before most food processing was done in factories in the developed world, all of this food processing was done by someonemostly women—in home kitchens. This is really important to remember, because the more you base your diet on minimally processed foods, the more processing you have to do yourself before the food is ready to eat. Today, no one in developed countries needs to mill their own flour, bake their own bread, churn their own butter, culture their own yogurt, boil their own chicken stock, can their own fruits and vegetables, or shell their own fresh peas, unless they want to! Such activities are typically reserved for upscale restaurants and food hobbyists on weekends. As a home cook and food hobbyist myself I spend 1-2 hours each weekday and up to 5 hours each Saturday and Sunday preparing food, but I still rely on basic processed foods like canned tomatoes, beans, and chicken broth, prepared breads and pasta, and milled rice, flour, and starches.

Processing is just a tool, and therefore it can be used for good or for ill, whether in a home kitchen, a restaurant, or a factory. For example:

Processing can degrade nutritional value or create toxins: Most wheat flour and rice are consumed after milling has removed the fibrous, nutrient-filled bran layer. Fruit juice, though still full of vitamins, provides all the sugar of fruit without the fiber that slows down absorption of that sugar into the blood stream. Acrylamide is a possible human carcinogen that is produced when frying potatoes. Nitrites are added to cured meats as preservatives, but are also associated with negative health effects.

Processing can enhance nutritional value and eliminate toxins: Government-mandated fortification of refined flour is credited with greatly reducing neural tube defects in developing infants. Flash-freezing vegetables prevents the loss of nutrients that begins immediately after harvest. Canning tomatoes boosts bio-available lycopene content. Parboiling rice transfers nutrients from the bran and hull into the starchy endosperm so even after milling it retains these vitamins. Treating corn with an alkaline solution makes the essential B3 vitamin niacin bio-available. One of the primary purposes of food processing is preservation by preventing microbial growth, and thermal and chemical processing can also neutralize natural plant toxins (see our video for more info!).

Processing can be used as a vehicle for high loads of sugar, salt, and fat: Some of the most highly processed foods in grocery stores are also nutritionally unbalanced to an extreme degree. Chips, crackers, cookies, candy, sugar-sweetened beverages, boxed prepared foods, and yogurt sweeter than ice cream: these are just a few examples of foods that will give you a lot of Calories without a lot of micronutrients, or fiber to promote healthy digestion. Most of the time when people say you shouldn’t eat processed food, this is what they’re talking about!

Processing can be used to make nutrient-dense foods more convenient and accessible: Canned vegetables, particularly beans and tomatoes, are faster to prepare than their fresh counterparts. Baby carrots, which are really whittled-down version of large carrots, are a great ready-to-eat snack. And by processing fruits and vegetables into more shelf-stable products, we can enjoy year-round variation in our diets.

Why would we ever process foods in ways that lead to nutrient loss or imbalance? The answer to that question comes down to palatability, functionality, and shelf-life. Consumers prefer white rice to brown, and we’ve also developed a strong preference for sweet foods, such that even savory items like jarred tomato sauces and whole-wheat bread contain added sugar to moderate acid and bitter flavors. Processing can also enhance final products; for example, white flour produces softer, more high-rising breads and baked goods, and hydrogenating plant oils prevents unsightly oil separation. Fresh foods spoil quickly, and many processes that strip nutrients also promote better storage, which ultimately reduces food waste. Every process we apply to food has costs and benefits.

Unfortunately, the mentality that processed foods = bad hasn’t given us less processed food as much as it’s given us reformulated processed foods. We eat “multigrain” pasta that still lacks whole-grain nutrition, brightly-colored sugary cereals made with “natural” flavors rather than artificial ones, and fruit snacks made from apple puree concentrate—which looks better on a label than “sugar” even though that’s what it is! These lateral moves in food composition haven’t given us more nutritious options. As long as our diets are primarily composed of high-Calorie, low-nutrient convenience foods, we won’t make meaningful steps to reduce preventable diseases.

From a food scientists’ perspective, the proper response is not to shun all industrially processed foods, abandoning modern life to devote yourself to food preparation. Rather, we need to rely on other criteria—Calories, macronutrient and macronutrient composition, fiber, and servings of fruits of vegetables—to choose the best whole and processed foods for healthy diets.

Eat processed foods, don’t eat the pseudoscience.

 

 


 

 

Kathryn

Kathryn is a native Texan with a B.S. in Biology from the University of North Texas, and is currently finishing her M.S. in Food Science at the University of Arkansas, where she will be starting a Ph.D. in Plant Science in August! She studies impacts of post-harvest processing on rice quality now, and will be studying the genetic basis of rice quality in the future. She spends way too much time snuggling with her cat, watching Netflix with her husband, and tweeting (@kathrynhaydon!). You wish you could come to her house for dinner tonight, because she’s probably cooking something delicious.