Many view Facebook as a useful tool for keeping up with friends, a place to post cute pictures of the kids, or a platform for a little humble bragging. Yet increasingly, Facebook is turning into a hub for alarmist mumbo jumbo and a repository of questionable science about the food we eat.
Here is just a sample of some of the more ridiculous food myths invading your Facebook feed:
• Organic food is more nutritious?
Want to save money at the grocery store? Put down the organic food. And here’s the good news: More affordable, non-organic food is perfectly healthy. In fact, according to researchers at Stanford University, there’s no nutritional difference between organic and conventional foods. A study from Oxford University also found no connection between eating organic food and lower rates of cancer. So, save money while eating healthy.
• Preservatives in food are dangerous?
Recently, some chain restaurants have announced plans to remove preservatives from the food they serve, implying this will make the food healthier. Yet, trace amounts of preservatives are nothing to worry about and they certainly aren’t dangerous. The Food and Drug Administration strictly monitors, regulates and continues to study the safety of food preservatives to ensure consumer safety.
As the name indicates, preservatives are used to “preserve” food, thereby keeping it fresh longer and protecting it from bacteria, which can cause food poisoning. So don’t be fooled by this silly marketing strategy. High calorie, high fat, fast food is still high calorie, high fat food — with or without the preservatives. Make good and healthy decisions when eating out and ignore the marketing nonsense.
• Antibiotic-free meat and milk is better?
Like humans, animals get sick and require medicine. Animals often benefit from being given antibiotics for infections and other illnesses. Food activists want this practice to stop. Yet, consumers should know that the USDA requires animals that receive medication go through a “withdrawal” period before that animal is processed. The USDA monitors all meat, poultry and eggs to ensure these products remain free of antibiotic residue. The FDA also requires testing of milk—at the farm—to ensure it is free of antibiotic residue. So, let’s give farmers the tools to keep their animals healthy and pain free.
• GMOs should be labeled?
Did you know that genetically modified foods are already labeled? Food with the “organic” label cannot contain GMOs. Despite this, some food activists want additional GMO labels on food. Consumers should know: This will increase their food costs significantly. Some estimates put the cost at a $400 increase on food per year for the typical American family. So, remember non-GMO foods are already labeled so there’s no need for additional and costly food labels.