Process This:

Information about the food we eat surrounds us, yet much of it is low on evidence and high on hype. To help counter this misinformation, our team of self-proclaimed “food nerds” is focused on the facts. We cut through the clutter, sharing the science behind the food that lands in our carts, homes and bellies.

It’s no secret that some processed foods are calorie-dense and contain greater amounts of sugar, salt and fats than are recommended. Overconsumption of these foods in our diets can increase our risk of chronic disease including diabetes and obesity.

But science also shows us that modern food production and processing techniques contribute to the availability of safe, affordable, nutrient-dense and healthful foods. So the next time you encounter something about a food that makes you pause, process the science behind it!

Vegans may have a difficult time getting enough daily protein and other essential vitamins and minerals. Tofu is a plant-based, protein-rich food that is created by soaking, mashing and processing soybeans. It is a good option to help vegans meet their nutrient needs.
Individuals with celiac disease should not consume gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Thanks to modern food production technology, nutritious and gluten-free options of many common foods are available for those who need to follow a gluten-free diet.

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Fortification of the U.S. food supply began in the early 20th century to combat a variety of nutritional deficiencies and conditions. This type of food processing has prevented many diseases and conditions such as goiter, neural tube defects and rickets.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a common leavening ingredient used in breads and baked goods. In the dough, Saccharomyces cerevisiae breaks down sugars and produces carbon dioxide gas, which helps the dough to rise and produces a fluffy final product.
Xanthan gum is a common ingredient used in sauces, dressings, beverages, yogurt and other foods. It can replace some of the fat in foods, while maintaining a smooth and creamy texture.
Although vitamin E supports metabolism, heart health and immunity, this micronutrient is also commonly used as a preservative to extend the shelf-life of processed foods. When added to foods, vitamin E is listed as alpha-tocopherol.
The world’s population is projected to reach 9 billion by 2050, and the food supply must be able to meet these needs. Through modern farming practices, including GMOs and precision agriculture, the food supply will be better equipped to feed a growing global population.
Food waste is a significant problem and negatively impacts the environment and other important resources. Food waste can be greatly reduced by processing foods into canned, dried or frozen options, which safely extends the shelf life of these foods.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting saturated fat intake to less than 10 percent of total calories and replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fats. Vegetable oils such as canola and olive oil are heart-healthy options that contain unsaturated fats and other micronutrients.