Food Processing Facts

Food Processing deals with how some of the most common foods are put together and manufactured. Learn how hot dogs are made (if you dare) and what exactly is a Rice Krispy.


A food historian argues against our romanticizing of eating 'fresh, local food, like great-grandma did' while ignoring the toil involved in doing so.

Pass the cellulose! A Norwegian company is using renewable logging waste to replace saturated fat in hot dogs. It could help your health and the planet.

"All-natural" labeling offers a thin slice of reassurance to sandwich lovers who want to avoid nitrites and nitrates. But would deli meat be deli meat without them?

Your food might look perfectly fine on the plate, but silent ingredients — packaging chemicals — probably have seeped into it during storage. How do these substances affect your food?

Sometimes it seems as if processed meats (like the pastrami on your late-night sandwich) don't last long. But all those preservatives do serve a purpose — you'll be able to eat that pastrami days after your home-cooked chicken has gone bye-bye.

With its extended expiration date and super portability, it's no wonder people have been relying on dehydrated food for centuries. But is it any healthier for us?

Salt and MSG don't just make things taste saltier – they brighten the flavors of almost any food. But how can the same ingredient make chocolate taste sweeter, take the bitterness out of grapefruit and make cream soup taste thicker?

When it comes to certain foods, self-control is a near impossibility. You can eat and eat (and eat) without ever feeling full. And you have your brain to blame.

The next time you find yourself on the couch with your hand in an empty bag of chips, blame science. Researchers study exactly what it takes to keep you munching.

Pink slime mixed with ground beef certainly doesn't make for the most appetizing mental picture. But is it really as bad as it sounds? How frightened should we be?

Artificial sweeteners are in everything from soda to candy, and most people can't tell the difference between them and sugar. So what's the real deal?

Everybody loves Jell-O, but very few people know what it's made from. Here's a hint: Vegetarians, steer clear.

You want to make buttermilk, but you're not sure how to do it. Learn about how to make buttermilk in this article.

Natural and artificial food dyes are found in all types of foods. Learn whether children can be allergic to food dyes in this article.

Scientists sometimes modify plant DNA to create genetically modified foods that are resistant to diseases and pests. These pictures show different types of genetically modified food products.

From oysters to haggis, some foods are just plain unpleasant to look at. Check out this image gallery of unappetizing foods and be sure to keep a barf bag handy.

The key to any good apocalypse plan is a stash of foods that are loaded down with additives and preservatives. These five products probably won't survive an atomic blast, true, but you'll be much better off with them than with a crate of broccoli.

For one thing, the grocery cart has more germs on it than you'd encounter in a public bathroom. And for another, the fresh food may not really be fresh. What else don't they want you to know?

Grass-fed beef has been touted as being healthier, tastier, more humane and better for the environment than the cheaper corn-fed variety. But are the claims true, and are the pricier cuts of beef worth splurging on?

Some foods are easy to recognize on your plate, but what about a microscopic view? Check out this image gallery and try to see how well you know your foods up close and personal.

You would think that a simple solution for vegetarians would be to use a meat substitute in their diet that provides the same amount of protein without the use of animals. But is it appetizing -- or even safe to eat?

For your next meal, will you be dining on last night's leftovers or munching on moldy meats and fetid vegetables? How can you tell when it's time to throw out the leftovers? Don't trust your nose to tell you.

It's easy enough to peel food at home with hot water and a pan -- but surely the world's canned produce is peeled by some faster means? What is flash steaming, and how fast does it work?

Greenhouses have a rich and interesting history. They have been constructed in all shapes and sizes, but they have always served one main purpose -- to grow fresh fruits and vegetables year round.

How many famous prepackaged foods do you consume in a day? Spam, Twinkies and Wheaties are just a few of our favorites. Check out these pictures of delicious boxed foods.