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.

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Nuts are born, dry roasted and salted, in a can on the grocery store shelf, right? Not exactly. You might be surprised at what they look like before humans get ahold of them.

By Laurie L. Dove

Hot dogs are about as American as baseball and apple pie. You know you love them, but do you know what's actually in them?

By Sarah Gleim

Canned foods are super convenient, but there's often a stigma attached to serving them. Is that warranted?

By Shaun Chavis

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

By Dave Roos

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.

By Maria Trimarchi

"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?

By Alison Cooper

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?

By Laurie L. Dove

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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.

By Laurie L. Dove

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?

By Clint Pumphrey

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?

By Dave Roos

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.

By Debra Ronca

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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.

By Debra Ronca

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?

By Denise Harrison

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?

By Emilie Sennebogen

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

By Linda C. Brinson

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

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

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.

By Amanda Arnold

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.

By Alison Cooper

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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?

By Debra Ronca

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?

By Jessika Toothman

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.

By Marianne Spoon

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?

By Emilie Sennebogen

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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.

By Chris Obenschain

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?

By Jessika Toothman