Welcome to Dirt to Dinner!

Here at D2D, our goal is to bring awareness to the agricultural supply chain – something many of us don’t often think about when grocery shopping, preparing meals or taking out the trash. So let’s dig deeper to uncover the importance of healthy foods in our diet, understand how we impact the environment, debunk a few myths, and investigate anything else that hits our….plates!

The Ketogenic Diet: Fueling the Body with Fat

Should we be burning our fat for fuel? The Ketogenic Diet embraces healthy fats and asks you to kick carbs, sugar, and even some protein to the curb. It’s proven to be successful in very overweight patients, but what does the research say about long term potential, especially if you are not obese. Is this just another fad diet? Read on to find out…

Let’s Byte into Ag

There’s an increasingly widespread— and extremely important— ingredient in our global food system…It’s not a new nutrient. Not a preservative. Not a new flavoring. Not a new GMO.
And certainly not another other food ingredient….

Agave: Too Good to be True

Agave nectar is a popular sweetener that many people use in order to replace sugar. We did some digging into this sweet nectar to find out exactly how it is processed and if it is in fact better for you than ordinary table sugar. What do you think we found out?

The Bright Side of Carbon Dioxide

While we are constantly inundated with the potentially dire consequences of climate change, what we don’t hear about is how increased levels of carbon dioxide actually helps plants grow. Trees and crops thrive on CO2 and grow faster and better with more carbon in the air. This CO2 fertilization effect has positive implications to help feed our growing population.

Kefir, Kombucha, and Sauerkraut…Oh My!

Probiotics are not just limited to Kefir or Kombucha, but gut health is very important!

Water, Water…Everywhere?

Farmers are relying on technology to grow our food more efficiently and with less water. D2D was curious about these water-saving technologies and whether they can help keep our rivers, lakes, and groundwater intact for future generations.

Soil: It is much more than Dirt

Have you ever thought about what lies beneath our feet? Soil is responsible for 95% of the food we eat and supports human life in multiple ways. Healthy Soil = Healthy Food = Healthy People. What is healthy soil and why do we care?

More Of The Good Guys…

Kombucha is a tasty tea-based, probiotic drink that has recently become extremely popular in the health-crazed market. This carbonated “cure-all” boasts the ability to regulate digestion, fight inflammation, and support a healthy immune system. But, are these health claims valid? Let’s find out…

Carbon: The Dance of Life

The recent debate over United States involvement in the Paris Agreement motivated the D2D team to look more closely at the changing climate and its effect on agriculture. Before we address climate change, we thought we would put CO2 under the microscope to understand the important role carbon dioxide plays in our food system.

Digging Deeper: Pasteurization

In our recent “Journey”, Milk: From Cow to Carton, the D2D team explored the process and production of of milk. A few of our readers have questioned why milk needs to be pasteurized. They heard that raw milk has superior nutritional benefits and are curious–what happens during the heating process of pasteurization? We decided to dig deeper into the important role pasteurization plays in the production of milk.

Did You Hear the Joke About the Germ?

We’re not telling— we don’t want to spread it around!
Many people may think they have a  “summer stomach bug” when it actually may be a germ from your kitchen.
Let’s get ready for BBQ season and stay safe from foodborne illnesses.

A Journey from Dirt to Dinner: Milk

Follow your milk from the dairy farm to the processing plant to the grocery store. From cow to cup!

Ancient Spice Gets New Reputation

Turmeric is everywhere! From supplements to golden latte to turmeric poached eggs—why all of a sudden has this spice jumped back onto the map?

Greek Yogurt: Wasting A-whey

The D2D team discovered that much of the milk used in the production of Greek yogurt doesn’t end up in the final yogurt product. Are there ways to repurpose this “acid whey”?

Waste Not, Want Not

Food loss and waste is a problem that hasn’t gone away. Despite aggressive efforts across the entire food supply chain— from the farm to food production and even your dinner plate— much more work needs to be done in order to deal with this important global problem. A significant portion of food waste occurs in our own kitchens! So, how can YOU help with this critical issue?

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has become an extremely popular “cure all,” that many believe has the ability to help fight weight gain, keep your gut healthy, regulate your stomach acidity, clear up your skin, stabilize blood sugar, and fight cancer cells. It sounds too good to be true. Is it…?

Is Salt worth its Salt?

Geologists call it Halite, chemists call it sodium chloride (NaCl)— the rest of us just call it salt.  Salt has a remarkable history, which dates back to the earliest civilizations. It is a vital component in the functioning of our bodies and it boasts over 14,000 known uses. You can cook, flavor and finish your food with fine, coarse or flakey salt, and select from white, grey, pink, red, black and even blue salts.  So, what should we make of all these choices? Is there a difference in taste or nutritional quality of the different salts? Lets take a look…

Got Milk?

Milk is a perfect and easy vehicle for many important nutrients. It is high in calcium, protein, essential fatty acids, and vitamins A, E, D, B2 and B12! But, recent concerns pertaining to the lactose and/or saturated fat content has made milk somewhat of a controversial food group. We’ve done some digging and there is certainly a lot to consider. Before you toss the carton, you might want to consider the health benefits…

Moguls on the Powder Run!

Protein is extremely important. It helps your body build muscle, repair issue, and creates important hormones and enzymes. While every person is different and may require different amounts of protein, one thing is for sure— we all need it. To make it easier to get protein, many consumers turn to protein supplements. But, do you know where these powders or products are coming from? The D2D team took a deeper look at some protein supplements—here is what we learned…

Food Safety at Farmers’ Markets

Summer is almost here! Soon farmers’ markets will be bustling as consumers flock to buy fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and even meat from local farmers. While we at D2D enjoy shopping at the occasional farmer’s market, we had to ask ourselves – what food safety regulation applies to the food there? The same as or different than the fruits and vegetables we buy at the grocery store?

The Fasting Program That May Prevent Age Related Diseases

New research has indicated that controlled fasting performed roughly twice a year may help keep your healthy cells healthy and enable your body to replace damaged cells. Is this another gimmick or new information that we should actually listen to? Before the media runs wild with this research, let’s find the facts…

CTRL+ALT+P…here comes your dinner!

When you think of eating a well-balanced, homemade meal full of fresh ingredients the last word that comes to mind is technology. Today, culinary experts are exploring how food can be… printed! Is it possible to print food that is fresh and tasty? Will our kitchens soon be equipped with printers?! Where is this new technology headed?

When is “Science” Truly Science?

The phrase “new research shows…” might not always give the most dependable health information. In this information age, we are constantly bombarded with and have easy access to copious amounts of info and data about health-related research findings including ones claiming to have supporting scientific evidence. But how do you know the scientific evidence is based on sound science? As consumers, its important to determine whether the findings of new scientific studies are reliable and which are not?

What’s the Buzz on Bees

Why are the bees dying and what is the solution? Agriculture and pollinators and are in a sticky situation. Many farmers depend on insecticides to protect or prevent their crops from chewing insects— but many crops depend on insects for pollination. Headlines shout, “without pollinators, we have no food!” And while that statement is absolutely true, the answer to the decline in honey bee and other pollinator populations involve a multitude of co-mingling factors and is much more complex than just the use of pesticides. So, what do you need to know about this issue? Here is the buzz…

Are You Chicken of Antibiotics?

Many of us would not be alive today without antibiotics. While antibiotics have certainly been a life – saver, there is also a downside to overuse. What is the healthy balance? And how do animals treated with antibiotics affect this balance? Many organizations often argue that giving animals antibiotics leads to human resistance. Is there any truth to this? Let’s find out…

What’s With Alkaline Water?

Water is the most important substance for the human body– it’s over 50% of our body mass. But does the type of water you drink make you healthier? Recently, alkaline water has become hugely popular in the U.S. It promises to balance out acidity in your body, help neutralize free radicals, and protect against osteoporosis. Is this true? Let’s find out…

Such a Waste!

What if, every day, you bought three bananas and threw one away? Approximately one-third of global food is wasted every year. If all of us reduced our food waste, we can help the global fight to feed a hungry and growing population. We can also preserve our natural resources and protect our environment.

Trading Beef

President Donald Trump’s stance on trade, specifically his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), gave us pause to think about how this new plan would affect one of the largest agricultural export markets in the U.S: Beef. With a market value of roughly 6 billion dollars, this market is easily influenced by matters of foreign policy. So, how will our farmers and the beef industry be affected by this new stance on trade?

Seasons Change…Your Produce Should Too!

As the seasons change, our produce options change as well. This happens to be optimal for your body. But, do you know what produce to buy and when? How to select fruit that is ripe and veggies that are fresh?

Do we need a Sugar Tax?

Sugar, and its overconsumption, is fueling the obesity epidemic in the United States as well as the countries adopting a Western Diet. In an attempt to create healthier humans, government agencies on the local and global level have proposed a sugar tax. But, would a tax really benefit the health of Americans or is it simply a disguise to collect additional revenue?

Let’s go to the MED!

What would it be like to “eat like a Mediterranean?” Recently, this approach to food has been touted as one of the most beneficial “diets” on the market. Can it help hopeful healthy-eaters enjoy a better relationship with their food?

Farming from the Thermosphere

With the advancement of drone and satellite technology, “precision farming” is taking on a whole new dimension. These technologies help farmers monitor their crops, track animal health, protect the environment, and save resources, like money and time. So, how are these tools used and where are they headed?

Ready for the RoundUp?

As the herbicide connected to GM crops, glyphosate is being shamed by environmental groups, claiming it can cause a host of terrible diseases including cancer, obesity, and even autism. Is the product that has been deemed safe for 40 years and is readily available at Home Depot and other garden stores really dangerous to our health?

The Lowdown on Antioxidants

What is an antioxidant? Do you know if your body needs antioxidants? If not— you are not alone! These days, millions of products are labeled as containing a strong source of antioxidants. But do you need to buy into the craze? Let’s find out…

The Powder Run

Do you throw protein powder in your morning breakfast drink? Or do you rely on protein powder to supplement your meals? The sports nutrition market is projected to reach 20 billion dollars in the United States by 2020. Clearly we are buying into the protein fad! But do our bodies actually need these supplements?

Do You Matcha?

Matcha green tea is the highest grade and most potent green tea available. Its nutritional profile boasts high antioxidants, a strong amino acid content, and a good source vitamins and minerals. So, we wanted to know what makes this so-called “superfood” so special? Should we be drinking matcha everyday?

The History of Genetically Modified Produce

The GMO controversy has spread from “big ag” corn and soybeans to fruits and vegetables. One-sided narratives from anti-GMO groups have made it difficult for the consumer to get completely unbiased information. We examined the history of genetically modified produce and asked the produce industry how they feel about GM crops.

Fat: Our New Friend!

Now is the time to start planning your New Year’s resolutions. If you are thinking about cutting down on fat, you might want to give this a quick read first!
Fat is not the four letter word it once was. Here is why…

Sugar is Sugar is Sugar!

Most of us eat two to three times more sugar than is recommended. What does this mean for your health? And what about the various types of sugar on the market—are there healthier options?

The Power of Plants

As the demand increases for new “meatless options”, we asked ourselves— should we be making a switch or simply incorporating more plant-based products into our diet?

An Unlikely Partnership: Agriculture + Social Media

Social media often influences a consumer’s buying behavior, loyalty to brands, and even opinions on the health content of a product. It has the power to elevate a brand’s stature and the power to bring a company to its knees. In terms of the food supply chain, social media has provided a means to demand transparency— and agricultural enterprises are responding.

CRISPR

CRISPR is a gene editing technology that is giving us a new look on how we can edit any living being by altering a gene. The possibilities are endless with CRISPR/Cas9. Let’s see how CRISPR is beginning to affect and enhance our agricultural food supply system.

Dear New York Times,

The New York Times recently published an article claiming “extensive examination” of the data provides evidence that genetically modified (GM) or engineered (GE) crops have not lived up to their most basic promises that they increased crop yields and reduced overall chemical pesticide usage. Dirt-to-Dinner summarizes the reaction to the article by respected researchers and scientists.

CocoNUTS

Coconuts as a “superfood” hit the mainstream food market in big way a few years ago, and the products are endless (water, oil, milk, juice, sugar, flour). Each product touts a dense nutritional content of antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals… is this true?

A “New” Burger

The protein staple that often occupies 50% of your dinner plate has turned from traditional beef, pork, or chicken to vegetable-based proteins and cultured meat. How is food technology influencing our protein options?

Crazy for Cocoa

How healthy is chocolate? How much (or how little) do you need to reap the nutritional benefits? Is it just dark chocolate or can it be found in other chocolate products as well?

GMOs – A Refresher

Through various non-GMO initiatives, GMOs have a pretty bad public reputation. But you have been mislead. Read on to learn all you need to know about GMOs.

The Challenges of Indoor Farming

Reducing environmental stress, economic prosperity, and the ability to provide local produce year round are some of the benefits of indoor farming. But what are the challenges? Why hasn’t more growing moved indoors?

What’s the Catch?

The fish on our plate often comes from all over the world, but we really have no knowledge of exactly where the fish spawned, swam, and was processed. Has the fish on your plate been caught or farmed sustainably? Was it fed a healthy diet before it was harvested?

Are You Inflamed?

Chronic inflammation has been labeled as one of the leading causes of long-term health issues. In order to protect ourselves against chronic inflammation we need to better understand how it is caused, how it negatively affects our health, and how to best avoid it.

Meet The ‘Ponics

Salad from a rooftop? Tomatoes grown in a warehouse? Microgreens in a freight car? Welcome to the new world of “‘Ponics” and indoor agriculture.

Nix The Toxins!

We are told to live in fear of toxins and their health effect on our bodies. But what is a toxin? How does our body process toxins? Let’s explore the different types of toxins and whether we need to worry.

How Safe is Our Food?

What is being done by the food industry and government agencies to keep you healthy and trust the food you buy?

A Sustainable Shrimp’s Tail

Shrimp is the most popular American seafood. But have you ever given any thought as to how it is farmed or caught?

Does Activated Charcoal Detoxify?

Activated charcoal is believed to be a detoxifier! But how much of this is factual and how much is strategic marketing?

Going…Going…Local!

How local is “local” food? Is it fresher? Better for us? Better for the environment? And the farmer?

Insects: A “New” Protein Source

Looking for a new protein option? Here is what you need to know.

Grass or Grain, Beef is Beef

Whether your meat was fed a grain based meal or foraged for grass, it is still a nutritious source of protein, B-complex vitamins, zinc, iron and phosphorus.

Produce Variety Helps Diet Variety!

New produce varieties lead to a more diverse diet — which is a good thing. So, how has our produce selection evolved…?

Where Do Our Fruits and Vegetables Come From?

Ever wonder where your fruits and vegetables come from? How are “seasonal” fresh fruits and vegetables readily available 365 days a year?

Let The Hens Out! Cage Free Eggs

By 2025, the US egg supply will be predominantly cage free. How are chicken producers responding to consumer demand for transparency? What does this mean for the welfare of the chicken?

The Atkins Diet – Does it Work?

While the Atkins Diet may help you shed some quick pounds, is your overall body health benefitting from the program?

Your Second Brain: Gut Microbiota

We are being told that our gut is our second brain! Is this true? And if it is, are probiotics the intelligence behind the brain?

Is There a Nutritional Difference between Organic and Conventional Produce?

Is organically grown produce more nutritious than produce that is grown conventionally?

Skin: Your Body’s Largest Organ

Skin is your body’s largest organ. Like the rest of your body, it needs the proper protection and nutrients to stay healthy.

Why Do We Need Pesticides?

Concerned by the toxicity of pesticides used in conventionally grown fruits and vegetables? Why do we even need pesticides?

The Regulatory Approval Process for Pesticides

The US EPA regulates pesticides (used in both conventional and organic farming) by a rigorous process that is designed to protect human health.

Supplements: Natural or Synthetic?

With a few exceptions—such as vitamin E, natural beta-carotene, and vitamin B12—all of the vitamins used in dietary supplements are synthetic.

Why Take a Vitamin?

It can be next to impossible to get all the micronutrients you need in your daily diet. Supplements are important to ensure you reach the daily recommended amount of vitamins.

Conventional…or Organic?

While a product labeled as “USDA Organic” has met a strict standardized set growing practices, “conventional agriculture” (which still produces the majority of our nation’s food) is strictly regulated as well.

The Red Wine Diet

A glass of red wine is the equivalent to an hour in the gym? That cannot be real—can it?

GMO Labeling is Pointless

Our food is safer than ever before. The FDA, USDA, WHO, EFSA, and even the EPA have all indicated that GMOs pose no human health or environmental risk.

Wild vs. Farmed Salmon

You will be making a healthy choice whether you choose wild salmon or farmed salmon. Just look for the ASC or MSC labelling to make sure you are eating fish that has been raised, or caught, with the safest and healthiest sustainable practices.

The 5:2 Diet

While you may need to jump start your system with an extreme diet, long term weight loss is really only successful if you develop and maintain healthy eating habits.

Debunking the Gluten Myth

Gluten is a protein found in wheat. Before you write off the label as ‘bad for you’—you might want to see what you’re sacrificing…

Understanding the Paleo Diet

While keeping Paleo can help you maintain a diet free of both additives and preservatives, eliminating entire food groups probably isn’t the way to go.

Investigating the “Natural” Label

Labeling food as “natural” is often more of a marketing ploy than anything else. Guess what, foods without the “natural” label can still be good for you…

Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load

Glycemic load is calculated by taking a foods glycemic index, multiplying it by the carbohydrate content (measured in grams) and divided by 100. The glycemic load is actually more reliable than the glycemic index.

Polystyrene – The Other Plastic

While it is important to be aware of your plastic use, you need to understand the point at which these plastics become harmful. How much is too much? 90,000 milligrams per person, per day.

Should We Eat Wheat?

Eliminating an entire food group will ultimately result in rapid weight loss, however this is not sustainable. Whole grain is an important part of your daily nutrition and while you don’t want to have a big bowl of pasta every day, eating a well balanced meal, which includes wheat, is healthy.

The Truth about Cleansing

There are no known long term health benefits to cleansing. And if we’re being honest, juice cleansing doesn’t taste or feel that great… So, do you really need to starve yourself with green juice to detoxify your body?

Understanding GMOs: The Big Picture

Genetically modified crops help our farmers produce more food per acre, and help reduce water use and pesticides. For all these benefits, why are they so heavily scrutinized?

Different Kinds of GMOs

No doubt GMOs are complicated and hard to understand. But they help farmers use fewer chemicals and less water. GMOs also have the potential to add nutritional content to food.

BPA: Harmful or Harmless?

The Dirt: Is BPA harmful? Not if you are smart about your plastics!...

Is Red Meat Carcinogenic

The World Health Organization released a statement saying red meat consumption should be limited as it is considered carcinogenic. But before you ditch the steak or even occasional bacon, we need to take a closer look at the studies behind this statement and whether the potential risk is something to worry about…

Latest Posts

Sustainable Agriculture provides transparency to how food is grown and processed and will investigate sustainable and future agricultural practices.

Food Ingredients examines food labeling and separates myths from facts at the grocery store.

Health & Diet investigates healthy foods and diets.

Let’s Byte into Ag

Let’s Byte into Ag

There’s an increasingly widespread— and extremely important— ingredient in our global food system…It’s not a new nutrient. Not a preservative. Not a new flavoring. Not a new GMO.
And certainly not another other food ingredient….

read more
More Of The Good Guys…

More Of The Good Guys…

Kombucha is a tasty tea-based, probiotic drink that has recently become extremely popular in the health-crazed market. This carbonated “cure-all” boasts the ability to regulate digestion, fight inflammation, and support a healthy immune system. But, are these health claims valid? Let’s find out…

read more
The Ketogenic Diet: Fueling the Body with Fat

The Ketogenic Diet: Fueling the Body with Fat

Should we be burning our fat for fuel? The Ketogenic Diet embraces healthy fats and asks you to kick carbs, sugar, and even some protein to the curb. It’s proven to be successful in very overweight patients, but what does the research say about long term potential, especially if you are not obese. Is this just another fad diet? Read on to find out…

read more
The Bright Side of Carbon Dioxide

The Bright Side of Carbon Dioxide

While we are constantly inundated with the potentially dire consequences of climate change, what we don’t hear about is how increased levels of carbon dioxide actually helps plants grow. Trees and crops thrive on CO2 and grow faster and better with more carbon in the air. This CO2 fertilization effect has positive implications to help feed our growing population.

read more
Digging Deeper: Pasteurization

Digging Deeper: Pasteurization

In our recent “Journey”, Milk: From Cow to Carton, the D2D team explored the process and production of of milk. A few of our readers have questioned why milk needs to be pasteurized. They heard that raw milk has superior nutritional benefits and are curious–what happens during the heating process of pasteurization? We decided to dig deeper into the important role pasteurization plays in the production of milk.

read more
Agave: Too Good to be True

Agave: Too Good to be True

Agave nectar is a popular sweetener that many people use in order to replace sugar. We did some digging into this sweet nectar to find out exactly how it is processed and if it is in fact better for you than ordinary table sugar. What do you think we found out?

read more
Water, Water…Everywhere?

Water, Water…Everywhere?

Farmers are relying on technology to grow our food more efficiently and with less water. D2D was curious about these water-saving technologies and whether they can help keep our rivers, lakes, and groundwater intact for future generations.

read more
Did You Hear the Joke About the Germ?

Did You Hear the Joke About the Germ?

We’re not telling— we don’t want to spread it around!
Many people may think they have a  “summer stomach bug” when it actually may be a germ from your kitchen.
Let’s get ready for BBQ season and stay safe from foodborne illnesses.

read more

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