Myth Busters: What do we know about our food system?

Kosher, organic, fair trade, genetically engineered, natural, local, cage-free, fresh….. what does it mean?

Our BJFC16 opening session is meant to pique your interest in finding out what do you really know about the food you eat and the world in which we live? The workshops today delve deeper into this web of relationships that churn the system. We hope that you’ll come away from today empowered with information and pathways to action.

Please take a few minutes to answer the following questions as best you can (no google!). Feel free to compare answers with your neighbors. At the end of the day, enter your sheet into a raffle to win a prize (Free entry into next year’s food conference).


Which of the following is a TRUE statement regarding packaged baby carrots? (Choose all that apply)

a. They were introduced into the American market in the late 1980’s by a farmer in CA, at which point carrot consumption jumped almost 30%

b. They are immature and less nutritious than full grown carrots

c. They revolutionized the carrot industry, greatly increasing processing efficiency and reducing waste

d. Within the $1.3 billion fresh-cut vegetable category, they account for the largest share (about half) of supermarket sales


Toveling is used to describe:

  1. Derived from the Hebrew tov, good, it refers to a person who always has something nice to say
  2. Derived from the Hebrew tovel, immerse, it refers to immersing new, store-bought dishes in water and then saying a blessing to make them kosher
  3. The process of boiling bagels before baking them
  4. The practice of a married women immersing herself in a ritual bath


According to the USDA National Organic Program Standards the term “Organic” means that no sprays have been applied to the food.

False  or  True


The 2015 – 2020 USDA dietary guidelines were recently updated to include: 

  1. Healthy dieting guidelines including drinking more water and eating fewer calories from each food group
  2. A shift to a Mediterranean diet which is more plant based, including side dishes and fats
  3. A focus on eating patterns that include whole fruits, whole grains, bright colored vegetables, and limits on saturated fats, added sugar, sodium and alcohol
  4. Eat more Kale


Until January 1, 2015, the Massachusetts minimum wage for agricultural workers was:

  1. $1.60/hr
  2. $5.75/hr
  3. $7.25/hr (same as Federal minimum wage)
  4. $9/hr (same as Mass minimum wage)


Which of these statements about Family Table, are TRUE (choose all that apply):

  1. It is a new item at Jordan’s Furniture marketed towards large families
  2. A program of Jewish Family and Children’s Service, it is New England’s largest kosher food pantry which offers at home delivery service, done by volunteers of all ages.
  3. They have monthly distributions from their locations in Waltham, Marblehead, Canton and Sudbury
  4. There is a collection bin in every synagogue inside the interstate 95 belt, which gathers and supplies about 2/3 of the food they distribute


IPM is a philosophy and approach for managing pests, which incorporates biological, chemical and cultural control strategies. It stands for:

  1. Israeli Pesticide Management
  2. Insect Prevention Management system
  3. Individualized Preventative Maintenance
  4. Integrated Pest Management


When purchasing eggs, which label(s) mean that hens were not raised in cages? (Choose all that apply).

  1. USDA Certified Organic
  2. Free-range
  3. Animal Welfare Approved (AWA)
  4. Cage-Free
  5. Certified Humane


How do you know if a food is nutrient dense?

  1. It’s heavier than comparable foods or it’s similar counterpart.
  2. It yields more vitamins, minerals, protein, and other healthful nutrients as compared to another food options.
  3. It has the highest amount of calories per square inch, making the food compact.
  4. When subject to the water displacement test, it sinks faster than a high school physics text book


A label that signifies that a human food product does not contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) is:

  1. A non-GMO project verified symbol
  2. The kosher “hecksher,” of Earth Kosher, founded in 2004
  3. A USDA Certified Organic seal
  4. Products produced in the European Union, which mandates GMO labeling


Proposed changes to Nutrition Facts labels include: 

  1. Larger font, color-coding food labels based on their nutritive value, and addition of trans fats to the label.
  2. List percent of daily value first, serving size updated, and actual amount of vitamins and minerals listed.
  3. Breakdown of soluble and insoluble fiber, daily value listed before percent of daily value, sodium printed in bold.
  4. Grams of sugar listed before grams of fat.