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No Substitute for Education When Forming Views on Food Ingredients

iStock/Thinkstock(ITHACA, N.Y.) -- Want to be a smarter, savvier consumer, especially when it comes to shopping for food?

Cornell University researcher Brian Wansink recommends educating yourself, rather than taking everything at face value from the Internet.

Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Labs, says that too often these days, people base their opinions of additives such as MSG, sodium benzoate and pink slime on others’ opinions, whether right or wrong, that are found on social media sites.

In a study of a thousand moms in the U.S., those who were worried about the effects of high-fructose corn syrup tended to get their information from the Internet instead of TV and were more prone to share their fears with others.

Meanwhile, the same group was asked to rate the safety of the sweetener Stevia by either being given a summation of its history or no information at all. Generally, those who got the background information gave Stevia a higher health ranking.

Again, Wansink contends that to get the real story about food ingredients, “Learn the science, history and the process of how the ingredient is made.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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