Organic Foods & Products
2012-03-01 08:56:22 JohnMckenzie
Juicing is a good way to get your daily dose of vegetables and fruits without eating them. You can gain some valuable insights here about how to get started juicing with healthy, natural, and easy methods.
When trying new veggies in your juicing routine, only try one new one for each batch. If you have a bad reaction to the juice, you’ll want to know exactly what caused it, so that you’ll know not to put that vegetable in any future juices.
You can overcome constipation with juicing. Try foods such as beetroot, cabbage, figs, brussels sprouts or lettuce. These can help in clearing out your system. If constipation is a recurring issue, drinking juices regularly will help you regulate your system. Juicing can provide solid ground to expand your health and diet from. You can make this the foundation of your diet if you wish to.
When you are juicing fruits, do not go with anything that is overly sweet. Sugary fruits taste good, but they have a lot of sugar and can raise your blood sugar. If sugar is a concern, consider using vegetables for juicing. Vegetable juice has a great taste but a much lower sugar content. It is okay to have these fruits on occasion, but it is wise to stay away from them for the most part.
The pulp is beneficial to you since it has fibers and proteins that are not found in the juice. Pulp is rich in dietary fiber, an important element for a healthy diet. It is up to you how much pulp to use, but your body will benefit from any extra bit of fiber you take in.
If you are feeling tired or achy due to the aging process, consider juicing as a great add-on to your life for a nice boost of energy! The nutrients in fresh juice can fight symptoms of aging like joint pain, memory loss and cell death.
Never use juice as a meal substitute. While thick, hearty juices make nutritious snacks, they have almost no fat and very little protein, so they do not provide enough energy for your body. However, drinking juice before you eat a meal can keep you from eating too much of other, less healthy foods.
When juicing for the health benefits, look to using ingredients from greens such as: broccoli, chard, parsley, kale and spinach for the greatest effectiveness. For the healthiest juices, use mostly greens and then add other vegetables or fruit for flavoring. You will find that juice extracted from fruit contains more sugar and is less beneficial than that extracted from green vegetables.
As said previously, juicing can help with nutrition in a tasty way. By following the tips in this article, you can begin enjoying the delicious way to a healthier life through juicing.
2012-02-23 13:06:56 DonnyMurra
The dream of being totally self sufficient and living off the fat of the land is impractical at best but we can at the very least grow some of our own fruit and vegetables. The extent to how you can do this could very well depend on the dimensions of your garden and along with a little imagination, you can soon begin to reap the benefits of your efforts. In the past, everyone was more dependent on being able to grow their own produce. We now live in a world of superstores and online shopping therefore it is not required anymore. Nevertheless, more people are beginning to revisit some of these traditional values and we will now look at the advantages of growing your own fruit and vegetables.
The first major benefit of growing your own produce is the money you can save and this is becoming important as the world economy changes. Any time our economy is in its erratic state, our food costs will climb or we experience a shortage of one thing or another. But growing your own vegetables is comparatively easy and can have a positive impact on your family budget. It truly is very satisfying to know that your food is something you produced yourself and did not cost a whole lot to make it.
During the past several years, the organic food market has been developing traction and you are probably seeing more and more organic produce in your local supermarket. There have been many studies conducted that show the benefits of organic food in terms of our health and general well being. One drawback, however, might be the cost and if you are on a tight budget it could be that you need to keep your outgoings down. Also, we usually aren’t sure if the requirements that make a product certified organic are strict enough. These problems can be easily conquered by simply raising your own fruits, herbs and vegetables.
As we begin to hunt for natural health solutions, we are additionally looking at the foods that we eat everyday to see how fresh and how safe they are. A lot of us want to make a conscious effort to be sure that the food we consume is stuffed with essential nutrients. We are all conscious of the use by dates that you observe on foods but this has nothing to do with ensuring that we eat food when it is most nutritious. The question we have to ask is the amount of time the food has been stored for before it ends up on the display units in shops. Plus we have no idea if produce we see in the supermarket was picked at the peak of freshness or picked so that it would look fresh by the time it reached the store. If you happen to grow your own, you can actually pick these fresh from your garden at the optimum time to give you the nutrients in their most natural state.
In addition to the savings and health benefits, you will also delight in growing them so don’t delay, start growing your own vegetables and fruits today.
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2012-02-21 10:52:46 JedSanders
With more attention being given to the freshness of produce, many people are experimenting with different methods of growing their own vegetables at home. People who are wishing to cultivate their own vegetables often ask how to grow potatoes in a container. Growing potatoes yourself in this way can be a very rewarding and simple project, in addition to being great fun for the kids. In this article, we will discuss how you can set up your very own potato containers at home.
There are a number of benefits to growing your potatoes in a container. Firstly, you will find it much easier to keep an eye on your investment. With all your growing being done in a box, you will discover that there is far less to worry about in the way of pests and weeds. You will also find that you can enjoy more versatility in the kinds of potato that you can successfully grow.
One important point to consider is that you need to be especially careful to monitor the amount of water you give your plants. While it is important to keep the dirt damp, it is also critical that you do not use too much water, because this can cause the potatoes to rot. By checking the dirt in your container frequently, you will be able to maintain the correct balance.
To start out, you will need to get hold of some seed potatoes. The problem with using any given potato from a store is that they are likely to have been treated in order to prevent sprouting. Ask around to see where you can source seed potatoes, or organic potatoes since these will not have been chemically treated and will likely still sprout for you.
Almost anything will suffice for your container, so long as it will be big enough to accommodate your growing plants. Whatever kind of material you choose, whether it is plastic or cardboard, you will need to ensure your container has good drainage. This can be accomplished simply by piercing the bottom in multiple locations.
Your container will need to be filled with good quality potting soil with a minimum depth of about 4 inches. Mixing in some fertilizer will also help promote the growth of your potatoes. Make sure that your seed potatoes are covered by at least two inches of soil. All that you need then is to monitor how much moisture is in the soil, and ensure that your new plants are getting somewhere between 6 and 8 hours of sunshine.
2012-01-02 16:28:05 admin
Several recent studies on farms which produce organic foods determined that organic farms don’t release synthetic pesticides into the ground, the air and, most importantly, the water table. Some of the inorganic, chemical pesticides are known to be harmful to wildlife and other animals. Organic farms also are superior to conventional farms when it comes to maintaining surrounding natural ecosystems. This includes, maintaining healthy populations of natural plants, insects and indigenous animals. They also rotate crops more often to maintain a healthy soil.
When researchers calculated the energy use per unit area or per unit of yield of organic food-producing farms, it was found that organic farms used less energy and generated less packaging and chemical waste than conventional produce farms. The yield in organic produce farms is about 20 percent less when those farms used half the fertilizer and 97 percent less pesticide than conventional farming. Others feel that organically-used soil is of a higher quality and maintains higher water retention than farms that raise produce conventionally. This factor may improve the yield of organic farms during years when rainfall is less than average.
In one study on organic farming techniques, a comparison of an organic farm and a conventional farm during a drought season, the yields of soybeans were between 50 and 90 percent better than the regular farms. Organic corn yields were mixed but, on average, the farms were on par with conventional farms.
Consider the risk of pesticide exposure on farm workers. Farm workers on organic farms are spared the health risks of being exposed to pesticides, which are great, even when used correctly. Pesticides made from organophosphates, in particular, can cause serious acute health problems with over-exposure. Long term exposure, unfortunately, is associated with breathing problems, memory problems, skin conditions, cancer, miscarriages and birth defects.
To make matters worse, those who eat food not grown in an organic fashion can be exposed to both pesticides and herbicides that remain on the food. This is why all produce from conventional farms should be washed carefully. Exposure to certain herbicides is known to cause birth defects, even in small doses. Sadly, one recent study showed that the greatest source of pesticides in babies is through the dietary consumption of food not grown in an organic fashion.
On a happier note, another study found that a group of children who were switched from a regular diet to an organic diet dramatically reduced their levels or organophosphate pesticide exposure. In addition, studies have shown that organic food actually tastes better in taste tests than conventional food.
If you want to keep your family as healthy as possible, consider making the switch to organic foods. The benefits to the environment and likely to your family’s health are considerable.
2012-01-02 12:20:13 admin
While both types of produce may look the same, organic foods must be able to meet specific standards of production, including specific growing and processing conditions that are unique to foods that can be labeled “organic”. For crop foods, the organic foods can’t be grown using any chemical pesticides, non-organic fertilizer, human waste fertilizer or sludge from sewage. They also cannot be processed using ionizing radiation–a process that kills bacteria but that some people believe is unsafe. Finally, the food can’t be genetically altered.
At one point, organic foods were grown on small farms, particularly those that were family-owned and operated. In today’s time, however, organic foods are grown on larger farms and are more readily available in most supermarkets, co-ops and health food stores. In the US, parts of Europe and Japan, the production of organic foods is currently federally regulated and in other countries, specific organic certification is required before these foods can be sold.
Organic foods can include fresh vegetables and fruits, which are not processed and come directly from the growers through farmer’s markets, supermarkets and roadside stands. Many of these products are only available during certain times of the year. One can also get organic eggs, dairy products and meat in their fresh and unprocessed forms.
Organic eggs are generally provided by free-range chickens and not from those kept in cages in large, egg factories. Organic meats must not come from animals that have been treated with any growth hormones, steroids or antibiotics. Processed organic foods can be found in the organic food section of the supermarket but often are more expensive than their conventional food counterparts. Processed organic foods can include canned products, frozen produce, prepared items and even snack foods.
In truth, processed organic foods need only contain a certain percentage of organic ingredients. In Australia, for example, a food can be labeled “organic” if it contains at least 95% organic ingredients. In other countries, however, the percentage can be less than that. Even so, those non-organic ingredients must be free of artificial food additives and no aspect of the food can be processed using chemical ripening techniques, genetic modification or irradiation. In some cases, the organic food must be made using energy-saving techniques and packaged in recyclable or biodegradable
It’s not always easy to identify whether or not your food is truly organic. Sometimes, you need to buy directly from an organic grower in order to be certain the food is organic. More recently, however, foods that are organic can be identified by governmental labeling, stating that the food is “certified organic”.
Because of the safety and wholesomeness of organic foods, you may wish to do you and your family a favor by buying only organic products. The food tastes excellent and you can be assured you’re getting a product that won’t be harmful to you.
2016-08-29 14:43:45 kevinsantoro
2016-08-28 13:26:11 CliffWalsh
I’ve been hearing about the Paleo Diet for a while. I knew it was based around whole foods, but I didn’t know much else about it. As it turns out, I’ve been eating a very similar diet for a while. I would like to take the opportunity to introduce the Paleo Diet, its benefits, and a few recommendations on how to enhance it.
The purpose of the Paleo Diet is to take eaters back to the natural diet of our ancestors before grains, added sugar, artificial preservatives and sweeteners, pesticides, genetically-modified organisms were loaded into or onto our foods, and gluten and dairy intolerances were nonexistent.
The Paleo Diet eliminates all refined and processed foods due to the chemical additives and often poor nutritional content. It is a whole foods diet. The significant rise in use of processed foods, which are loaded with fat, salt, and sugar, are a huge reason behind the rise in obesity and disease in this country. Eliminating processed foods will have a huge impact on your diet. However, there are other areas to consider as well.
Grains and beans are also to be avoided. The human body is not designed to digest or utilize nutrients from these foods. This is because they have high levels of phytic acid and lectins, which can keep the body from properly absorbing the nutrients and can cause autoimmune and digestive issues as well.
Dairy is the only area of the Paleo Diet without strict guidelines. Some people consume it while others don’t. Those who don’t consume it, avoid it because we are not designed to drink milk beyond infancy, and certainly not from other species. Human adults continue to drink milk because we can and because the powerful dairy lobby has convinced us that it is good for us. My research suggests otherwise, but that is the subject for another article.
So what can you eat? Organic fruits, vegetables, and tubers like sweet potatoes are a key part of the Paleo Diet. Grass-fed and organic meat and poultry, along with wild fish, are major components as well. Nuts, seeds, and oils, like olive or avocado, are to be eaten in moderation. Some recommend that fruit be limited, particularly if you are trying to lose weight. I think fruit is an important nutrient and recommend at least five servings per day.
The Paleo Diet is sometimes criticized as an all-meat or low-carb diet like Atkins, but it is not. It specifies certain carbs to avoid, but fruit or veggies are recommended at every meal. Most people don’t like to count calories, but I find that a great balance exists when 40% of calories come from both protein and carbs (it’s going to be a healthy proportion of fruit bc veggies are so low in calories), and the remaining 20% from fat, which will consist of the fats from the protein you eat and any nuts, seeds, oils, or avocados that you eat.
The Paleo Diet is clean and healthy. Many have experienced improvements in health, energy, and weight loss as a result of adopting the Paleo Diet. It is energizing and given the considerable amount of chemicals and dangerous food additives in our food supply, it is worth trying.
2016-08-27 13:53:16 CliffWalsh
Most people love a good meal overflowing with sugar, salt, and fat. What’s not to like? It turns out, a lot. Each ingredient on its own is no picnic for your health, but together it is an experiment that could change your brain. Researchers believe that the three unhealthy ingredients foster the creation of dopamine, which in turn, drives the desire for more of said ingredients. Cravings relate to addiction.
The food industry has done its homework. These companies know we each have a bliss point, the spot that triggers the maximum amount of addiction in our brains. They’ve spent significant time and effort to learn how to hit the bliss target. Although food that accomplishes this satisfied us in the short-term, it also triggers mindless eating. While these companies benefit financially from this, our health certainly does not.
There is a fair amount of research on the subject. One particular study was very interesting to me. Rodents were fed meals with substantial amounts of fat, sugar, and sodium. Researchers found not only that the rodents’ reward centers were activated, but that when healthier meals were reintroduced, the rodents appeared to suffer from withdrawal, which highlights the addictive nature of such food ingredients.
It is easy to train our brains to eat too much. This happens when we overindulge in foods filled with sugar, sodium, and fat. Not only are they unhealthy on their own, but the fact that they can be addictive makes them that much worse. Furthermore, sugar and sodium can preserve food, resulting in a convenient product ready at a moment’s notice to overeat. It’s no wonder that obesity is an epidemic in the U.S. with rates skyrocketing.
The food companies, with the help of their advertising agencies, are more than happy to help condition us as well. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “comfort food” before. It’s emotional eating. Have Grandma’s apple pie and you’ll feel better. Advertisers are paid millions of dollars if they can successfully tie subconscious emotions to products. Doing this with food and alcohol appears to be pretty easy to do. You never see a fast food commercial with an obese person scarfing down a value meal and every beer is cracked open at a standing-room only party with wall to wall models.
Unfortunately, these foods are very unhealthy and make us fat. It is probably not the intention of food companies, but it happens nonetheless. Their focus is on profit and customer retention. They do this by unleashing the potent combo of salt, sugar, and fat. It’s easy to succumb to so I suggest avoiding these products at the grocery story. Additionally, pack a snack bag when on the road or around town, so you keep yourself from indulging in the nearest unhealthy drive through, solely because it’s there and you’re hungry. Sweet fruits can work extremely well in ending sugar craves and healthy fats in nuts and seeds can help make you feel full. I highly recommend giving it a chance.
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2016-08-26 13:37:49 CliffWalsh
Some time back, I set to look for a more healthy method of eating compared to the average diet in the U.S., which is filled with fat, salt, sugar, and a number of harmful chemicals. I figured a great starting point will be the USDA food pyramid, given that it had been ingrained into my brain from an earlier age, I assumed at least, for a good reason. After studying it along with its successor, MyPlate, I felt compelled to continue my search as both appeared to have glaring shortcomings.
Among the primary issues with the pyramid may be the recommendation for all of us to consume six to eleven servings of breads, pastas, along with other grain items every single day. Besides research suggesting that’s an excessive amount, there’s no reference to whole grain products versus refined grains. Another disadvantage would be that the pyramid lumps meat, chicken, seafood, and nuts together despite wide differences in dietary values. Chicken typically has considerably less body fat than meat, some seafood, and nuts. Furthermore, it does not separate the healthy fat in seafood and nuts in comparison to the unhealthy, saturated fat frequently found in most cuts of meat. I additionally believe there to become an excessive amount of dairy at 2-3 portions each day. The top portion of the pyramid lists fats, oils, and sweets, again not separating healthy fats in certain oils and bad fats in sweets. Finally, fat is not actually a food category like meat, nuts, or dairy. It is just confusing to people.
Following a fair amount of criticism in recent years, the government introduced MyPlate in 2011 to replace the food pyramid. Despite the fact that the MyPlate recommendations suggest more nutrition coming from fruits and vegetables, it needs improvements in a variety of sections. The advice still permits half of grains to come from processing (refined) while the meat section does differentiate processed meat like bacon and sausages from purer forms of meat. Finally, healthy fats are nowhere to be found on the plate and my dairy concerns remain unchanged.
Fortunately, I discovered something that made more sense. It’s known as the Healthy Eating Pyramid, produced by Harvard. It utilizes legitimate dietary research without influence from the food industry lobby, something that can’t be stated for USDA’s efforts. Harvard’s pyramid makes numerous key enhancements and distinctions in comparison with the USDA’s recommendations. First, in addition to distinctions made between whole grain products and processed grains, the amount of refined grains is considerably reduced. Exactly the same factor applies to red meat and processed meat. They’re separated from seafood and chicken, and suggested to be eaten in small amounts.
Harvard’s pyramid also contains sections on healthy oils, nuts, and seeds, distinguishing between healthy (unsaturated) and unhealthy (saturated) fats. Dairy consumption is also suggested to be less than the USDA’s version at 1-2 servings per day or a vitamin D and calcium supplements. Researchers also recommend daily exercise and vitamins.
I believe these new nutritional guidelines provide a substantial improvement to the government’s pyramid and MyPlate. The food industry lobby seemed to have little influence over Harvard’s researchers, resulting in an unbiased and research-based approach. I wholeheartedly recommend learning more about these nutritional recommendations to make positive changes to your health.
2016-08-25 13:37:11 CliffWalsh
Eating healthily comes with the obvious pros, but cons as well. Healthy foods, such as those produced organically, are more costly for a variety of reasons. First, organic produce requires more hands-on labor, pricey inspections and certifications, larger volumes of natural fertilizers, as well as other farming techniques. These disadvantages can be significant for a small farm especially when comparing their cost structures to multi-billion dollar food enterprises that offer low prices because they pump cheap chemicals and fillers into their foods.
All of these reasons carry merit, but I find the most disturbing is the indirect tax that is placed on organic food producers by having to go through inspections and certifications in order to carry the USDA organic label. A company bringing a new chemical formulation to the food supply does not have any such approval process. This penalizes healthy food producers and consumers. The FDA’s certification process is so porous that a company can approve its own food additive by labeling it “generally recognized as safe” or GRAS, basing it off of its own private research.
This is obviously a major problem because a chemical manufacturer can use its own research or other publicly-available studies to label a new product as GRAS. Assuming it passes (why wouldn’t it when they are grading their own papers), the company does not have any requirement to disclose the use of the new ingredient to the government. This process is highly suspect and is based on the honor code. Not every company has ulterior motives, but profit and honor don’t typically go together in the food industry. Given the way the system is set up, new formulations make it to market very quickly with little scrutiny, driving the massive increase in artificial ingredients and dangerous chemicals in our food supply.
As you can see, there is a major disconnect when comparing the approval processes of organic products and chemically-created food additives. Organic food products must go through costly scrutiny while chemical companies have almost zero impediments in bring new formulations to market. This should not exist and we are paying for it with our long-term health while the food industry has nothing but upside.
Some may think petitioning the government for change is the best course of action. Pushing legislation is a possibility, however, the process is the way it is because of the powerful food industry and their influence on the government. The only power we have in our hands is how we choose to spend our money.
With legislation, you are relying on dubious politicians to do the right thing. I like to focus on action that has a direct impact on what I’m trying to accomplish. By purchasing healthier foods, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy as I’m helping to grow the organic industry, lowering their costs and my future prices. This profit also comes out of the hands of the chemical food producers, hurting their businesses, something I believe will sink in very quickly. It is up to us to shift gears and head in a new direction, one where we take responsibility for our own health and force our food suppliers to adhere to our needs and long-term health concerns.