• Healthy Lifestyle,  Organic News

    Are Organic Foods Really Superior?

    Some people think the benefits of organic food are debatable, while others swear by their wholesome goodness. So what’s being served at your house tonight? Are you enjoying the advantages of organic food, or are you still debating the issues?

    Higher Standards In Quality

    In 1990 The Organic Food Production Act was adopted, and it means that any item given the “Organic” label must meet certain standards of quality and production. The highest grade of organic guarantees that nothing poisonous was used in growing or processing the food. While there are measures in place for non-organic foods, they are fairly murky and more open to the personal interpretation of the manufacturer or grower.

    Cleaner Groundwater

    When food is grown according to the organic standard, there aren’t all the chemicals being washed over produce that can end up contaminating ground water and other sources. Also, organic soil can actually act as a better filter for the water that flows through it, picking up more carbon than regular dirt that has been exposed to a variety of harmful chemicals.

    Increased Choices At The Supermarket And Beyond

    With the advent of organics, consumers now have a lot more choices available to them, from tomatoes to cotton sheets. Companies have caught on to the demands, and are now making many things in a much better way. These days, people don’t have to buy fish caught by a boat with no standards of health or decency. They can look for an organic label and be assured that improved methods and higher quality prevailed.

    Being Kind To Animals

    The organic philosophy insists that wildlife be respectfully treated and always taken into consideration, even when farms are expanding. This regard for nature protects the environment and the produce, leaving both your digestive tract and conscience free from a lot of unnecessary debris.

    Fewer Modified Genes

    While scientists on each side of the GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) debate continue to squabble over how much or how little the process of altering genes can impact the end user (you), these products continue to flood the market. Much of the time, people don’t even realize what they are buying unless they know what little numbers represent on the packaging. Organic foods are never modified at the nucleic level, simply because it just isn’t natural.

    Organic food is unquestionably a superior and higher performing product for consumers, as well as better for the environment. If the featured dish on your dining table tonight isn’t organic, then exactly what is it?

  • Healthy Lifestyle

    Is Organic Beer Better For Your Health?

    Beer that has been made in a traditional way uses chemicals which have been known to cause liver, kidney and heart problems, not to mention the raised cholesterol levels that you may experience as a result of consuming these ingredients. During the initial stages, the hops and barley needs to be grown to make the primary ingredients of organic beer. These plants are treated in the same ways that organic fruits and vegetables are treated. They are sprayed against pests and the ground is fertilized with harsh chemicals.

    In addition, these plants attract certain kinds of funguses. Whilst yeast, which is used in the fermentation process, is a healthy fungus, which is actually useful, the fungus that the plants can attract when growing is highly unfavorable. To keep this away and prevent their harvest from spoiling, the farmer will spray fungicides on the plants. This is not good for the local environment as the soil should be treated properly, and by killing off the local wildlife with pesticides and fungicides, this can even damage an entire ecosystem. Not only the surrounding areas can be affected, but also by consuming these chemicals, we, the consumers, can develop health problems of our own.

    Organic beers are made with traditional methods. The hops and barley are grown with care and alternative ways to keep funguses and pests away are used. The soil is carefully fertilized and when the organic beer is actually made, there are not harmful chemicals used in that production either. This means that we are not consuming any of the harmful toxins that we would be if we were to drink the commercially produced beer. Because the ingredients are produced organically there are more nutrients and healthier properties to the beer too. You know that you are buying a beer that will taste better and that will be more favorable to your health.

  • In The Kitchen

    Hidden Dangers In The Kitchen

    Reducing the household pollutants in your kitchen will protect your organic foods from harmful chemicals and therefore help protect your family.

    Remember everything takes time. Read up on an organic lifestyle on this site and make changes as you see fit.

    Every little bit is worth it. As I’ve said before I was not making a lot of money when I resolved to be as organic as I could.

    One tip that helped along the way was letting friends and family know about my decision.

    Over the years I’ve gotten gifts of glass containers, gourmet organic foods, organic food coupons and organic cotton clothes!

    So let every one know what you have decided and they can help you in reducing the hidden household dangers and maybe their own!

    Another money saver…try garage sales and flea markets (watch out for leaded crystal).

    Organic cooking deserves the best back up routine and that means using safe cookware, utensils and storage.

    Aluminum Pots and Pans

    Get rid of any aluminum pots and pans. It is TOXIC!

    Not only has aluminum been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, but colic, rickets, gastrointestinal problems, interference with the metabolism of calcium, extreme nervousness, anemia, headaches, decreased liver and kidney function, memory loss, speech problems, softening of the bones, and aching muscles can all be caused by aluminum toxicity!

    Use stainless steel, glass, or cast-iron cookware for your organic cooking.

    One of the advantages of cast-iron is that it can provide small amounts of iron to your diet.

    Taking small steps in the right direction will dramatically reduce your families exposure to dangerous household pollutants in the kitchen.

    Teflon

    Get rid of any Teflon cookware.

    I cringe when I think about the condition of some Teflon pans I’ve seen in people’s cabinets. They are poisoning their food and themselves without even realizing it.

    Teflon pans can release at least six toxic gases, including two carcinogens, two global pollutants, and MFA, a chemical lethal to humans at low doses!

    If that’s not a household pollutant I don’t know what is.

    They become cracked and worn after being exposed to heat and detergents, leeching potent chemicals into your food and air!

    Stick with stainless steel, cast-iron and glass cookware.

    Plastic Utensils

    Eliminate plastic utensils from your organic kitchen. Plastic melts when it gets hot, and guess what…cooking usually involves heat!

    A hot frying pan is not a good choice for a plastic spoon or spatula.

    Choose instead stainless steel utensils, wooden spoons or spatulas, bamboo items, and glass or metal measuring cups.

    Plastic Containers

    Many plastics start to break down as they age and when they are heated, scrubbed or subjected to harsh detergents.

    Bisphenol A is the main ingredient in polycarbonate plastic, which is commonly used to make reusable milk bottles and reusable water bottles.

    Bisphenol upsets natural hormone levels and causes genetic damage and miscarriages in lab mice.

    Household pollutants are unfortunately hiding everywhere in our homes.

    To minimize your exposure to the chemicals found in plastics, start by buying as little plastic as you can from the grocery store.

    Remove the plastic packaging and wrap all your cheeses and meats in freezer paper or waxed paper before putting them in a plastic storage or freezer bag.

    This keeps your food from coming in direct contact with the plastic and absorbing the chemicals.

    Transfer other store bought items into glass or stainless steel containers.

    Re-pour milk and water into glass jugs. A stainless steel funnel helps with this.

    Metal Containers

    Acidic foods such as tomatoes, sauerkraut, fruit, lemonade, carbonated beverages, tea and wine can react with metal in containers and become poisonous.

    Avoid canned juices, opt for glass bottles instead.

    Zinc: Galvanized metal containers may leach toxic amounts of zinc into the food.

    Copper or brass: Makes lemonade, wine, tea, coffee and tomato sauce toxic.

    Lead: Traditional pewter contains 25% lead. Many antique ceramics have lead glazes. Also be wary of lead crystal.

    Use glass containers for your drinks. Glass pitchers and jugs are widely available, inexpensive, and look nicer than plastic.

    Use only modern sealed ceramics.

    Excerpted from “Organic Housekeeping: In Which the Nontoxic Avenger Shows You How to Improve Your Health and That of Your Family, While You Save Time, Money” by Ellen Sandbeck (Scribner, 2006)