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Eating Healthy for Life: The daily diet of foods we consume
Pesticides, Herbicides, Fertilizers, Overprocessed Foods
Eating for Life: The daily diet of foods you consume
Food keeps us alive, so we should eat to live. Most Americans, however, haven’t a clue that malnutrition is a problem in what has been a land of plenty. It is the nature and quality of our food that is most important to consider.
Why is organic the obvious choice? The term "organic" refers specifically to how something is grown or produced. Organic farmers do not use synthetic chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers, and their crops are minimally processed to maintain product integrity. That means fruits and vegetables are not gassed to ripen when they get to market and are they not irradiated. Organic meats and dairy products are derived from animals that are fed only organic grains and are not given antibiotics, hormones or supplemental medications. The smaller organic farms make sure there is plenty of roaming room for the birds and animals as well.
Beyond organic farming is Biodynamic organic farming that recognizes the basic principles at work in nature to bring about balance and healing. This system was founded by Austrian-born scientist and philosopher, Dr. Rudolf Steiner, in 1924. It is a holistic approach to farming and gardening which regards the earth as a living organism. It respects and considers the interrelationship of all the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human—in the ecosystem and how they correspond to the rhythms and activities of the greater universe. It strives to renew the soil with life-sustaining properties to produce food full of vitality, rich in nutrients. It requires the careful observance of nature to determine the best growing conditions for the best yield—shade or full sun, wet or dry, how solar, lunar and planetary rhythms affect growth and growing times.
The official certification system involves an extensive inspection process that includes detailed record keeping and periodic testing of soil and water quality to ensure that growers are meeting standards set by a governing body. Currently, any substance bearing the label "Certified Organic" is verified to be so by an independent government or private organization.
Look for “Certified Organic” or “Demeter Certified Organic.”
If a food bears a USDA Organic label, it means it's produced and processed according to the USDA standards and that at least 95 percent of the food's ingredients are organically produced. The seal is voluntary, but many organic producers use it.
· Products certified 95 percent or more organic display this USDA seal.
· Products that are completely organic — such as fruits, vegetables, eggs or other single-ingredient foods — are labeled 100 percent organic and can carry a small USDA seal.
· Foods that have more than one ingredient, such as breakfast cereal, can use the USDA organic seal or the following wording on their package labels, depending on the number of organic ingredients:
1. 100 percent organic. Products that are completely organic or made of all organic ingredients.
2. Organic. Products that are at least 95 percent organic.
3. Made with organic ingredients. These are products that contain at least 70% organic ingredients. Although 70% may be organic, you need to scrutinize closely the other 30%, which may include some toxic substances. The organic seal can't be used on these packages. Foods containing less than 70 percent organic ingredients can't use the organic seal or the word "organic" on their product label. They can include the organic items in their ingredient list, however.
You may see other terms on food labels, such as "all-natural," "free-range" or "hormone-free." These descriptions may be important to you, but don't confuse them with the term "organic." Fed an all natural diet does not mean the animal was raised on organic food. Only those foods that are grown and processed according to USDA organic standards can be labeled organic.
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