Friday, June 7, 2013

Organic, All Natural, Non-Organic, and GMO information

Hello Readers,

Today I am going to talk about something that has been a major topic of conversation in my life. I have switched to a mainly organic diet, with the exceptions for all natural foods and eating out. It seems that people have a misperception of what organic really means and how it benefits you, so I figured I would write a post to help clear somethings up. I want you all to know this is not my way of getting anyone to change their diet, I am merely giving people the information to make up their own minds.

First I am going to start by explaining what organic foods are, what all natural foods are, what GMO foods are and talk a little about cheap processed foods. I am going to include several links with more information so that you as a reader can learn more about the different types of food, so you can make an educated decision on what you would prefer to eat. I say educated decision because once you know more about the food you eat, the better and it will be your choice on if you will continue the way you eat or if you will make a few changes in your diet. At the end of the day what you put in your body is nobodies business but your own.

What Organic Means:
Simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as follows:

Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled "organic," a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.

Here is a list of resources that you can look at to learn more about why organic is better for you. 
Myths about Organics
Certified Organic Labelling
10 Reasons to go Organic
Organic Facts
Organic Glossary

Natural Food:
The term. "natural" applies broadly to foods that are minimally processed and free of synthetic
preservatives; artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and other artificial additives ; grow hormones; antibiotics; -hydrogenated oils; stabilizers; and emulsifiers. Most foods labeled natural are not suhjeet to government controls beyond the regulations and health codes that apply to all foods. Exceptions include meat and poultry. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSTS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires these to be free of artificial colors., flavors, sweeteners, preservatives and ingredients that do not occur naturally in the food. Natural meat and poultry must be minimally processed in a method that does not fundamentally alter the raw product. In addition, the label should explain the use of the term natural, e.g., no artificial ingredients.

Here is some more information on Natural foods.
High Fructose Corn Syrup 
Natural Foods
The Difference between All Natural and Organic
FDA's Definition on Natural foods

What is Non-Organic Food
In human history, agriculture can be described as organic. During the 20th century large supply of new synthetic chemicals were introduced to food industry to boost the industrialization of agriculture. The process of industrialization needed large yield, attractive crop in terms of its size, shape, enhanced shelf life. All this was possible in large yield of cultivation through taking utmost care of crop using synthetic chemicals such as; pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, radiation therapy, genetically engineered seeds etc. al. These synthetic chemicals although did not show immediate effects on human health but over a period of time human body started weakening due to various slow killing side effects of these chemicals. Thus the type of food produced using these methods is called Non-organic farming/food.

Apart from usage of synthetic chemicals in farming in various different forms at different crop stages there are numerous processes involved further to convert crop in edible food. All these processes create Non-organic food which is consumed daily by common man.

Let us look at few types of food that can be classified as non-organic;
- Crop level processes
- Processed foods
- Pre cooked/ready to cook
- Frozen foods
- Additives
- Bakery
- Commercial food

Here are some things about Non-Organic foods you may want to know.
Pesticides in Non-Organic Food
Other Chemicals in Non-Organic food
How Non-Organic Foods Will Kill You

What are GMOs?
GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.

Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.

Here is some more information on GMOs
GMO Facts
GMOs Effects on Health
More GMO Information

Now, I know what you must be thinking, this is a log of information to take in at once, but worry not I have a great guide from Jillian Michaels that you can take with you to the store to help make healthier decisions.

If you are ready to give up your eating some of your favorite foods in a box, I just want to point out that for every unhealthy food that is made, there is a healthier alternative. 

Companies like:

Have a great variety of options for food, and yes they may cost a little bit more but they also offer coupons. Also keep in mind that the more processed foods that you consume with all those pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics you are putting yourself at risk to get sick. That is not to say people who eat organic don't get sick, but it has been said they don't get as sick and tend to get over illnesses faster, especially if a doctor prescribes you antibiotics, because you already have them in your system from the non organic foods you are eating. If you can manage to buy your dairy, meat, and the vegetables from the dirty dozen from the organic section you will start to feel better. 

If you still think that organic foods cost too much, look up how much it costs for being hospitalized for heart attacks, stroke, cancer, diabetes. Also add up all the times that you eat out and I bet you that you can find the money to get some organic products into your life. Keep in mind, that there are organic products like, chips, cookies, popcorn, cereal, granola bars, ice cream, yogurt, milk, pizza, cheese, and many more things that come organic and are better for your body. 

Now, before you get all huffy and say that it is too expensive to healthy, I want you all to know that I am currently an unemployed. I have a limited amount of money that I bring in from an LNI claim that I have. I am going to break this down for you so that you can see eating organic is possible on a budget. 

I get  $711.48 a month to live off of.
I pay out:
$297.53 for my car payment
$174.43 for insurance
$50 for prescriptions
$50 for gas sometimes more depending on appts
$80 for therapy every month which leaves me with a whopping 
$59.52 a month for food. 

I don't qualify for food stamps because I live with someone who makes too much money, but I am able to buy enough organic food to live off for the month with that money. So if I can live off of that a month (and no I don't get any other help) you can find it in your budget to start eating healthier too. 

I hope that some of you found this information useful, thank you for reading!


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