14 Jul 2013    Fish With Low Amounts of Mercury
9 Jun 2013    Strawberry
12 May 2013    WATER
7 Apr 2013    Organic Food Is Best For All

The USDA ORGANIC seal ( United States Department of Agriculture) tells eveyone who buys organic food that is actually grown organic. They have set standards and regulate them. This ensures that you will not intake toxic chemicals. No genetically modified organisms (GMOs) , foods DNA changed in a lab to create a diffent species in plants and animals, are sold for human and animal comsumption.  Hormones, antibiotics, nor steroids are used in organis food.  The USDA determines that no food additives or food colorings are in organic food.  The risks of cancer, heart diseae, obesity, allergies and the chances of hyperactivity in children are lowered. 

What is Organic? 
Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods. These methods integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Per the USDA  synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.

How Are Organic Products Overseen?
The National Organic Program regulates all organic crops, livestock, and agricultural products certified to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic standards. Organic certification agencies inspect and verify that organic farmers, ranchers, distributors, processors, and traders are complying with the USDA organic regulations. USDA conducts audits and ensures that the more than 90 organic certification agencies operating around the world are properly certifying organic products. In addition, USDA conducts investigations and conducts enforcement activities to ensure all products labeled as organic meet the USDA organic regulations. In order to sell, label, or represent their products as organic, operations must follow all of the specifications set out by the USDA organic regulations.

How Do I Know if My Food Is Organic?
Look at the label. If you see the USDA organic seal, the product is certified organic and has 95 %  or more organic content. For multi-ingredient products such as bread or soup, if the label claims that it is made with specified organic ingredients, you can be confident that those specific ingredients have been certified organic.

Protecting Organic Integrity
There are 30,000 on-site inspections per year by certifying agents to monitor compliance with USDA organic standards
Certifying agent audits to ensure appropriate monitoring.  Residue testing program to verify that prohibited pesticides aren’t being applied to organic crops.  Robust compliance and enforcement activities.  Issue-based investigations (e.g. country- or commodity-specific)            

The next time you buy  there will be  confidence that the product you are buying is "organic".

18 Mar 2013    Organic Food

EWG's Dirty Dozen FoodstuffsThat Are Better Bought Organic
The dirty dozen fruits and vegetables are basically the top 12 fruits and vegetables that have the highest levels of contamination owing to use of pesticides. A list of the dirty high pesticide fruits and vegetables is released annually by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which is an environmental advocacy organization that is run as a non-profit.
Your Body is at Risk
As per studies conducted by the EWG, these foodstuffs contain alarmingly high levels of pesticide contamination and you would be able to cut down pesticide consumption by almost 80 percent just by steering clear of these contaminated fresh foods! Organically produced food, on the other hand, is grown in well-balanced soils without persistent pesticide inputs. This makes the fruits and vegetable taste better as well as helps reduce health risks for any consumer. The level of pesticide contamination differs in fruits and vegetables but these twelve are the worst of the bunch and using organic versions of them is preferable.
So what are the dirty dozen fruits and vegetables?
o Apples: An apple a day keeps the doctor away, says an old adage. Well, that may be true but not if the apple in question is chock-full of pesticide remnants. Conventionally grown apples have the highest levels of pesticide contamination as compared to any of the other domestic as well as imported fruits and vegetables. As per EWG's 2012 study results, 98 percent of the apples tested had a high concentration of pesticide residue. Apples are a healthy option and many children consume apples every day but conventionally grown apples lead the dirty dozen.
o Celery: Celery that is organically grown is one of the healthiest organic foods that you can eat. However, conventionally produced celery proved to be highly contaminated. In fact, as per the study, conventionally produced celery was found to contain the traces of approximately 57 pesticides!
o Sweet bell peppers: There is nothing sweet about eating pesticides! Sweet bell peppers are colorful members of the peppers family and are considered a sterling addition to any healthy meal. If sourced as an organic food, bell peppers are healthy and tasty options but conventionally produced bell peppers tested positive for high levels of pesticides. EWG study shows that a single sample of bell peppers showed the signs of almost 15 different pesticides!
An Infamous List
These three are the triumvirate of the dirty dozen  apples, celery, and bell peppers and are best bought organic to stay away from the high level of pesticides that are often found in them. The other fruits and vegetables in this hall of shame include  peaches, strawberries, imported nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce and cucumbers as well as domestically grown blueberries and the staple vegetable in many households: the potato. Kale or collard greens, cherries, hot peppers, pears, carrots, raspberries and summer squash didn't make it to the dirty dozen list but they were close competitors.
A Prudent Decision
Choosing to consume organic foods can be an expensive proposition. However, when it comes to these fruits and vegetables, it is best to avoid the conventional versions of these fruits and vegetables and only bring the organic versions home instead.



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