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THE TRUTH ACCORDING TO...THURSDAYS- UNDERSTANDING ORGANIC

Posted May 20 2010 12:00am
It's time for the Truth According To..Thursdays! Today we are going to look at the organic label and give you some facts that I came across reading Energy Times magazine. In the article, "DEFINING ORGANIC" by Linda Melone, she uncovers some important information to help understand what organic really means.

Here are just some facts she uncovered in the article that I thought would be most beneficial to share
1) Organic production requires a system of farming which excludes toxic pesticides and fertilizers in order to replenish the soil. Genetic engineering, cloning, irradiation and sewage sludge are not allowed.

2) Produce must be grown on ground that has been free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers for three years before an organic crop can be harvested. Which also means food for the livestock is free of chemical additives.

3) Labeling of organic products is based on the percentage of organic ingredients they contain. Ex. A product labeled 100% organic must contain only organically produced ingredients. An "organic" label indicates 95% organically-produced ingredients. "Made with organic ingredients" means products with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients and only organic vegetables cannot use the USDA seal but may be labeled "made with organic vegetables."

Products that are labeled "natural" as in natural beef, means no chemical additives have been added AFTER the animal is slaughtered. It doesn't restrict additives used prior. The animal can be pumped with hormones grown on a farm with pesticides, herbicides and toxic fertilizers and still have a "natural" label. A cow eating genetically engineered corn can be labeled "natural beef" if no additives were added after packaging. Christa says: Great warning to meat eaters!

4) The nutritional benefits of organic versus conventional is still being researched. But according to Kelly Morrow, MS, RD, assistant professor and nutrition clinic coordinator at Bastyr Univ dept of nutrition and exercise science, "But overall, an organic product likely contains more trace minerals and bioactive compounds."

5) Ways to buy organic on a tight budget are to buy organic fruits and vegetables highest in pesticides. The Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org) published a list called "Dirty Dozen"- 12 fruits and vegetables with the greatest chances of being contaminated by pesticides, from highest to lowest they are
Peaches
Apples
Sweet Bell Pepper
Celery
Nectarines
Strawberries
Cherries
Kale
Lettuce
Grapes (imported)
Carrots
Pears


Also, to get rid of pesticides on conventionally grown produce is to rinse them in a vinger solution. "The acetic acid in vinegar helps break up the fat-based chemicals", says Morrow.

Well, there you have it! This article answered a lot of questions for me and I hope it will for you to!! Until tomorrow!
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