December 26, 2011
Q: What Are Organic Foods?
A:Organic foods are foods that are grown naturally without the use of any pesticides, chemicals or fertilizers. Organic farming in its strictest sense is bigger than backyard gardening using natural methods. However, there has been a growing trend to grow fruits and vegetables organically in the private garden too. Some of these private garden supplies make their way onto the local farmer’s market were they are purchased by individuals looking for organic produce. Regulated organic foods must receive certain certification in some countries in order to be sold on the open market in huge volumes.
Q: Why Are Organic Foods Becoming Popular?
A: The actual organic foods movement is recorded to have started in the 1940s. Today more and more people who are seeking to eat healthy and are turning to organically grown produce. Studies show that naturally farmed fruits and vegetables are healthier than genetically modified produce which in some cases has been linked to chronic disease. The popularity of organic foods is being fueled by the growing awareness of the potential dangers of GMO produce and the benefits of eating foods without chemicals, pesticides and other harmful elements.
Q: What Are The Environmental Benefits Of Organic Farming?
A: Environmental benefits are the other reason why this type of farming and its produce are becoming more popular. To begin with, farming organically does not release harmful pesticides and chemicals into the environment. Studies show that chemicals soak into the environment ending up in rivers and streams where they affect marine life amongst other dangers. In a nutshell unlike organic farming, fertilizer aided farming disturbs the ecosystem and overtime may cause irreparable damage.
Organic farming clearly affords an opportunity to the environment regenerate itself without the effects of chemicals and pesticides.
Q: Will Organic Farming Become The Leading Method Of Food Production?
A: This appears highly unlikely in the immediate future. Due to climate change it is becoming increasingly difficult to attain food security in many parts of the world. As a result there is instead a growing use of GMO foods that are drought resistant and can feed more people.
At a commercial level it is clear that organic farming is growing year after year. Private gardens will become the new frontiers for micro organic farming primarily for immediate healthy eating reasons. More people are becoming aware of the dangers of weight gain and obesity in relation to hypertension and heart disease. These concerns will likely be drivers for private organic farming.
The author is a seasoned researcher and writer on healthy eating and hypertension issues. He has also written on eggplant nutrition facts and celery nutrition facts amongst other day to day eating healthy topics.
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December 19, 2011
There are many ways today that you can get excellent organic food for low costs, one of the more popular now is with mail order organic food services. There are many great organic food shops that are showing up in larger cities around the world today. They are not always easy to get to and sometimes the cost versus the travel time simply does not make it a sensible choice for shopping needs. This is why so few people actually bother to get into the whole organic food movement.
With mail order organic produce services, you will be able to get excellent quality organic food and not have to worry about the travel time or the higher prices from the smaller stores trying to stay afloat.
When it comes to mail order organic produce, you will be pleased to know that there is a wide selection of foods and food products to choose from. The websites that you purchase from are more like a large wholesale facility, rather than that of a small store. This means that you will most likely not have to shop at several different web locations to round out your entire shopping order. The website that is tied to the wholesale department of this type of service is usually associated with the farmer that offers the goods for sale. This means that you will pretty much have a direct link to the freshest goods possible. You will most likely not have to worry about looking for something specific and coming up short.
Whether it is fish or other meats, or produce and milk products you will be able to get what you need at a reasonable cost. All of your shopping will be done on line and electronically, so you will not have to flash cash around. You can pay via a credit card on a website that is very safe and secure to shop with.
One of the most important factors to shopping for mail order organic food is that the shipping of those purchased goods arrives at your home in a timely fashion. This is to avoid any spoilage of products that may be produce or perishable in nature. If you are dealing with time sensitive foods such as milk or frozen items, there is a few options that this type of service will offer in regards to shipping. You can go with an overnight air delivery, or you can look into the more costly yet faster same day service if it is available in your area.
Mail order organic food service is an excellent option for those that do not want to deal with the hassles of everyday shopping excursions. You will find great deals for everyday products online and this can help you make you money go further. This is an excellent way to get the most out of your shopping experience and this will prove to be the most sensible means of shopping you can find. Find the right site and delve into the world of online shopping for the foods you need.
Julie Murphy writes Organic Food related articles for the Organic Food website www.goodorganicfoodinfo.com
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December 12, 2011
Some people may answer no to that question, but the fact is that there are more chemicals in food today than ever before. Food manufacturers not only add chemicals to food such as MSG to enhance the taste, but use them in the processing of food. And not only that, but it is now estimated that there are over 100,000 chemicals on the market today with 1,000-2,000 new ones added each year. That is staggering! Many of them end up in our water, in the air and in our food. It is also estimated that 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides and 30% of all pesticides are carcinogenic! In other words, they can cause cancer.
The word “organic” refers to the way farmers grow and process foods, such as grains, vegetables, fruits, meat and dairy products. Farmers who grow organically do not use toxic chemical methods to control weeds, fertilize and prevent livestock disease. For instance, they spread things like mulch and manure to keep weeds at bay. Organic farming methods are designed to reduce pollution and encourage soil and water conservation.
At one time, organic food was only found in health food stores, but now most supermarkets have at least a small health food section. I think in years to come that will change and groceries will offer even more organic foods. One of my favorite stores to shop is Trader Joe’s. Not everything in the store is organic but a lot is, so read your labels.
I believe there are many benefits to eating organic. One is that it helps us be more aware of getting back to nature. Long gone are the days when people use to get their hands down in the dirt farming and gardening. It was just plain good for the soul. Most people don’t even step their bare feet on the dirt or grass to get physically “grounded”. For some people gardening is better than therapy. My mom was like that. When I was growing up she spent at least 2-3 hours every night in the spring and summer in her flower and garden beds.
In addition to the emotional and mental benefits, the physical benefits are huge. A big one is as mentioned, avoiding the toxic chemicals. Also, there are nutrients present in organic foods that are absent in commercial foods. Overall organic foods show much higher levels of nutrient minerals and much lower levels of heavy metals.
Here is a short list of nutrients found in higher levels in organic foods.
Magnesium – keeps muscles from spasming, good for nerves and decreases mortality from heart attacks. Average 138% more.
Calcium – important for the bones. Average 63% higher in organics.
Chromium – deficiency is associated with adult onset of diabetes and hardening of the arteries. This micronutrient is low in Western diets. Average 78% more.
Boron – along with calcium has been shown to prevent osteoporosis. Average 70% higher in organic food.
Selenium – an antioxidant nutrient that protects us from damage by environmental chemicals. It protects against heart disease and cancer. Found on average 390% more.
Lithium – used to treat certain types of depression. Average 188% more.
Heavy metals like aluminum, cadmium, lead and mercury averages anywhere from 25-40% less in organic foods.
Is it organic? Check the Label
An organic certification program has been established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It requires all organic foods to meet certain strict government standards which regulate how these foods are grown, handled and processed. If a product is labeled organic it must be certified by the USDA. Fruits and veggies should have a sticker that says organic on it. Packaged foods that says organic may still contain unhealthy ingredients like refined sugars, refined salt, and hydrogenated oils. Be sure to read your labels carefully.
Some reasons why people chose to eat organic foods.
Organic gardening and farming without chemicals is better for the environment.
Organic foods taste fresher.
Organic vegetables are higher in vitamin content, with no chemical residue.
There are no harmful chemicals.
Organic foods may avoid multi-health issues.
Not only do I prefer and eat organic foods as much as possible, I also add organic essential oils in my cooking. This not only enhances the flavor, but you get all the health benefits that essential oils provide. That’s because Young Living practices organic farming methods. In fact, they are the world leader in the cultivation, distillation and production of organically grown, pure essential oils.
By not growing and eating organic foods, we are putting enormous amounts of chemicals in our bodies. It is one of the most important pieces of a healthy lifestyle.
To your good health,
Carol is an essential oil educator and a certified reflexologist. As a distributor of Young Living Essential Oils, she teaches the importance of using genuine, authentic essential oils for health and healing. She has been an advocate of natural health and wellness for the past 35 years. Among the things she has studied includes, the use essential oils, iridology, muscle testing, nutrition, tapping and other forms of energy medicine.
For more information and tips about Young Living Essential Oils, visit http://younglivingoils4life.com and get my Free Report, 7 Days of 7 Oils That Will Change Your Life!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Carol_Wickett
December 7, 2011
Firstly, I always sterilize my kitchen counters and sinks. Clean hands always a must. Clean dish cloth, dish towel. All tools out. All food prepped. Oh and prior to all of that, I take a loaf of French bread and make the most humungous sandwich. That way when my three teenagers are hungry, they are allowed to take that submarine sandwich to a spot away from my sterilized jarring area and and slice a piece off to eat while I jam or pickle.
Secondly, and I know that was a long firstly, make sure you are using the right jar for the right job, 250ml jars are for jams, jellies, antipasto, etc. I use the 500ml jars for my bread and butter pickles (which are the absolute best bar none) and I use the larger 1 litre jars for dill pickles.
Thirdly, put a large stock pot filled with water, not to the brim but full enough to cover your jars, lids and screw tabs. I know you don’t need to sterilize the screw tabs but I like to – I mean it does not hurt to sterilize them as well. The lids must be sterilized in boiling water to soften the lid and make that seal airtight.
Generally, I boil my jars, lids and screw tabs about 10 minutes. I remove everything with tongs in one hand and oven mitt on the other. Please do not put the oven mitt into the inside of the jar. It wouldn’t be sterile then. As well, I have my pickling dish towels laid out and that is where I set the jars, lids and screw tabs. Set the jars upright. And yes, I have designated pickling dish towels because for my bread and butter pickles, I use turmeric in that recipe and it stains big time. So all my pickling dish towels are stained yellow – a small price to pay (and its only two dish towels that are so designated).
Now you are ready to fill those jars with your fresh organic fruits and vegetables. This is when you make your jam or your pickling vegetable.
When filling your jars leave 1/4″ from the top for everything you jam or pickle. When I made my organic jams and pickles this summer (2011), you need to remove the air from the jars after you have filled them. This does not need to be done with dill pickles. So what I do to ensure that there is no spillage, I initially fill my jars to 1/2″ from the top. Then I take my rubber spatula and slowly and carefully insert it into the jar and right up against the glass. Then pull up slowly. I do this on average in three different spots along the inside wall of the jar. Voila the air is removed. Then I gently top the jars to within 1/4″ of the top.
Before sealing, I run my finger around the top of the jar to ensure there is no spillage. Your jar will not seal properly if you have product on the jar. Put your sterilized lid on and place the screw tab on top. With one hand using your index finger hold that lid in place. With your other hand screw the screw tab on and not too tight. I give it one good turn at the end and that’s that. Set them aside and when they are cooled down store them somewhere dark and cool. Like under your basement stairs.
Now as you are cleaning up your kitchen and admiring your accomplishments you will hear your lids make a “ping” sound. That is normal. It simply means your jars are sealing airtight. When you reward yourself and open your jar filled with yumminess and organicness there is a sound you must hear upon opening. It is said that the screw tabs can be removed 24 hours after processing, but I leave them on for esthetic purposes and I never tighten them unless I am gifting them, which I always do each Christmas. Once you have removed the screw tab, take a butter knife and using the side of the blade, position is between the lip of the jar and the lid. Pull up and you should hear a “pop” when it opens. That means you had an absolute seal and your product is safe to eat. If the sealing lid removes easily or moves itself, that means “don’t eat”, the seal was not accomplished and your product is compromised. Refrigerate after opening and that is where those screw tabs really assist in keeping freshness in the fridge and another reason I leave them on.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and the process I go through when canning and preserving. It should be noted that I keep my organic preserves for one year. Any leftovers (if there are any!) are donated and fresh preserves are made. For more information on organic products I invite you to visit http://www.organicdontpanic.com. Good luck and always use organic foods where possible.
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