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Organic Foods

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Understanding Organic Food

I still get a good chuckle out of a statement that my aunt said to me one day during our discussion about organics (as I was trying to plead my case), she said and I quote, “Well even dog poop is organic!”  True enough, true enough.  Who am I to argue that?!  But I was referring to the foods that we ingest.  Learning about organics was another stepping stone in learning to have a healthier lifestyle.  If any of you out there eat a high raw diet you may have noticed changes in your body.  One thing that I noticed right off was that my sense of smell was heightened immensely!  My palate has also changed, even to the point that I can taste the chemicals on conventional produce when we eat out.   That has been quite an eye-opening experience.

 Organic food has become very popular. As a society we are becoming more and more educated about the foods we eat.  But not just in what we eat but what it takes to create that food.  We are past the days of just making sure we add 1 or 2 extra carrots to our daily intake and call it good.  There is now the question of food safety, nutrition, and sustainability.  As the demand for organic food increases so does the production, but currently the demand still exceeds the supply.

What does Organic mean?

Not only do we need to worry about whether or not our food is organic or not, we now face GMO foods. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are plants or animals, whose DNA has been altered. These products have undergone only short-term testing to determine their effects on humans and the environment.

(photo credit: Michael Westhoff)

Organic produce = No Pesticides

Conventionally grown produce = Pesticides may be used

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I want to touch base also on purchasing organic dairy and meats.  I realize this site supplies all raw recipes but I know many of my readers out there are not 100% raw and do eat animal products.  I do too on occasion.  So, I feel that it is just as important to make yourself aware about organic animal products.  Even if you don’t eat the following items, please continue to read so you can better educate those around you who have chosen a different eating path.

Organic meat and dairy

Organic meat and dairy = No antibiotics, hormones, or pesticides are given to animals

Conventionally raised meat and dairy = Typically given antibiotics, hormones & feed grown with pesticides

What’s in your meat?

It is helpful to understand what the government allows in feed or to be used in conventional production:

Meat and dairy labels: other terms you need to know

The organic label is the most regulated term, but when it comes to meat, we often see many other terms used. In order to make informed choices, it is helpful to know what some of these terms mean.

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USDA Certified Organic Food Labels

One other quick area to be aware of… When you’re shopping for organic foods, look for the “USDA Organic” seal. Only foods that are 95 to 100 percent organic can use the USDA Organic label.

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