Chlamydia: Checking the Infectious Bacteria Group and the Ailments

CHECKING CHLAMYDIA

The term 'Chlamydia' refers to a bacteria collection. It causes different types of infectious ailments in human beings and animals.

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CHLAMYDIA ILMENTS

Chlamydia: Checking the Infectious Bacteria Group and the Ailments

There are two main types of Chlamydia diseases. They are Chlamydia trachomatis and Chlamydia pneumoniae. People having multiple sex partners are prone to various strains of chlamydia.

CHLAMYDIA BACTERIA

The three species of chlamydia are Chlamydia psittaci, Chlamydia trachomatis and Chlamydia pneumoniae.

CHLAMYDIA PSITTICA

Chlamydia psittica occurs in rare cases. People affected by Chlamydia psittica experience a flu-like illness. It is called psittacosis. It is also known as parrot fever as the organism is mostly carried by lovebirds, parakeets, and parrots. Many cats, and other animals and avian species carry this organism. Occasionally human beings may also be the carriers of Chlamydia psittica. Usually, people working with pets like birds and animals contract the Chlamydia psittica syndrome. Therefore, the most prone sections of humans are the workers employed in poultry processing plants, or pet shops and avian pet owners.

CHLAMYDIA TRACHOMATIS STRAINS

This is the most common chlamydia illness. It is caused by the different strains of trachomatis bacteria species. A particular Chlamydia trachomatis strain affects the eyes. The resultant illness is conjunctivitis. During conjunctivitis, the eyes turn red and there is swelling. Moreover, the eyes become light sensitive. There can also be pus discharge from the eyes. Most importantly, babies may contract chlamydia infections from their mothers even before they are born.

TRACHOMA

This is a severe type of conjunctivitis. Trachoma is caused by a fly-borne strain of Chlamydia trachomatis. If untreated, trachoma can lead to blindness. Trachoma cases are common in the Third World countries.

LYMPHOGRANULOMA VENEREUM

Another offshoot of Chlamydia trachomatis is Lymphogranuloma venereum. This ailment affects the lymphatic tissue. Many people in the tropical regions are affected by this disease. Lymphogranuloma venereum is rare in USA, though.

CHLAMYDIA TRACHOMATIS & AIDS

There is a close link between Chlamydia trachomatis and various STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) including AIDS. Chlamydia trachomatis generally gets transmitted through sexual intercourses with affected persons. In the USA, three million people fall prey to Chlamydia trachomatis-caused STD cases every year. These mainly include NGU (nongonococcal urethritis). NGU is an infection of the urinary tract.

CHLAMYDIA TRACHOMATIS (STD) SYMPTOMS

The Chlamydia trachomatis form passing on through sex can affect both the sexes. The common symptoms of Chlamydia trachomatis (sexually transmitted) are pain and watery discharge during urinating. The women can also have vaginal inflammation as well as swelling of the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, uterus, and the cervix. There can be genital area pain, abdominal pain, fever, and vaginal discharge.
Notably, as much as 70 per cent of women suffering from Chlamydia trachomatis infections do not have any symptoms. So, the ailment also remains untreated. Ultimately, Chlamydia trachomatis degenerates into serious conditions: These may include infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and pelvic inflammatory disease.

CHLAMYDIA PNEUMONIAE

Chlamydia pneumoniae affects the upper respiratory tract. Chlamydia pneumoniae infections can also strike the bronchitis, pneumonitis, and the pharyngitis. Chlamydia pneumoniae is a contagious ailment caused by the Chlamydia set of bacteria. Chlamydia pneumoniae can also lead to heart attacks and coronary heart diseases.
Anybody between the ages of five to 35 can be affected by Chlamydia pneumoniae. The In fact, Chlamydia pneumoniae has been identified as the second main cause of pneumonia in US. Chlamydia pneumoniae bouts are usually mild in nature. The Chlamydia pneumoniae symptoms are fever and cough. At times, there can be more sputum production. Sputum is a mixture of various mucus and saliva. It arises from the respiratory tracts.
The Chlamydia pneumoniae symptoms may not be very visible initially. Or, at times, the Chlamydia pneumoniae signs may also point to the other forms of Chlamydia dysfunctions. One type is the chlamydia type of illnesses caused by various strains of the trachomatis species. Another severe type of chlamydia disease is caused by a strain of the fly-borne Chlamydia trachomatis.

TREATING CHLAMYDIA

Antibiotics are quite effective in treating Chlamydia infections.
To diagnose Chlamydia infections, patients generally have to undergo various tests. These include cell cultures that exclude other illnesses with similar symptoms. The other ailments having similar symptoms are candidiasis, trichomoniasis, herpes, and gonorrhea. The modern method of diagnosing Chlamydia infections are immunoassays blood tests. These examinations pinpoint the specific antibody that may have been constituted by the patient's immune system against chlamydia infection.

MANDATORY SCREEN TESTS

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) suggests yearly screening for chlamydia especially for all sexually active women. Such periodic screenings are must for such women under 20 years of age and those above 20 years. It is also mandatory for such women enjoying multiple sex partners. To prevent re-infection, all the individuals who have had sexual relationships with the affected person, must be treated for Chlamydia infections or STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). An important preventive measure is the latex condom during intercourse. This step can prevent transmission of chlamydial infection.

Chlamydia: Checking the Infectious Bacteria Group and the Ailments

Nilutpal Gogoi is a writer and a freelance journalist having more than 18 years of service in several audio-visual and print media reputed organizations in North East India. He has published more than 1000 articles and a popular adventure book for children. For more information log on to [http://www.makehealthcare.com/] [http://www.yournicelife.com] http://www.purejoyhealth.com/

What Is The Role Of The Gallbladder In Our Organism?

Many people are asking themselves what is useful for the gallbladder because they see that gallbladders are removed quite frequently when causing problems.

The gallbladder interferes in the process of digestion and absorption of nutrients for the body. If our gallbladder does not work as is should be any more, the feeling of stuffed and stuck after eating will appear. In the worse cases a pain in the back of the body will install.

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If the gallbladder does not perform its function as before, reflux might appear after eating. Another possible symptom is bowel movements along with gas production. Also, diarrhea can occur along with bloating and burping. Generally all these symptoms appear after eating consistent foods.

What Is The Role Of The Gallbladder In Our Organism?

Negative emotions can also harm the gallbladder. All the fears, worries, and anxieties are generally stored inside us because we are used to keeping them locked in for a long time. Also, the self-esteem feelings and fear of failure are stuck inside us and will end up affecting the gallbladder's function and integrity.

The gallbladder is used in digesting fats and if this function can not be performed any more all the fats and cholesterol will be stored in the arteries. In order to prevent this thing from happening and to restore the gallbladder a diet is recommended to be followed. The fried food, along with hydrogenated oils and pork are prohibited. Instead, virgin olive oil, sesame or safflower oils are allowed to be used. It is important to take care what oils your purchased products contain because only the good oils are allowed in your diet. From the cheese variety, the soy, rice, sheep or goat cheese are recommended instead of cow cheese. Also, try to avoid eating nuts and all kind of seeds if your gall balder is in a bad condition, at least until it will recover.

There are some herbs that are useful in treating the gallbladder affections: dandelion and yellow dock. You can try using them by drinking tea or capsules and even tincture made out of these herbs. Tincture is recommended to be taken at first in one drop and after a few days in five drops.

Also, fresh water with lemonade can be helpful in the process of cleaning the gallbladder from all those toxins accumulated in that area.

Try to get rid of all the negative emotions that surround you and face those fears that give you nightmares. This is the only way to stop suffering of anxiety and to stop suffering of gallbladder's malfunctioning.

What Is The Role Of The Gallbladder In Our Organism?

For more resources about gall bladder please review http://www.gall-bladder-guide.com/gall-bladder-removal.htm or even http://www.gall-bladder-guide.com/gall-bladder-symptoms.htm

Can You Eat Oatmeal on Candida Diet?

Many people want to know, can you eat oatmeal on Candida diet? There are many different types of foods that you can and cannot eat on the diet. It is important to understand what the purpose of the diet is and what types of foods cause the fungus to grow.

So can you eat oatmeal on Candida diet? Yes, you can. Oatmeal is actually a good food to eat as well as other oats. These help to cleanse the colon and the intestinal track. It is also important to make sure that you include foods that help to rebuild the micro-organism's within the intestinal tract. These include Kefir and yogurt and many other types of foods.

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The whole goal of the diet is to starve the fungus so that it is unable to grow to other parts of the body, and eventually starves. The diet is also designed to rebalance the natural organism's in the body that help to keep the yeast in balance so that it is unable to overgrow.

Can You Eat Oatmeal on Candida Diet?

The main foods that the fungus is able to feed on is yeast, carbohydrates, and sugar. These are the main foods that allow the infection to grow in your body and spread. Vegetables that are high in fiber and low in starch should be a large part of your daily intake. This includes leafy green vegetables as they also help to clean out the intestinal tract.

Completely avoid sugary foods including soda pop, other store bought drinks, dried or cured meats, and dried or candied fruits. The better you get at balancing your diet, the quicker you will rid yourself of the fungus. So yes, you can eat oatmeal on Candida diet, but you must also make sure that you are using other natural solutions including your diet to help rid yourself of the fungus.

Can You Eat Oatmeal on Candida Diet?

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How Microbiologists Use Chromogenic Agar Media

Standard growth media in the microbiology laboratory has been advancing in its development over the decades since the late 1800s, when agar was discovered by the use of extracts from red seaweeds, a gelling agent used also in making jellies. Agar is still in use today, and its use has not changed much over the decades. The many things that have changed are the chemicals and infusions used to create specialized growth media that is both selective and identifying: Chromogenic agar media.

Chromogenic agar media is a highly specialized growth medium for microbiologists to aid in the isolation and identification of certain types of pathogenic microorganisms. Many pathogenic organisms are also fastidious, difficult to grow on standard agar plates without enrichment of some sort. The use of broths for the proliferation of certain fastidious organisms is a technique that has not changed much in recent years, as it is a proven method for the enrichment of the organisms prior to agar plate inoculation.

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Broths have a certain amount of nutrients to stimulate the propagation of a specific organism so there would be an abundance of living material to work with in the lab. Beef and brain extracts in broths can cause a dramatic escalation of organisms prior to inoculation of chromogenic agar media, so there is no doubt that there will be success after timed incubation.

How Microbiologists Use Chromogenic Agar Media

When the enriched organism is available, inoculation of the chromogenic media follows, in the standard practice using aseptic techniques. After an incubation period of 18-24 hours, the agar plate is analysed for colony growth, colony count, colony morphology, which includes colony colour. This is vital for the positive identification of the specific organism being researched or diagnosed. Selective media like chromogenic agar can be specialized for a variety of fastidious and hard to identify bacteria strains.

There is a diversity of chromogenic agar media available to the microbiologists today. One such important media is MRSA identification media. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus is an organism that has been wreaking havoc in the populations of major countries, as well as undeveloped countries. This organism causes illnesses such as toxic shock syndrome or staph infections of skin, eye, and wounds. It is difficult to identify considering the other organisms that may contaminate or proliferate during the culturing process.

Hospitals and nursing care facilities have been attempting to isolate patients diagnosed with the harmful pathogen, and immediate identification is not only encouraged, but also necessary. Specialized chromogenic agar media is used for this, as it leaves no doubt of the identity of the organism if present. The selective agar has color indicators for easy morphological identification, as well as specialized inhibitors to screen out undesirable normal flora from interfering with the isolation techniques.

Chromogenic agar media is also used in the isolation and identification of gram-negative pathogens like Neisseria spp., which can cause not only meningitis in children, but can also be blamed for the spread of sexually transmitted disease throughout a community. Specialized growth media not only isolates the growth of these highly fastidious organisms, but inhibits the growth of less fastidious organisms as well. The chromogenic action of the agar makes identification more efficient also, as the colonies of Neisseria species have exclusive colour. Chromogenic agar media is the gold standard for the identification and analysis of pathogenic fastidious bacteria.

How Microbiologists Use Chromogenic Agar Media

Take a look at other relevant information about agars and chromogenic media including diagnostic reagents

Buying Organic Cotton Fabric Wholesale

If you know several people that buy clothes from organic cotton fabrics because it is better for the environment and your skin, then you might want to consider buying organic cotton fabric wholesale. While many people want to wear organic cotton fabric, some find that clothes made from the material is more expensive than clothes that are made from material that is treated with harsh chemicals. This limits the amount of organic clothing that they can buy. It may even restrict some people from buying the clothes made from organic cotton fabric at all. By purchasing larger amounts of organic cotton fabric wholesale, though, everyone you know will be able to save money.

When you buy larger quantities of organic cotton fabric wholesale, you will be getting the fabric at a cheaper price than you could if you bought it in smaller amounts from a store. The more organic cotton fabric that you buy wholesale, the cheaper the price will be for each yard that you buy. While you might not be able to use large amounts of wholesale organic cotton fabric for your family, when you get together with other families that would like to buy organic cotton fabric wholesale, you might find that you can get the fabric at cheap prices and then divide it amongst those who have contributed money.

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There are lots of things that you can make with the organic cotton fabrics that you buy wholesale. Anything that you use that is made out of cotton can be made with wholesale organic cotton fabric. You might find that your family could benefit from sleeping on bed sheets that are made from the organic cotton fabric that you buy wholesale. Because organic cotton fabric isn't made with the harsh pesticides, herbicides, and dyes that are used to make other cotton fabrics, you can help prevent the development of skin sensitivities and allergies by making your bed sheets out of organic cotton fabric.

Buying Organic Cotton Fabric Wholesale

When you buy organic cotton fabric wholesale, you will probably have enough to use for several different projects, even if you have divided the fabric amongst several people. If you have some fabric left over from making bed sheets, then you might be able to make clothes out of your wholesale organic cotton fabric. By making your family's active wear out of the organic cotton fabric that you buy wholesale, you can help ensure that their skin stays healthy. While the chemicals that are used to make most cotton fabric can affect your skin even when you're sitting still, if you are sweating those chemicals can have an even harsher effect.

Buy getting together with other people to purchase large quantities of organic cotton fabric wholesale, you will be saving everyone money and providing them with a fabric that is good for your skin and the environment. It will help reduce some of the cost that you normally have to spend on organic fabrics, and you will be able to complete more projects out of the fabric that you buy.

Also, some companies out there offer custom-weaving of organic cotton fabrics with minimums as low as 100 yards per pattern/color. They are the ones to look at.

Buying Organic Cotton Fabric Wholesale

Amit BUD (MBA, BBM) is a fabric expert and fabric sourcer / supplier / vendor whose company Atlantis Fabrics: Fabrics-textiles.com, offers fabrics like patchwork madras, organic cotton, bamboo fabric, madras, cotton prints, silk fabrics, linen, jute, knits and all kinds of fabrics, sourced directly from their own warehouse in India.Custom-manufacturing of any fabric carried out, plus ready stocks of millions of yards on all fabrics, and available right here online at:

http://store.fabrics-textiles.com/

and patchwork madras can be seen specifically at:

http://store.fabrics-textiles.com/index.php?cPath=42&osCsid=1e65f41a853e47955427287d2797cfe2

How A C.Diff Infection Is Caused

A C.diff Infection occurs when the c.diff micro-organism grows out of control in the gastronintestinal tract (GI).

Ordinarily this kind of micro-organism is harmless and actually helps in the digestion of food and nutrients. As such, we all have micro-organisms have them in our bodies and c.diff can be present in around 3% of healthy adults.

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But, a C.Diff Infection occurs when the c.diff micro-organism begins to grow out of control resulting in severe infectious diarrhea and inflammation of the large intestine. This can happen to hospitalised people and the presence of c.diff in hospitalised adults is ten times higher (up to 30%) than in ordinarily healthy adults.

How A C.Diff Infection Is Caused

A C.Diff Infection is by far the most common cause of diarrhea found in hospital patients.

Why Patients Hospital Patients Are Especially Susceptible

Basically, a C.Diff Infection occurs when a bodies preventative bacteria is not strong enough to stop the c.diff from outgrowing the GI tract. This happens for a number of reasons:

o A long stay in hospital. The potential for c.diff spreading in a clinical environment is very high and combined with the stress a patient will be under and the illness weakened body a hospital patient is a prime candidate for C.Diff Infection.

o Age. C.diff is an infectious disease and as in all diseases of this type the elderly are much more susceptible because their immune systems are weak, especially when hospitalised.

o Illness. Any serious or constant illness will weaken the bodies immune system and increase the risk of a hospital patient being infected.

o Antibiotics. A very real risk to a patient in a hospital environment can be posed by antibiotics. Because antibiotics can kill the bacteria which controls the growth of c.diff a patient becomes susceptible to a C.Diff Infection.

Unfortunately, a C.Diff Infection can spread very quickly and it is not easily killed by cleaning agents that most hospitals will use. C.diff forms spores which infected people can transfer by contact with each other and surfaces and those spores can live for up to five months.

It is because of the high degree of infection that c.diff poses such a threat to hospitals and the patients in their care.

The unfortunate truth about a C.diff Infection is that it is very hard to treat and treatment can last for several months. The evolvement of a new and more viral strain of c.diff which is resistant to treatment can be fatal and it is this strain of the disease which is proving so difficult for our hospitals to control.

Some antibiotics can be used in the treatment of the disease including Flagyl. Flagyl is the most common treatment and is usually taken in tablet form and is a Metronidazole is used to treat bacterial or protozoal infections.

Vancomycin is a stronger drug than Flagyl and is used to try and combat the more serious strains of C.Diff. Taken orally Vancomycin is a parenteral glycopeptide antibiotic and is a drug which has recently been improved during the manufacturing process to increase its purity and effectiveness against the stronger strains of c.diff.

Surprisingly simply washing hands is the best way to prevent the spread of a C.diff Infection although the usual alcohol based hand cleansers are not effective in preventing the spread of c.diff.

How A C.Diff Infection Is Caused

Craig Ellyard writes extensively about hospital acquired diseases. For more information on C.Diff Infection and how to claim compensation and to find a compensation solicitor visit his website

Organic Vegetable Gardening For Beginners

To be successful at organic vegetable gardening you must draw up detailed plans. The soil is your first consideration; how to make it rich and fertile, and how to prepare it so harmful pests won't attack your vegetable garden. The two ways that organic vegetable gardening differs from conventional gardens is the usage of fertilizer and how to keep pests under control. Phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium are the three components essential to your organic garden.

For lush, green foliage you must have nitrogen. For strong roots and stems phosphorus is needed. And for the important protection from disease and brief cold snaps, potassium is a must. Let's call them the big three. The big three are available in commercial fertilizers however they are synthetic. In organic vegetable gardening the big three are added in a much different way.

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The best way of enriching your soil is by compost. Dig some pits in your back yard to start your compost from kitchen refuse. Use things like pine needles, corn stalks, leaves, carrot tops, fruits or vegetables that have spoiled, manure, egg shells and coffee grinds. Some organic gardeners use weeds in their compost but I do not recommend this for obvious reasons. As the compost materials decompose they release bacteria and fungi into the soil that you are preparing. The bacteria and fungi convert nutrients like nitrogen to ammonia and nitrates that will be usable for your vegetables. Use substances such as seaweed, potash salts, tobacco stems and wood ash to help make potassium in your compost. By making your own compost, you are controlling the mixture and balance to achieve the right combination for your organic vegetable garden.

Organic Vegetable Gardening For Beginners

To be absolutely sure that your compost has completely broken down and is now offering up the right balance, start working it into the soil at least two weeks before you plan on planting.

The pH in the soil must be right for healthy plants. Test your soil, if it has a ph of 0 it is very acidic, while a 14 is extreme alkaline. Of course a seven indicates neutral soil. To raise the pH of the soil inexpensively use ground limestone. An additional benefit of the limestone is that it contains magnesium something that most soils lack. If, on the other hand, you have extreme alkaline soil use sulpher to bring the pH down.

Pest control in organic vegetable gardening is also different that conventional gardening. In many conventional beds gardeners wish to eradicate all pests with pesticides. Many in organic gardening only wish to keep the pest population down so to have a balance in the garden. Obviously, whenever possible, plant pest resistant vegetables. In order for harmful organisms to grow, they need bright sunlight so keep thick mulch around the plants to deny the organisms that needed sunlight and to help hold moisture into the ground. If you find you have a heavy infestation here is a natural pest control formula:

In a jar, combine 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 1 cup vegetable oil. Shake vigorously. In an empty spray bottle, combine 2 teaspoons of this mixture and 1 cup water. Use at ten-day intervals (or more often if needed) to rid plants of whiteflies, mites, aphids, scales, and other pests.

Follow this tips and you are on your way to raising a healthy and plentiful organic vegetable garden.

Happy Gardening!

Copyright © Mary Hanna, All Rights Reserved.

This article may be distributed freely on your website and in your ezines, as long as this entire article, copyright notice, links and the resource box are unchanged.

Organic Vegetable Gardening For Beginners

Mary Hanna is an aspiring herbalist who lives in Central Florida. This allows her to grow gardens inside and outside year round. She has published other articles on Cruising, Gardening and Cooking. Visit her websites at Gardening Landscaping Tips, Gardening Outside and Herb Gardening

The Church: Organism or Organization?

Part One: A series on the church

What does the Word of God teach regarding the church in its form, function and expression? Anyone who ponders this issue begins at the point of asking the question from one, if not all three of these areas. This question surfaced many years ago in my life because of the struggles I was having in applying Biblical rational to a career in full time ministry.

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Coming from the perspective as a professional pastor I had to wonder why church leadership was so difficult to implement and maintain. Ministry was rewarding at times yet filled with many complications that had no biblical explanation or justification. One day those irreconcilable differences piled so high I decided to start from scratch and revisit the meaning of the church. The physical church, of which I was a part and the professional job I sought so diligently to acquire, wasn't representing what I would see from New Covenant thought and early church activity. I continued to wrestle through this period of confusion, having the Lord point out many areas within the church that had become important frameworks for business maneuvering, yet made no sense biblically. So I set out to find answers to my questions.

The Church: Organism or Organization?

To begin answering these questions I looked around at what the church had become in the 21st Century and contrasted it with the days of the Apostles and their first Century writings. The dissimilarities were obviously shocking. I noted how our contemporary church had incorporated a business style or institutional structure within its daily existence. Amazingly this strategy has permeated the church in almost every area of form, function and expression. Today's "ministry box" is well defined and almost unquestionably accepted as a legitimate role model. As I spoke to others about my doubts and discoveries, I found the majority of people uninterested in the topic of "Do we need another Reformation?" To have someone question the current model and suggest we might be out of step biblically was usually looked upon with suspicion. My prayer for those who read this article is to eliminate cultural suspicion and rediscover the core values and simple patterns of ministry that made the early church a life changing force twenty-one centuries ago. My hope is that you are enlightened from scripture and not from years of unsupportable Christian tradition.

Is The Church an Organism or an Organization?

One day I had a break-through in trying to understand the nature of the church by asking myself this fundamental question, "Is the church an organism or is it an organization?" If you answered "organism," your home-study doctrinal certificate is ready to be mailed out. We hear it regularly taught that it is indeed an "organism," but which is it really today, an organism or an organization? Truthfully, I believe God designed it to be an organism, but man in his limited wisdom redesigned God's original intent and converted it into an organization. I had to be honest with myself and admit I had been part of the problem. Not knowing it, my years in professional ministry were spent giving lip service to the expression "organism," but living out my Christian life in the "organization." Every question and every problem I was having with the church found its way back to the fact that I was trying to benefit from the best of both worlds. Like most, I had fallen into the trap of thinking "organized religion" was a good thing.

Oddly, many of us have the assumption that organized religion is a positive addition to society. The word "religion," as defined in Webster's Dictionary, means "that which binds." If it consistently binds people together and compliments people's beliefs we deem it as a positive quality. But, let me ask you this question. What if it doesn't bind people together, but separates people into their protected religious worlds? If so, is "organized religion" a good thing then? Perhaps a better interpretation for "that which binds" would be "that which binds people up." Like a lawn mower bound-up and stalled from trying to cut tall grass, organized religion serves to restrict people into religious sub cultures, defending religious laws and mandates while trying to protect religious organizations. If one willingly enters the "binding category" you are gladly received as an accepted member. But what if others look upon all of this as foolishness, because the end result produces a collective of "bound-up" and stall-out assemblies of world religions and fractured denominational Christian groups? Is organized religion then perceived as a meaningful addition to society? I would answer "no" to that question since the "big picture" belief of Jesus' mission was to eliminate organized religion by taking on the most bound-up and rule based religion of the day, the Jewish faith. No world religion could hold a candle to the legalism and religious expectations Judaism offered. Is it any wonder the Jewish religious leaders regularly confronted Jesus on the reasons for "why" or "when" He healed, taught or served others? Every time He was directed by the Father to do something supernatural it resulted in a direct violation of religious law or tradition.

In addition, have you ever thought about and concluded that Christianity is the only faith birthed on the planet with no sacred rules and traditions, no sacred individuals and no sacred spaces besides God Himself? Given this premise, Christianity isn't a religion or a system but is the only offer to mankind to form a simple and personal relationship with God through Christ free from the interference of "organized religion" and powered by an inward Life-the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.This intentional vision by God, designed within the framework of the New Covenant, came about so that homes, courtyards, market places, privately owned public buildings, schools and roadsides would become fluid meeting places for an organic movement that would surpass the influence of the Roman Empire and sweep around the world. So how does God implement His plan?

You Are the Church

The term (ekklesia-translated church in English) was never applied to a building or hand-built temple, but instead it was an expressive title given by the grace of God to describe His holy people. Take note on how Paul drives this point home to the Corinthian church as they were struggling to realize God's new plans. For we are God's fellow workers, you are God's field, God's building (1 Corinthians 3:9). There are three points he is making that he hopes they will understand. If you are of the institutional mindset then you are probably thinking of three points that would be opposites of Paul's. Your thoughts might fall along these lines; the first is hire staff, the second is purchase property, and the third would be to construct a building.

Take careful observation of how God's plans differed under the New Covenant. The first point is that there is no staff. Paul and everyone else were fellow workers. They were all spiritually and equally employed in God's kingdom with gifts, talents and time. The second point is that no one needed to go out with a realtor to purchase land. He makes it clear that they were now the field. Every world religion sought property to own, but the early church was going to stand out from the rest as ambassadors of a heavenly kingdom. And the third point is that they were to resist the temptation of hiring an architect and raising money for the purpose of constructing a building. God's ideas for the church were much simpler-they, as believers, were the building! In just a few more sentences Paul finishes his radical presentation by saying, "do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells within you?" (1 Cor 3:16) Surprisingly Paul's question, "do you not know?" applied to me! For years I did not know. When God revealed these concepts to my mind and heart they shattered the roadblock that hindered me from understanding the true nature of the church. In simple to understand terms, every believer in Christ became the church!

I believe a key reason the church is less effective today than in those early years is that we have taken a very important spiritual identity, "the church"and for the most part, misnamed it and misrepresented it as a building with nicely designed church signs facing the street. Place a cross near the top of the building and you have a legitimate church structure. To reassure this Old Covenant concept we hear people everyday calling the building "the house of God, the Lord's place, or the sanctuary," Given this, we now have created the artificial need for everyone to incessantly, "get to church." Unlike Jewish believers, the first and second century converts never asked the question "Where do you go to church?" That would have been a ridiculous question in those days. They were aware of the fact that you couldn't attempt to go to a place when you were that place (the church).

In today's culture, Christian reaction to the knowledge that we are the church is not necessarily liberating and life changing information. Most believers have the impression and the experience of being the church only when they are in a marked church building and actively participating in an officially prescribed church service. Upon departing that experience, most disconnect themselves from their true "identity in Christ" as people who are the church and they slide comfortably into more understandable roles as husband or wives, fathers or mothers, employers or employees and relatives and friends. "Worldly boxes" for daily living become just as rotational as "spiritual boxes" for supernatural living. So a cultural tradition has come about where we believe we are only the church when we are in a "big box" called the church building. Since we are in the mega church era, the bigger the box the more successful that church looks to the rest of the world.

I would like to illustrate my observations about this cultural tradition because it is now the norm rather than the exception. Imagine if the only time men and women understood or experienced their respective genders was when they visited buildings designated as "Men's or Women's Restrooms." What if Christian leaders misinformed the populace for centuries with the message that men or women, which ever the case, would only have the capacity to think, act and enjoy their masculinity or femininity after they entered and stayed for a time in the "Men's/Women's Restroom"? How much productive time, living as men and women apart from the "Restroom Facility," would be lost due to a false expectation and tragic misconception of reality? Can we conclude this misunderstanding is clearly the case today as most live out their Christian lives? The majority of believers perceive of themselves as the church when they are trained to visit a building marked "The Church." How much valuable time and quality of spiritual life is lost with that misplaced identity? Thus, many don't authentically experience who they are on a continual basis so they remain ignorant or sheltered from the "abundant life" offered to those who know who they are in Christ as the church. Is it any wonder why frustrated pastors are passionately preaching week-after-week for their congregants to get off the sidelines as spectators and participate on the field. Either knowingly or unknowingly, professional ministers have created and defined the spectator sidelines with refreshments and comfortable benches where everyone can sit and watch power point presentations about what they could do for the Lord if they were only given the opportunity to get onto the field. If people were set free to be themselves in Christ as the church, the organized religious sidelines and power point presentations would be over and a thing of the past. There would be many unemployed professionals set free from the bondage of organized religion to be blown about by the Spirit of God to new and more purposeful endeavors.

Organized religion has always tried to justify and legitimize their belief systems with buildings. The early church lived around the religions of their day with buildings containing committed followers. With that awareness, they understood that God had decided to do something incredibly creative by discarding the template of buildings as temples and churches. His alternative plan came about by miraculously creating within each believer the knowledge and the ability to stand on their own or corporately, as "temples of God." Jesus, the High Priest, placed His Spirit into believers twenty-four hours a day, performing His worship service within their hearts and minds. What did this do for them?

For one thing, this gave the church the needed mobility and flexibility to go anywhere and minister. Have you ever wondered how the words spoken by Jesus to Nicodemus would apply to the church? Let me remind you of part of that conversation so that you will see how it fits into this discussion. "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going: so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:8). Can you see what you have been created to do? God's people were literally designed to be blown through neighborhoods and around the world by the Holy Spirit like leaves being scattered about by the wind. They were not meant to be confined and tied down to a business model for the purpose of producing spiritual results. Instead, supernatural productivity would be the result of spiritual transformation with radically different ways of existing in the kingdom building process.

Living in Christ with a Divine Nature

Since the church is spiritual, it was designed to be organic in form, function and expression. We are told in I Corinthians 12 that God made this possible by including every believer into a supernatural body that is identified as Christ's (I Corinthians 12:27). To make that work effectively He gave us new natures by being born again, "...putting on a new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth." (Ephesians 4:24). Peter says that as a result of this we are now partakers of the divine nature free to function in the world with His spiritual DNA. How is this manifested and employed?

When operating in the nature of God's DNA, as did the early church, we see a freedom to function and display signs of spiritual life. For example, an organic church model is free from ritual, hierarchical leadership and a group dependent upon one key leader or professional staff with a building to maintain. It generates relationships of brotherly love and a commitment to one another. Those gathered together are inquisitive seekers asking questions and forming biblically based ideas that apply to individual and corporate living. It fosters mutual appreciation of each other's contributions in an open participatory body. It believes Godly living is dependent upon Christ's life living in and through each believer and not upon a set of moral or ethical codes or principles or rules. One will see men and women who have discovered their spiritual makeup is understood through their identity in Christ. Lastly, Biblical teaching communicates that Christians are now under the New Covenant which revoked the Old Covenant and made it obsolete.

Any form of institutional worship, service or practice can not be recognized as spiritually innate and genetically driven by God. What is seen as traditionally religious must be ignored and set aside in order to hear the word of God and trust the Holy Spirit to freely manifest Christ in our life. Religion should never be an allowable substitute for the freedom we can experience in Christ. This was why the Apostle Paul cautioned fellow believers with the following words to the Galatians. "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1). In this setting the yoke of slavery was Jewish legalism that distracted people from their freedom to live in the life of Christ and trust Him fully for godly living. Organized religion has an abundant supply of what looks good on the surface, enticing men and women into traditional, religious Christian lifestyles instead of an authentic life in Christ. Adopting such practices will always suffocate God's expressive DNA within a person by building a trust and dependence upon man instead of God. What can we anticipate when believers gather together freely with Christ as the source of our life as the cornerstone for our uncontained living?

Gathering Together Organically

When believers "go to church" within an institutional setting are they benefitting spiritually? Are they being built up and edified as God would desire? Is there a biblical basis for what takes place so that the experience is authentic and fruitful? These are tough questions to ask any person who is attached to the organizational model, but they must be asked if one views scriptural principles as fundamental for gathering together. Where do we start if we are open to discovering answers to these questions? Let's look at the early church model and see how close we are in following their lead.

As I stated before, the early church had an organic element to it. The gathering times were fluid as it allowed and benefitted from the expected and unexpected contributions of its participants. Jesus Christ was the focus of the meeting, as He is the Head of the Church (Ephesians 5:23). There was an expectation and a trust that He would lead during those times of assembly. He would be the "senior pastor" organizing the fellowship and all aspects of worship, which involves all facets of our life.

Along with this, He has placed each of us as members of His body to function just as He has desired (1 Corinthians 12:18). There was a belief that as God brought people into His body of believers each would have a valuable role to play within the assembly. Therefore, organic church life trusted the Holy Spirit to provide the freedom to express what the Lord had taught each member through the week. Paul's words describe the organic church movement when he says, "What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has as a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification." (1 Cor 4:26). What stands out as God's blueprint for collective worship?

First of all, if you have roots in the organized church movement then you are going to have problems trying to apply these instructions. Paul directs the church assembly to include each one who attends as a participant rather than as an observer. Everyone was a leader by the very nature of the priesthood of the believer. There were no divisions within the group in terms of clergy/laity or professional and non professional status. For example, God's voice would not be restricted to a "worship minister" with a background choir in colorful robes and a one man bible message delivered by a "senior pastor" week after week.

The second point, if we are to apply these words then we must believe each member has learned something very important about God and the Christian life through the week. Given this, it may mean Jesus Christ might lead that person to contribute what he has learned for the benefit of all. I think we can also assume God has built within each person the desire and need to participate in a meaningful way. Within our spiritual DNA, as born again believers, we are wired for spiritual participation and a passion to build each other up. When not given this opportunity, we are left unfulfilled during the gathering times and the assembly is worst off because of it. What can we anticipate with each member being a participant?

I believe the creative and edifying energy of God's plans for worship surpasses anything humanly structured because of its potentially rich content. The meetings might have familiar songs or new ones freshly written and taught for all to learn and sing. Visual artwork, poems and drama can also be the expressive elements in worship. Teaching, planned and unplanned (i.e. topical or expository), along with testimonies and prophetic insights (casting light upon truth and life), will be additional witnesses to the Gospel. Anything glorifying Christ is to be anticipated through the prayers, the lyrics, the teachings and the participation of those attentive to the Lord's voice. And let me add, this comes about when young and old are blended together to share in each other's unique gifts and contributions to the church body. Young and old need each other to grow in the Lord.

In contrast, the institutional church will seldom allow and present this type of freedom and liberty for those attending. The risks for a professionally led church, designed to run on a business model are too great if operated organically. The following are some of these risks and probable reasons for keeping tight control over what occurs during primary gathering times. Perhaps some of these observations and experiences have been yours as well.

• When there are many contributors to edify the body of Christ a very healthy spiritual atmosphere can be developed. Thus, when gifted leaders surface and mature, paid staff can be threatened by job insecurity due to the lack of being the primary visionaries for the church.

• A meeting designed and orchestrated by God can be unique and unwieldy. For example, the amount of time when people gather together may be longer than conventional church settings might allow. In addition, one never knows what to expect from those attending a fellowship which is Christ driven instead of staff driven.

• Those in attendance actively participate instead of being compliant bench-warmers waiting to be spoon-fed or entertained. Each weekly meeting is different because of the variety of those attending and contributing.

• No one can be manipulated into joining ministries that directly support the vision of a structured church environment. Out-of-the-box ministries are started and sustained amongst those who are led and indwelt by Jesus to meet the needs of those in their communities and the world.

• Financial support will be by faith (believing God sustains His work and supports His workers) instead of by sight (line item budget supported by an Old Covenant tithing system).

• When a person views the church as an organism, those attending are not members who are comfortable with attendance roles and numbers being sent to church offices and denominational headquarters for methods of evaluating a spiritually active community. Growing in the grace of God and trusting Him for all things spiritual are the practical expressions of church life. People are free to come and go as Christ leads. There is nothing employed as a way to control commitment or size within a group.

• In contrast to the organically driven church, professional pastors are faced with the daily pressure to keep what has been built sustained and to grow the base spiritually and numerically. Every paid staff person knows these two stated goals are what guarantee and safeguard their jobs. Therefore, in an institutionally driven church any number of problems can occur. Workaholic schedules, competitive atmospheres, strained relationships due to unrealistic expectations and excessive worry are just a few downsides that immediately come to mind. If the church chooses to run as an institution then the world's standards for success will also produce problems associated with career accomplishment.

• Every institutionally minded purpose, goal and structure is at risk when an individual or a group of people decides to live their lives based on an organic church model. What has been achieved organizationally may not fit or work within an organic model. When making the shift to the organic model one must always be mindful that a foundation laid by man will usually be unharmonious with plans set by Jesus Christ. (I Cor 3:12).

The organizational church methods have had centuries to develop and regretfully most Christians do not believe or realize there is another way. There are many who proclaim the organic model will never work in today's culture. My response is twofold. First, why go to the trouble of teaching anything in the Bible if human nature and its needs have changed from that of the first century? And secondly, if we believe our culture will not accept and flourish with an organic model, then what can we say about the success terrorist groups are having by using it? Everyone in the news media acknowledges the organic nature of terrorism and the inability to define, locate and extinguish it. Amazingly Satan saw the success of the early church and decided to use the technique for his own destructive purposes. He possibly had the following thought centuries ago. "If the church is not going to use it, then I will."

My hope is for biblical discovery that takes the church into a modern day, second Reformation. Clearly, the first one started with high expectations but never completed the job. If given the opportunity by God, we shall all have the revelation to see ourselves as God views us. We are the church, designed to live freely in His spiritual DNA and given the tremendous ability to minister organically in an organizational world culture. My prayer is that it will happen in my lifetime and yours as God calls out more believers from organized religion into organic church.

An organic model exists to express Jesus Christ and depend upon Him as the Head of the church and the visionary and support for the rest of the Body (1 Corinthians 12). In the next part I will examine how the reverse pyramid style of leadership is demonstrated in the organic model.

By Bill E. Rose

The Church: Organism or Organization?

**See website:

http://gracedrivenpeople.com/

or contact Bill Rose with comments/questions-

brose@gracedrivenpople.com

The Health Benefits of Eating Organic Food

So, you've seen organic produce in the grocery store, organic labels on packaging, and heard about organic food on the news. What exactly does it mean to be USDA certified organic?

Organically certified foods are grown without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, GMOs, radiation, or growth hormones as well as free from other unnatural growth methods.

Organic

Alright, so does that mean organic foods are healthier?

The Health Benefits of Eating Organic Food

Yep.

Foods grown organically have a higher nutritional value than foods that are not. Organically grown fruits and vegetables potentially contain 40% more antioxidants and organic milk potentially contains 90% more antioxidants according to a Newcastle University study.

Not only do these foods have more nutrients, they also contain less chemicals. The chemicals often sprayed on crops are meant to kill other life forms, and while humans may not die from consuming them, these chemicals can still be very detrimental to our health.

Non-Organic foods that were grown using radiation methods can change the chemistry of the food itself, potentially even promoting cancer.

Foods that were not grown organically can be genetically modified, meaning that they are different than the food you are intending to buy. A genetically modified apple is structurally different than a non-genetically modified grown apple, and our bodies were not meant to process and run on genetically modified food.

Yes, organic foods generally are more expensive than other foods. This is because organic farmers do not receive subsidies and organic farming is more labor intensive and time-consuming.

Many people believe that organic foods taste better than other foods. I tend to agree, in part because non-organic foods can be grown with quantity and ship-ability in mind rather than taste.

Something else to consider when deliberating between organic or not is the cost to the environment. Growing food with toxic chemicals creates runoff that can damage nearby water sources. When chemicals are used to grow food, the land can be harmed to the point of the soil becoming infertile.

Not only produce can be labeled as organic. Animal products can gain the certification as well. Organic meat generally means that the animals were treated well, and ate higher quality feed in addition to being free to graze pastures.

Often times, organic produce can be less appealing the eye. But don't let appearance fool you...try eating them before discounting them. You may find that you feel better and that the food actually tastes better.

Investing in your health pays off in the short term and long term, and buying organically grown foods is a good way to do that.

The Health Benefits of Eating Organic Food

Ben Hirshberg

BenHirshberg.com

Organic, Natural, Sustainable - What's the Difference?

Current awareness of the importance of reducing our carbon footprint finds more consumers demanding Organic and Natural products. As a result, more designers and manufacturers are producing 'Green'. Manufacturers adhering to green practices are eliminating toxins from being introduced into the environment improving air quality; not contaminating our water and soil with post production runoff; and providing better quality products for our bodies and our health. Designers are searching for organic and natural materials to use in anything from clothing to home goods. Today's advertisements are laden with terms such as Organic, Natural and Sustainable. So what is the difference between each of these?

Organic pertains to something that is derived from living organisms. Grown with natural rather than synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, consuming less energy and less fuel and emitting less toxic gases, organic products actually have a lower carbon footprint. Organic and natural clothing and accessories are made using raw materials such as organic cotton and organic wool. Organic cotton then refers to cotton produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Production may include the use of fertilizers or pesticides that are plant or animal in origin. Organic wool must follow federal standards for organic livestock production. These standards include use of certified organic feeds, use of good management practices to maintain livestock health and adherence to the natural carrying capacity of grazing lands. Synthetic hormones, genetic engineering, synthetic pesticides, whether internal, external or on pastures, is prohibited.

Organic

Natural, as the opposite of artificial, means existing in or formed by nature. Lanolin, for example, is a greasy yellow natural substance found on wool. Natural lanolin serves as a base for cosmetic products such as ointments and hand creams. Recent trends show a boom in the natural cosmetic and personal care products industry. Consumers are finding the availability of more products made from natural ingredients such as citrus, honey, flowers, herbs, natural oils and so on. To keep a production process organic manufacturers are using natural dyes for color in fabrics. The majority of natural dyes are vegetable in nature made from plant sources such as roots, berries, bark, leaves and wood, but can also be derived from clays and minerals.

Organic, Natural, Sustainable - What's the Difference?

Sustainable refers to something that can maintain its own viability in a short amount of time allowing for its continual use. Hemp is a quick growing robust plant that grows in diverse soil conditions. As one of the fastest growing plants in the world Hemp also has a high yield ratio - about ten tons a year per acre - and it requires no herbicides or pesticides to grow. Hemp Clothing has become very popular especially with recent eco-friendly processes that soften the fibers. Another popular sustainable material is Bamboo. Bamboo is a highly renewable grass used for anything from clothing to furniture and kitchenware. Bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant on the earth growing as much as 3 to 4 feet per day. Once planted and establish the intricate underground network of rhizomes keeps spreading making bamboo an extremely sustainable plant.

Do your part to reduce our carbon footprint by finding clothing made from Organic Cotton or Organic Wool, personal care products comprised of Natural ingredients like essential oils or plant extracts and home products made from Sustainable materials such as bamboo.

Organic, Natural, Sustainable - What's the Difference?

Stylishorganics.com is an e-commerce boutique that platforms 'one-stop-shopping' for fashionable organic and eco-friendly products for the entire family. Offered is the best collection of products made from organically grown cotton, bamboo, hemp, sustainable hardwoods and recycled materials. Products are representative of an environmentally friendly lifestyle and have been carefully selected from manufacturers who maintain green practices. Most products offered are made in the USA. Others are from organizations or manufacturers that globally support women. Furniture and home decor products range from chic home accessories to stylish furnishings constructed from organic or sustainable materials. Clothing includes fashions for men, women and children made from organic cotton, bamboo and hemp. Offered are personal care products without chemicals and preservatives, unique accessories, toys, gifts and pet products all made from organic, natural or recycled materials. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

For additional information visit http://www.stylishorganics.com.

Organic Gelatin? Yes!

Gelatin - what is it?

Gelatin is pretty much translucent, tasteless and odorless and is commonly used in foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. The culinary gelatin is used mostly as a thickening or emulsifying agent and can be purchased in powder or sheet form. It can also be found in a host of prepared foods, from desserts, ice cream, jellies and yoghurt to cream cheese, marshmallows, gummy bears, aspic and margarine.

Organic

Gelatin is a high-grade protein derived from animal collagen by a process known as hydrolysis. Typically it is made from bovine or pork products, specifically skin or bones. Less common, but important for a kosher or halal diet, is gelatin made from fish.

Organic Gelatin? Yes!

For a vegetarian diet try agar-agar, pectin, carrageen or gum arabic as alternative gelling agents.

Nutritional Value & Health Benefits

Gelatin contains 18 amino acids, of which 9 are essential for humans. It is an especially good source of the essential amino acid Lysine. And though it would be incomplete as a single protein source, gelatin makes a nutritious addition to your everyday diet. It contains no fat, cholesterol or carbohydrates, is free of any additives and easy to digest.

An increasing number of studies suggest that gelatin not only promotes healthy hair and nails, but it may also improve bone and cartilage health. In particular 2 of the amino acids found in gelatin (Glycine and Proline) are needed to produce collagen, the primary component of connective tissues such as cartilage. Thanks to the Lysine, Gelatin also appears to be beneficial to athletes for muscle growth and metabolism.

Quality Concerns - Go Organic!

So, you are a conscious consumer, determined to avoid eggs from chicken factories and meats that are loaded with growth hormones and antibiotics; But what about the quality of the gelatin products on the market?

In fact the quality varies greatly and is influenced by the filtration and purification processes during production. But more importantly the quality is determined by the initial ingredients used for the gelatin production. To end up with a high quality product you have to start out with high quality ingredients, in this case healthy animals, raised in a pure environment. If you are trying to avoid meat from inhumane mass production factories, it only makes sense to set the same standards for all other animal products and by-products.

For a product such as gelatin to receive the organic certification, organic standards have to be followed from the start by the farm that raises the animals to the end of the production lines of the producer and packer.

Since the supply of organic meats has been growing steadily, one could easily assume that organic gelatin would also be readily available - which has been true for some parts of Europe, but not for Canada and the US. Amazingly, it was not commercially available in North America until recently.

It is very good news that this has changed: Certified Organic Gelatin is now commercially available under the brand name GoBIO!. You can purchase it online, at http://www.gobiofood.ca, but it is also starting to pop up in local health food stores and coops around Canada and hopefully soon in the US as well.

There have been some concerns about gelatin derived from cow collagen, due to BSE, also known as 'mad cow disease'. Though studies have demonstrated that the gelatin production process destroys most of the BSE that may be present in the raw material, some concerns remain. This issue can easily be avoided by using exclusively pork based gelatin, such as the GoBIO! brand.

Consumers, we now have a choice! We can feel good about jellin' away, reaping the health benefits while enjoying the characteristic jiggly consistency that only it has to offer.

Organic Gelatin? Yes!

To learn more about pork based Organic Gelatin go to http://www.gobiofood.com

Organic Vs Non-Organic

The inspiration to write this entry came from an article that was published in a local newspaper. The article and paper is not important-all that is important is that the article tried to present information proving that organic food was not any different nutritionally than non-organic. The research from the article came from other papers that had already been written, through which researchers found the benefits of organic food to be insignificant for the "general public". Does that mean the benefits of organic food ARE significant for other populations?

All in all, the article was trying to prove that organic food has no nutritional benefits over non-organic food. However, if you are eating organic food solely for increased nutritional benefit, you are missing the whole point of eating ORGANIC food! If you grow an apple organically, and you grow an apple "conventionally" - they will have roughly the same vitamin and mineral content, depending on when they were harvested. An apple, after all, is an apple. The entire purpose of eating organic is to support healthy practices and sustainable farming methods. The difference is that while the conventional apple is grown, the trees are sprayed with herbicides and pesticides to kill off any bug or bacteria that might hurt the tree or the apple, therefore jeopardizing the harvest. Once the apple starts growing, it is continually sprayed with pesticides so other animals do not eat the fruit. It is then picked before it completely ripens (read: before all of the nutrients and flavor fully develop) and sprayed with more preserving chemicals to deter ripening before the fruit gets to its final destination, which is many times thousands of miles from where it is grown. A significant amount of our environmental impact could be lessened if we all bought locally grown food. Finally, to make sure this chemicalized version of an apple looks good enough to eat, it is coated with wax to make it shine and to make sure the peel does not get any discoloration or blemishes. The wax holds the pesticides and herbicides even closer to the fruit and allows the full force of those chemicals to go into your body. Washing your produce can help with the amount of chemicals that you ingest, but can never remove them all.

Organic

Here is a quick test. Take an apple that you bought at a supermarket and smell it, before you bite into it. Does it smell like an apple? Now buy an apple at a local farmers market and smell it before your first bite. You will be blown away at the wonderful fragrance the apple produces before the peel is even broken. Just imagine what your kitchen will smell like when you are cooking dinner with local organic produce!

Organic Vs Non-Organic

What was also surprising about this article was the fact that their research came from articles that were written over the last 50 years. Our food industry has undergone many changes in the past 50 years, most of which are just beginning to show their true effects with the increases in chronic diseases in our society. The developments for speed and efficiency of food production; pesticides to increase farm output; preservatives that are used to increase shelf life; all of these are taking a toll on the health of our nation. Our bodies are fantastic machines that can process and eliminate many toxins that invade our body, only if we are properly nourished and rested. However, when the body is put under constant "attack" by foreign contaminants, in addition to being malnourished and overworked, it can only maintain wellness for so long. Eventually, the foreign contaminants will overpower the bodies natural defenses and the body will become diseased.

We are only just beginning to see the effects of our damaging farming practices, so conducting research on articles written 50 years ago, is not going to produce useful research. Scientists should be conducting research on the long terms effects of present day chemicals used in conventional farming methods. That is the information that should be presented to the general public, and then let the general public decide for themselves whether or not organic food has significant benefits.

If this information about non-organic food is not frightening enough, much of our food supply has actually been tampered with on the molecular level so they become more resistant to bacteria. These foods are known as GMO or Genetically Modified Organisms, and rarely is this denoted on the label, in fact many of these foods do not even come with a label. For example, strawberries usually do not list the ingredients, so you would not see "made with GMO Strawberries" on the label. In these cases, from the seed, the food is starting off as something that is not natural, but rather man-made. We have invented amazing things in our history, but when it comes to replicating nature, we have fallen short, because nature is too complex.

The full force of these choices has yet to be fully investigated. With all of these foreign contaminants in our food supply on a daily basis, ones that are meant to fight off viruses and bacteria, our own immune systems are becoming inadequate. We are creating a serious situation where the microbial world will continue to evolve and strengthen, but our immune systems will continue to weaken. Our only defense will be antibiotics that man can develop, leaving us with a completely reactive, rather than preventive, line of defense. Imagine a war against a living organism that can morph and adapt. It is not a pretty picture.

Is it easy to eat all organic food? Absolutely not. In fact it is probably the most difficult practice that you could ever try to change, unless you live on your own farm. That, in and of itself, is part of our problem. Even if someone wants to improve their eating habits by going organic, they may not necessarily have the resources, due to availability and financial restraints. With the popularity of Whole Foods, eating organically has certainly become a lot easier and more accessible. However, the cost of organic grown produce versus McDonald's still hinders many from making the leap to an organic diet.

My suggestion is to find a local organic farmers market from which you can buy all of your seasonal produce. The price can be slightly higher, but you can rest assured knowing that your money is being put to good use supporting local farming, not to mention, the short travel time of the food will make for a much longer shelf life in your home. You will notice an incredible difference in the taste and smell of the local food you are eating, making your meals that much more delicious.

The lesson here is that one does not necessarily have to reject the "norm" and purposely go against the grain, but also does not have to accept everything as "fact". Not everything printed and reported in the news needs to be taken without question. If all you take away from this is permission to think and question what does not sit right with you, then this article will be considered a success. You have already heard to think before you speak, but also think before you act, cook and eat.

Organic Vs Non-Organic

Jan Michelle Filoso is an Holistic Health Counselor certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She also founded JanWellness, through which she provides one on one and group Holistic Health Counseling programs. Although Jan addresses many health and weight concerns within her practice, her main focus is on stress management and digestive disorders.

Jan Michelle is also a Level 2 Reiki Practitioner and Certified Personal Fitness Trainer. Her mission is to bring optimal health and wellness to her community, making our country's current health crisis a thing of the past. Jan Michelle serves the NYC and surrounding areas.

You can visit Jan Michelle's website at http://www.janwellness.com

Jan Michelle works for Sati Life promoting the intenSati practice as developed by Patricia Moreno. IntenSati is a practice for your body, heart and mind. It is a program that trains you inside and out to live a life you love in a body you love. Find out more at http://www.satilife.com

The Organic Food

If you'd really like to go organic, but are not too sure you can afford it on a consistent basis, you should look around for the best deals you can get on organic farm products. Organic food is not always a lot more expensive, you just need to look in the right places. With the growing number of people who buy organic food, options are also becoming more and more available.

Organic products are now available at several of the major grocery chains, even warehouse operations are starting to offer more organic produce. Look for the "USDA Organic" label for organic foods that are USDA standards compliant. Make sure it's the USDA Organic label, and not just the "USDA" label. While organic foods will always be more expensive, the price difference at places like Wal-Mart and Costco is not too staggering, and your food bill may still fit your budget.

Organic

While there are small local organic grocery stores, their prices for organic food are typically quite significantly more expensive. In some areas though, there are Trader Joe's or Whole Foods Market outlets that offer much better deals. Because they are organic chains, these stores offer endless organic options at great prices. At some Whole Foods Markets, you can even get bulk discounts.

The Organic Food

Another way to save money is by buying fruits and vegetables in season. The reason organic food is more expensive is that it is more difficult to grow. It is particularly difficult to grow out of season. Planning your monthly home menu around in season fruits and vegetables can save you a lot of money. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, never get more than you can consume in a few days. Another drawback of organic food, is that it doesn't keep as well; this is because no preservatives are used. When you find organic meat at a bargain price, you can stock up, just make sure you don't get more than you can fit into your freezer.

If you don't have a house full of finicky eaters, and you don't have a problem with learning how to cook many different dishes, you can get a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) membership. It's a lot like getting a magazine subscription, for a certain amount, you will receive regular deliveries of in season fruits and vegetables. Like a magazine where you don't get to pick what articles you get, you won't get to pick the produce you get either.

Another great source of organic food is farmer's markets. The prices can be prohibitive, but if you wait till closing hours to do your marketing, you'll find that many farmers drop their prices significantly. You might also consider growing your own food, you can start with cherry tomatoes and herbs, then work your way up to more complex foods later. When it comes to getting affordable organic food, the key to success is being resourceful and patient. Going organic does entail certain sacrifices, and you should be prepared to make them.

The Organic Food

For more financial advice from Sally, please visit her blog.

What is Organic?

The term "organic" is used to describe how agricultural foods are produced. It also is used to describe the methods of processing. The goal of growing organic foods is to improve the health of people and animals, as well as the soil and plants. Growing organic foods and using organic methods for processing them is considered low impact to our environment, and helps balance agricultural practices with the needs of nature.

Farmers with certified organic land must never use chemicals that might pollute the air, water or food. Organic farmers use methods that respect the land and help nurture the animals who live on it. Instead of using chemicals to boost growth of plants and try to discourage pests from damaging crops, organic farmers use sustainable farming techniques including composting and crop rotation to improve the fertility of the soil, and non-toxic pest control methods like spraying vegetable oil on crops.

Organic

To maintain the "certified organic" standing, farmers must not use any synthetic fertizers or dangerous or toxic pesticides and chemicals on the land for at least three years before certification and for anytime thereafter. Pesticides can linger in the environment long after they were applied to the land, so simply purchasing organic foods doesn't completely guarantee that the foods are 100% pesticide-free - but studies by Consumer Reports in 1998 have shown that organic fruits and vegetables had much lower-level pesticide residues, or none at all, when compared to those produced with conventional methods.

What is Organic?

Organic farmers do not use antibiotics or growth hormones which improves the health of people who consume the foods. Where as the non-organic methods of processing food often requires preservatives or irradiation to keep it fresh and edible, the organic methods maintain the integrity of the food without the use of preservatives or irradiation.

Antibiotics lose their effectiveness for fighting disease and infection when used excessively or incorrectly. When farmers use antibiotics in healthy animals, and humans eat the animals or the milk cows produce for example, the effectiveness of those antibiotics in humans can actually be reduced. Organic farmers treat their animals' health without using hormones and antibiotics in order to improve human health through the food chain.

Farmers who grow organic crops are also committed to the humane treatment of the animals that live on their land. For example, farms that have cows for milk allow cows to make milk according to their natural schedules. They provide their animals with organic feed, plenty of fresh air and access to pastures to graze.

What is Organic?

Tisha Kulak Tolar is a writer for Fit4EverYoung.com, where she writes about bodybuilding, exercise, general health and fitness, nutrition and supplements.

A Guide to Fair Trade, Organic Chocolate Companies

Knowing Fair Trade and Certified Organic chocolate companies

Today, there are more fair trade chocolate companies and brands specializing in organic chocolate ingredients than ever. Whether you're looking for chocolate gifts for a special occasion or a quick snack for the road, your eco-shopping trip will be much less hassle today that it would have been even five years ago.

Organic

So breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that you no longer have to struggle over where to buy earth friendly chocolate products. We've collected a long list of the highest quality, most ethically-sound, and most popular chocolate companies and organic chocolate brands. Give them a gander, share them with your friends, and above all, celebrate your choice to live a greener, more socially-aware life!

A Guide to Fair Trade, Organic Chocolate Companies

Alter Eco

Using only Certified Organic and Certified Fair Trade chocolate, as well as fair trade, organic sugar, nuts, raisins, and coffee beans, Alter Eco's chocolates are also free of artificial flavors, sweeteners, chemical additives, and emulsifiers.

Dagoba Organic

Dagoba Organic Chocolate's belief in chocolate as a sacred food (dagoba means temple in Sanskrit) is made from organic cocoa beans from a variety of countries, including Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Peru.

Divine Chocolate

Organized by farmers, the Divine Chocolate company works with small cocoa producers primarily in West Africa, to stimulate ethical trade practices. The company invests in building schools, sinking wells, providing mobile clinics, and fostering women's income generation projects.

Endangered Species

Endangered Species Chocolate stresses principles such as reverence for life and ethical trade. Their wrappers increase awareness of species that are currently threatened or endangered. Ten percent of all net profits are given to support species, habitat, and humanity.

Equal Exchange

Working with three different farmer cooperatives in the Dominican Republic, Equal Exchange organic chocolate products are both organic and fair trade. The company also produces teas, snacks, and coffee.

Green & Black's

Merging the "green" of organic chocolate production principles with the "black" of a decadent life, Green & Black's is both delicious and sustainable. They choose only organic and fairly traded chocolate ingredients.

Grenada Chocolate Company

For Granada Chocolate Company, it's not enough to purchase Certified Organic cocoa beans-they must grow the beans themselves. Working with organic farmers' cooperatives, they grow the beans and then use solar-powered machines to make the chocolate.

Ithaca Fine Chocolates

At Ithaca Fine Chocolates, the aim is to produce exquisite chocolate (using Swiss chocolatier methods) that's also Fair Trade Certified. They also only purchase USDA Certified Organic ingredients. Their wrappers, art cards, and display boxes are made from recycled paper as well.

Newman's Own Organics

A company founded by Paul Newman, Newman's Own Organics carries Signature Series Chocolate which is USDA Certified Organic and made from ingredients grown on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.

Seeds of Change

Working to keep organic, open-pollinated seeds available for farmers and gardeners worldwide, Seeds of Change also produces some organic food and has recently developed a line of chocolate made from organically-grown cocoa, fruits, nuts, and spices from around the world.

Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates

Based in California, Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates are Certified Organic by the Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) organization.

Terra Nostra Organic

A Vancouver, Canada company, Terra Nostra Organic Chocolate is Certified Organic and known for its magnificent taste and luxuriant finish. The company is also a founding member of Equitable Trade which strives to encourage ethically traded and organic chocolate farming methods for their suppliers.

Vintage Plantations

With the Rainforest Alliance stamp of approval, Vintage Plantations chocolate is made from Ecuadorian cocoa so you know that it's both eco-friendly and ethically traded.

Knowing where to buy fair trade chocolate

Now that you know what fair trade chocolate brands and organic chocolate companies to look for, you may also need some help knowing where to buy organic and fair trade chocolates (some artisans and producers don't sell their wares online). To help you out, here are some tools to help you know where to buy eco-friendly and ethical chocolates:

  • Global Exchange carries a wide range of Fair Trade Certified products, including chocolate, coffee, tea, crafts, clothing, jewelry, and more.
  • TransFair USA maintains a list of national cafes, restaurants, and retailers carrying their Fair Trade Certified food products.
  • The Chocolate Room carries some fair trade and organic chocolate bars.
  • You can find Vintage Plantations fair trade chocolates at World Wide Chocolate online.

Choose Earth Friendly Chocolate for Gift Giving

Holidays throughout the year are popular occasions for buying chocolate as gifts. But this year, as you shop the isles or search online, keep earth friendly chocolate gifts in mind, especially when you come to the events here:

Valentine's

Treat your sweetheart to a box of chocolates that are Certified Organic or that have the Fair Trade Certification seal.

Christmas/Hanukkah

Stock up with Hanukkah Gelt that's Certified Organic and look for advent calendars and stocking stuffers for Christmas that are Fair Trade Certified.

Mother's Day

Surprise your Mom with a bouquet of chocolates that are healthier for her and that ensured women around the world were treated with dignity and respect. Fair Trade is the only way to go for this occasion.

Father's Day

If your Father has a sweet tooth, give him a real treat by purchasing organic chocolates that were produced using cocoa beans raised on farms that are pesticide and fertilizer-free. These will hit the spot without hurting the farmers.

Easter

Don't let the Easter bunny bring your children chocolates that were made using child slave labor! Choose Fair Trade Certified chocolates instead.

Halloween

Send trick-or-treaters home with sweets that won't create health problems for them later. Organic chocolates that are toxin-free are a great alternative to conventional treats.

Weddings

If it's your time to plan a spectacular day to celebrate your love, do so with favors that are ethical to add a green, socially-conscious flare to your day. Look for the fair trade and organic seals for your cake, too!

A Guide to Fair Trade, Organic Chocolate Companies

Lorna Li is a green online marketing professional specializing in the LOHAS Lifestyles of Health & Sustainability sector. She is the founder of Green Marketing TV a website featuring videos, news, tutorials, and information aimed at inspiring entrepreneurs to participate in the green economy. When not covering green news, she enjoys Organic, Fair Trade Chocolate [http://goodchocolatekarma.com] and raw cacao smoothies in her free time.

Organic Latex Mattress Vs Natural Latex Mattress - What's the Difference and Who Cares?

In this article I want to clear the air as to what constitutes "Certified Organic" vs. the all natural aka "botanically derived latex" used by manufacturers of latex foam mattresses. As of today there is only one truly USDA/EU Certified Organic Latex used for latex mattress cores and latex mattress toppers. The company that manufactures that product has very limited amounts available so there are only a handful of mattress factories in the United States that can even get their hands on it.

The company that has broken the "Certified Organic Latex" barrier is Latex Green located in Sri Lanka. This has taken years to accomplish. Latex Green had to isolate a large part of their rubber tree plantation and keep it free from any chemical pesticides and chemical fertilizers for years until it was finally awarded the organic certification in both the US and EU. In addition, a portion of the manufacturing plant had to also be isolated and kept sterile. This was a major undertaking and huge expense to pull this off but Latex Green's commitment to the earth and our environment has been nothing short of commendable and greatly appreciated by those of us who offer non-toxic sleep solutions.

Organic

Here's what Latexco, the only authorized distributor in the U.S., had to say about this long journey- "In order to meet the requirements for certification Latex Green segregated a section of the Plantation. The USDA requires that there be no chemical fertilizers or pesticides used on the trees or ground for a minimum of 4 years before any sap can be collected. After purging for 4 years the sap is collected and stored in a separate facility. It is then mixed, processed, poured, washed and packaged separately using separate equipment so as not to contaminate. You will notice that even the pincore pattern of the Organic is somewhat different from the regular (natural but not certified organic latex) Naturalux. That is because the newly commissioned molds used to produce the Organic are used solely for that purpose and never used to produce other products, assuring that there is no intermingling, residue or trace contamination. The material is also packaged in foil lined paper and stored separately in both the LG and our facility. This has been a long and costly process requiring years of commitment, diligence and investment but the results are the World's First Truly Organic Natural Latex". This video can explain it further Organic Latex Mattress

Organic Latex Mattress Vs Natural Latex Mattress - What's the Difference and Who Cares?

When Mithra from the R&D department at Latex Green was asked "How does the organic latex mattress cores differ from the natural latex cores?" the answer was as follows in regards to the harvesting of natural "botanically derived" latex. "According to our plantation comments, it is common that fertilizers are being used at the very early stages until the rubber tree is grown and ready for tapping. Once the tapping starts (approx in 06-07 years) and the trees become mature, the use of fertilizers is reduced gradually allowing the tree to sustain the growth on its own. The plantations that we collect latex from have trees that are over 20 years old and therefore the need to use fertilizers has become unimportant.

Secondly, we use 100% natural latex in our compounds with no fillers or synthetic latex added. Therefore, we also think that our products can be recognized as "Botanically Derived Latex products".

So the bottom line is that the only real difference is the use or non-use of fertilizers in the early stages of plant development. As explained above, even the natural latex, that is technically botanically derived, uses very little if any chemical fertilizers at its harvesting age. The follow up question I have asked is about the use of pesticides which will be the topic of a follow up article once I receive the reply but I expect a similar response.

The only remaining question would be one to ask of yourself, as organic latex mattresses are approximately 1/3 higher in price, and that is "how pure do you really need to go" when buying a natural latex mattress. As a side note, there has never been a reported case of a latex allergy associated with a latex mattress, latex mattress topper or latex pillow according to the FDA and that's because any residual chemicals that may have been present in the finished latex all get washed away during the 5 step rinsing process.

So to completely eliminate any possible chemical contamination the Certified Organic Latex would be the preferred choice. The likelihood that there are any dangers in natural botanically derived latex is extremely doubtful but not inconceivable. The remaining question is "is the difference in price worth the minimal risk"? My conclusion is this; there is no wrong choice here. Both solutions are head above heels better than any other sleep product on the market today. You simply cannot go wrong with either an organic latex mattress or a natural latex mattress.

Organic Latex Mattress Vs Natural Latex Mattress - What's the Difference and Who Cares?

Ken Hightower is a mattress industry veteran of over 35 years. There is a ton of information on his website Latex Mattress Company about organic latex and natural latex mattresses.

Benefits of Organic Green Tea

A main green tea benefit is that it contains powerful antioxidants that favor bacteria beneficial to the human body while killing those that are harmful. Organic green teas have a high rate of antioxidants which are really important to protect the cells from a natural process that prevents toxins that build up from unnecessary oxygen.

Organic tea is the more natural form of modern tea plants that are sprayed with pesticides and other artificial methods of growth. Many tea plantations are now converting to organic due to the harming effects of chemical fertilizers- this organic tea provides a fuller taste that heightens the green tea benefits. The process of green tea formation includes only the leaf bud and top two leaves of the tea plant. The leaves do not become oxidized as they are not fermented like black tea. This process helps to preserve the leaves without destroying the beneficial compounds in the plant. Organic tea benefits also include various nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, manganese and potassium and the vitamins A, C, E and K.

Organic

Consumption of organic tea help prevent diseases such as arthritis, improve bone density, reduce the risk of heart disease, and helps fight cataracts. Green organic tea is beneficial for almost every organ in the body as it helps prevent cancer by blocking compounds with poly phenols. Organic green tea helps control blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attacks. Its daily consumption has shown results in preventing viral infections. It is a very soothing drink that can help you control stress and slow down the aging process. Many people have used green tea for aid in weight loss as well as it works wonders for your metabolism. Tea is also a wonderful alternative to coffee, with many varieties having just half of the caffeine.

Benefits of Organic Green Tea
Benefits of Organic Green Tea

I suggest that everyone should experience the flavors and benefits of tea in its organic form. For more information on organic teas and their benefits, visit Tea Noosh.