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.


Alright, so does that mean organic foods are healthier?

The Health Benefits of Eating Organic Food


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

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.


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? 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

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.


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, 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

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.


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

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

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.


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.


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, where she writes about bodybuilding, exercise, general health and fitness, nutrition and supplements.