International Organic Foods Tips
International Tips on Organic Produce
Internationally, organic farming is likewise taking off, with many countries offering similar levels of certification to those in the US.
- European Union farmers can be certified by the EU so that their produce can carry the starred Euro-leaf organic foods logo, signifying certified organic farm sourcing.
- The UK and other individual European nations also have their own organics certifications.
- India's National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) certifies national and export policies governing organic farming, at levels equal to those of the US and EU. However, within India most organic farming is done without certification, so you have to trust the farmer.
- In New Zealand, the Fair Trading Act 1986 covers organic farming practices, but certification is provided by outside groups such as AssureQuality and BioGro New Zealand.
- Australian certification is provided by two independent organizations, the Organic Growers of Australia and SAI Global.
- The Canadian government also certifies organic produce as "Canada Organic".
When talking to farmers, you want to ask about both pesticides and herbicides. The types of fertilizer a farmer uses and any hormones or other treatments employed in raising animals could be of concern to you as well.
Us Organic Foods Tips
A Few Guidelines on Organic Foods
- Farmers Markets give you the opportunity to talk to local farmers and find those genuinely dedicated to organic farming practices.
Local Farms allow you to visit and discuss farming practices right there with the farmer in his field. If their farming principles sound good, safe, and organic to you then you have an agricultural gold mine just down the road!
- In-State Farmers are more likely to be sending organic produce to your supermarket. If it's out of state or worse out of the country, it's very likely grown with unnatural assistance.
- In-Season Produce is much more likely to be local and organic. However, if it's grapes in the winter or the like, you can be fairly sure that it's coming from a chemically-polluted farm thousands of miles away.
Supermarket Produce that is organic will have a 5-digit PLU starting with 9, while non-organic goods are only four digits long. But this doesn't tell you what sort of farm produced the fruit or vegetable.
- Meat and Poultry buyers should look for the words "minimally processed" on food labels.
- Certification from the USDA National Organic Program is the only nationwide program to indicate and test organic farming practices, but this includes the big "organic" food conglomerates in the same harvest as the mom and pops.
While a USDA organics sticker or certifications from other organics programs may not be a foolproof sign of trustworthiness, it's usually better than trusting any old sign claiming that the produce was grown "spray-free", "naturally", "with organic methods", or the like unless you know the farmer personally. Many farmers and markets want to seem organic without the trouble and expense of being organic.
Calcium Chloride for Crisp Veggies
Hi U Ole Patoot doin,,,,,,,,, ORH here.
Let me tell you a story and you will be smart as me. Our ancestors used alum to make veggies crisp. They good folks, but had no clue that alum messes up your brain. The grocery folks kept this a secret for a long, long time. What makes veggies crisp is Calcium Chloride. You can buy it as Pickle Crisp. In the paper industry we used it as a moisture scavenger in drying air to pad Chlorine cars. Chlorine will last one million years in the dry black iron line. A black iron line will last 2 hours in a wet atmosphere. I never replaced a chlorine line because I kept the pad air dry. When I went to Selma...... they replaced the chlorine line every 6 months, because they were ignorant. So here is my admission to you. Do not use Alum, use pickle crisp. The veggies will be better and you will live a lot longer.
Another interesting and commonplace food additive is carrageenan, an emulsifying agent extracted from red seaweed. While this polysaccharide has been used forever as a thickener and bonding agent in everything from ice cream to toothpaste (taking the place of animal-derived gelatin), in the past several years there has been a growing concern about carrageenan as a potential carcinogen and trigger to bowel disorders. While there is some remote possibility that this is true, mostly this stems from confusion over an industrial agent that at one point was also called carrageenan, though it substantially differed from the naturally occurring molecule.
For the most part, carrageenan is probably safe. In fact, the red seaweed that provides carrageenan has been consumed as a natural remedy for respiratory disorders and as a laxative. However, for those who already have digestive disorders such as colitis, it might be worth avoiding this food additive as much as possible.
This does not sound like EC. I always stay away from carrageenan added products.
Even EC is stating that Carrageenan is PROBABLY SAFE, and you recommend people with UC or other digestive disorder to stay away from it.
When you say probably safe then even you are unsure about the safety of this product.
Dr. Weil, recommends that one avoid products with it. I do... Especially when I buy soya milk. Plus I don't care for its thickening qualities... it seems completely unnecessary to me...
more info here... http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/QAA44833
(Tel Aviv, Israel)
That's the least of your worries when it comes to soy milk. Unless stated otherwise, you are most likely drinking "milk" made from genetically modified soy since the vast majority of soy grown around the world is now GMO. This is already reason enough to avoid it.
Other than that, soy disrupts hormones. This leads to a whole host of problems. Check this out http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/170-scientific-reasons-to-lose-the-soy-in-your-diet/
I don't quite buy the bad soy movement.. Preferring to go with the larger epidemiological studies of populations consuming soy and their relative health.. Still for the individual it is always worth a try to eliminate to see if there is an improvement in health. Natto is a favorite of mine.
Not that Weil has the last word but I tend to trust his conclusions/logic over large bodies of studies.. And one can cross referrence with other respected Dr... Ted I believe gives it thumbs up as well...
Still if your tuition is telling you its not good for yourself than I would go with that...
(Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa)
I stay away from soy products as they can mess with one's hormonal balance and also most soy in the US is GMO. On the other hand, natto is fermented and so are tempeh and miso so it changes the composition and makes it quite beneficial. These I will use. I'm also careful in choosing my natto as many of the Asian companies add MSG. Just curious Rob, how do you eat your natto? Best to you, Lisa
Hi Lisa, I like to add natto to brown rice and sometimes have it with a scramble egg and sprinkled seaweed on top.. I hope it might cancel out any of the negative cholesterol effects of the eggs.. ?? I buy organic from a local Japanese shop but the little styrofoam containers are a concern... Ideally, I should try to make it myself...
Eating it by itself is not palatable for me.. And visually, well, it looks like something the cat coughed up.... sorry for the gross image..:)
05/21/2009: Tim from LA, CA writes: "Hi, could vinegar and baking soda cleaning mixture be used to clean vegetables and fruits, or is there something even better or that? I use dishwashing liquid for it.
05/21/2009: Deirdre from Atlanta, GA replies: "I was wondering the same thing because I've started to juice recently and am throwing entire unpeeled lemons and apples into the juicer! An article I found on NPR called "What Does It Take to Clean Fresh Food?" says vinegar works the best. Apparently, a diluted vinegar rinse removes 98% of bacteria while a scrub brush removes 80%. Here's the article: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14540742
05/22/2009: T from Maryland, USA replies: "Good article, Deirdre - thanks! I've been using white vinegar in water along with about 10 or so drops of grapefruit seed extract (Citricidex) for good measure. I've never been certain just how much it might kill/clean off, but I knew it was better than just rinsing or scrubbing with plain water. That article makes me feel more confident in what I am using. I've also heard of people adding baking soda; apparently this helps remove wax coatings (think apples, peppers) but I can't say for sure... need to go do some more research! As far as pesticides, this is a good reason to buy organic where possible. If I can't get good organic apples, I peel mine even after washing thoroughly. On a related note, here is a PDF file with info on washing cantaloupes to avoid salmonella. It includes the vinegar wash, and also talks about H202: http://www.marlerblog.com/234-928.pdf
05/24/2009: Janka from Boston, Ma replies: "T is right, organic is always best. Pesticides not only reside on the outside of the fruit or vegetable, but they can also permeate the core of the produce. A great list of fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides here: http://www.foodnews.org/fulllist.php
When I have mentioned cooking vegetables until they are tender I failed to mention I NEVER cook in plastic. I use a clear glass casserole with a lid. Because all of our food is being genetically engineered, in one way or another, to last longer it is important to note that this makes it harder to digest. I am on SSD and limited to what I can purchase. Maybe canned or frozen are not the best but they are all I can afford. They have been picked at their peak and blanched. Cooking in glass with a lid retains nutrients, because they have been blanched it reduces the cooking time. I never cook meat in the microwave.
I used to stir-fry using extra-virgin organic olive oil, but learned that any olive oil is unhealthful when cooked at high temperatures. I love organic virgin coconut oil but my husband does not, he can't stand the taste. So what other oil is best to use for sautéing or stir-frying? Or, what about butter?
I've read Canola oil is better for higher heat... According to Weil, it is a distant runner up to olive but ok to use in moderation. Buy organic (non GMO) and expeller pressed... some info from Weil here... http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400093/Choosing-Canola-Oil.html
(New Haven, Connecticut)
Don't use butter at high heat - it will burn. Peanut oil can take the heat and I have used that for my stirfrys in the past.
I now use coconut oil for health and don't notice a difference in taste in the food - I DO smell it in the container, as well as when it's cooking but I do NOT taste it in the food. Has your husband said he can taste it in the food or just that he smells it beforehand?
(Fairfax, Va Usa)
Thank you to all who have replied -- so very helpful. My husband is open to healthier choices, so is willing to try coconut oil in cooking. If the taste is minimal (or who knows, maybe he'll even like it??! ), we will cook with that. But if he still can't stand it, we will proceed to peanut oil or organic expeller pressed canola oil. Thank you! Sue
Dirty Dozen in the Produce Aisle
Unless your vitriol for the Big Food companies knows no bounds, you can and should be a little less picky about opting for whatever organic produce you can find if the item is on the "dirty dozen" list of pesticide laden fruits and vegetables. Dairy and meat products are also high in pesticides and hormones, if you don't go with the organic alternative.
The dye known as cochineal or carmine and has been widely used in food and cosmetics going back to early civilizations, evidently quite safely. The same can't be said for artificial red dye #5 and red dye #40, which at their roots are petrochemicals. The former is perhaps better known, and the FDA requires that it be specifically listed on a product's ingredients label because some people have allergic reactions to the dye. Red dye #40 actually seems to be of greater concern, primarily because it is so much more extensively used. It has been judged safe for use but is a potential carcinogen and trigger for ADHD, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest has called for it to be banned along with seven other commonly used commercial food dyes.
All of which is ironic, given the increased focus on natural plant color-compounds (such as lycopene) that are strong antioxidants and otherwise full of health benefits. Seems like there must be potential food dyes out there that can not only create the desired food color, but also bring along health benefits rather than threats!
QUALITY MUST BE BUILT IN, IT CAN'T BE INSPECTED IN
HI U OLE PATOOTS DOIN,,,,,,,, tractor driver is now hitting on all 8 cylinders and I'm eating home cooked meals again. Thank all for their input.
I got a problem with our navigation system on our CRV, a Jap vehicle. Know you not supposed to use the word Jap, but I remember when our ashtrays were either heads of ToJo, Hitler or Mussolini. This was WW II and things were interesting. We did not know if we would win or not.
When the WW II was over, McAuthor was made the Allied Supreme Commander over that country. All their products were crap, so he brought in an Engineer from Iowa named Demming that had a theory about quality. He said it cannot be inspected in, it must be built in from scratch. Japanese products went from garbage to the top of the line. Detroit was letting the auto workers drink beer on the job and put the cans in the doors to rattle. Soon Americans were buying Jap cars and not cars made by drunks in Detroit.
I bring up this subject because we have the same problem with our Rx and vegetables. We all understand GMO's and Glosphate and how we all die a terrible death. Where is our present day McAuthor?
When a snot nose college student at Ga Tech, we were required to read a book about a God King. This was a person who is taught to make decisions that were best for the population. If we are not there, then we close. In any case, we need someone making sure we are eating good stuff. Where are these people? There are none and is the reason we raise our own vegetables and so should you.
Genetically Modified Soil and Organic Food
When I posted I never trusted organics I did not have this link. When I found this last fall I was so glad I had trusted my gut on this one. http://naturalsociety.com/admittedly-illegal-genetically-modified-soil-fungus-present-in-organic-products/.
Hi Everyone, I know many of you who come on here are interested in health and being informed as consumers. In a recent Earth Clinic newsletter, the organic food industry was a subject. I try to keep abreast of what is going on and am an advocate of GMO labeling. I think it's only fair that we know the truth about what we purchase! In the meantime, big food corporations are taking over the organic foods and many don't even realize it. They are pouring BIG money into blocking GMO labeling from going through. I am posting this information plus a link to read more regarding this important issue. Please stay informed, Lisa
Here is what I received this week from the Organic Consumers Association:
In recent weeks, several public interest groups, including the Organic Consumers Association, Cornucopia Institute, Mercola. Com, and Natural News, have pointed out the gross hypocrisy and greed of large food and beverage corporations selling billions of dollars of organic and natural food, while meanwhile bankrolling the industry opposition to GMO labeling. These organic and "natural" traitor companies and brands include: Kellogg's (Kashi, Bear Naked, Morningstar Farms); General Mills (Muir Glen, Cascadian Farm, Larabar); Dean Foods (Horizon, Silk, White Wave); Smucker's (R. W. Knudsen, Santa Cruz Organic); Coca-Cola (Honest Tea, Odwalla); Safeway ("O" Organics); Kraft (Boca Burgers and Back to Nature); Con-Agra (Orville Redenbacher's Organic, Hunt's Organic, Lightlife); and PepsiCo (Naked Juice, Tostito's Organic, Tropicana Organic). All of these companies are profiting from the sale of billions of dollars of their proprietary organic and "natural" food brands while at the same time funneling large sums of money to the Monsanto-led campaign to defeat the November 6th GMO labeling ballot initiative (Proposition 37) in California.
We need to send a clear message to these traitor brands, in the only language they understand: lost profits and lower sales. Today, the Organic Consumers Association and Mercola. com are formally calling for a boycott of 7 organic and "natural" brands.
(Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa)
Hi Mmsg, Yes, you are absolutely right! And since I eat this way, I don't use any of the products or companies listed. Still, I find it criminal that these companies would rob the people from the truth. If people would return to eating "close to the earth" they would restore their health and shut this situation down! Thanks for your input, Lisa
(San Fernando, Philippines)
Lisa is quite right, we are actually losing the battle to preserve alternative medicine now for the following reasons:
* Worldwide Codex laws have corrupted the proper formulation and manufacture of herbal nutrients. So the standards for the production of herbs, vitamins and minerals with respect to manufacturing and dosages are now firmly in the hands of the medical drugs cartels whose actions are widely protected by US law. Remember that alternative medicine is the direct competitor and enemy of the drugs cartels.
* Many popular alternative nutrient brands have now been taken over by the well-known food cartels who have access to the media to more heavily and successfully promote their own brands.
* The USDA, the drugs cartels and the FDA are now working in cosy symmetry to make us all sicker. The USDA first ensures the promotion of GMO crops, fungicides, pesticides, and heavily chemically processed food and water. This diet makes the population sicker and sicker. So what happens? People then go to their doctors who feed them drugs that make them sicker still.
The FDA simply does its best to so ably ensure that the food and drugs cartels have an unassailable position in the market place, which is so oddly protected by US law, which sadly enables both these corrupting industries to make vast sums of money at the expense of a nation's health.
The next stage will be when we have absolutey no choice at all but to obey the drugs cartels wishes. This has already happened in Texas where a certain Texas Governor, who unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination, this year ordered that young teenage girls in Texas have no choice but to be vaccinated against HPV with Gardasil. Vaccines are way bad enough, but has anybody checked out the dangerous side-effects and history of Gardasil lately?
(Louisville, Ky, Usa)
(Jihlava, Czech Republic)
To Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa: Thank you so much for your information. I'm very into healthy livinig. So are my friends. Of course will be best eat everything from nature, but sometimes is just convinient (for many reasons, not enuf time, because we are all busy). So I apretiate for your posting.. My husband is vegetarian and sometimes we just grab vegieburgers from companies you just mentioned. Next time I will pay more atention. Thank you.
I tried organic brocolli and it cured my shoulder-arm pain, severe lower back pain and knee pain in 3 days. Every winter I have been suffering from these pains for years. I read the cure posted by G. Michael and since I had some organic brocilli at home I decided to give it a try. I had it raw, one small brocolli head per day and after 3 days the pain is gone!!!! And i have had these pains for years! They come every winter and get better in the summer... I am frankly quite shocked because I was pretty skeptical.
Thanks G. Michael ...may God bless you!
Organic Garlic and Sulphur
We are currently studying the effects of returning sulfur to our diets. Organically grown garlic has roughly 39% sulfur and is a good source of sulfur. When grown with chemical fertilizers we have not have benefits reported. All of the results reported regarding garlic have been seen with Organic Sulfur, pure crystal MSM with no anti caking agents and in its crystal form. We believe that the sulfur may be the most important aspect of the garlic. We also believe that most of us are sulfur deficient and Linus Pauling's concern for mineral deficiency as the cause of many of our current disease processes. But how we become deficient makes us question what we feed our food, what types of fertilizers are used.
Organic Juicing Diet
Better But With Side Effects
Hello, My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer about 2 years ago and as soon as she was notified she went on an organic raw food juicing diet. She only drank organic juices and ate fruit and vegetables for the past 2 years. She drank apple/carrot juice and a green leaf veggie juice mixed with red cabbage and red apple. She alternated the apple/carrot juice with the green juice throughout the day, drinking about 8-10 juices daily with 3 meals in between. She also drank organic orange juice freshly squeezed every morning. She got the diet from Dr. Lorain Day. Dr. Day cured herself of breast cancer using this diet.
Everything has been going well so far, but in the past 6 months, my mom's gums have receded drastically. She has been to the dentist but he told her she does not have periodontal disease. She is afraid that if they get any lower then her teeth might start to fall out. Do you have any idea if she is missing any vitamins? Maybe she needs some oils, or B vitamins that she does not get from her diet. Please let me know if you can help.
She does not eat any sugar, animal products, or take any vitamins/minerals/oils. This is what Dr. Day did for when she beat breast cancer.
Thank you, Natalie
(Jax, Fl Usa)
Sounds like the Gerson diet. Search amazon/netflix for the movies, Gerson Miracle, Dying to Know, or the Simple Truth, and they have more detailed information on this diet.
One of the tips I've seen for the gumline is to ensure that the magnesium and vitamin D levels are adequate.
Also, search iblp. org for the book, the 7 Deadly Stresses (http://store.iblp.org/products/RSDS/) and it has some good information as well.