Jan 062015

Organic1It’s the New Year, and many of us are looking at the new, and often dreaded, diet change that we’ve resolved to. Millions of Americans resolve to lose weight every year. So far I’ve counted 41 diets that are trending right now. You heard that right—from the 3 Day Diet, to the Macrobiotic, to the Biggest Loser, Volumetrics, and Flexitarian Diets.

The exciting thing is that after all this research, it’s apparent that change is in the air. More people are becoming aware of what they are putting in their bodies. Most people are onboard with half of their plate being filled with vegetables, and according to the new The Future of Eating Report more consumers are also interested in eating more Organic Foods—a 20 percent increase between 2003 and 2013.

So if you are going to make a diet change, don’t discard whatever diet you’ve chosen, but do consider Going Organic. Here are just a few of the reasons why………..

What is the difference between Conventional vs. Organic Farming?

The word “organic” refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. Organic farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution.

Farmers who grow organic produce don’t use conventional methods to fertilize and control weeds. Examples of organic farming practices include using natural fertilizers to feed soil and plants, and using crop rotation or mulch to manage weeds. Okay, I’ll say it—No Monsanto.

Organic2How do I know I’m buying Organic?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established an organic certification program that requires all organic foods to meet strict government standards. These standards regulate how such foods are grown, handled and processed.

Any product labeled as organic must be USDA certified. Only producers who sell less than $5,000 a year in organic foods are exempt from this certification; however, they’re still required to follow the USDA’s standards for organic foods.

Buying organic is becoming much easier. You don’t have to just go to Whole Foods or Sprouts anymore and more and more home delivery services are popping up. What could be more convenient than having your fresh organics delivered to your door?

When at the grocery store, check labels. If the number starts with a 9 it’s organic. If it’s a 4 it is not.

How to Decipher the Label

100 percent organic. To use this phrase, products must be either completely organic or made of all organic ingredients.

Organic. Products must be at least 95 percent organic to use this term.

Products that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients may say “made with organic ingredients” on the label, but may not use the seal. Foods containing less than 70 percent organic ingredients can’t use the seal or the word “organic” on their product labels. They can include the organic items in their ingredient list, however.

Natural” and “Organic” are not interchangeable terms. You may see “natural” and other terms such as “all natural,” “free-range” or “hormone-free” on food labels. These descriptions must be truthful, but don’t confuse them with the term “organic.” Only foods that are grown and processed according to USDA organic standards can be labeled organic.

And finally, buy locally whenever possible. Use this link to find a farmers ‘market near you. Any farmer will be more than happy to share tips and you will be supporting your community. http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/

Be Healthy~BeHappy

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