Wednesday, March 18, 2009

 Tip of the week:
What should u look for in a breakfast cereal:2 grams of fiber or more, less than 8 grams of sugar, less than 2 grams of fat.

What to buy organic?

Recently I was reading some information about what and when to start with when going organic, especially with kids. According to Dr Alan Greene, MD, Pediatrician and author of Raising Baby Green, 'our body and brain grow faster from birth to age 3 than at any other time'. Therefore, to lower your body's chemical load, you don't need to take an all-or-nothing approach. Wisdom lies in initiating with a change or two, based on what is your family's regular consumption. The article was quite informative for organic rookies with some interesting comments from readers which are worth mentioning here. But first things first, let's start with list to start with :
  • Potatoes : Are one of the 12 most pesticide contaminated fruits and vegetables(the dirty dozen list), according to Environmental Working Group(EWG), a non-profit agency working for food safety. Also, they are consumed on almost daily basis by kids and adults alike. Even when washed, peeled, or scrapped, they still retain almost 81percent of pesticide. Others on this list are apples, peaches, strawberries,  nectarines, cherries, grapes(imported), pears, spinach, celery, sweet bell peppers.
  • Peanut Butter: If your kids are peanut butter freaks, it's time to switch over to the organic variety. According to Dr Greene,"The pesticides used on peanuts are found to be toxic". Also due to a recent rise in peanut butter allergies, it's all the more risky.
  • Ketchup: Well! Kids and adults, both love this tangy red condiment as it makes for a perfect dip and spread for almost anything- eggs, pizzas, wedges, vegs and so on. Not only scoring great on taste, ketchup is also super healthy  as it is loaded with lycopenes(antioxidants) that aids in lowering the risk of cancer and heart disease. So why organic? Because the organic ketchup is 57% higher in lycopene and is nutrient dense. There's more: Organic ketchup score zero on sugar and artificial flavors.
  • Beef and Milk(dairy products): Because conventional livestock is given antibiotics to promote growth, those drugs may find their way into your system too; whereas, Organic  grass -fed beef( unlike conventional beef that  is corn and grain fed) is leaner and has 5- times the heart healthy omega-3 fats. Likewise, conventional milk contains antibiotics and pesticides. Experts are concerned about these hormones role in kick starting early puberty in kids, considering how much milk they consume on a daily basis.

    All said, these points make sense. But what's interesting is a comment from a dairy farmer and a mom about milk.Here it goes: As a dairy farmer and a mother I was shocked what you had to say about conventional milk. It is absolutely not true that conventional milk contains antibiotics and pesticides. When the milk truck comes to pick up our milk, early in the morning, the milk gets tested for antibiotics. If there is even one drop of antibiotics found, the milk will not get picked up. The whole tank of milk is dumped down the drain at the expense of the dairy farmer. The cows that do get treated with antibiotics are being milked separately and that milk is being fed to the baby calves after it has been filtered, cleaned and pasteurized. It does not ever reach the human food supply. Nutritionally all milk, organic and conventional, is the same, the only difference is the way the milk is produced. We treat our sick cows with antibiotics, so that we don't have to see them suffer and potentially die. There is also no artificial hormones added to any milk. Further more, there is never pesticides added to milk because there is no purpose to adding pesticides to the milk. All milk contains wholesome and natural hormones and helpful bacteria and enzymes. Putting any type of pesticides in the milk would not accomplish any positive result and therefore is NEVER done. Once again, ALL milk in the human food supply is equally nutritious, free of pesticides and always free of all antibiotics.

With me going organic already with kids( especially dirty dozen, poultry, and dairy), am I barking up the wrong tree after reading such comments? What's your take on this?


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