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Your Health & Wellness, Iss #88 -- Organic Food and Beyond
November 23, 2011

(Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle)

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Organic Food and Beyond

Americans are becoming more health-conscious than ever before. They are buying food products which are labeled "natural," "all-natural," and "organic," (organic food.)

Of course food manufacturers realize this and are rushing to market products which they know consumers will buy. But unless the consumer is "label-saavy," he or she will be exploited more often than not.

One often abused food label is the natural label. Manufacturers can use this term on their products even though the foods are NOT natural in the sense that consumers understand the term.

But, we are considering organic food here. It is the fastest growing part of the United State's food industry.

The USDA (United States Department of Agirculture) has jurisdiction over the organic industry. In 2000 the USDA released its official definitions of just what the term "organic" encompasses.

  • 100% Organic: "Can only contain organic ingredients, meaning no antibiotics, hormones, genetic engineering, radiation or synthetic pesticides or fertilizers can be used. Can display the USDA organic logo and/or the specific certifying agent's logo."
  • Organic: "Contains 95% organic ingredients, with the balance coming from ingredients on the approved National List. These products can also display the USDA organic logo and/or the certifier's logo."
  • Made with Organic Ingredients: "Must be made with at least 70% organic ingredients, three of which must be listed on the package, and the balance must be on the National List. These products may display the certifier's logo but not the USDA organic logo."

Source: The Daily Green

Most if not all consumers pay good money for food, especially organic food. They should not have to settle for the anything less than what nature supplies. That means that "Organic" and "Made with Organic Ingredients" are inferior and should not be eaten by you or your family.

That leaves us with "100% Organic."

Even the USDA's "100% Organic" certification can be problematic however. Let's take a look at organic dairy products.

There are many organic milk and cheese products on the market. They meet all the qualifications of the USDA for 100% organic food, and can therefore carry the USDA organic label.

But from a natural and health perspective, they can negatively affect your health.

The cows are fed a diet of grain. Grain is not what they were designed by God to eat. Cows were made to eat grass, forbs, herbs, and legumes - foods naturally found on pastureland.

Cows and other animals like sheep have the God-given ability to change grass and forbs into protein and fat. These animals are known as ruminants because they have a rumen which transforms cellulose into food.

Grain can actually harm cows. It negatively impacts their digestive systems. To combat the side effects, they are given antibiotics to combat the damage.

Grain-fed beef and dairy products can lead to chronic disease in humans. One problem is ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3.

Historically - prior to man forcing an unnatural diet on animals - dairy and meat had an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of from 1:1 to 1:5. Grain-fed dairy and meat can skew this delicate balance. It can carry a ratio of 20:1.

Excessive consumption of omega-6 in the American diet is partially responsible for driving the American obesity epidemic. Of course obesity can lead to cancers and other chronic diseases.

Organic milk is pasteurized and homogenized. The pastuerization process uses high temperatures which destroys the nutrient content and beneficial fats (saturated fat and CLA- conjugated linoleic acid.)

Pasteurization changes the shape of milk proteins and kills good bacteria. Homogenization allows the enzyme xanthine oxidase to move into the bloodstream where it attacks tissue in the artery walls and heart muscle.

Contrary to what mainstream doctors and dietitians are telling you, saturated fat is NOT a villian. Just avoid saturated fat from factory-farmed cows (the majority of the beef and dairy on the market.)

Organic food from grain-fed animals contain an inconsequential amount of CLA. This natural trans fat is a powerful cancer-fighter, and it promotes weight loss and muscle growth.

Although you can buy CLA in supplement form (I did for many years,) it is much better to get it in whole organic food. Remember, God created us to eat real, whole food.

Another favorite product which is derived from cows and used by athletes - especially weight lifters and bodybuilders - is whey protein. Again, unless it is sourced from pastuerized, i.e. grass-fed cows, you will miss a ton of health benefits.

The majority of the whey protein on the market is isolate and hydrolyzed. This process renders the whey essentially an excitotoxin.

An excitotoxin is a neurotoxin. It negatively affects the brain by destroying its cells.

The American Grass-fed Beef website presents an excellent chart highlighting the differences between pastuerized beef and grain-fed beef.

Grain-fed beef and dairy products:

  • may contain animal by-products which can lead to Mad Cow Diseaase
  • has a high risk of carrying E.Coli
  • low in beta-carotene
  • low in vitamin E
  • low in CLA
  • low in omega fatty acids (especially omega-3 fatty acids)
  • no daily rotation of cattle to ensure quality diet
  • no natural grass and forage rotation

Grains such as corn and soy are predominantly genetically modified (GM) in the United States. Genetically modified organisms is a science experiment which many studies have found to be a health threat.

As you can see, the USDA's 100% Organic label allows beef and dairy products to be called organic food and carry the certification label. But you can compromise your health by consuming a steady diet of these inferior and unnatural food products.

I'd say that 99.5 percent or more of the meat and dairy that the typical grocery store or supermarket carries, and are labeled "organic," are grain-fed. This includes stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.

Let me illustrate that by giving you a personal experience I had.

I recently visited a Whole Foods supermarket to buy organic eggs from grass-fed chickens. They had plenty of organic eggs alright. But they were ALL from grain-fed chicken. Naturally I was very disappointed.

The best and healthiest produce you can buy comes from your local farm. Local Harvest is an excellent resource through which you can find meat and produce from farms in your area.

It is unfortunate that you can't just blindly trust any food simply because it is labeled "organic." As you have seen, it may qualify as organic according to the government's definition, but even this organic food is far from what you should be eating for optimal health and disease prevention.

You need to go beyond organic.

You can also do what I am doing. Buy from a newly-formed company called Beyond Organic. Its founder and CEO is Rubin Jordan, New York Times' bestselling author of The Maker's Diet.

He named the company Beyond Organic because he goes beyond the government's conception of organic. His products come from 100 percent pastuerized cows which automatically makes the products completely organic.

The cows are actually green-fed because they are pastuerized. In addition to grass, pastures contain herbs, forbs, and legumes (what God created them to eat). And unlike factory-farmed cows, these cows are humanely treated.

They produce optimal amounts of vitamin E, beta carotene, CLA, as well as an ideal omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio.

Get full details from the Beyond Organic website.

I want to wish you and your family a blessed and abundant Thanksgiving Day.

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Joseph Elijah Barrett, Webmaster
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