NIKKI WALSH: “The Truth About Organic and Non-Organic Fruits and Veggies”

While I disagree it’s “safe” to eat anything grown with pesticides (GMOs are another matter entirely)… I did laugh about the “rinse them under running water” part (since most tap water is pretty toxic too!)… You can follow the general safe/unsafe eating guidelines in this article. : D

Female Stall Holder At Farmers Fresh Food Market

If you say no to pesticides, 89 percent of Americans queried agree with you, a Consumer Reports survey shows. After polling 1,005 people, the report found that the topic of pesticides in food is important to most of us. We put together two lists: one of fruits and veggies that you should always eat organic, and the other with produce safe to buy and eat non-organic (or conventional).

When you buy organic, in general you will be exposed to a smaller amount of pesticides, which tend to be more naturally derived. These more natural pesticides break down easier in the environment (and we suspect in our bodies also). Therefore, buying organic is healthier for the environment, farm workers, wildlife, bees and all of us.

Charlotte Vallaeys, senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports, gives us a clearer understanding. “Eating fruits and vegetables is one of the most important things people can do for their health, and we always recommend certified organic produce as the best choice,” she says. “That’s because the use of pesticides in conventional agriculture can affect not only the people who eat the treated crops, but also farm workers, people living near farms, wildlife and pollinators.”

To further show the importance of eating organic, the results from a Swiss study on a family with young and older kids that went from eating non-organic conventional foods to eating organic foods for two weeks is amazing.

IVL Swiss Environmental Research Institute facilitated the study, titled Human Exposure to Pesticides from Food, and measured the concentration of pesticides in each family member’s urine sample. They found that after eating organic food for only two weeks, there was a significant drop in pesticide residue in the urine samples. Imagine if you always ate organic. We agree with the mom, who doesn’t like the pesticides in her kids’ bodies. 

Because of varying factors — such as where the produce is from, the measurements used and the country of origin — the organic/non-organic recommendations may differ. We compiled these general guides after consulting a Consumer Reports scientific study. But a good rule of thumb: When in doubt, go organic.

Always eat organic

Fruits:

  • Apples
  • Cranberries
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerines
  • Grapes

Veggies:

  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Green beans
  • Hot peppers
  • Sweet bell peppers

Okay to eat non-organic

Fruits:

  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Pineapples
  • Watermelons

Veggies:

  • Avocados
  • Cabbage
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions

Also, consider the seasonality factor when buying produce — it’s always best to buy during the natural growing season instead of the off-season.

Here are a few suggestions in case you get to the grocery store and forgot your list. First, buy organic if possible. Second, if the fruit or vegetable has a peel that you don’t plan to eat, like a pineapple, buying conventional is okay. To a degree, a peel protects the insides from pesticides — like a layer of armor. Third, when there’s no natural covering, buy organic. Lastly, it’s healthier to eat conventional fruits and vegetables rather than not eating any fruits and vegetables at all. 

Now that you’ve got the proper fruit or vegetable, what’s next?

Do you need to clean fruit and veggies?

Absolutely. Wash all produce before eating, even if it’s organic.

What’s the best way to wash fruits and veggies?

Rinse them under running water, according to both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and scientists. Not only is washing fruits and veggies better under running water, mostly due to the abrasive effect, it also removes more bacteria and leftover pesticides than soaking does. If you want to take it one step further, you can use a vegetable scrubbing brush.

Next, blot the water with a clean towel or an earth-friendly paper towel to remove even more bacteria and pesticides.

This process may (or may not) be more than you’re doing, but once you incorporate these simple ideas into your produce prep, it will become a habit.

What about using fruit/vegetable wash?

Water works just as well (and saves you money).

Research from the University of Maine found that distilled water is equal or better than three different commercial fruit and vegetable washes. Other research supports this. But it makes sense to use a wash, right? You wash your hands with soap to get germs off, why not wash fruits and veggies with produce wash, too? Well, some studies show that just washing produce under cold running water is the same as or better than produce washes. You can keep using that vegetable wash, but it’s just an extra step.

After the produce is clean, is it better to peel before eating?

Yes, we recommend peeling when possible. But here are a few peels you can eat. And if you’re going to eat the peel, buy organic — it reduces the risk of pesticides.

So check out our quick lists, look for the fruits and veggies you buy, and then follow our guidelines. Always do a proper prep: Wash under clean running water and blot dry. Peel when possible, and eat the peels (if suitable) when you buy organic. Follow these few simple steps and you’ll feel healthier, too!

—Nikki Walsh

Nikki Walsh is a freelance writer and mom of two kids living in Southern California. She holds an MBA in marketing from University of California, Irvine and a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from UCSD. She has been practicing Kelee meditation for 19 years. When she is not writing she can be found out and about having fun with her kids.

 

 

http://www.TheAlternativeDaily.com

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DAVID GUTIERREZ: “Himalayan salt: The ‘purest’ salt in the world and its numerous benefits”

himalayan salt

Salt is just sodium chloride, and it’s all the same, right? You use it to add flavor to your food, and keep your body’s sodium levels from going too low or too high, and that’s it, right?

That may be true of highly processed table salt, but as with most other foods, salt varies widely in terms of purity, quality and micronutrient content. According to many natural foods advocates, the purest and highest quality salt you can find is Himalayan crystal salt.

Himalayan salt, which is often pink in color, has its origins 200 million years ago in crystallized beds of sea salt. When the Himalayan mountain range formed, these former seabeds were covered with glaciers that later protected the salt from pollution. Himalayan salt has been called the purest on earth.

Sheltered for millions of years

This unique purity is part of what causes many people to prefer Himalayan salt even to sea salt. Since Himalayan salt originated in the oceans, it contains many of the same micronutrients as sea salt. But because it has been insulated from the ongoing pollution of the oceans, and because it is less processed than salt extracted from the ocean, it is less contaminated, and may contain higher levels of trace nutrients.

In fact, some sources claim that Himalayan salt contains all 84 trace nutrients required by the human body. Believers in energetic healing say that the unique crystalline structure of the salt stores vibrational energy, which can then be transferred to human cells and promote health.

Certainly Himalayan salt is a far better choice than normal table salt, which has been treated with chemicals including bleach, that strip away all the minerals except for sodium chloride. It then typically has synthetic iodine and anti-caking agents added to it, both of which make it harder for the body to absorb the nutrients therein.

Indeed, some natural health advocates believe that the negative health effects widely attributed to salt may actually stem from the highly processed salt that most people consume. The correlations seen in those studies are also probably skewed by the fact that so much salt is found in processed food, and therefore the people with the highest salt intake tend to be those who eat the most processed foods and the least whole foods, fruits and vegetables.

Eat it, cook on it or bathe in it!

Advocates of Himalayan salt say that it has been shown to have a wide range of health benefits, including promoting vascular and respiratory health, lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, stabilizing the pH of cells, improving hydration, preventing muscle cramps, strengthening bones, promoting healthy sleep, slowing the effects of aging and even boosting libido. Consumption of Himalayan salt may also help remove heavy metals from the body.

Himalayan salt can be used to replace normal salt in any recipe, and can be ground as finely as needed. If purchased in large slabs, it can also provide unique cooking benefits. These thick salt slabs can be heated up and used as excellent cooking surfaces that distribute heat very evenly. They can be used to sear vegetables or meat, or even fry eggs. The slabs can also be used as flavor-enhancing serving platters – chilled for foods eaten cold, or even frozen for cold dishes like ice cream. Because salt is naturally antimicrobial, the slab only needs to be rinsed or scrubbed after use, not disinfected.

Himalayan salt is also prized for its air purifying effects, and can also be bought in the form of crystal rock lamps. It makes an excellent bath salt, and is said to contain more than 80 skin-nourishing minerals. Bathing in Himalayan salt is said to soothe muscle aches and stimulate healthy circulation.

Himalayan salt can usually be purchased at health food stores. It is also available online.

via http://www.RiseEarth.com
http://www.NaturalNews.com