December 16, 2012

Eating well and good

Organic farming

Food that is certified organic comes from farms run by people who are more likely to care about the health of our soil, water, and air, the living conditions of livestock, and the flora and fauna around the farm. Produce of organic farming is less likely to have trace residues of pesticides, artificial fertilizers, and antibiotics, and is guaranteed free from GM (genetically modified) material.

Organic certifiers permit only a small range of artificial additives to be used in processed foods while more than 500 may be used in non-organic foods.

Nutrients boost

Organic farming seems to boost nutrient content. A recent UK study found 71 percent more omega-3 fats (best for the heart) in organic than conventionally farmed milk. In another study, organic spinach was shown to have 100 percent more iron and manganese than regular crops; deficiencies of both minerals are common in later life. The antioxidant vitamin E has been found to be as much as 50 percent more potent in organic crops.

Organic priorities

Add a few organic staples to your shopping cart each week if you can’t afford to convert to a totally organic diet. American magazine Worth the Money suggests prioritizing the following foods:

• dairy foods
• poultry and eggs
• meat
• apples and pears
• raspberries and strawberries
• cherries
• nectarines and peaches
• non-American grapes
• celery and peppers
• potatoes

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