Can You Explain the Difference Between “Organic” and “Natural” Foods?
Natural foods are not chemically altered or created, whereas, organic foods may be created, but only with certified organic ingredients. A food or ingredient must be certified by a USDA-accredited agency to be “Organic,” and adhere to very strict specifications, including no chemicals, pesticides, or preservatives. Some would argue an ideal food to be both, natural, and organic: as nature intended.
What Exactly Does rBGH-Free Mean?
rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) is a hormone that is given to cows to increase milk production, and is sometimes referred to as rBST. The hormone’s effects have yet to be sufficiently studied in humans, but there is quite a bit of debate amongst the public deciding whether or not it is safe or has negative long-term effects. There is a certain sense of anxiety associated with the unknown. Don’t you agree? When dairy is rBGH-free it means that it came from a cow that wasn’t subjected to extra infection or ill effects of the hormone, and that we can rest easy, not fearing the unknown.
How Does Buying Local Food Affect You?
Some people don’t realize what a big effect buying local food can have. By buying local food you are receiving a fresher product that generally requires less packaging. When less packaging is needed, factories don’t produce as much, therefore reducing the pollution to our air and waterways. Pollution reduction comes from the lessened need for long haul transportation, as well. Food also doesn’t need the same amount of chemical preservatives or pesticides when intended for local use. Buying local increases revenues in our own communities. The more money that is kept locally means that more of the community can be maintained and grow.
Why All the Hype Over Grass-fed Beef?
People can compare grass-fed beef to corn-fed beef and immediately see a difference between the two. Corn-fed beef generally develops much more marbling—but remember what marbling is: FAT. It would be near impossible to remove the marbling, a.k.a. saturated fat. Because of this simple fact, grass-fed beef can have less than half the fat of corn-fed beef. More so than just less fat in the meat, grass-fed beef is also raised in a more humane manner. While some people may not understand why growing conditions would matter if the animal is being slaughtered anyway, it is an explainable conundrum. When cattle is fed corn, it inhibits the natural process that their body goes through to expel gases. If the animal’s body builds up too much of the gases it can kill them. Corn also causes excessive acid in the animal’s stomach, leading to a variety of health issues. These health issues are then treated with continuous rounds of antibiotics, therefore rendering many antibiotics no longer effective. By the time the beef makes it into our stomachs, we can no longer fight off the bacteria because it has grown resistant to our own acids.
How is Free-Range Chicken Different from Typical Store Bought Chicken?
When you choose a truly free-range chicken or chicken egg, you are receiving several benefits…. Let’s start with eggs: Free-range hens have been shown to produce eggs with as much as six times the amount of Vitamin D as typical hens; less cholesterol and saturated fat; more vitamins, folic acid, and omega-3s. Free-range chickens are thought by most to have more developed flavor and less fat content. When the birds are left free to roam pasture, they also have better access to fresh water and a cleaner living environment than caged birds; these things both produce a safer chicken for human consumption.
What’s the Point of Composting?
Composting is a very simple way to reuse organic waste (think produce and yard debris). Composting frees up space in landfills and provides a very economical way to fertilize new plant growth. Vital nutrients from the compost are sucked up by the new growth, sometimes eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers. Compost not only works as an organic fertilizer, but also works to reduce VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) in the air we breathe.
Can One Person’s Recyclables Make a Difference?
Let’s say that a person uses one carton of standard copy paper a year, which uses about half of a tree; whereas, a carton of 50% postconsumer paper uses only about a quarter of a tree. Sure, a quarter of a tree may not sound like much, but over the course of twenty years, that could be a savings of over five trees—that’s just what one person can save by using recycled paper alone. Now imagine on a bigger scale…imagine recycling glass and aluminum, as well, and what if three of your friends recycled, also? You see, if one person can start a chain of recycling, it can lead to major savings in many areas. When we use recycled goods, that means that some, if not all, of that product did not have to be remanufactured. So, when we reduce new production of goods, we also reduce the carbon footprint from those producing companies by lessening the amount of carbon dioxide pollution going into our air.
Sustainability means meeting current needs while preserving future growth. Preservation of future growth can be obtained by reducing waste, recycling, producing nutritious foods, treating others with respect and kindness, preserving agricultural land, renewing resources as they are used (i.e. planting a tree for each one that is harvested), reducing pollution, and many other things.