4 Reasons to Celebrate Non-GMO Month

Originally posted October 2015 by Integrative Nutrition

Blog post thumbnailDid you know that October is the official Non-GMO Month? This month, retail stores nationwide will celebrate the consumer’s right to be informed of foods and products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

What exactly are GMOs again?

GMOs, or Genetically Modified Organisms, are products of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE), which creates new combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and viral genes by combining DNA from one species with DNA from another. The result: new organisms that do not occur in nature.

GMOs are often not labeled as such. In many developed nations, GMO products are heavily restricted or banned altogether because they have yet to be proven safe for people’s health and the health of the environment. However, in the U.S. there is a dearth of public awareness of the potentially harmful repercussions of GMO products.

Here are four more reasons why you should celebrate Non-GMO Month this October and empower yourself to make the right decisions for you and your family.

1. Human Health

Currently, seed companies prohibit independent research with their products, leaving very little empirical data available.

2. Environmental and Animal Health

Genetically engineered crops can cause a variety of destructive problems on the surrounding environment. Farmers who use GMO crops can spray their fields to kill everything growing in the area except the specific GMO food crop. The increased use of pesticides and herbicides often leads to superweeds, which then become resistant to the same pesticides, creating the need for stronger, more toxic pesticides (that can leach into our food and water sources!).

3. Moral and Ethical Concerns

Some people question whether genetically altered crops and species threaten and violate the natural order of an environment. Also, genetic modification may involve the creation of foods that are prohibited by certain groups (e.g., the use of animal genes may conflict with some religions, as well as the diets of vegetarians and vegans).

4. Labeling Concerns

Whether you decide to limit or restrict your consumption of GMO products, the right to know what is in our food is important. Research has shown that many Americans would choose not to have GMO products if aware and given the choice.

When shopping for food, it’s a valuable practice to stop and ask yourself the basic question: Where does it all come from? It’s time for us to be food detectives.

Here are a few ways you may be able to consume fewer GMO products:

  • Buy produce and other food items from farmers’ markets.
  • Start conversations with the people selling your food to get more information.
  • Grow your own food in a garden at home or join a community garden.
  • Join a corporate garden or co-op to know where items are coming from. How will you celebrate Non-GMO Month?

How will you celebrate Non-GMO Month? Tell us in the comments section below!

Your Quick Guide To Juicing

I love juicing. So much so, that I actually think I could drink my body weight in cold pressed juice. As a health coach, juicing is one of the top practices I would love to see my clients adopt, as it is the ideal way to consume the recommended daily serving of vegetables, and is a fast track to an overall sense of wellbeing.

Why should you juice?

1. Nutrient Dense

Juicing eliminates all the fiber and pulp, leaving you with a glass of nutrient dense vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Think of it as a shot of goodness that is instantly absorbed into your bloodstream. Store-bought juices do not offer the same benefits, because most of the nutrients are lost during the pasteurization process.

 2. Health Benefits

Juicing improves your energy levels, digestion and mental clarity. You will also notice clearer skin, weight loss, an improved immune system, and an overall sense of feeling groovy.

Added bonus, juicing is alkalizing.

 3. Efficient

Juicing is an efficient use of your body’s energy, as it separates the fiber and pulp from produce, which gives your digestive system a break from processing all of the fiber and pulp. This is a good thing, because it gives your cells time to rest and repair.

It’s also an ideal way to get a variety of fruits and veggies into your diet.

Okay, so I get it. Juicing is awesome. But should I juice fruit or veggies?

If you only take one thing away from this article, please take away this:

You should juice your veggies and eat your fruits.

I mentioned earlier that juicing separates the fiber from the juice. This is a good thing in the case of veggies, but for fruits it is not. The fiber in fruits makes it possible for the body to process the high amounts of sugar found in fruits. Without the fiber, your body is getting a shot of sugar that is instantly absorbed, resulting in a spiked blood sugar level. You do not want this.

However, it is okay to juice a few low glycemic fruits to sweeten the taste of your veggie juice. The golden rule is 1 part fruit to 3 parts vegetable.An example would be an apple with celery, kale, lemon, beet, and ginger root (click HERE for a list of  low glycemic fruits).

As for veggies to juice, think rainbow foods. I recommend as many dark green leafy vegetables as possible. Beets,carrots, cucumbers, broccoli stems, ginger root, and celery are excellent as well. Buy your produce fresh and juice within three days. A great way to keep your leafy greens fresh is to rinse right before consuming. Another trick is to line your refrigerator’s crisper drawer with paper towels to absorb excess moisture, which will keep them fresh longer.

What juicer should I use?

I recommend a cold press juicer because it lasts longer with enzymes staying active for up to 72 hours. Although more expensive, cold press juicers offer a higher juice yield (up to 35-50%), which ends up saving you money over the long run. Additionally, cold press juicers operate at a lower speed, which preserves more nutrients and enzymes. Another perk is that the juicing process is quiet.

I personally like Hurom juicers; they are the original and best slow juicer on the market hands down. Hurom juicers naturally press fruit and veggies without heat or friction, resulting in healthy, fresh juice that tastes divine. They are also durable enough to make nut milks, are 100% BPA free, and come with a 10-year warranty.

Of course, any kind of juicing is better than no juicing at all. So if the Hurom seems like too big of an investment right now,  I suggest finding a juicer that fits into your current price range and starting out there (Williams- Sonoma has a good variety of juicers starting  at US$100). Chances are you will become hooked and will want to step up your game in the long run.

Happy juicing!

Health Coach Jenna

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How to Avoid Chemicals When You Can’t Buy Organic

Photo from Pixabay

Buy organic. Don’t buy organic. Buy organic. Regardless of your decision, the bottom line is that eating fruits and veggies is better than not eating them at all.

I try to eat organic every chance I get in order to protect myself from the harmful pesticide residue. Luckily, I currently live in a country (Taiwan) where it is affordable and easy for me to purchase organic fruits and veggies. I know, however, this is not the case for everyone.

Buying 100% organic can be expensive, but just because you can’t always afford to buy organic, doesn’t mean you deserve to be doused with toxic chemicals.

That is why I’ve provided a list of the “Clean Fifteen” and the “Dirty Dozen” to help you decide when you can save money by buying conventional, and when it is crucial to spring the extra bucks on organic.

“Clean Fifteen”

Avocados
Sweet corn
Pineapple
Cabbage
Sweet peas (frozen)
Onions
Asparagus
Mangoes
Papaya
Kiwis
Eggplant
Grapefruit
Cantaloupe
Cauliflower
Sweet potatoes

“Dirty Dozen”

Apples
Strawberries
Grapes
Celery
Peaches
Spinach
Sweet bell peppers
Nectarines (imported)
Cucumbers
Cherry tomatoes
Snap peas (imported)
Potatoes

Source (TakePart)

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