Organic or Conventional? Plus, Money Saving Tips for Your Next Grocery Visit

Photo from Pixabay

Buy organic. Don’t 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. But let’s be real. 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  “2017 Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen below to help you decide when you can save money by buying conventional, and when it is crucial to spring the extra bucks on organic.

In addition, here are other ways to save on produce:

  1. Join a CSA -When you join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program you pay a farmer in your community a monthly membership fee and they deliver a box of what’s in season to your door.
  2. Buy local and in season- Another cost effective practice is to buy produce that is in season where you live. This is much more economical than buying produce that has been shipped from far parts of the world.
  3. Don’t be shy and check out the discount aisle- Grocery stores put stuff there that will expire soon, it’s not yet expired! So if you are going to eat it for dinner that night, or even the next day, scoop it up and save some cash!
  4. Buy your dry food online – That’s right, places like Thrive Market have competitive prices on organic dry foods, and they deliver right to your door. How’s that for convenient? There is a small membership fee, but Thrive sponsors a low-income family with it.

2017 Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen List:

Dirty Dozen:

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Potatoes

Clean Fifteen:

  • Sweet Corn (non-GMO)
  • Avocados
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Frozen sweet peas
  • Papayas
  • Asparagus
  • Mangos
  • Eggplant
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Grapefruit

Happy Shopping! And remember to support your local farmer whenever possible!

xxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

 

What The New Nutrition Label Means For You

nutrition

In July of 2018 ( *Sigh* I know, I wish it was sooner as well!) new nutrition labels will start appearing on food items in the U.S. But what do these labels mean for you and your family? Today, the nice people over at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition will give us all the details about this huge win for the consumers.

What The New Nutrition Fact Labels Mean For You

by Integrative Nutrition:

For the first time in over 20 years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved changes to nutrition fact labels. Under the new regulations announced May 20, food manufacturers are required to disclose the amount of added sugar in their products and adjust suggested serving sizes to reflect how much is realistically consumed.

This change is coming at a time when waistbands in the United States are continuing to expand—a new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 30% of Americans 20 and older are obese, a significant jump from 19% percent in 1997.

At Integrative Nutrition, we understand that maintaining a healthy weight can be difficult, especially when many of the calories we consume are coming from hidden added sugars—about 13% for the average American, according to the FDA.

In fact, several of our Visiting Teachers have spoken up about the sugar epidemic, including Drs. Mark Hyman and Robert Lustig. Dr. Hyman suggests that sugar is a “recreational drug” and the trillion-dollar industrial food system is the biggest drug dealer around and Dr. Lustig has started the “war on sugar,” spending years researching sugar addiction in populations around the world.

Added sugar—disguised as “agave,” “sucrose,” “cane juice,” and “lactose” to name a few (check out this New York Times article for a full list)—is in more products that the average consumer may realize. Many yogurts, tomato sauces, and even salad dressings contain some form of additional sweetener. In fact, a recent study by researchers at the University of North Carolina found that 68 percent of all packaged foods and beverages contained added sugar.

This update to nutrition fact labels will aim to help increase consumer awareness of the quantity of added sugars in foods, according to the FDA.

Additionally, portion sizes will also be adjusted to reflect the amount of a product actually consumed. For instance, a serving of ice cream will grow from 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup (because how many of us truly eat 1/2 cup of ice cream?!). Twelve- and 20-ounce bottles of soft drinks will each be listed as one serving, instead of two, because most people realistically drink the entire bottle in one sitting.

The increased serving size will prevent companies from deceiving customers who believe they are consuming fewer calories and grams of sugar than are actually in the entire product.

The new labels will take effect in July of 2018 for major manufacturers. Those who generate less than $10 million in food sales will have an additional year to comply.

What are your thoughts about the FDA’s updates to nutrition fact labels? Share in the comments below!

This article was originally published on Integrative Nutrition.

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!