While waiting out this winter I looked back at the questions that my readers sent me during the year that were answered in Feel Better Tips and the one I received most often pertained to why we need to spend more money on organic foods.
Many were looking for proof that organic foods are worth the extra cost and many felt that all the “hype” about eating organic was just a money grab.
I recall when I first started buying organic foods my husband said “it doesn’t taste any different…..it just costs more”. But I kept on buying it anyway because I believed it was better.
I had done the research from a scientific point of view and at that time I was managing a microbiology business at my place of employment, and that got me into many of the food processing locations across Canada while working with the sales reps on our team.
I got to see “first hand” how food was processed, and had the means to research the processes that were necessary to ensure that processed food was free of bacteria and other unhealthy ingredients. I often wondered how the preservatives that were used to prolong shelf life compared with what they were being used to avoid.
Part of my research identified that there are 80,000 – yes that’s 80 thousand chemicals used in food growing, harvesting, processing, and even to prolong shelf life on fresh foods that are harvested while still green in order to provide travel time from country to country and shelf life while in stores.
The jarring fact about these 80,000 is that only a small percentage have been tested for safety and those that have were only tested individually. No testing has been done on how they perform with other ingredients. Only the active ingredients have been tested, but these active ingredients are only a part of the picture.
This pesticide “safe or not safe picture” is about to get even more blurred since the approval of a genetically modified crops containing Dicamba and 2, 4 D. 2, 4D contains ingredients in Agent Orange.
If you are not familiar with the term Agent Orange –just type it in your internet search engine and familiarize yourself with the information there.
We are constantly told that these chemicals used in conventional farming increase yield, but there is now evidence that disputes that. In fact, organic farming can and does produce equal yields and at the same time protects the soil for future use as opposed to the dangers of genetically modified farming that we all know of as conventional farming.
Since I don’t want to be known as only the bearer of bad news, I want to share with you that there are resources you can access to locate healthy, pesticide free foods. For example: Farmers Markets have listings on the internet and there are other listings also: Eat Well Guide lists locations where you can source meat, poultry and eggs that are supplied to stores, restaurants, and can be purchased in the listed stores, or on-line and include locations in both U.S.A. for those of you who winter in the South, or in Canada for those of us who stay here and enjoy what Mother Nature supplies us with during January, February and March.
You can also protect these organic foods by storing them in glass containers as opposed to plastic that could contain BPH.
Have your tap water tested and invest in a water purifier system.
Use natural cleaning products. Vinegar and water and Baking Soda and water work well, and there are several companies who provide safe cleaning products.
The same goes for health and beauty products. Understanding those ingredients that are harmful and avoiding those products that contain them can be done by reading labels and knowing the names of the ingredients you need to avoid.
Avoid using air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners and all other synthetic fragrances including that sexy perfume you received for Christmas. Essential oils are an excellent substitution for perfume that contains chemcials.
Throw away your Teflon non stick pans and replace them with either glass, or stainless steel.
And last but not least avoid DEET. There are suppliers that sell “safe to use” sun screen and insect repellent products.
Now that we have addressed healthy eating and healthy lifestyles you may be interested in foods that are supposed to increase your intelligence.
One of the first and best is fish oil. But you need to be careful which fish oil you use because many are contaminated with mercury and PCBs. In addition to containing Omega-3 that include DHA fish oil is now suspected of being able to reduce inflammation in the brain and provide a protective effect. This is important because our brains are made up of about 60% fat and the important fats are either DHA or arachidonic acid (also known as AA). Like many other foods, fish oils are not all alike, so it’s best to purchase yours from a health food store.
Second in line for brain health are organic raw vegetables. Vegetables, those raw organic ones that you have chosen because they are appropriate for your blood type can provide you with antioxidants that keep your mind sharp.
Avoiding sugar is also necessary for improving your mind and memory, but make sure not to use the sugar substitutes that are dangerous. If you previously received my newsletter entitled “the skinny on sugar” or if you recently purchased my book Feel Better Tips from A to Z, review the section on sugar.
Blueberries not only taste good but they contain potent antioxidants. Some believe, rightly so, that they are the best antioxidant available to us. They work wonders on keeping the brain normal, and even have been shown to reverse some of the aging that occurs normally in the brain.
Make sure that they are organic, especially if you are purchasing them in the U.S. I was shocked to discover that blueberries in the U.S. are on the list of fruits that are exposed to high amounts of pesticides, while the Health Canada list has them on our list of low exposure. The easiest way to solve this situation is to buy certified organic blueberries.
I have been told that wild organic blueberries from Eastern Canada are available in specific stores in the U.S. While wintering in Florida this past winter I wasn’t able to locate any.
Organic vegetables that you juice are a better choice than any of the prepared juices. That’s because they don’t have sugar added. The only sugar in these juices that you make for yourself are natural sugars and will help you keep your sugar levels within reason.
Finally, I’d like to close this newsletter off with a quote from Plato over 2000 years ago: He said that “there is nothing new under the sun and that we have only forgotten that which we know”.
Think about what you already know, and use that information to secure a healthy life for yourself and your loved ones.
At Feel Better Therapies my passion involves helping clients add to their knowledge because information is powerful and applied knowledge is life changing.