Are We... What We Eat?

Written by Marcelle Ventura

Whenever we talk about diet, there are numerous things that come to mind. There are mainly two meanings ofrepparttar word diet. They both relate to food. First one can be defined as food that we take into our body. For example, eating a well-balanced diet. Another one can be defined as losing weight.

A balanced diet contains proper portions of five basic food groups. To ensure optimum health and a balanced diet, it is essential to have a proper portion of each group, each day. The amount of food needed gets smaller as we move uprepparttar 113161 "pyramid". Bread, rice, cereal and pasta are inrepparttar 113162 bottom group. 6 to 11 servings every day from this group are needed.

After that, onrepparttar 113163 pyramid isrepparttar 113164 vegetable group. Nearly everyone requires 3 to 5 servings from this group daily. The vegetable group gives you vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A and C, as per required. After that, isrepparttar 113165 fruit group. We need about 2 to 4 servings of this group per day. Fruits give you vitamin C, fiber, carbohydrates and more.

Next isrepparttar 113166 milk, yogurt and cheese group. People need 2 to 3 servings of this group per day. This group gives you calcium and protein. Drinking milk and eating cheese and/or yogurt is a great way to get your daily allowance.

Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts isrepparttar 113167 last group. We do not need much of this group everyday but this group is very important. 2 to 3 servings per day are required.

Chosing Organic for Health

Written by Marjorie Geiser, RD

Choosing Organic for Health

We come from a society where growing organic and just growing produce and livestock for food was once one andrepparttar same. Small, family farms still grow their own food using traditional methods passed down throughrepparttar 113160 generations. As commercial farming became big-business, however, growers and farmers started to investigate methods of increasing crops and building bigger livestock in order to increase their profits. This led to increased use of pesticides and drugs to enhance yield.

In this article, we will look at what is required in order to call a product organic, how choosing organic eating and farming impactrepparttar 113161 environment and our health, discussrepparttar 113162 benefits of eating organic foods, and what research says aboutrepparttar 113163 nutritional benefits of organically-grown produce.

Calling it "Organic" In 1995,repparttar 113164 US National Organic Standards Board passedrepparttar 113165 definition of 'organic', which is a labeling term denoting products produced underrepparttar 113166 authority ofrepparttar 113167 Organic Foods Production Act. It states, "Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain, and enhance ecological harmony."

The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimizerepparttar 113168 health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals, and people.

The philosophy of organic production of livestock is to provide conditions that meetrepparttar 113169 health needs and natural behavior ofrepparttar 113170 animal. Organic livestock must be given access torepparttar 113171 outdoors, fresh air, water, sunshine, grass and pasture, and are fed 100% organic feed. They must not be given or fed hormones, antibiotics or other animal drugs in their feed. If an animal gets sick and needs antibiotics, they cannot be considered organic. Feeding of animal parts of any kind to ruminants that, by nature, eat a vegetarian diet, is also prohibited. Thus, no animal byproducts of any sort are incorporated in organic feed at any time.

Because farmers must keep extensive records as part of their farming and handling plans in order to be certified organic, one is always able to tracerepparttar 113172 animal from birth to market ofrepparttar 113173 meat. When meat is labeled as organic, this means that 100% of that product is organic.

Although organic crops must be produced withoutrepparttar 113174 use of pesticides, it is estimated that between 10-25% of organic fruits and vegetables contain some residues of synthetic pesticides. This is because ofrepparttar 113175 influence of rain, air and polluted water sources. In order to qualify as 'organic', crops must be grown on soil free of prohibited substances for three years before harvest. Until then, they cannot be called organic. When pests get out of balance and traditional organic methods don't work for pest control, farmers can request permission to use other products that are considered low risk byrepparttar 113176 National Organic Standards Board.

The Environment According torepparttar 113177 15-year study, "Farming Systems Trial", organic soils have higher microbial content, making for healthier soils and plants. This study concluded that organically grown foods are raised in soils that have better physical structure, provide better drainage, may support higher microbial activity, and in years of drought, organic systems may possibly outperform conventional systems. So, organic growing may help feed more people in our future!

What isrepparttar 113178 cost of conventional farming, today? The above-mentioned 15 -year study showed that conventional farming uses 50% more energy than organic farming. In one report, it was estimated that only 0.1% of applied pesticides actually reachrepparttar 113179 targets, leaving most ofrepparttar 113180 pesticide, 99.9%, to impactrepparttar 113181 environment. Multiple investigations have shown that our water supplies, both in rivers and area tap waters, are showing high levels of pesticides and antibiotics used in farming practices. Water samples taken fromrepparttar 113182 Ohio River as well as area tap water contained trace amounts of penicillin, tetracycline and vancomycin.

Toxic chemicals are contaminating groundwater on every inhabited continent, endangeringrepparttar 113183 world's most valuable supplies of freshwater, according to a Worldwatch paper, Deep Trouble: The Hidden Threat of Groundwater Pollution. Calling for a systemic overhaul of manufacturing and industrial agriculture,repparttar 113184 paper notes that several water utilities in Germany now pay farmers to switch to organic operations because this costs less than removing farm chemicals from water supplies.

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