Natural Organic food explained - Healthy food for a healthy body

Natural Organic Food

Consuming natural organic food is incredibly important, but the reason why isn’t always understood or clear. I’m writing this post to take a more in-depth look at some of the issues surrounding organic food and to help dispel common assumptions and bring a dose of reality to the table. One reality for me is that organic food really does TASTE BETTER. I am shocked just about every time I bite into an organic kiwi when compared to a regular one. Why? What makes it taste so much better? and what does it take for something to earn an "organic" sticker? Read on to answer these questions!

1. Why does Organic Food taste so much better??

Flavor in organic foods is so much better because of the healthy, well-balanced soil it grows in. This is why so many top chefs insist on using organic food in their recipes. Obviously, tastes and flavors are a personal matter, so see for yourself!

2. What does it take for the USDA to approve a food as "organic"?

  • “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.
  • “‘Organic’ is a labeling term that denotes products produced under the authority of the Organic Foods Production Act. The principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole.
  • “Organic agriculture practices cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues; however, methods are used to minimize pollution from air, soil and water.
  • “Organic food handlers, processors and retailers adhere to standards that maintain the integrity of organic agricultural products. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people.

Okay... so what is organic food? summary please! Organic produce stand

Though organic food can be produced with certain synthetic ingredients, it must adhere to specific standards regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Crops are generally grown without synthetic pesticides, artificial fertilizers, irradiation (a form of radiation used to kill bacteria), or biotechnology. Animals on organic farms eat organically grown feed, aren't confined 100 percent of the time (as they sometimes are on conventional farms), and are raised without antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones.

A few more terms for piece of mind:

  • Organic: A USDA-regulated label that says no pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, or growth hormones were used. Produce, meats, and dairy with a USDA Organic seal are 100% organic, while other foods may use the designation if 95% of their ingredients are organic.

  • Natural: This label, regulated only for meat and poultry, signals that no artificial ingredients have been added. Don't confuse the term with nutritious when, say, reaching for the Cheetos Natural Cheese Puffs.

  • No hormones administered: An unverified certification that a cow was never given hormones in its lifetime. A "no hormones" stamp on pork and poultry is entirely irrelevant since, by federal law, chickens and pigs may not be given hormone injections.

  • Cage-free: This egg carton label means nothing nutritionally and not much ethically. Cage-free hens can still be packed wing-to-wing in a windowless indoor space.

  • Free-range: This USDA- defined, but unregulated, term means that a bird has outdoor access for more than half its life. Still, many free-range chickens live in crowded barns, with access only to a cramped yard.

  • Grass-fed: Indicates only that a cow ate grass at some point in its life—always true, even of animals raised on big commercial farms. Look for "grass-finished" beef (the animal ate only grass in its final weeks) or "100% grass-fed."

  • Pastured or pasture-raised: Though unregulated, this term usually means that an animal has roamed grassy fields throughout its life.

Healthy food - Healthy Body

Bottom line: eat as many healthy, organic foods as you can for a healthy body and mind.

Organic foods may have higher nutritional value than conventional food, according to some research. The reason: In the absence of pesticides and fertilizers, plants boost their production of the phytochemicals (vitamins and antioxidants) that strengthen their resistance to bugs and weeds. Some studies have linked pesticides in our food to everything from headaches to cancer to birth defects — but many experts maintain that the levels in conventional food are safe for most healthy adults. Even low-level pesticide exposure, however, can be significantly more toxic for fetuses and children (due to their less-developed immune systems) and for pregnant women (it puts added strain on their already taxed organs), according to a report by the National Academy of Sciences.

Pesticide contamination isn't as much of a concern in meats and dairy products (animals may consume some pesticides, depending on their diet), but many scientists are concerned about the antibiotics being given to most farm animals: Many are the same antibiotics humans rely on, and overuse of these drugs has already enabled bacteria to develop resistance to them, rendering them less effective in fighting infection, says Chuck Benbrook, Ph.D., chief scientist at the Organic Center, a nonprofit research organization.

Is buying organic better for the environment?
Organic farming reduces pollutants in groundwater and creates richer soil that aids plant growth while reducing erosion, according to the Organic Trade Association. It also decreases pesticides that can end up in your drinking glass; in some cities, pesticides in tap water have been measured at unsafe levels for weeks at a time, according to an analysis performed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). (To find out about the safety of your tap water, visit the EWG website at ewg.org/tapwater/yourwater.) Plus, organic farming used 50 percent less energy than conventional farming methods in one 15-year study.

When is it worth the extra $ dough $?
If you can afford it, buy local and organic. Farmers' markets carry reasonably priced locally grown organic and conventional food; to find one in your area, go to localharvest.org. If you can't always afford organic, do spend the extra money when it comes to what the EWG calls the "dirty dozen": peaches, strawberries, nectarines, apples, spinach, celery, pears, sweet bell peppers, cherries, potatoes, lettuce, and imported grapes. These fragile fruits and vegetables often require more pesticides to fight off bugs compared to hardier produce, such as asparagus and broccoli. Download a list of produce ranked by pesticide contamination at foodnews.org, an EWG website.

When shopping for organic foods, always look for the USDA seal on any kind of packaged food. For meat and dairy, this seal ensures you're getting antibiotic- and hormone-free products. When buying meat or produce that isn't packaged, look for a sign stating that it's organic, or ask someone that works there!


http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/ofp/ofp.shtml

http://localharvest.org

http://foodnews.org

In-Fighting in the Organic Movement: www.thedailygreen.com/2007/07/18/in-fighting-in-the-organic-movement/4075/

When It Pays to Buy Organic: www.consumerreports.org/cro/food/diet-nutrition/organic-products/organic-products-206/overview/index.htm<

Good source of organic information and news: www.organicconsumers.org

Visit eatwild.com for farms that sell pastured products

Read more: http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/definitions/Organics#ixzz0UeFN4nKa

Comments (9):

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Heart of the Week: Sophie's 6 Blissful Bedtime Routine Tips

Today we’re talking the magical element that affects EVERYTHING else you do: beauty sleep. As we all have a million things on our plates each day, our time in bed almost always gets the short end of the stick. However, it’s SO important that we respect our mind, body, and soul’s non-negotiable need for deep, restorative sleep.

Not only does it feel oh-so-good to get a full night’s rest, sleep is also directly connected to your eating habits the following day. Studies have shown that those who are well-rested have better portion control and will select healthier food options than those who are sleep-deprived!

I always aim to get 8 hours of sleep every night – even if it means sacrificing an episode of a show I’m dying to keep watching or climbing into bed instead of talking to my hubby for another 20 minutes. I know that when I do get my beauty sleep, I’m more energized the next day, more focused, + feel more connected to the moments in my day! 

Of course, wanting to get enough sleep isn’t the same as actually doing it, which is why I’m sharing my 6 tips on how to cultivate the perfect bedtime routine:

1. Unplug 2 hours before it’s time to hit the hay.

It’s time for ALL of your screens – your computer, TV, tablet, phone – to go to sleep so you can give your eyes and brain a chance to wind down. If you have the discipline to not get sucked back into checking your email or Instagram, then feel free to use your phone as your morning alarm. But otherwise, I suggest getting a good ol’ fashioned clock and leaving your phone in the kitchen or living room.

2. Brew a cup of calming bedtime tea.

Chamomile is always a wonderful go-to for bedtime, but if you’d like to try a potent blend of herbs and flowers, try Yogi Bedtime Tea. I love this relaxing, stress-relieving tea because it contains chamomile, valerian, St. John’s Wort, lavender, skullcap leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, rose hip, raspberry leaf, stevia, passion flower, licorice root, AND spearmint. I recommend drinking your tea an hour and a half before it’s time to go to bed so you can hit the bathroom right before you go to sleep :)

3. Take a HUM Nutrition Big Chill or Beauty zzZz Supplement. 

These lovely supplements made from nourishing plant extracts help calm your mind and body, release leftover stress from the day, and promote shut-eye. I love that Beauty zzZz also contains melatonin, a natural hormone that controls your sleep and wake cycles!

4. Write down 5 things from the day that you’re grateful for.

While you’re sipping your tea, take out your favorite journal and reflect on 5 amazing things that you’re thankful happened. They could be as big as getting a job promotion to as small as noticing how pretty the poppies were outside your neighbor’s home. Write down whatever made you smile + filled your soul with bliss.

5. Apply lavender essential oil.

Rub 1-2 drops of lavender oil on your shoulders or neck (or even better – kindly ask your roommate or partner to give you a 1 minute back massage with the oil. And be sure to return the favor!). The calming aroma of floral, sweet, herbal notes with balsamic undertones will help relieve any stress or insomnia you’re facing. If you have sensitive skin, you can also try a lavender lotion or mist the air with this purifying Chrysalis Water.

6. Do 5 restorative yoga poses.

One of the best ways to ensure restful sleep is to cap off your day with restorative, bedtime asanas. Slowly begin to calm the nervous system down with these five relaxing yoga poses—a lovely way to counteract stress, naturally prevent insomnia, and promote peaceful dreams.

 
I'd love to hear how your bedtime routine is going. Please share your story or any tips + tricks you have with me on Facebook

5 Restorative Yoga Poses for The Beach

The ocean naturally relaxes the mind and spirit. Taking yoga, specifically "yin" or restorative yoga, to the beach will help calm you even more–especially if you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed. The rhythmic crashing of the waves will actually ease your brain into alpha waves, slowing down the parasympathetic system, along with your entire body.

Sync your breath with the ocean waves while flowing through these 5 poses that will have you feeling oh-so-zen within minutes.

 

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Standing as tall as you can in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), start with your hands in prayer at your heart center. Take 3 deep breaths, connecting to the powerful beauty of the ocean. Begin to think about an intention for your practice. What do you want to energetically invite into your life? What can you let go of to make space for more magic?

Side Stretch

Inhale your arms up to the sky, reaching as far as you can. Reach your hands to the right, stretching your entire side body on the left side. Visualize your side body stretching, from your lower hips all the way to the outside of your left armpit. Exhale deeply and fully. Bring your arms back to center, and repeat on the other side.

Forward Fold

Forward fold can be done on the sand or standing up. Knees can be slightly bent as you inhale your arms over your legs and exhale as you release. If you're sitting on the ground, rag doll your body over your legs, breathing deeply for 5 rounds of breath. Relax your entire body as you breath deeply. If you’re standing up, make sure your legs are hip width apart as you forward fold over your feet. You can hold opposite elbows or just let your arms hang long. Sink in.

Pigeon Pose

Extend your torso forward across your left shin, walking your arms out in front of you and releasing your forehead toward the earth. Fold forward only after you've spent time checking your alignment and paying attention to your body. Your left knee will be to the left of your torso (with the left thigh at a bit of a diagonal), and your flexed left foot will be just alongside the right side of your rib cage. As you fold forward, turn your attention inward. We tend to hold this version of Pigeon longer than more active postures, so see if part of your practice in this pose can be to stay mentally focused once you have settled in.

Eagle Pose (with toes touching earth)

Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Bend your knees slightly, lift your left foot up, and while balancing on your right foot, cross your left thigh over the right. Point your left toes toward the floor, press the foot back, and then hook the top of the foot behind the lower right calf. Balance on the right foot. Stretch your arms straight forward, parallel to the earth, and spread your scapulas wide across the back of your torso. Cross the arms in front of your torso so that the right arm is above the left, then bend your elbows.

Snug the right elbow into the crook of the left, and raise the forearms perpendicular to the floor. The backs of your hands should be facing each other. Press the right hand to the right and the left hand to the left, so that the palms are now facing each other. The thumb of the right hand should pass in front of the little finger of the left. Now press the palms together (as much as is possible for you), lift your elbows up, and stretch your fingers toward the sky. Stay for 15 to 30 seconds, then unwind the legs and arms, and stand in Tadasana again. Repeat for the same length of time with the arms and legs reversed.

You can also take a more restorative pose here by placing your toes on the earth instead of wrapping them around your ankle again. This way, you’re focusing on balance without too much effort. Connect to the energy of the eagle: focused, determined, high-flying concentration. Where can you bring more of this energy into your life?

Savasana or Seated Meditation:

End your restorative yoga with the ultimate relaxing pose–savasana. Lay a towel or blanket down and completely allow your body to sink into the earth. Allow your palms to face the sky, symbolizing an openness of acceptance. Melt every part of your body into the sand, feeling the way your body is supported and held. Stay here as long as possible. 10-15 minutes is ideal!

What's your favorite yoga pose to practice on the beach? Share with us on Facebook with #MyPhilosophie!

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I especially love having a bag of salmon handy in the fridge since this fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, B vitamins, potassium, and selenium. After adding it to a grain-free bagel loaded with crispy cucumbers, a dairy-free cream cheese, a handful of antioxidant-rich goji berries, you’ll have a super delish meal that’s light + full of bold, delicious flavor – especially when dipped in the pesto!

Gather This:


Do This:

Toast bagel, slather on cream cheese, pile one side with salmon and cucumber slices on the other. Sprinkle on goji berries and salt + pepper! If you like, dip your dreamy bagel into our yummy Philosophie Pesto!

What are your favorite quick + easy superfood-packed meals to make during the summertime? Tell us on Twitter with #PhilosophieSuperfoods!

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Take your turmeric latte to the next level by infusing it with our Cacao Magic Trio + a scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen! By adding in collagen, you're ensuring that your body receives enough of this key building block that's responsible for healthy skin, hair, nails, bones, AND joints.
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Our bodies can't make enough collagen on their own, so going with a supplement like Vital Proteins is a must. Collagen is taste free so I love adding it to a turmeric latte that's also got a touch of chocolate.

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By combining these high vibrational superfoods, you'll have a beautifying, anti-inflammatory, mid-day pick-me-up that's super yummy hot or iced! 
Gather This:
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Do This:
Add all ingredients into a blender and blend well. Enjoy warmed on the stove top, or over ice!
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Cacao Magic Raspberry Smoothie Recipe

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Thanks to the Philosophie Blends, this powerhouse of a smoothie has TWENTY grams of plant-based protein and is also super low in sugar. We all went CRAZY over this smoothie–it fueled us during a photoshoot at Philosophie HQ. Even Kai and Leo approved it!

P.S. If you’d like to make this into more of a dessert or mylkshake, simply add one more frozen banana, a drizzle of our Cacao Bee Honey, and a handful of ice.  

Gather This:


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Toss all ingredients into the blender + blitz! To make it even yummier, sprinkle cacao nibs, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, and berries on top of your smoothie!

 What's your go-to superfood smoothie at the moment? Tell us on Twitter with #MyPhilosophie!

5 Ways to Get In Your Superfoods During a Weekend Getaway

Whether you’ll be out playing in the urban jungle or exploring quaint towns and nature dreamscapes, the best weekend getaways are the ones where you feel energized and balanced throughout AND return refreshed and glowing. To help you look and and feel like a goddess during and after your trip, here are 5 simple ways to get in high-vibrational superfoods—without bringing along your entire kitchen!

 

  1. Pack Filling + Nutrient-Rich Snacks

Before hitting the road or the airport, pack a bag of filling, nourishing snacks. Mix up your own trail mix with carob chips, almonds, and goji berries that’ll help ward off hunger and work as a real pick-me-up. Organic dates, prunes, and unsalted walnuts or cashews also make ideal sacks since they’re the same kinds of ingredients that you’d find in most energy bars, but are more natural and have far less packaging! You can also opt for bars with clean, wholesome ingredients like Elemental Seedbars, which feature dreamy superfoods like lucuma and mulberry.


  1. Map Out the Market

The minute you get to where you are staying, figure out where the closest market, farmers market, or health food store is and immediately stock your hotel, AirBNB, or campsite with fresh veggies and fruit, almond milk, and other nourishing necessities. It can be a fun adventure to find the local, fresh gems of your destination like those fruit stands or roadside vendors. If you're in a hotel or condo, you can also request a mini fridge and a blender. Sometimes they’ll bring them with no extra charge!

  1. Scope Out The Healthy Spots

Start to scope out the healthy places to go, like juice bars, cafes, or even yoga studios, which are known to have the best green juices and kombuchas on hand. While you can always check Yelp, the locals always have the best advice. And you never know–it could blossom into a new friendship.

  1. Order Colorful Food On The Menu

While you’re out discovering a new eatery or cafe, order various vibrantly colored fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Think a black bean kale salad, a side of roasted butternut squash, a carrot ginger soup, and a grapefruit mint juice. By making magical rainbows out of your meals, you provide your body with a variety of essential vitamins and minerals.

  1. Supercharge Your Meals with Superfood Blends

Bring along your favorite superfood blend, like Berry Bliss or Green Dream. If you’re at a restaurant, you can mix them into your yogurt or salad dressing for a detoxifying, immunity boost. If you were lucky enough to snag a blender for your hotel room or have one in your AirBnB, you can also whip up a superfood smoothie. And there’s always the option of supercharging your poolside cocktail with camu camu powder!

Tag us in your #PhilosophieSuperfoods pics on Insta while you're on your getaway–we can't wait to see them!