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 - Shape House Sweat Lodge

My amazing assistant, Taylor, and I recently visited a HEAVENLY sweat lodge in LA. It was Taylor’s first time, and she ended up loving it so much that she wanted to spotlight it as the Philosophie Heart of the Week. Read on for what to expect at a sweat lodge + why it’s THE perfect ritual to integrate into your summer cleanse!

When you hear the term “ sweat lodge,” do you become frightened or intrigued (or maybe even both – like I had been)? A few years back, I had seen CNN do a story on a sweat tent that was in the middle of a field. I figured there's no way that it could be as weird as that!  

We’re ramping up for our newest Summer 17’ Philosophie Cleanse, so I knew this would be the perfect time for my body to try the West Hollywood way of sweating and release any old energy that was no longer serving me.

Plus, I’ve experienced so many So-Cal staple firsts with Sophie – everything from Pressed Juicery Freeze to Cafe Gratitude to learning how to do a headstand in yoga class. Why not spend some time in a detoxifying sleeping bag while watching the latest episode of Big Little Lies? With all this in mind, I decided to visit an LA-based urban sweat lodge called Shape House with Sophie.

I had butterflies as I walked up, but instantly relaxed as we stepped into the calming and beautiful space. After the adorable girls at the front desk explained the process, we then changed into our “jail clothes” (an oversized long sleeve shirt, even bigger sweats, and sexy mid-calf socks). Sophie turned to me and said, “You don’t really want your skin touching anything–but here, let's take a photo!”

After, I found my 170-degree cocoon and hopped in–I looked like the filling in a burrito! They then handed me a remote and alkaline water, which has anti-disease + anti-aging antioxidants–an essential during the 50-minute detoxifying sweat.

MANY people, Kardashians included, are in love with Shape House. Not only does this sweat session burn anywhere from 800-1,200 calories, it also improves metabolism and digestion, gives your skin that glow, and helps you enter a deeper sleep (I slept like a baby that night).

My skin also felt firmer and tighter post-treatment since I was sweating out toxins and improving the flow of my lymphatic system. Shape House uses FAR infrared sweat technology to provide heat that warms the body from the inside out, which creates a deeply cleansing sweat!

The first 24 minutes were glorious. I was also secretly patting myself on the back for handling this like a champ! Then...I got a bit warm! Nothing that I couldn’t handle though, especially when I had the alkaline water and Reese Witherspoon to pull me through. I took deep yoga breaths and relaxed even more, knowing I was treating my bod to something special! Then, an employee came in with a cold lavender towel for my head, which really kicked the experience up another notch! Right when I thought, “I could probably get out now,” and started puzzling over what to have for lunch, my time was up!

I wobbled to their relaxation room and savored refreshing orange slices (great vitamin C boost!) and a cup of tea to bring me back down to earth. I sat there and thought about how much I loved sweating out the bad stuff to make way for the good stuff! 

While Shape House has pretty bathrooms with showers and amenities, they actually recommend trying to wait two hours after your Sweat Session to shower. Your body continues to burn calories and detox as its returns to its normal temperature, and showering cuts that time short. We had to shower directly after since we started our day out there, but I felt thoroughly detoxed.

In a nutshell, I LOVED my experience at Shape House. I felt so clean and light the next few days. I also only wanted to put clean ingredients into my body throughout the weekend, since I had just sweated out all of the “junk.” 

If only I had the time to go weekly, I would! They recommend anywhere from once a week to once a month–or whenever you can! Thank you, Shape House, for having the Philosophie team, and for making my first time at a sweat lodge simply blissful.  

xo,

Taylor

 

 Have you gone to a sweat lodge before? How was your experience? Let us know on Facebook with #MyPhilosophie!

Shaved Carrot Salad Recipe

As the weather heats up, I love tossing up light, simple salads as either a side dish for dinner or a quick + healthy afternoon snack! That's why this julienned carrot salad made with only 3 ingredients has easily become a summer staple in my kitchen. Beautiful heirloom carrots in various shades of orange, amber, and maroon dressed in Berry Bee Tahini serve up both delightful crunch and sweet nuttiness. 

In addition to making my tastebuds super happy, this salad packs in the nutrients. Carrots provide a super high dose of vitamin A, which helps support vision, bone growth, immunity, and skin health! When you drizzle on the tahini, you also get a dose of minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium, and iron. This lovely seed butter is very high in vitamin E and also one of the best sources of calcium. On top of all that, a spoonful of Berry Bee Honey adds a burst of sweetness, as well as high levels of beautifying vitamin C! 

Gather This:

  • 1 pound heirloom carrots
  • ¾ cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon Berry Bee Honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • salt + pepper (to taste)

 

Do This:

Julienne the carrots, and set them aside in a bowl. Next, make the sauce by combining and stirring the tahini, water, honey, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the sauce over carrots and serve! 

What superfood summer salads are you tossing up? Share them with me on Instagram with #PhilosophieSuperfoods! 

3 Delicious, Dairy-Free Ways to Get Probiotics

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Our gut is even called our “second brain” since it’s directly connected to our mood and how we think. Bottom line: when our gut is balanced, our brain feels happy.

While plain yogurt infused with a spoonful of Berry Bee Honey is always a yummy way to nourish your gut if you enjoy dairy, here are three DELISH dairy-free ways to get in your probiotics!

Kombucha

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Oh, and KeVita’s Master Brew Kombucha line features 9 sparkling and yummy flavors! Check out all the flavors here!

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What’s your favorite way to get in probiotics? Let me know on Twitter with #MyPhilosophie!

Toast Tuesday: Cream Cheese, Cucumber, + Sprouts Toast Recipe

If you love tea party cucumber sandwiches, you'll be head over heels for this week's Toast Tuesday recipe. It's as simple as toasting up a gluten-free slice of bread, spreading on dairy-free cream cheese, and layering the bread with beautiful crisp cucumber slices and a handful of sprouts! 
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Together, the vitamin K-rich cucumbers + vitamin C-packed sprouts add a truly lovely crunch! The cucumbers also help hydrate your body and flush out toxins – PERFECT for the warm months. 
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And if you do fancy the idea of dressing up in your prettiest floral dress and holding a garden tea party, you could definitely serve up this recipe (without toasting the bread and also cutting off the crust edges) with an iced rendition of this Chai Tea Latte Recipe!
.Gather This: 
.
Do This:
Toast your slice of Udi’s Gluten Free Bread, spread on the Kite Hill Cream Cheese, and top with sliced cucumber and a handful of sprouts. Enjoy! 

What's been your favorite Philosophie toast? Share it with us on Facebook with #PhilosophieSuperfoods! 

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Play in the park in the morning. While the kids run wild, my hubby and I love sweating it out in the playground. The monkey bars, balance beam, and steps create challenging ways to tone our bodies in HIIT sets.

Do lawn yoga in the afternoon. Sharing my practice with my little ones and introducing them to the many, many benefits of yoga make for such magical moments. I highly encourage anyone looking for a workout buddy to get flowin' with their kiddies!

Go for a bike ride at sunset. Blissing out during bike rides while the sun goes to bed is one of the most beautiful ways to close a day. And if it’s extra special if you’re biking home from the farmers market with rainbows of fruits + veggies for your evening meal! (While it's easy to wear flip flops during summer bike rides, I prefer these light + comfy Skechers YOU shoes!) 

Go on an evening hike or walk. Beyond fresh air and light exercise, these night walks provide a space for togetherness + reflection that allow us to truly reconnect. I don’t know what it is about being outside, but it’s always easiest to speak your truths, your fears, your joys when you’re unbound by walls and are completely free to feel + express.

Jump in the pool. You can’t beat splashing around in a pool and playing Marco Polo to cool down. If you live in LA and want to up your swimming game, the John C. Argue Swim Stadium in Expo Park is a great spot to take the fam. I also love the Ace Hotel for a pool dip with a gorgeous view of the cityscape of DTLA!

Spend a day picking fruit. Running around and picking fresh, organic blueberries, strawberries, and cherries is a summer must. Living in California, my family and I are so SO lucky to live close enough to produce farms—I really wanted to take advantage of this gift and share it with my kids. Plus, you’ll have a pail full of ripe fruit ready for a dreamy dessert or nourishing smoothie

Have an epic beach day. Jumping waves, dreaming up sandcastles, flowing beside the aqua water. ‘Nuff said.

What’s your favorite way to stay active with your family during the summer? Share with me on Twitter with #MyPhilosophie!