Topic: organic

Is Organic Food Better In Taste & Healthiness, Or Are We Just Being Fooled By A Stamp?

Is Organic Food Better In Taste & Healthiness, Or Are We Just Being Fooled By A Stamp?

Here in Portland, I have met more than one or two people that believes anything organic and edible is good for you and, indeed, better than any other food. Of course, this is a generalization as vague as saying “all vegan food is good for you” or “all carbs are bad”; it’s too simple to assume that all of a certain type of food is good or bad. Apparently, though, organic food isn’t simply susceptible to being considered good for you. More »

Kelly Preston Speaks Out About Autism And Her Son’s Death; Thankfully, This Isn’t A Jenny McCarthy Moment

Kelly Preston Speaks Out About Autism And Her Son's Death; Thankfully, This Isn't A Jenny McCarthy Moment

Kelly Preston is speaking out about autism and the death of her son, Jett Travolta, for the first time in a segment on the show The Doctors. She says environmental factors and chemicals are a major cause of rising autism rates, and believes that they’re one of the thing’s responsible for Jett’s autism. While we’re probably all a little scarred by Jenny McCarthy’s crusade against vaccines, but this celebrity is worth hearing out: Not only is there real research and science behind her claims; she’s also promoting a lifestyle that’s generally pretty safe and healthy. Which is a much more appealing option than taking a gamble with vaccines. More »

Ignore The Hype — Organic Food Is Still Better For You

Ignore The Hype -- Organic Food Is Still Better For You

Organic food is no more nutritious than non-organic.” If you’ve read a newspaper, looked at Google News or watched The Today Show this morning, you may have heard this (generally preceded or followed by the words “study says,” so you know it’s Science. Sanctioned.). Don’t believe it. If you look a little closer, you’ll see that a “study says” no such thing — at least not if you consider “healthy” and “nutritious” to mean free of pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. More »

2012 Dirty Dozen Updates: The 12 Fruits & Vegetables Highest In Toxic Pesticides

2012 Dirty Dozen Updates: The 12 Fruits & Vegetables Highest In Toxic Pesticides

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released 2012 updates to the Dirty Dozen—a list of the 12 most pesticide-contaminated fruits and vegetables—adding cucumbers to the list, in addition to a new “plus” category to indicate produce that didn’t meet the Dirty Dozen criteria, but are still contaminated with organophosphate insecticides, which are toxic to the nervous system. Most of the list is the same as in years past, but this year the EWG says to watch out for cucumbers, leafy greens like kale and collard greens, and green beans. More »

Lesson From Kashi Controversy: ‘Natural’ Doesn’t Equal Organic Or GMO-Free

 Lesson From Kashi Controversy: 'Natural' Doesn't Equal Organic Or GMO-Free

Kashi cereals is taking grief from customers for using non-organic and genetically modified ingredients in its ‘all-natural’ cereals and snacks. The dustup started after Rhode Island grocer John Wood put up a sign alerting customers that he’d stopped carrying Kashi products after learning the company used soy from soybeans inserted with a gene to protect them from the herbicide Roundup. Kashi—a line produced by processed-food conglomerate Kellogg—describes its foods as “all natural,” on packaging and the company website. And it is—at least according to legal guidelines. More »

Cosmetic Label Decoder: What Natural, Organic And Cruelty-Free Really Mean

Cosmetic Label Decoder: What Natural, Organic And Cruelty-Free Really Mean

Natural, organic, green, clean, cruelty-free … Cosmetic labels say a lot of things, and it’s hard to know what really means squat. Throw in labels like ‘vegan,’ ‘non-toxic’ or ‘made with organic materials’ and packages gets even more confusing. Don’t worry. We’re gonna (try to) sort it out for you—though when it comes to makeup labeling, the guidelines (where they exist) aren’t exactly stringent, and most products aren’t tested or reviewed by the FDA. More »

Annie’s Mac & Cheese Actually Is Healthier Than Kraft, Velveeta

Annie's Mac & Cheese Actually Is Healthier Than Kraft, Velveeta

Maybe that’s why Annie’s stocks are soaring. The company—which makes all sorts of packaged organic food but is probably best known for it’s mac & cheese—went public this week, and had the biggest opening day gain for an IPO this year, with shares rising 89% that day (if you think you might like to invest, it’ll cost you: shares closed at $35.92). Apparently, this is all a big deal. I love Annie’s, because it makes me feel okay about indulging my boxed macaroni and cheese addiction (I would still take Kraft over homemade). But I’d never actually compared the ingredients or nutritional info of Annie’s with, say, Kraft or Velveeta until now . More »

Organic, Free Range, Grass-Fed: Food Labels, And What They Really Mean

Organic, Free Range, Grass-Fed: Food Labels, And What They Really Mean

You’re used to decoding double-speak in your life (like when your boss says your big idea is “interesting” and “has potential”), but when you’re standing in the grocery store, staring at various labels like “grass-fed” and “organic,” it can much more difficult to read between the lines. Which of these healthy-seeming, possibly-sustainable claims are regulated and meaningful–and which are bogus advertising lingo, meant to draw in well-meaning consumers like you? More »

Good Reason To Go Organic: There’s Arsenic In Your Apple Juice

Good Reason To Go Organic: There's Arsenic In Your Apple Juice

I’m going to guess that unless you’re sick or under the age of four, you don’t frequently guzzle large amounts of bottled apple and grape juice. Nonetheless, a new study from Consumer Reports found that 10% of the juices they tested had arsenic levels that exceed what’s allowed in water by the FDA. Consumer Reports and other doctors are urging that the FDA set limits on arsenic, warning of the chronic effects of exposure—especially in children. More »

The Labeling Effect: Why We Should Stop Calling Health Food Expensive

The Labeling Effect: Why We Should Stop Calling Health Food Expensive

There’s a bad rumor going around about healthy food: That it’s expensive, and way out of range unless you’re rich or you live in a big city with fancy stores (which I suppose is another way of saying: you’re rich). That’s not always true, but according to a recent study, the perception of health food as being expensive might just be perpetuating our attitude that we can’t eat well on the cheap: Researchers have found what they call the “labeling effect,’ whereby high prices hook buyers into believing a product is worthy—regardless of taste or other markers of quality. More »

Sweet Home Indiana: Locavore’s Paradise

Sweet Home Indiana: Locavore's Paradise

For some reason, I never got to the farmers’ market as often as I would have liked to when I was in Washington, D.C. or New York City, though I lived less than a mile from Eastern Market in Capitol Hill, and likewise for the McCarren Park farmer’s market in Brooklyn. Maybe I was too busy recovering from the night before to make it in time. Maybe it just never seemed imperative, surrounded as I was by supermarkets and grocery delivery services. Since moving to Indiana, though, I’ve been hitting the farmers’ market twice a week. More »

Fresh Fragrance: What You Should Know About Natural and Non-Toxic Perfume

Fresh Fragrance: What You Should Know About Natural and Non-Toxic Perfume

It wasn’t until the early 1900s that synthetic perfumes began to replace natural fragrance blends, the likes of which had been used by doctors, priests and the upper classes for millenniums. These days, though, it’s hard to find anything but synthetic perfumes. After writing about the pesticides in Bath & Body Works’ products last week, I asked a friend of mine who works in an New York perfume lab for tips on choosing a non-toxic fragrance. Here’s what she had to say… More »