Archive for July, 2009

Organic Foods are a Waste of Money?

Organic foods are hot – more and more consumers are looking for the term "organic."

But is organic "stuff" worth the extra money?  Sometimes organic produce costs at least double what "conventional" produce costs.

So why do people spend the extra money?
1. Less pesticides
2. More nutrients
3. More flavor

But are these valid reasons?

According to research published just the other day in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition …

… not a chance.  Organic foods didn’t turn out to be any "better" than conventionally grown foods.

Here’s the deal — the goal of the study was to measure the differences in nutrient content between organic vs. conventional food.

Very simply the researchers scoured the literature, studies published over a 50 year time span, and looked at the nutrient differences, if any.

Their conclusions?  "There is no evidence of a difference in nutrient quality between organic and conventional foods … "

So is this the be all and end all?  Should we boycott Whole Foods — turning our noses up at the organic food "industry?" foods?

Not quite.  Here’s how we feel about this.

First, more important than organic … simply eat more fruits and vegetables.  Produce is great for you — whether you’re trying to lose fat, improve health, decrease your risk of disease, etc.  With the average American eating just 2 servings total per day, eating organic isn’t my main concern…eating MORE fruits and vegetables is my concern.

We also believe local is actually more important than organic.  Local … meaning foods that are grown close to where you live, like those found at Farmer’s Markets.  An organic food flown 3000 miles to your grocery store is not even close to the same as a fresh vegetable picked that morning from a farm that’s just a short drive from your house.  It’s also a great way to support the local economy since you’re helping local farmers.

While I mentioned this very recent study that compared some nutrient differences in conventional and organic produce, there are also other "issues" with organic foods that are a concern for many

  • Are they better for the environment?
  • Are there less pesticides used in production, meaning we eat less pesticides?
  • Are they safer with the recent disease outbreaks that have popped up lately (e coli, salmonella, etc)?
    There are still a lot of questions to be answered.  Remember that this study was just one of many … and all studies need others to support (or refute) the claims.

Here’s our take as of now:

  • Eat more produce, organic or not
  • Buy local

If you are thinking about buying organic produce, but cost is a factor, focus on those fruits and veggies where you eat the skin vs. those you don’t.  For example, you peel a banana, but eat the entire raspberry — the raspberry would therefore be more to ‘go organic’

What do you think?  Is organic worth it?  Why do you (or don’t you) buy organic foods?  Leave us a comment.

Health Care Reform or OBESITY REFORM?

Health care reform is all the talk these days …

… but since health care costs are at the top of everyone’s minds, maybe we should instead invest that same money into OBESITY REFORM.

A brand new study just released suggests obesity related illness costs the US $147 billion/year, or nearly 10% of all health care spending!

Why doesn’t Congress and the Obama Administration take time out to discuss prevention of this disease? That may actually get us somewhere and make a dent in the iceberg.

Talking about Health Care Reform without touching the prevention of such diseases is like switching seats on the Titanic … titanic-sinking

… it’s a losing situation.

Am I totally off base? Let me know — leave a comment and “weigh in” (bad pun, fully intended) on this crisis in America!

Tomorrow we’ll be back with very specific strategies to combat this disease — without weight loss pills, without weight loss gimmicks, and without asking you to do endless hours of exercise .

A Super Big Gulp at 8 AM?

We had to take Ella to the local Children’s Hospital this morning.

Fortunately not for anything major — no emergency — just a simple ultrasound because she was breech. They like to do an ultrasound of the hips to make sure everything is AOK.

And much to her credit, she behaved REALLY well (just slept through the entire thing) — must have been because she was so exhausted after being up all night last night!

So anyway, we walk into our appointment this morning and saw a dad…with his 2 kids (probably 4 & 7 years old). And EACH one of them had a 7-11 drink in hand! The dad had a SUPER Big Gulp, which is SIXTY FOUR OUNCES (or 2 liters) and the two kids each had their own, 32 oz beverage!

Now I’m not placing judgment — they could have all been filled with purified water for all I know (doubt it, though).

I’m not sure what it feels like to load up your body with 4-8 cups of soda or a Slurpee first thing in the morning, but I don’t think it would be much different than pouring mud down your throat.

Here is my morning routine — whether I am heading to boot camp or not — and also barring any Ella outbursts for a diaper change and/or immediate “hold me” cry.

1. Fill up a large (12 oz) glass with pure water.

2. Heat up some water to brew some green tea.

3. Put together my morning meal to get me started right.

I’d love to hear what you do each day? Click on the comments button above and let us know.

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