The Top Five Reasons To Eat Better Now

downloadOver the course of this blog, we have talked about a number of important things including recipes, new ideas, real food, organics, kosher and much more. There are many reasons why you should look at eating right and changing your life, but these are the top five to consider right now.

  1. The first, and best reason, is that it will do wonders for your health. When you start eating real foods and organics, and stay away from processed foods, you are helping your body out and that can give you years, even decades more life. The world is suffering through an obesity epidemic right now, and the bad foods we eat is a big reason for that. Stop eating bad foods, and get healthy right now. All it takes is changing your diet and eating better.
  2. The second reason is that it is good for the environment. When you eat organic, you help build the organic industry, and you help organic farmers make money. The more money organic farming makes, the more farmers who will look at it as a viable option and the better off the entire world is going to be. Organic is good for you and the environment.
  3. The third reason is that you will feel better about yourself. When you eat better, you feel better. You will gain confidence in yourself, and you will like yourself more. You will just be a happier person when you decide to start eating right.
  4. The fourth reason is that real food and organic food just tastes better. Eat some processed cheese, then eat a fresh tomato straight from the garden. See which you like better. It is no contest, the real food tastes better, it feels better and it is simply better. Forget about the foods that you are eating that are fast food, go slow, and make something excellent and tasty.
  5. The last reason is that it is simply the right thing to do. The world is changing, and you can be at the forefront of it by joining the real food and organic food revolutions. Don’t be left behind eating Big Macs, get with the new trend and feel better about yourself, and help make the world a bit of a better place one organic salad at a time.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

Juicing Organic Fruits and Veggies

There are many ways to get healthy, but few ways are as good as juicing. When you are juicing, you are taking raw vegetables and fruits and you are putting them through a juicer. Instead of buying juice, which is full of items you don’t want, the juicer will take all the liquid out of the fruit and put it in your drink.

There are many reasons why this is a good thing, not the least of which is the fact that you are getting all the vitamins and minerals from those juices, and nothing is compromised. Only what you put into the juicer is what you drink. There are no extra chemicals or by-products that you should worry about.

As such, it is very important that when you are juicing, you are only using fruits that come from an organic source. Organic fruits will not have any of the pesticides that you have to worry about, and that will ensure that what you are drinking is only healthy vitamins and minerals.

The great thing about juicing is that it takes no time at all. Just select your favourite fruits like pineapples, berries, apples, oranges and watermelons, and put them in the juicer. In just 60 seconds, you can have a glass of juice that is full of everything you need. Nothing is compromised.

There are many juicers on the market, but you want one that is going to work for you. Juicers come in slow and fast speeds. The slow speed juicers have less oxidization, while the fast juicers have more oxidization and can’t be stored long. As well, slow juicers get more of the juicer out of the fruit, but the have a tougher time with hard fruits. Fast juicers get less juice out of the fruit by they can handle harder fruits.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

What Do Pesticides Do?

OlivesfromjordanYou have heard a lot about going organic in your life, and how good it is for you. You know that organic food doesn’t have pesticides and that is just good for you. Now, what exactly do pesticides do to you? Do they harm you? Should you stay away from them? Do you eat organic because you think pesticides are bad, but you don’t actually know what makes them bad?

Here is a brief rundown of the things that  have been found to do.

First, it has been found that if pesticides enter the human body at the right time during pregnancy, or the wrong time as it would be, then there is an increase risk of infertility in the baby, as well as learning disabilities and birth defects. Once the baby is born, the pesticides in the fat deposits will then move into the breasts where they will be transferred to the baby through breast milk.

Children can then absorb pesticides throughout their life, especially if they enjoy handling dirt and soil. It is again about timing here. A child’s biological immune system develops very quickly, but toxins from pesticides at that point can cause problems including immune system problems and neurological problems.

As we age, we continue to accumulate pesticides in our bodies, which over time build up and are stored in our fatty tissues. This can cause problems later in life, including increasing the risk of disease. Several studies have found that elevated levels of pesticide chemicals in our bodies can lead to several adult diseases including infertility in men, problems with the immune system, as well as a wide range of cancers including bladder and breast cancer.

So, it is just a good idea to avoid pesticides altogether, especially if you have, or are expecting children. Keeping pesticides out of the home now can have a positive impact down the road.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

What is strictly forbidden in Kosher foods?

We all know that Kosher foods are the foods consumed by the Jewish people, which meet the requirements of their religion, but how much do we actually know about Kosher foods? What are the foods that Jewish individuals cannot eat? Why is that the case? Here is a brief rundown of the foods that are forbidden to be consumed under Kosher law.

First we will look at meat. Kosher meat must comply with a number of rules under Jewish dietary law. The only types of meat that can be consumed are cattle and game that has cloven hooves and, in the word of the Torah, “chew the cud”. If for example the animal only qualifies for one of these, like the pig for example, then its meat cannot be consumed. Animals that are Kosher are bulls, sheep, lambs, goats, veal, springbok and cows. When the animal is slaughtered, it must be done under the supervision of a Kosher Supervisor. The carcass must be have the blood removed, as well as the veins and the skin. To do this the meat is trebered, then soaked in a bath, then put on special salting tables for an hour on each side.

For birds, the only birds that can be consumed are goose, duck, chick and turkey.

All dairy products must come from Kosher animals and it must not contain any additives that are not Kosher.

One interesting Kosher rule is that it is against dietary law to combine meat and milk. According to the Torah, you cannot cook a young animal in the milk of its mother. As such, milk and meat products can never be mixed together, whether it is cooking them together, or serving them together at the table.

Eggs are allowed, but not if they contain eggs, so all eggs must be examined individually.

Only fish with fins and scales can be consumed, which includes tuna, herring and salmon. Lobster, crab, mussels and shrimp cannot be consumed.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

New To Organics? What Should You Enjoy First?

usda-organic-sealIf you have spent your life eating processed foods, you are making a good choice by moving towards organics. Organic food is good for you and it is good for the environment. If you are new to organic food though, you may be wondering what exactly you should begin with eating organic. One thing you are going to discover is that there are a lot of products out there that advertise themselves as being organic, but that is far from the case. For example, if you buy a container of juice and it says it is organic, it may have been organic early on in the process when it was grown but by the time the juice has made its way to you at the grocery store, it is no longer organic because of the various products put into the juice over the course of that time.

As well, “all-natural” does not mean that it is organic. It really means nothing, so it is best to just ignore things that say “all-natural” as that is an example of greenwashing.

The first thing you should get that is organic are fruits and vegetables. this is where you see the biggest advantages to organics, and it is really what you should be focusing on when you are going organic. Ensure that the organics that you buy are certified organic by a government agency. This is the only way to know for certain that the products you are buying are actually organic. You can get organics at a farmer’s market, but this is not always guaranteed to be organic, but it is more likely than if you buy organic food at the grocery store.

When you go organic, nothing will taste the same again. Everything will taste better, you will feel healthier and you will be helping the planet in the process.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

Is Grain Fed and Free Roam, Organic?

HerefordWhen you hear about organic, you think of it as being related to no pesticides, herbicides or hormones. What about grass fed and free roam? For many people, it is important that the food that they eat is coming from animals that were treated properly and in a natural manner. This means no cages, no harsh hormones, etc being put into the bodies of the chickens, pigs and cows.

Is this organic though? In many ways it is because it is more natural, and it is treating animals in a more natural manner. There are also rules in place related to grain fed and free roam, so that companies are not just stating that their products are free-roam and grass-fed. That being said, the rules related to free range and grass-fed are much more liberal than those related to organics.

In the United States, free-range regulations only apply to poultry, and it requires that the animals be allowed access to the outdoors. There is no requirement on the size or quality of the outside environment. The United States Department of Agriculture Food and Inspection Service requires that chickens raised for their meat have acess to the outside to receive the free-range certification. It doesn’t have to be pasture, and can be dirt or gravel.

For grass-fed animals, this is often labeled as organic, or natural. Pasture or grass-fed animals are often termed as free-range animals because they are in a pasture, eating grass. There are also corn-fed animals, but these animals are not considered to be organic because the animals are not eating the diet that is natural for them. You should always make sure that the meat you are buying is pasture-fed or grass-fed, as these are the best for the animals and the environment.

Organic doesn’t always mean grass-fed or free-range, but it is a step in the right direction.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

Organic on a budget

downloadGoing organic is a good way to stay healthy, but it is not always cheap. That being said, organics are getting cheaper by the day, but there are still ways that you can order organic food online, and keep things cheap at the grocery store. Just follow these tips to being cheap on an organic budget.

The first thing to do is to buy organic is to buy the food in its raw form. When food is processed, it becomes more expensive. That is where organic prices go up. Try to buy food that is raw and unprocessed, to give you the most control over your food and your wallet.

Next, cook everything from scratch. This not only makes you a better cook, but it also helps prevent additives and preservatives from being mixed into what you eat, because you know everything you are eating is organic.

Instead of buying things you need that day, buy in bulk. When you purchase items in bulk, you are making it cheaper for yourself in the long-run. Buying in bulk can seem more expensive at first, but if you are really into organic cooking, and you use a lot of ingredients, then it is really the best option for you, and it will be the cheapest option for you in the long-run.

Another good option is to ensure that you buy your produce in season. In season organic produce is going to be cheaper than if it is out of season. This also helps you have more variety over the course of your year, since you will be buying different foods for each season.

Choose foods that are better for you organic. What we mean by that is that some foods are so coated in chemicals during the growing process, that if you buy them organic, you are getting the most benefit. If you can’t afford to buy all food organically, buy the ones that are the most chemically-laden, and choose to have them organic.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

Tahini Tips

imagesWhen you are looking to cook a good Tahini meal, you want to get the most out of the tahini. For one, it is a fantastic product that can do a lot of good for your body, thanks to the high protein and many other beneficial minerals and vitamins found inside.

If you want to get the most out of the tahini though, try these smart tips.

  1. Tahini is often used as part of a sauce, so why not use it as a salad dressing. Of everything tahini is used for, this is probably the most common. Take a few spoonfuls of tahini and mix it with the salad to create a taste that is creamy and rich, without being overpowering to what you are eating.
  2. Tahini also makes a great dip. Tahini, after all, is a big ingredient in hummus, but you can certainly make it a dip of its own. If you want, mix it with some sour cream and use pita chips to dip into it. This is a great way to really enjoy tahini.
  3. A lot of people like to mix yogurt into their smoothie or into their granola. You can do them one better by mixing in tahini. Tahini works great in granola, especially because it is already a nut butter, so you are really complimenting things. In smoothies, you can add it in and get a great shot of protein, and a healthy dose of several other vitamins, in an already healthy smoothie.
  4. Lastly, you can put tahini into brownies and cookies. Tahini can take the taste of a desert and bump it up to the next level. Tahini offers a sweet, earthy flavour to deserts, so it is really something you should try.

Tahini is a very healthy, natural product that has been used in the Middle East for centuries as a dressing and paste. Now you can discover how good it is too.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

The Growth of Organic Wine

downloadOrganic wine may seem like a new thing, but it is quickly becoming a standard for many people who enjoy wine and wine tasting.

Essentially, organic wine is wine that has been grown without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. The use of organic wine has steadily increased as well. In 2009, the consumption of organic wine grew by 3.7 per cent alone, and it has continued to grow and outpace the growth of the consumption of non-organic wine since then. It is estimated that there are currently, 1,500 to 2,000 organic wine producers throughout the world, with nearly 1,000 located in France alone.

In conventional wine growing, chemical fertilizers are used in order to promote a larger yield and protect from disease, but the problem is that these chemicals are then absorbed into the sap, and passed into the leaves and the fruit. Eventually, these chemicals make their way into the finished wine itself. The chemicals also damage soil and water quality, so many wine growers are looking to go organic. Many people do not even realize that many wine growers actually use hazmat suits and breathing apparatuses when spraying the vines, and we are putting that into our bodies.

In the United States, there are very strict rules in place for the growing of organic wine, covering all aspects of the growing, harvesting and production. Even the types of yeast, the storage conditions and more are all considered with organic wine.

In the United States, to receive organic certification on wine, there must be suffite levels of less than 20 parts per million.

In the United States as well, the National Organic Program handles the certification of organic wine, through the United States Department of Agriculture. Many different nations are also using certifications of organic, through government agencies.

It should also be noted that many wineries are organic without the certification, because they have always grown organically through their history.

There are also natural wines that only use native yeasts in the fermentation process and no sulphur dioxide. Roughly 10 per cent of all organic wine in the United States is natural wine.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg

Kosher Food Symbols

imagesWhen you are looking to eat kosher, you want to make sure what you are eating is actually going to be kosher. Just like organic certifications, there are kosher certifications to put the consumer at ease that what they are eating is actually going to be what it it says it is. In order to make sure you are actually eating kosher food, look for these companies and symbols on the food that you eat.

First of all, the four biggest kosher supervision companies in the world are all found in the United States and they use the symbols OU, Kof-K, OK and Star-K. They are very recognizable and if they have their symbol on the food, then you know for sure that it is kosher.

Other well-known and reputable agencies include:

  1. Regional American Kosher Certifiers: These are the companies that regionally approve kosher meals. The United States has more of these than any other country in the world, and they are often found in areas where there are large groups of Orthodox Jewish individuals. New York, New Jersey, California and Florida all have several.
  2. International Hecshers: The big four have already been mentioned, but there are several other international agencies that are very reputable and can be trusted. These are London Beit Din, Kashrus Council of Canada, Kosher Australia and Rabbi Mordechai Rottenberg, or the Chief Rabbi of Paris.
  3. Israel has many agencies, and any one of the agencies based in the country will have reputable kosher practices and will be safe to import into the country because of the strict guidelines that they follow.
  4. Speciality Certifications: These are certifications where the food is kosher, but also vegan, organic, or GMO-free. There are many companies that offer these certifications but the biggest are EarthKosher and Natural Food Certifiers.

If you are looking for kosher food, make sure it comes from an agency that is reputable with a long-history of customer satisfaction.

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Written by: Yehudith Girshberg