When I woke up yesterday and saw the headline, “Organic produce is no healthier or nutritious, finds study,” I was very curious. What exactly did this study look at and how did they come up with their conclusion? Turns out I wasn’t the only one who was interested. Our twitter page blew up with comments and articles on what the study missed. Mark Bittman showed a wee bit of frustration in his tweet:
Ridiculous Study Claims Organic Same as Conventional, irritates anyone capable of thought: http://buff.ly/NaNeKI
The Standford Study, as it is being referred, is a “meta-analysis” of a few hundred previously published research papers on the topic. The researchers reviewed the studies and and summarized the results in the journal, The Annals of Internal Medicine.
The Purpose: To review evidence comparing the health effects of organic and conventional foods.
The Conclusion: The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods. Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
While this sounds compelling, there was a whole lot left out. For example, two glasses of milk might be identical when it comes to the amount of vitamin D or calcium, but vastly difference when you start comparing added hormone or antibiotic levels. Also, nutrition is not the only reason why people choose organic. In the last day, I’ve read numerous articles about the Standford Study. To further understand what the study actually did and did not include, I urge you to read these three compelling articles.
5 Ways the Stanford Study Sells Organics Short
by Tom Philpott of Mother Jones
As an investigative journalist, Tom takes a deep dive on the study and points out the multitude of risks that pesticides both
So what’s the big deal if the majority of our food contains soy? Well, if you’re like Kathy Kottaras’ daughter M, it may mean yet another ear infection and up to six months of antibiotics. Why? Both M and her dad, Matthew Frey, have soy allergies.
Matthew and M struggled with constant illness. For Matthew it was digestive problems and for M it was sinus infections, ear aches and congestion. Matthew’s visits to the doctor always led to more antibiotics and it was only after an elimination diet that he finally figured out he was allergic to soy. I chatted with Kathy Kottaras of Subtract Soy Now to understand what’s going on with soy in our foods, why it’s problematic, and why she’s fighting to get soy out of America’s most popular cookies.
The word “poop” either makes people squeamish or they just start laughing. It’s funny how something we all do virtually every day, is so tabu to talk about amongst adults (except when talking about your baby’s poop and then it is totally normal to talk about every aspect of it). In this video, Suzanne Somers interviews Brenda Watson, “poop expert” and they discuss how often you should have a bowel movement, what color it should be and even how it should smell.
It should come as no surprise that your poop can be an excellent indicator of overall health and especially of your digestive health. Watson reminds us of how our toxic food of today (antibiotics in food, GMOs), lack of essential minerals and low levels of omega-3s are killing all our beneficial gut bacteria. It is pretty tough for our bodies to function properly without the good bacteria. She also discusses the effect of food sensitivities and how many of us are walking around with inflamed digestive systems that are causing everything from digestive issues to weight gain.If you’ve ever wondered if your poop is normal or what could be causing those long, painful sessions in the restroom, watch this 6 minute video.
Related: Raw Milk Gets a Raw Deal
In rather surprising news today, Food Safety News is reporting that most honey sold in US grocery stores is not really honey. What?? Apparently, our honey is undergoing a process called ultra-filtration to remove the pollen. The problem with no pollen is that there is no way to tell where the honey came from since the honey’s “footprint” is gone. In fact, according to the report, even the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) says that any product that has been ultra filtered and no longer contains pollen isn’t honey. Food Safety News explains the process of ultra-filtering and why it is being done:
Ultra filtering is a high-tech procedure where honey is heated, sometimes watered down and then forced at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove pollen, which is the only foolproof sign identifying the source of the honey. It is a spin-off of a technique refined by the Chinese, who have illegally dumped tons of their honey – some containing illegal antibiotics – on the U.S. market for years.
Food Safety News purchased more than 60 types of honey sold in 10 US states. The honey was analyzed for pollen. The results are rather shocking:
pounds of antibiotic-free chicken
There is a big announcement from the windy city this week and this time it relates to school lunches. Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced that on November 1st, they would begin serving antibiotic-free (ABF) chicken too all 300,000+ students i their 473 schools. The deal with main food service provider, Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality, will bring 1.2 million pounds of locally grown ABF chicken to Chicago schools.
Dairy, dairy quite contrary
How does your bacteria grow?
With metal grates and heated plates,
And filthy cows all in a row.
Ever wonder how your milk gets from the cow to your bowl of cereal? Grist.org just did a great story on dairy. Essentially, milk goes through a 3-step process of pasteurization, homogenization and fortification. Here is a list of must-know terms from today’s milk production.
Pasteurization is the process of using heat to destroy microorganisms in foods. Do you know the difference between pasteurized, ultra-pasteurized, and raw? Here are the 4 main ways dairy is pasteurized:
High Temperature Short Time (HTST)
This is the most common method of pasteurization in the U.S. HTST uses metal plates and hot water to raise milk temperatures to at least 161F/72C degrees for a minimum of 15 seconds, followed by rapid cooling.
Ultra Pasteurized (UP)
Milk or milk product is heated to 280F/138 C degrees for two seconds. UP results in a product with longer shelf life, but still requires refrigeration. Most organic milk is ultra pasteurized to extend the shelf life.
On Wednesday, consumer advocacy groups filed a lawsuit against the FDA for their failure to address the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed. Factory farms include antibiotics and antimicrobial drugs in animal feed to fight against the myriad of illnesses that cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys suffer from as a result of their CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) lifestyle (horrendous living conditions, restriction of natural behaviors, use of unnatural feed and growth hormones). The antibiotics can also help increase production in food-producing animals which is an obvious plus for farmers. The major concern with this practice is that humans and animals will eventually become resistant to these drugs and then they will no longer be effective when they are really needed. The FDA itself has acknowledged that non-therapeutic use of antibiotics contributes to antimicrobial resistance in humans and has urged the meat industry to phase out antibiotics in feed. The FDA issued a draft guidance for the industry and recommends “judicious use” be applied. Specifically, the “FDA recommends that all antimicrobial drugs for animals and people be used only when necessary and appropriate.”