Archive for the ‘Organic Food’ Category

Chemicals that could contaminate baby formula

Recently parents have been scared by melamine tainting baby formula, even in the US, but the Daily Green has a list of 5 chemicals that could be lurking in infant formula and offers tips on how to reduce your baby’s exposure to these chemicals.

Obviously, breastfeeding is the best way to avoid this situation, eventhough yes breastmilk can contain chemicals as well. But the many benefits to breastmilk far outweigh these risks.

The 5 chemicals that could be found in formula are BPA (from the lining of the metal cans); chemicals such as weed killer, pesticides, arsenic, etc. found in water that is used to mix the formula; manufacturing by-products; MSG; and genetically modified ingredients.

Simple solutions include using BPA free bottles and sippy cups for feeding and organic formula (such as Earth’s Best or Baby’s Only) in plastic (not metal) containers.

To read the entire article and learn more tips on how to protect your baby here

Related Articles
BPA free bottles and sippy cups
Is melamine safe?
Nursing is more than breastfeeding
Breastmilk cures


Crack the code on organic food labels

The Daily Green has a quick little guide to help crack the code on those organic food labels. Check it out here.

Related Articles
Is Horizon milk really organic?
How to save money at Whole Foods

Grass fed beef is healthier
Is your organic food really organic

Does organic milk come from grass fed cows?

Not now, but it very soon could be a requirement. The USDA is considering requiring that all dairy cows used in producing organic milk be grass-fed during grazing season.

I think this is a great step. Currently, these cows are fed grain that is not treated with pesticides. Grass is what cows naturally eat and what their bodies know how to process. Grain is not as easily digested and because of this, cows fed grain often have stomach ulcers, indigestion and other issues. Because of this unnatural diet, grain fed cattle are often treated with antibiotics to help prevent diseases common among grain fed cattle.

Certainly would be a great step for all — healthier for the cows and for our consumption. Read the entire article here.

Related Articles
Is Horizon milk really organic?
How to save money at Whole Foods

Grass fed beef is healthier
Is your organic food really organic


Is Horizon Milk really organic?

No. Apparently it is not. Which explains why it’s so cheap and why Wal-Mart sells it. I had a friend tell me about this who read it somewhere, so one to never just take anyone’s word for it, I did a little research and found that Horizon is NOT organic, just as my friend had said. No Horizon products for this house.

horizon1It’s really a shame as the Horizon brand is the number 1 selling organic brand of milk. Dean Foods bought Horizon, as well as Silk brand soy milk. Aurora Organic milk has also been pointed out as labeling themselves organic when they are really not.

How do they get away with this? For one, they are lobbying to reduce the standards set forth for organic products to lower them to a more conventional standard. Uh, then what’s the point of “organic?” Until then, they are claiming that their animals have access to open pasture and to them, that’s good enough to call themselves organic. The truth is, their farms do not allow enough pasture for the number of cows they have. When reporters or other important folks visit one of their operations, some cows do see the pasture.

Just proves that if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Horizon is by far much cheaper than any other organic brand of milk I have come across. I had wondered how they were able to do this and now I know why. If you really want organic milk, DO NOT buy Horizon! If their sales weaken, they will realize consumers will not stand for just an organic label — we want a real organic product!

Click here to read the full story.

Related Articles
How to save money at Whole Foods
Grass fed beef is healthier
Is your organic food really organic?
Eating healthy with the rising cost of groceries


How to save money at Whole Foods

With food prices skyrocketing, Whole Foods has become known to some as “Whole Paycheck.” The upscale chain has been hit by the slow economy and has seen its profits drop as consumers shop elsewhere.

Not wanting to lose its customers, Whole Foods has come up with a solution. They have “value gurus” who will take customers on a tour of the store and teach them how to save money shopping at Whole Foods – they highlight their own 365 brand, which I personally purchase and for the most part, it’s very good. They have also launch a website called The Whole Deal where customers share their stories.

Some interesting things I did not know about are:
• You get a 10% discount when buying 10 pounds or more of meat and/or fish
• They accept coupons from other stores

Certainly it is not “the” answer, but there are helpful tips nonetheless. Many just say the extra price is worth it (which supports their higher prices, not how to save).

Some comments are customers have a piece of mind knowing they can shop with confidence. This is true for nearly all of the store, but if you shop the body care section, I would encourage you to read labels there. I am avoiding PEG-ingredients when at all possible (and it IS possible) as well as fragrance, dioxanes, phthalates and other things that are still commonly found even in natural and organic products.

But overall, good job Whole Foods for sharing tricks for saving $$ in your stores and allowing customers to share their experience in saving money as well.


Grass-fed beef is healthier

Beef has typically been flagged as unhealthy with high saturated fat and total fat content, not to mention high amounts of cholesterol. But grass-fed beef devotees claim it is as low in fat as skinless chicken breasts and even contains the same omega-3 compounds as fish.

Health experts tend to agree. 

“A study by the Union of Concerned Scientists in 2006 found that compared to grain-fed beef, grass-fed beef is lower in both saturated and total fat, has higher levels of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, and “sometimes” higher levels of the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid.

According to the study, “The three omega-3 fatty acids — the so-called beneficial fatty acids — have been shown in many studies to improve health and prevent disease in humans.”

“It has 100 percent the same health benefits as salmon,” Castonguay said.”

Today, most cattle are grain fed and even some grass-fed cattle are given grain in the weeks before slaughtering.


Not only is grass-fed cattle better for human health compared to grain-fed cattle, it’s also better for the environment. Typically the grain is treated with pesticides, which we ingest through the beef and through drinking water as pesticides run off the fields and into our water ways.


Additionally, grass-fed cattle are not typically given antibiotics. Animals grassing in the pasture rarely get sick, while grain-fed cattle that spend their days in confined and crowded feed lots, often do get sick.


This also brings up the point that grass-fed cattle are more likely to be raised and live in more humane and healthy conditions.


Grass-fed beef is not much more expensive than grain-fed beef, and it’s naturally leaner. In my area, the difference is roughly 50 cents per pound. If you take into consideration grass-fed is naturally leaner, then comparing that way, there is very little difference in price.


We have been eating grass-fed beef for over a year, and now I am glad we made the switch when we did.


Whole Foods recalls beef after customers get sick

Whole Foods recalled all fresh ground beef sold between June 2 and Aug. 6 at its stores in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

Whole Foods realizes there was a system breakdown and it taking means to ensure this will not happen again. Read the NY Times article.

This is troubling. I expect more out of Whole Foods. Their private label 365 brand canned food is lined with BPA, their 365 brand body care line contains dioxanes (a carcinogen) and they do not mention this on their packaging and have no plans to make a change. On the latter, they are involved in a law suit in California, where its required to have proper package labeling for products containing dioxanes.    

So disappointing, Whole Foods. I am seriously rethinking my loyalty now. I want to be able to go to a store where I do not have to worry about pesticides, dioxanes, e-coli, etc. Even now, I still need to research and read product labels before picking anything up off the shelves no matter where I shop. I did feel safer with WF’s produce and meat, but that system has an obvious breakdown. Sure no one is perfect, but WF has certainly had it’s fair share of negatives in the very recent past. I hope they clean up their act and live up to consumer expectations.