Thursday, September 5, 2013

Go Green, Help the Environment

Eating green is the most significant single action we can all do to combat global warming just because it is a routine that all human beings share.

Undoubtedly, going for locally-sourced foods can help save Mother Earth as it does away with the climate-change impacts of transporting these goods. Getting your fresh foods from the local farm nearest you will mean less carbon footprints.  Moreover, your healthy food be even less expensive than those available in grocery stores.

Our diet is indeed killing us, and it's killing the planet too. Because of the past-paced lives that we lead, individuals often go for processed meat products and other ready-to-eat options in the grocery stores. While some of that quantity gets thrown away, most is consumed long before it can go stale on the shelves.

The population is now bordering on obesity.  And once a person's weight is on all-time high, that individual's risk of  contacting cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease etc.  also increases.  Eating nitrite-treated meats have been found to cause diabetes and colon cancer.  As such, meat eaters  should ease up on their meat consumption by scheduling meatless days in a week.  
By moderating animal protein and preserved meats consumption, you make yourself healthier.  Cutting back on meat consumption also helps the environment as it is the highest resource-intensive food. Half pound of beef daily is equal to the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by a car travelling every 38 miles. 

Do the ecosystem and your body a great deal of good by eating green.  Join the green lifestyle eaters who take less of a chunk of environment that manufacturing millions of animal product.

With less demand for animal produce, you save a few animals from being slaughtered indiscriminately by factory farming. There will be less greenhouse methane gas from animal manure to pollute lands and rivers.

Our food and health choices really do have a profound effect on the planet we live in. By simply making an effort to eat green, you will be surprised at how big you can contribute as an individual. Going vegan for life will be a meaningful environmental choice ultimately.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Choosing Organic Food for the Family

Organic foods often has a higher price tag over those products from conventional farming.
Product cost is probably one of the notable things that you will see differently between organic and conventional farming produce. The higher price tag of organic products is nothing compared to the long term benefits it gives. But higher price tags should not stop us from going organic.

Consider the following:
- Cost of health care expenses spent on various food-related illnesses
- Amount of money that taxpayers doled out to subsidize large farming operations.
- Money that we pay for our water bills to filter out agricultural chemical residues out of the drinking water.
- Hospital bills that we have to pay in case we get sick from the foods that we eat.
- Medical expenses we incur due to water-borne diseases

Given these things to think about, will you agree that choosing organic foods pays off in the end?

Organic foods are richer in nutritional value since it has polyphenolic compounds that act as antioxidants. Organic meat is richer in omega-3 fats and contains higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid or CLA that helps reduce risk of cancer. By consuming organic meat, we do not only prevent ourselves from mad cow disease but we help reduce the risk of getting cancer. Moreover, people who are patronize organic meat and foods have better immune system levels. They also have better sleeping habits and are less likely to be overweight. Eating organic foods is also beneficial to babies and children. The average baby is born with 200 toxins and carcinogens in their body and by the time the kid reaches 2 years old, most have pasted the lethal limit for the toxins. And by feeding your child organic products, they will have about 1/6th the amount of carcinogens in their blood. No one can dispute that organic food grown and raised in natural, healthier environment is a better choice for your family.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Organic versus Conventional Farming

Here are some points for comparison that shows the big difference between organic meat and conventional farm meat produce:
Organic farming
The animals are given freedom and access outside and are given clean housing to minimize disease. Chickens and other animals spend most of their times outdoors to graze freely. These animals get access to fresh air as they spend minimal time confined indoors.

Organic farming is better for the environment. Its farming practices reduce pollution (air, water, soil), conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy.

Organic farms refrain from using anything laden with chemicals thus the animals grow healthier. Using natural materials to promote crop growth makes it healthier and safer for people to consume organic product. In addition, organic farming is better for birds and small animals as chemical pesticides can make it harder for creatures to reproduce and even so, kill them. Farming without pesticides is also better for the people who harvest our food.  

Conventional farming
Animals are given antibiotics, growth hormones and medications to prevent diseases and to spur growth. Traditional farms employ a variety of pesticides and other chemicals to encourage the growth of their crops. And as the animals feed on these kinds of foods, eating their meat makes human vulnerable to dangers that chemicals may bring on.

The health risk associated with exposure to pesticide is of course one of major concern when looking at the differences between organic and conventional foods. Many of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved pesticides were registered before researches linked them to cancer and other harmful diseases.

A significant level of toxic residues coming from these chemicals are found on conventionally grown fruit and vegetables. Sad to say, this situation is alarming since 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides and 30% of insecticides are carcinogenic according to EPA.

It is understandable that poultry farmers may want to produce as much meat as possible with minimal cost. But this goal makes traditional farming treat animals in an inhumane ways.

Traditional factory farms usually treat their animals as commodities. The animals are kept in tight and confined pens and cages. They cram the animals into barns and crates. Animals have limited access outdoors.

By choosing organic meats, we in turn lower the demand for those raised in traditional farming. Without market demand for such meat, there would be less number of animals cramping in substandard cages. When buying in the groceries, look out for labels like “free-range” or “ranch-raised”. Those are your clues that the animals were raised in a more humane way.

While Organic farming produces less waste, Conventional farming produces so much manure that the excess often contaminates the earth.

As industrial farms commercially raise so many animals, this equates to a lot of manure. A buildup of waste is harmful to the environment. And since majority of the animals in industrial or conventional farms receive various chemicals, and synthetic growth supplements, their droppings contain harmful toxins.

The overflow of manure in the soil can infect water wells with E. coli and other dangerous toxins, making such water sources unfit for drinking. Meanwhile, animals in organic farming receive all-natural foods and supplements so their manure are pure and free from any chemicals and toxins. Organic farms raise less livestock so they produce just enough manure to fertilize and rejuvenate the soil.

In choosing organic meat, we are going for a healthier body and supporting healthier options that benefit the environment as well.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Organic Chicken Meat

There is no doubt that Chicken is a favorite food among kids, toddlers, and even adults. Children and adults alike share their love for fried chicken especially the chicken wings and drumstick parts. It brings so much joy to bite into the crispy chicken skin and its savory meat.

Chicken has always been a favorite dinner or lunch fare in fastfood chains and restaurants because people love it. Health-conscious adults opt for chicken breasts since it is lower in fat in the meat. They do away with other meat parts since fat is said to be highly concentrated on those with chicken skin on.

In early times, this widely domesticated fowl has been depicted in Babylonian carvings and was considered to be the most commonly available food source. Mature hens and younger pullets are raised for their edible eggs and meat. Immature males or cocks are castrated to become meat birds called capons. Chicken meat was believed to be the most easily digested meat in the Middle Ages.

Consumption of chicken meat increased in the United States during World War II resulting from shortage of other meats like pork and beef. Likewise, the consumption of chicken surpassed the consumption of beef and pork in Europe due to consumer awareness of mad cow disease or Bovine spongiform encephalopathy in 1996.

Chicken meat consumption dominates because of the relatively short production cycle, low price premium and integrated production compared to beef or pork.

Organic refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. Specific requirements must be met and maintained in order for products to be labeled as "organic". Similarly, animals are raised without antibiotics, hormones, or any other drugs. Organic chickens are fed only with natural, organic food. Organic foods are grown without modifications, and it must remain separate from conventional products. Farmers are not allowed to use synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, herbicides, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Organic feed cannot contain any animal by-products, antibiotics, or genetically-engineered grains as many herbicides, pesticides and fungicides act as potentially cancer causing agents.

Aside from being given a healthy and balanced diet, organic chickens are also provided with clean and healthy living environment. That way, incidences of chickens getting various diseases will be nil or kept to a minimum. The largest volume of organic meat sales is for poultry.

Since chicken is the most widely available organic meat, it finds its way to a number of natural food retailers and conventional groceries. It will be good to know that Chicken is also the most popular natural and organic meat, purchased by more than seven in ten American shoppers (73%).

It may sound so easy to claim that one’s farm is organic and that they practice organic chicken raising, but that it well said than done. There are strict sets of rules before a farm could be called and certified organic. Farms must follow certain rules and must be inspected annually by a third-party certifying body to make sure that those rules are met and followed.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Destitution in the Philippines

Widespread poverty is one of  the problems facing the Philippines. There are significant differences in poverty levels between regions and provinces.  Poverty problem just keeps on piling up as the  poverty gap between urban and rural areas widens.

Poverty is more severe in the Cordillera highlands and Mindanao Island.  Filipinos living in these rural areas are among the poorest in the country since most only depend on agriculture, fishing and subsistence farming for their livelihoods.

The root problem goes deeper than the lack of economic growth as the country’s poverty level remains high compared with the other Asian countries. Access to basic needs like clean and health care is difficult if not available. There is illiteracy, unemployment and continued rapid population growth further aggravating the problem. Indigenous people with have high illiteracy rates are affected by the influx of new modern technology onto traditional  practices. Fishermen encounter increasing reduction in their catches as they have few opportunities outside of fishing. The roles of womenfolk  are limited to family responsibilities.

The local government should exert more effort in alleviating the flight of the poor. They should aim at helping indigenous people cope with the situation.  Programs should also look into lessening the exploitation of farmers and fishermen, and providing security for vulnerable poor people, including children and women.  Since 80 percent of the rural population comes from poor families, more efforts should be directed towards improving the quality life of the poor rural people.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Making the Switch to Green Lifestyle

With the green lifestyle bandwagon, people are becoming more and more conscious about what they eat. Undoubtedly, food is one of the basic needs we human focus on to ensure health. Our body gets the nutrients it needs from milk, bread, eggs, fruits, meat and vegetables we eat. And since eating is a regular activity that we all do frequently, our health is directly affected by the food choices we make. What we put in our bodies is a matter of personal choice, what we can afford to buy and of convenience.

Hence, eating eco-friendly food becomes the most significant single action we can all do to combat global warming. By opting to go without certain products at certain times of the year, people realize that they help save on climate-change impacts of transporting these goods.

The number of consumers loading up on homegrown, organic fruits and vegetables plus meat are increasing. As these people encourage friends and relatives to go for locally-sourced, seasonal foods by seeking out the small close to home, the clamor for healthy food options increases. Making a commitment to healthy eating is a great start towards a healthier life. Beyond eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and good fats the question of food safety, nutrition, and sustainability is often discussed.

Moreover, questions on how foods are grown or brought about are often raised as it impacts both human health and the environment. Not only do people reduce their food consumption but they are now becoming more meticulous about the foods and the quality of foods they eat. Consumers would like to know more about where their food comes from. They would like to be informed on how the chickens are raised and what goes into its meat before they actually buy it.

You may have seen organic products on the counter or at your local supermarket, but you know what is really means to be organic? Do organic foods have significant advantages over standard products? When you visit a grocery store, a wide array of chicken choices awaits you. There is free-range, cage-free and natural and organic meat to choose from.

While looking at those options, you will find out that organic food comes with real benefits and significant costs. It makes you really wonder if the higher-priced organic chicken is actually worth it. Is organic food really healthier? Is it more nutritious? What is the difference between organic foods and conventionally grown foods? Is “organic” always best?  Why is it so expensive?