On Nutrition: Organic Junk Food? Say It Isn’t So

Organic jelly beans. Organic potato chips. Organic vodka. “Organic” is a term perceived as healthier than conventional products…no matter what they are.

So what does the term “organic” mean anyway? According to the United States Department of Agriculture — which regulates organic standards – “organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides, fertilizers with synthetic ingredients, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation.” In other words, “organic” refers to how a food is farmed.

Organic does not necessarily mean a food can’t be highly processed, however. (“Processed” means it has been changed in some way from its natural form.)

Take a chocolate chip cookie, for example. OK, take two. “Organic” chocolate chip cookies are made with organically cultivated wheat, sugar, butter and chocolate. The “organic” flour and sugar can still be refined and white, however. And the nutritional value of these cookies may be no different from regular cookies. Sorry to blow a fantasy, but excess fat and calories from organic treats are no less damaging than those from other foods.

So while organic farming methods help ensure healthy soil and ecosystems, organic standards do not regulate a food product’s nutritional attributes.

Take a product made with organic brown rice syrup or evaporated cane juice. It’s still sugar. And organic sweetened beverages, candy bars, and chips? If they are stripped of healthful nutrients, they’re just “organic junk food.”

What about organic milk? It comes from cows that were fed organic feed and were not given hormones or certain types of medications for illness. Both organic and regular milk contain the same profile of essential nutrients, say nutrition experts. And both types of milk are enriched with vitamin D — a hormone-like vitamin that helps the body absorb calcium.

Thankfully, all milk — organic or not — is strictly tested for antibiotic or pesticide residues to ensure these do not enter our food supply.

One interesting note: Some organic milk may last longer than regular milk because of how it is processed. Because organic milk is not produced in all parts of the country, it may have to travel farther to reach stores. To help it stay fresh longer, it may be treated with UHT (Ultra High Temperature) which destroys most all its bacteria content. It may be this UHT process that gives organic milk its slightly sweeter taste than regular milk.

This process is different than pasteurization, which kills most but not all bacteria. (That’s why we need to refrigerate milk and drink it within a few days.)

Bottom line? Organic or not, health experts still call us to choose from whole grains, fresh fruit, vegetables, beans and legumes, low-fat dairy foods and lean meats, poultry and fish. And an occasional cookie …

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About thenoelteam

As a Broker with RE/MAX Alliance, I work energetically for my clients whether they are a buyer or seller. I help you achieve your goal of owning a home or getting the best price for your home in the shortest time possible. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in communications and finance, I was licensed in 1977 and since then I have sold over 3600 properties amounting to over $1 billion in sales. I currently rank in the top 10 in home sales for Colorado. I offer the same quality of service and superior communication to all clients, ranging from starter homes to multi-million dollar estates, commercial and income properties, relocations and foreclosures My goal is to provide you with the best representation possible whether you are buying or selling. Over the years, one of the things that I've discovered is that there is a difference in the way individual Realtors do business. For me, I have always felt that honesty and personal integrity are the foundations upon which a successful business and career are built and sustained. I have an extensive background and knowledge base in real estate, including financing, which has enabled me to provide outstanding, quality advice and service not found with many agents today. My commitment to communication creates a positive relationship between my client and myself that results in a successful property sale or purchase. My passion for real estate, commitment to my clients and personal integrity has helped me to achieve success placing me in the top 1% of all brokers in nationwide. In my career, I have earned a number of awards and received considerable recognition for my success but the most significant recognition comes from the fact that over 75% of my business comes from past clients. My success is a true measure of my client satisfaction.
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