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What 'Organic' Really Means

Natural Cold Fighters

New blood test benefits ovarian cancer survival rates

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What Does 'Organic' Really Mean

The Newman's Own Organics Guide to a Good Life, written by Nell Newman and Joseph D'Agnese, claims that organic food is more nutritious, safer to eat, and usually tastes better because it contains no synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, medicated feed, antibiotics or chemicals. Although mainstream food growers and processors continue to dispute these claims, organic foods have become steadily more popular as the public has become more concerned about health risks associated with chemicals in food products.

In fact, the Organic Trade Association Manufacturer Survey 2004 shows that organic food sales nearly tripled - from $3.6 billion to $10.4 billion - in six years from 1997 - 2003. At the same time, organics' penetration into the overall food market grew from 0.8% to 1.9%. In another study conducted by the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), 33% of the respondents noted that their sales remained steady in 2002, while 44% reported market expansion.

Though the evidence is not conclusive, breast cancer rates appear to have risen 1% per year since 1940. Prostate cancer and cancer in children also seem to be on the rise. The age of sexual maturity is declining. Meanwhile, more than 80% of the most commonly used pesticides today have been classified by National Academy of Sciences researchers as potentially carcinogenic. Yet, they are routinely found in mothers' milk.

In October 2002, the term "organic" gained official sanction, with the passing of the National Organic Foods Production Act. Under this law, anyone who sells a product as "organic" must be certified by a USDA - accredited certification agency. In general, a "certified organic" label is your guarantee that a product was grown, raised, or processed without harmful pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), irradiation, or sewage-sludge fertilizers.

Under the law:

  • "100% organic" means all individual ingredients are organic.
  • "Organic" means 95% of the ingredients are organic.
  • "Made with organic ingredients" means at least 70% of the ingredients are organic.
  • Other processed products with less than 70% organic ingredients may not advertise the word "organic" on the front of the panel, but may list organic ingredients on the information panel as being so.

Organic produce is now available in many food outlets, including major supermarket chains. It is generally more expensive because organic farming requires more manual labor and attention. Yet, organic farming is the fastest growing segment of U.S. agriculture, with sales rising 20% a year. Consumers argue that eating organically is expensive and time consuming. But organic proponents argue that the price of an organic product more accurately reflects what cleaner, safer food is worth. The new government standards will increase the legitimacy of organic products among mainstream consumers.

Natural Cold Fighters

  1. Drink warm ginger tea

  2. Use eight ounces every two waking hours. Ginger eases congestion of the upper respiratory tract (nose and throat) and sinuses. Buy it from the health good store or buy fresh ginger and boil four inches of the peeled root in six cups of water for 10 minutes. (If you can't stand the taste, warm peppermint tea is an alternative.)
  3. Take Lomatium root

  4. Available in most health-food stores, Lomatium is thought to prevent viruses from replicating and stimulate the immune system. It is more potent than other popular supplements (vitamin C, zinc, Echinacea) when you already have a cold. Take 30 drops of the tincture form every two to three waking hours.
  5. Soak your feet each evening in warm water for 10 minutes

  6. Dry them, then put on cotton socks that have been placed in cold water and wrung out. Cover with dry wool or cotton socks, and leave on for 30 minutes or longer. The contrast in hot and cold diverts blood flow away from the head and to the feet, reducing congestion. It also stimulates white blood cell activity, which improves immunity.
  7. Get adequate sleep

  8. 8 to 10 hours a night-to allow your immune system to recharge. Studies show that lack of sleep decreases immunity.
Mark Stengler, ND, naturopathic physician and author of The Natural Physician's Healing Therapies

New blood test benefits ovarian cancer survival rates

Robert Brown, PhD, research oncologist, explains how chemotherapy can cause changes in tumor cells - called gene methylation - that makes them resistant to chemotherapy. The new blood test, which identifies methylated genes, could help to determine how a relapse should be treated. For example, if the tumor cell genes are not methylated, further chemotherapy may work on its own. However, if methylated genes are detected, special demethylating drugs that now are being developed could be used to restore the patient's sensitivity to chemotherapy. Similar approaches are being studied to improve breast and lung cancer outcomes. The test is being used in a clinical trial in the UK.

Robert Brown, PhD, is professor of cancer therapeutics, Cancer Research UK Beatson Labs, at University of Glasgow in Scotland.

Did you know?

Beans have even more anti-oxidants than blueberries.
Blueberries are commonly thought to have the most antioxidants. According to Ronald Prior, PhD, only 1/2 cup of dried small red beans has more antioxidant capacity than 1 full cup of wild blueberries. Red kidney beans have almost as much anti-oxidant capacity as wild blueberries. Next in line is pinto beans, then cultivated blueberries and cranberries. Ronald Prior, PhD, is research chemist and nutritionist at US Department of Agriculture's Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center in Little Rock, and leader of a study of 100 different types of fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts and spice that was published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Consuming post-workout carbohydrates is very important.
Cedric Bryant, PhD chief exercise physiologist, American Council on Exercise, San Diego stresses says that the body needs carbs to re build muscles and refuel especially after a workout. He suggests a 'postworkout' snack that includes such food as rice, oatmeal or low-fat yogurt. He also suggests eating one-half gram of carbohydrates for every pound you weigh at 30-minute intervals during the first two hours after your workout.

You can lose five pounds a year just by drinking two liters of water a day.
Jens Jordan, MD, professor of clinical pharmacology and medicine, Franz-Volhard Clinical Research Center, Berlin, Germany, and leader of a study published in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism says that drinking water speeds your metabolism. In fact, you start to burn fat after you drink just two glasses.

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In Good Health.
Pamela Nathan

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