Organic produce, as viewed in today’s society, is viewed as the safer and healthier alternative to conventional produce, in that it is seen as a pure and unadulterated form of food in its entirety. This is only enhanced by the reputation that conventional produce (grown with chemical pesticides) has received: dangerous, unhealthy, hazardous to human health, and lacking in multiple nutrients. However, is this really the case? By investigating the downsides of organic produce, we as consumers will be able to make a more informed decision as to which type of food to buy. First of all, organic produce is allowed by the USDA to use biological pesticides on crops as an alternative to chemical or synthetic pesticides. Biological pesticides are mainly of animal or vegetable origin, one of the most common being bacteria present in cow manure. However, cow manure as well as other biological pesticides often contains bacteria harmful to human health, such as e coli and salmonella. Thus, buying organic produce puts consumers at risk for adverse health effects from these bacteria. Second, chemical pesticides, although some have indeed proven harmful to human health, are strictly regulated by the federal government and over 3,000 have been banned or modified to meet high health standards. Finally, quality studies comparing organic and conventional produce provide evidence that there is little difference in nutritional content between the two. All in all, conventional produce may, in fact, be a wiser choice than organic.
Archive for the '04-20-1300' Category
In a population with rising obesity rates, ubiquitous obesity related diseases and deaths, and inflating hospital bills (CDC), a solution to America’s present obesity problem is paramount. In 2007-2008, the National Health and Nutrition examination survey estimated that about 33% of Americans over the age of 20 are obese and 33% are overweight, while only the remaining third is in the optimal weight range according to governmental nutritional guidelines (NIH). Like many other disease or malady issues, the prevention of obesity is, “easier, less expensive, and more effective than treating obesity after it has fully developed (Warren 2003).” In order to find lasting solutions, Americans can adopt the proven youth nutrition efforts of foreign nations to bring down barriers to healthy eating in American youth. The two barriers I will focus on are lack of available nutritious choices and lack of concern. By studying the projects of other countries like China, England, Norway, Spain, and Chile, and the ways they influence the school and the home through availability of more wholesome foods and instruction on the reasons to pick those wholesome foods, the solutions of foreign nations can help Americans piece together a youth nutrition intervention.
Fat has two distinct meanings, and it is important to know the difference. One implies obesity, whereas the other refers to the macronutrient. Today, many people mistakenly associate these two descriptions, and assume that eating fat will make you fat. This is a lie. The general fear toward obesity has led to eating disorders, malnutrition and poor health decisions. The unsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids are wellness powerhouses, packed with neurological, developmental, muscular, visual and cardiovascular benefits. Indeed the omega-6s and saturated, and especially the trans fats, are frowned upon, but that does not mean that they should be avoided too strictly. Eating bad fat is better than eating no fat at all. First and foremost, the macronutrient provides energy to organic systems and to cells. Additionally, fat composes some of the most integral components of the human body; an inadequate supply will not allow you to function properly, let alone at your optimal level. Without fat in our diets, we would be at the mercy of carbohydrate-based insulin spikes and protein metabolic increases. While these consequences sound relatively harmless, a diet dominated by carbohydrates would lead to overeating and obesity, at a much quicker rate than a fat-based one. Even more fatal, a pure protein diet would result in the necessity to overeat, and ultimately poison the body until death. Fat is a misunderstood champion of macronutrients, regulating weight and hormones, as well as behavioral decisions. Read, learn, and do not let fat remain the villain of our modern food culture.
In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Barbara Kingsolver emphasizes the importance of local organic farming (also known as “local”) and demonizes commercial production. She claims that the United States’ is more susceptible to environmental problems than other industrialized countries due to the way we cultivate, grow, and process our food. The impact commercial farming has had on our nation has sparked a debate between whether locally grown organic farming or commercial farming is best for our society. I believe choosing one or the other is not an option for our nation because an increase in global population and average lifespan has prompted a larger demand for food. Therefore my solution is to reform commercial methods to better suit our environment through a sustainable approach that considers the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of agricultural production. Through the reduction of chemicals and genetically modified foods, and an increase in respect for our local ecosystems we can maintain efficiency but make farming methods safer and more ecofriendly. In order to facilitate this positive change, we should always act with the thought in our mind that, what we eat and how we make our foods will determine how the world is used.
Several studies show that environmental factors can shape our behavioral processes. The media is one of the most common environmental factors. It is a source of spreading information throughout our society. The electronic media, such as television, plays a big role in food promotion by airing food commercials that encourage the audience to buy the advertised product. For example, commercials will use catchy songs or phrases and enticing bargains to make the product more interesting to its audience. This paper examines how the media can directly affect a child’s food choice. The media uses strategies that are often misleading to attract children into their food products. If these children have a change in preference for unhealthy foods due to the media, there is a greater chance that they will develop obesity. There are several education-based solutions that can be implemented to educate both parents and children about the media and food choices. One solution requires parents to encourage their children to eat healthier foods instead of using force. The main solution is for the media to make healthier foods more appealing to children. Making healthy foods a more positive event in a child’s life could make a big difference.
People who live different lifestyles should consume different food based on how much they exercise. Someone who lives a very active lifestyle, particularly an athlete, should eat different types of food and different amounts of food. Also, different sports have different physiological demands, which affect an athlete’s nutrient needs differently. For example, athletes who participate in endurance based sports who train several hours a day need more calories to maintain energy levels, increased carbohydrate intake to maximize muscle glycogen stores, and lots of fluids to avoid dehydration. However, in less endurance-based sports, less energy is required and therefore not as many calories are needed to maintain performance. For example, a body builder strives to attain a low body fat level, and a high degree of muscularity through consuming higher amounts of protein. Overall the difference between the two types of sports would be that an endurance athlete should consume a large amount of carbohydrates, while a non-endurance athlete should consume more protein. An endurance athlete should also consume more fat than a non-endurance based one because fat is a source of long term energy, which can be beneficial a few days prior to a tedious endurance based competition. The amount of each nutrient that each athlete should consume however, relies heavily on the length and intensity of the exercise along with the body type of athlete.