Americans Eating More Organic

Americans Eating More Organic Food

Demand For Organic Food Driving Big Food Disruption

Go ahead. Ask your neighbors, co-workers or classmates if they buy organic. You’ll probably find out they do. Organic products can now be found in the kitchens of 82.3% of American households, according to new Nielsen findings released by the Organic Trade Association (OTA). In the first comprehensive look at organic purchases by households on a state-by-state level, this nationally representative Nielsen study of 100,000 households conducted in 2015 and 2016 reported that more households than ever bought organic food on a regular basis throughout 2016. The national average climbed 3.4% from 2015 to 82.3%.

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Study Finds Clear Differences Between Organic And Non-Organic Milk And Meat

Organic Milk
Organic Meat

Organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products, new research has shown:
• both organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products
• organic meat had slightly lower concentrations of two saturated fats (myristic and palmitic acid) that are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease
• organic milk contains 40% more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
• organic milk contains slightly higher concentrations of iron, Vitamin E and some carotenoids
• conventional milk contained 74% more of the essential mineral iodine and slightly more selenium

In the largest systematic reviews of their kind, an international team of experts led by Newcastle University, UK, has shown that both organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products.

Analysing data from around the world, the team reviewed 196 papers on milk and 67 papers on meat and found clear differences between organic and conventional milk and meat, especially in terms of fatty acid composition, and the concentrations of certain essential minerals and antioxidants.

Publishing their findings today in the British Journal of Nutrition, the team say the data show a switch to organic meat and milk would go some way towards increasing our intake of nutritionally important fatty acids.

Chris Seal, Professor of Food and Human Nutrition at Newcastle University explains:
“Omega-3s are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, improved neurological development and function, and better immune function. “Western European diets are recognised as being too low in these fatty acids and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends we should double our intake.

“But getting enough in our diet is difficult. Our study suggests that switching to organic would go some way towards improving intakes of these important nutrients.” Western European diets are too low in omega-3 fatty acids

The systematic literature reviews analysed data from around the world and found that organic milk and meat have more desirable fat profiles than conventional milk and meat.

Nutrition News Trace Minerals I Cover
Omega 3 Rich Salomon

Most importantly, a switch from conventional to organic would raise omega-3 fat intake without increasing calories and undesirable saturated fat. For example, half a litre of organic full fat milk (or equivalent fat intakes from other dairy products like butter and cheese) provides an estimated 16% (39 mg) of the recommended, daily intake of very long-chain omega-3, while conventional milk provides 11% (25 mg).

Other positive changes in fat profiles included lower levels of myristic and palmitic acid in organic meat and a lower omega-3/omega-6 ratio in organic milk. Higher levels of fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin E and carotenoids and 40% more CLA in organic milk were also observed.

The study showed that the more desirable fat profiles in organic milk were closely linked to outdoor grazing and low concentrate feeding in dairy diets, as prescribed by organic farming standards.

The two new systematic literature reviews also describe recently published results from several mother and child cohort studies linking organic milk, dairy product and vegetable consumption to a reduced risk of certain diseases. This included reduced risks of eczema and hypospadias in babies and pre-eclampsia in mothers.

Newcastle University’s Professor Carlo Leifert, who led the studies, said:
“People choose organic milk and meat for three main reasons: improved animal welfare, the positive impacts of organic farming on the environment, and the perceived health benefits. But much less is known about impacts on nutritional quality, hence the need for this study.
“Several of these differences stem from organic livestock production and are brought about by differences in production intensity, with outdoor-reared, grass-fed animals producing milk and meat that is consistently higher in desirable fatty acids such as the omega-3s, and lower in fatty acids that can promote heart disease and other chronic diseases.”

Avoiding iodine over- and under-supply from milk is a challenge
The study also found 74% more iodine in conventional milk which is important information, especially for UK consumers, where iodized table salt is not widely available.

Iodine is low in most foods, except seafood, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends Iodine fortification of table salt to address this. Iodine fortification of cattle feeds is also widely used to increase iodine concentrations in both organic and conventional milk.
Gillian Butler, co-author and senior lecturer in animal nutrition at Newcastle University, explains:
“There is a relatively narrow margin between dietary Iodine deficiency (<140 µg/day) and excessive intakes (> 500 µg/day) from our diet which can lead to thyrotoxicoxis.

“Optimising iodine intake is therefore challenging, since globally there seems to be as much concern about excessive rather than inadequate intake.”

In the USA, China, Brazil and many European countries, where Iodine fortified salt is widely used, elevated levels of iodine in milk may increase the risk of excessive intake for individuals with high dairy consumption. For this reason the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has proposed a reduction in the permitted level of iodine in cattle feed from 5 to 2 mg iodine per kg of feed.
However, in the UK, where iodized salt is not widely available, the population relies more on milk and dairy products for adequate iodine supply. National Diet and Nutrition Survey data (NDNS) suggest that milk and dairy products supply between 31-52% of iodine in the UK diet.

The daily recommended intake of iodine in the UK is 140 µg/day and just over half comes from dietary sources other than milk/dairy products. Based on results from the study, half a litre of milk would provide 53% of and 88% of the daily recommended intake from organic and conventional milk respectively. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women have a higher iodine requirement (250 µg/day) and are therefore more at risk of iodine deficiency, which could affect neurological development in babies.
Further evidence of the health benefits of organic food

The work builds on a previous study by the team – involving experts from the UK, US, France, Italy, Switzerland, Norway and Poland – investigating the composition of organic and conventionally-grown crops.

This previous study – also published in the British Journal of Nutrition – showed that organic crops and crop-based foods are up to 60% higher in a number of key antioxidants than conventionally-grown crops and contained less of the toxic metal cadmium.

“We have shown without doubt there are composition differences between organic and conventional food. Taken together, the three studies on crops, meat and milk suggest that a switch to organic fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products would provide significantly higher amounts of dietary antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids,” concludes Professor Leifert.

“We need substantially more, well designed studies and surveys before we can accurately estimate composition differences in meat from different farm animals and for many nutritionally important compounds (vitamins, minerals, toxic metal and pesticide residues), as there is currently too little data to make comparisons.

“However, the fact that there are now several mother and child cohort studies linking organic food consumption to positive health impacts shows why it is important to further investigate the impact of the way we produce our food on human health.
The authors highlight that only a small number of studies have been carried out comparing organic and non-organic meat, and that even significant results may still carry a high level of uncertainty.

Class Action Suit: Major ‘Organic’ Baby Formula Isn’t Organic

This in from the Natural Society:

We’re seeing another example of the gyrations companies are using to figure out how to compete with ‘Organic’.  The strategy seems obvious: label illegally, pay a small fine and cloud consumer trust for products fairly labeled organic.


Just how desperate are Big Food companies to get in on the burgeoning organic market? It seems that they are desperate enough to lie about their ingredients – even in baby formula.

Plaintiffs are seeking over $5 million in damages from the well-known baby formula maker, Abbot Laboratories (who makes Similac) for labeling one of their formulas as organic when it is anything but organic.

Sara Margentette, Matthew O’Neil Nighswander, and Ellen Steinlien filed the suit on May 15 in U.S. District Court in New York, claiming that Abbot’s Similac Advance Organic contains ingredients that are prohibited from being in ‘organic’ food. The plaintiffs are wondering how the product was certified, and why 26 of the 49 ingredients – more than half – are not supposed to be in organic food.

One of the claims within the court documents states that the Similac brand contains ingredients that are either:

“. . . irradiated substances, synthetic compounds, or produced from hazardous substances.”

The plaintiffs also claim that Abbot is marketing the product with an organic label in order to get consumers to purchase it – obviously with the aim of increasing their profits.

“As a result of its false and misleading labeling, Abbott was able to sell its ‘Organic’ Infant Formula to hundreds of thousands of consumers throughout the United States and to realize sizeable profits,” the lawsuit said.

They claim ‘false and misleading’ labeling by Abbott laboratories as well.

The news comes as we reported on how global health care company Abbott will soon sell a GMO-free version of its Similac Advance baby formula at Target – the very first mainstream baby formula that will not contain genetically altered ingredients. This is great news in that it’s a clear sign that we are successfully raising GMO-awareness to the point of major corporations rolling out with non-GMO products, but with this recent lawsuit news, now we have to hope even more that this new ‘non-GMO’ claim will hold true.

The plaintiffs are represented by Todd S. Garber and D. Gregory Blankinship of Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson & Garber, LLP in White Plains, N.Y.; Yvette Golan of The Golan Firm in Houston; and Kim E. Richman of The Richman Law Group of Brooklyn.

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7 Ways to Buy Organic Food on the Cheap

By Rick D

from Eat Local Grown

Why is Organic food so Expensive!

(hint: It’s not.)

Antioxidants_Plant_Based_Cover 1We get a ton of comments from people that are always asking “Why is Organic food so expensive!”. That’s a tough question to answer for a lot of reasons, particularly because expensive is such a relative term. My personal thoughts on the matter are that organic food is no more expensive than it’s always been– if you look at it from the standpoint of a percentage of household income. Around 60-70 years ago, we spend a much larger percent of our money on food than we do now.

And the main reason is that junk food is really cheap. Food manufacturers figured out that if they switched out ‘real food’ and replaced it with ingredients like fillers, artificial color and artificial flavors, costs went way down. And people didn’t care! They kept buying it. As a matter of fact, the companies with the cheapest food-like products started selling more than companies with ‘real food’.

Whether you agree with that line of reasoning or not, the fact remains that Junk Food is cheaper than Organic.


How to Save Money on Organic Food

We scoured the web to find some of the best tips and tricks out there. Each tip lists the website that supplied the tip and we recommend you visit them for even more great information…

1. Eat with the Season

Retrain your taste buds to think like your grandmother did. She didn’t eat strawberries in the middle of winter.Locally grown foods are usually cheaper than those flown in from another hemisphere so if you eat with the season, you’ll be eating more affordably. – Via

eatlocalgrown says: We bought organic peaches, plums and nectarines last year at $5 of 5 pounds at the local farmers market! The trick is find these items when they are at the peak of the season. We bought 20 pounds, sliced them up and froze them, then used them in smoothies for a few months. Find similar deals on apples and oranges.

2. Buy organic in the freezer section

A December 2013 study looked at the difference in the vitamin and mineral content of eight different fruits and vegetables when they were fresh versus frozen. While the produce was not organic, the findings are still applicable. The researchers found that fresh produce degrades over time, resulting in a loss of certain nutrients. Fresh produce stored for five days had lower values of vitamins A and C and folate compared to the frozen version. What’s more, you can use what you need and put the rest back in the freezer, rather than risking the food going bad and then having to throw it out—along with the money you spent. – Via

eatlocalgrown says: Frozen berries are fantastic in smoothies. They makes your smoothies cold without adding ice. Frozen fruit is also a great organic snack treat for kids on a hot day instead of a sugary popsicle!

3. Look for “ripe” markdowns

Go to a local health food store where normally there is a section in which food that will go bad the next day is kept. Food that is fully ripe like bananas with black dots are cheaper than green ones.   So often markets mark down food that doesn’t look as “pretty” or that is completely ripe and needs to be eaten very soon.  So look for food that is of the best quality and buy that at a reduced price, which is possible. – Via

4. Join a CSA

A CSA or community supported agriculture is another way you can buy local and seasonal foods directly from a farmer. Each week you’ll receive a box of fruits and vegetables, and other farm products may be included. All depends on the package you decide to select. Essentially its a weekly subscription of the freshest produce that is in season. Its a great way to try new vegetables for new ways of cooking. – Via

5. Use more ground meats

Use ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, as much as you can. You can make burgers, chili, meat loaf, spaghetti, tacos, etc… Using ground meats is one of the best ways to make your budget stretch further- for example, pairing ground beef for tacos with homemade pinto beans and Spanish rice will easily feed an average size family for multiple nights, and probably some lunches too. Via –


6. Time is Money

It’s much cheaper and more nutritious to cook your own food, even though it takes more time and effort. It will leave much more room in your budget for organic produce. If you go for preserving food in season by canning, freezing and dehydrating, you can save a bundle. Via –

7. Buy in Bulk

We aren’t talking about those huge bundles of toilet paper people buy at box stores. Your local organic Co-ops and health food stores have bulk sections, too! Buy beans, legumes, grains, spices, etc. in large quantities and save. If you buy in bulk, though, be smart. Before you buy, learn how to properly store your food before you buy all those hearty grains to ensure they don’t go bad. Via –

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Raw Milk: To Drink Or Not To Drink?

Raw Milk: To Drink Or Not To Drink?

Farmer with Organic Dairy CowPerhaps an interesting question but completely irrelevant to most Americans who drink milk. By most Americans, I mean the ones that don’t know milk comes from cows, and if they do, they have no idea what a large scale,  industrial dairy looks like.

Those who do understand the journey their food took to get on a plate or in a glass in front of them, there’s a deep appreciation and gratitude for the dairy farmers who produce raw milk.

Michele Jacobson’s article is a great place to get oriented in the raw milk debate.

Michele Jacobson Certified Clinical Nutritionist/Author/Cable Show Host

Learn about the benefits of healthy eating, organic fruits and vegetables, and GMO-free foods.

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