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Organic vs Non-Organic: Battle of the Packaged Foods

We’ve all been at the grocery store, holding up two products trying to decide which is better for our health. With miles-long ingredients lists and confusing nutrition labels, picking the right foods for our families can be a daunting task – especially when cost is a major consideration. Throw in the factor that organic is supposedly superior and it’s enough to make your head spin.

We’ve been curious for a while now if organic packaged foods are really that much better for you than their non-organic counterparts. A little research proved that our suspicions about organic food were confirmed: they really are the healthier choice on the basis of nutrition.

Yes, the organic Oreos may cost more and taste different than the non-organic version, but we found that organic foods concentrate much more on whole, natural ingredients and leave out the artificial and highly-processed items that are ultimately harmful to our health. If cost wasn’t a factor, we’d tout organic all the way. But we’ve comprised a slideshow with a side-by-side comparison of ingredients and nutrition so you can decide which products are worth going organic for.

While organic packaged foods are often healthier than non-organic, always keep in mind that eating a balanced diet of whole, natural foods and keeping processed foods to a minimum is always the best diet approach.



4 Healthier Ways to Satisfy Nagging Pregnancy Cravings

By Emily Wade Adams, CNC for Natal-Nutrition.com

Chips, crackers, doughnuts, bagels, candy … these easy-to-grab comfort foods are a quick way to relieve pregnancy’s hunger pangs. But caving to your cravings isn’t necessarily healthy for your baby. Processed foods in particular are some of the most unhealthy and potentially dangerous options for moms-to-be, because they make your baby more likely to have health problems. According to Dr. Weston A. Price, your baby is at risk for health problems even if you ate processed foods before conception, even if it wasn’t you but the baby’s father who ate them, and even if you ate well but the foods you consumed were grown in depleted soil (Singer, 2004).

What are processed foods, and why are they so bad for you? They’re food products that have been manipulated, refined, enriched and/or preserved – in short, almost anything that has been changed from its natural state. Most packaged foods are processed. If you read a label and don’t recognize the ingredients, it’s likely that food has been processed. Items in the center of the grocery store tend to be processed. Generally, foods are processed to lengthen their shelf life and are packaged in a way that’s convenient for us to grab on the go.
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Organic Produce May Not Be Any Healthier

When you hit the produce section of your grocery store, do you opt for the conventional products or do you head over to the smaller section of organic produce? Is one really healthier for you than the other? Organic costs more, that’s for sure. But does that price equal healthier food? A recent study is saying, no, not really.

The Associated Press reported about a new study conducted by doctors from Stanford University. The doctors put the great debate over organic and non-organic to the test. Based on their extensive testing, they found very little evidence supporting the high cost of organic food as a means to achieve better health.

While it’s true that a diet high in organic fruits and vegetables will lower one’s exposure to pesticides, the produce grown conventionally contains only a small amount of pesticides that’s within safety limits.

Some of the testing in the study included monitoring the pesticide levels in children. Those on organic diets did show a lower level of pesticides, however, the amount was still very low for those who ate conventional produce. In other words, the study didn’t warrant a major case for organics.
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Want a Healthy Kids Menu? Hyatt Figured it Out with For Kids By Kids

I’m kind of a soap box mom when it comes to kid nutrition. I just can’t imagine few things being more important than my daughter’s health and development of her eating habits. Like good manners, potty training, and a wild imagination, they are skills that will last her a lifetime.

Her very favorite foods include avocado, blackberries, shrimp, black beans, and peaches. She thinks dried apricots and pistachios are candy. And on the rare occasion we get a “real” treat, a bite or two of a shared ice cream cone is suffice. Given all of this, imagine how hard it is to take her out to eat with us. Between my refusal to give her fried junk, and her disinterest in eating it, the standard fare of a kids menu leaves a heck of a lot to be desired.

That is, until you visit the Hyatt. I often rave about the breakfast at The Hyatt’s Harvest Kitchen here in Wichita, calling it the best breakfast in the city. It’s the only Harvest in the country, but Executive Chef Paul Freimuth says another is in development in California with plans to expand further. I should think they’d want to – with locally sourced ingredients and attention to quality, the entire menu is like a work of art. While my daughter loves the yogurt bar, fresh fruit, and scrambled eggs on Sunday mornings, the Hyatt is now offering her and other kids many more options at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

This past July, Hyatt introduced its For Kids By Kids menu. It’s a kid-friendly menu that is super healthy, to satisfy parents, and full of foods kids like best, to keep the little ones happy. Hyatt didn’t just dream it up on a whim, they partnered with 11-year-old Haile Thomas, a young chef who is committed to the health of herself and her peers.
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Beware Carrageenan, a Food Additive Common in Organic Products

By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America

If you are into reading labels then you have most likely seen an ingredient called carrageenan. It specifically appears on the label of many organic processed food products.

What is Carrageenan?

Carrageenan is a polysaccharide derived from red seaweed and it has molecular qualities similar to plastic. Seaweed sounds innocent enough; it’s natural right? Absolutely, as a matter of fact, many types of seaweed are commonly used as a medicinal food to support many conditions like thyroid disorder and even cancer. However, not all seaweed is created equal and the process in which carrageenan is extracted from the red seaweed has become the cornerstone of a debate about allowed ingredients in organic products.
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