Organic Food Stores Canton GA
What is it? How do you do it? Why is it so important now? ET's introduction to all
By Lauren Tepper
These days, it seems like everything is coming up organic. First, it was fruits and vegetables, then chicken and beef…Now, nearly every other health food store item under the sun appears to be touting itself as “organic.”
As proof, sales of organic food and beverages in the US reached $15 billion in 2004, up from $3.5 billion in 1997, and experts project they will double by 2009, according to Consumer Reports. While organic sales have increased 17% to 21% each year since ’97, the entire food industry’s sales have only grown 2% to 4%. What’s more, North America remains the largest market in the worldwide trend, with organic products available in 20,000 natural food stores (according to the USDA’s Economic Research Service).
However, the designation of “organic” can sometimes be confusing, and even a bit misleading. Does the word “organic” mean the same for salmon and shampoo as it does for spinach? And, even more importantly, what benefits can consumers reap from sowing the seeds of an organic lifestyle?
In the broadest sense, going organic means creating an existence that is simple, healthy and as close to nature as possible. It not only refers to what you eat, but to clothing and your home environment, how you recycle your trash and even how you feed your pet.
Organic food refers to anything that is grown, raised or produced naturally, without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, radiation, antibiotics or genetically modified organisms (GMOs)—all of which are prevalent in conventional food production. Organically raised animals must be given no feed made from animal byproducts, which can transmit mad cow disease.
Organic agriculture, in contrast to traditional farming practices, is environmentally friendly. “It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony,” states the National Organic Standards Board.
You may also have heard the term “sustainability,” which is closely related to organic farming. Sustainable products are grown according to the same principles as organic products but are not certified by the government; the consumer must rely on the farmer’s word. While organic has often become a hotly debated set of government-regulated standards, sustainability remains a philosophy about growing food that should be healthy for consumers and animals, does not harm the environment, is humane for workers and animals, provides a fair wage to the farmer, and supports and enhances rural communities. Organic farmers should, in theory, share a sustainable outlook on food production, but now that giant food manufacturers are hopping on the organic trend, they may be more motiva...
Skyrocketing chemical sensitivities have created a “hidden allergy” epidemic,
By Susan Weiner
You spray them on countertops, wash your face and hair with them, swallow them in foods and swathe yourself in them when you sleep. Chemicals are so much a part of your daily regimen that you probably don’t think twice about why they’re found in nearly every product seen on store shelves, from tee shirts and mattresses to grapefruits and shampoos. If you harbor lingering suspicions that wallowing in these synthetic chemicals can’t be good for your well-being, you’re correct—and adopting an organic lifestyle might be the key to restoring your natural health.
Over time, exposure to the intensive chemicals used in foods and textiles can cause allergies, asthma and other diseases, which arise from the loss of the body’s natural resistance to fight off these invaders. Since World War II, industry has saturated our indoor and outdoor environments with more than 80,000 chemicals; many government-approved pesticides still in use were registered long before extensive research linked them to a myriad of illnesses. Today, the rampant use of chemicals—and the numbers of individuals suffering their ill effects—have prompted some health professionals to coin the phrase “20th Century Syndrome.”
Defined by the National Institutes of Health as a “chronic, recurring disease caused by a person’s inability to tolerate an environmental chemical or class of foreign chemicals,” the ailment also goes by the name multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). Like a barrel filling up until it overflows, mounting exposure to chemicals can suddenly cause an allergic reaction. Although much of the conventional medical establishment still has its doubts, a growing legion of practitioners now believe that the body often decides that it’s had enough and plots a coup d’état against a chemical-ridden product.
The immune system malfunctions in this revolt, leading to classic allergy symptoms.
Just look at the word “pesticide” and you’ll notice the Latin root icide—“to kill.” Pesticides and substances of similar ilk were developed to kill insects, rodents, weeds, bacteria and mold. The Environmental Protection Agency—while claiming to regulate pestici...