Category Archives: Organics

Health Benefits Of Raw Honey


Honey is one of nature’s premier superfoods. Not only does honey taste good in tea, yogurt, baked goods etc. but it has been a staple anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory since ancient times. Even modern practitioners swear by its miraculous healing properties.

Top 5 Health Benefits of Raw Organic Honey

1. Honey Kills Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

In the world of medicine, few things can be scarier than bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, but that’s exactly the problem that modern medicine faces. Over the past fifty years, over-use of anti-bacterial drugs, like Azithromycin, have encouraged harmful bacteria to evolve and become stronger. But there’s no bacterium anywhere that’s resistant to honey! That’s right, honey can kill even antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Ancient people applied it to wounds, infections, and abscesses to great effect. Just make sure you use raw organic honey, which doesn’t include high-fructose corn syrup or white sugar that lower its quality and beneficial effects.

2. Soothes Coughs

In addition to killing bacteria, honey can reduce the severity of coughs and sore throats more safely than over-the-counter medications. This is another example of a traditional remedy that turns out to be more effective than mass-produced drugs by pharmaceutical companies. While adult cough medicines might be dangerous for children to take, raw honey helps lessen the frequency and intensity of a child’s cough, letting parents and kids alike get more sleep during cold season.

3. Boosts Wound and Burn Healing

Believe it or not, honey sterilizes and heals burns in half the time than its over-the-counter antibiotic competitor silver sulfadiazine. It can disinfect wounds the same way, allowing your body to regenerate faster and with less risk of infection or scarring. If you receive an injury, smear honey on the affected area immediately. Don’t worry about using too much, because with honey, there’s no such thing. When you’re done, apply a bandage over your wound. Repeat this procedure at least once every 48 hours to make sure that you’re not getting an infection (though odds are good that you won’t.)

4. Provides Many Nutrients

Unsurprisingly, honey offers a staggering amount of nutritional value. (Remember, this is the stuff that bees build their entire colonies upon!) Aside from various nutrients, like riboflavin, folate, betaine, manganese, potassium, copper, zinc, calcium, magnesium, selenium, fluoride and phosphorus, honey is loaded with antioxidants, which can lessen the risk of cancer. It also lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and generally reduces inflammation. Of course, if you have a sweet tooth, one benefit trumps all the others on this list…

5. Raw Organic Honey is the Perfect Sugar Substitute

As if the health benefits of honey weren’t enough on their own. Honey can play another important part in your well-being by sweetening your tea, cookies, pancakes and other baked goods you prepare. Though honey itself is made of fructose, it raises blood sugar far lesser than similar-tasting substances, like sucrose and dextrose. Honey has a healthy Glycemic Index, which means its sugars can be gradually absorbed into the blood stream to result in better digestion. Best of all, you can keep honey on the shelf forever, because it never spoils. Not to put too fine a point on it, but that’s pretty sweet.

Raw Honey Has Many Health Benefits

There’s a lot that honey can do to improve your active life and diet. It’s a great pre-exercise food, for example, because it’ll give you the power you need and you won’t crash in the middle of your training session. The healing powers of honey don’t just apply to skin wounds – they can help heal painful stomach ulcers, too! Fans of probiotics love honey because it hosts good bacteria, including lactobacilli, which help us digest food. There’s even evidence that honey consumption boosts memory in menopausal women and increase the body’s ability to recover from drunkenness. Old time medical practitioners knew the secrets of honey before science discovered them. Today, there are many good reasons to add this incredible food to your diet!

[via Organic Power Foods]


Don’t Be Fooled By Big Ag: Organic Is Productive

We have all heard the propaganda about how organics cannot feed the world, and that companies like Monsanto are providing food security. In truth, peer-reviewed scientific studies show that organic farming produces higher quantities of more nutritious and far less toxic food than chemical agriculture. As industrialized agriculture has spread, hunger and poverty continue to rise. Mono-cropping in industrial agriculture lessens biodiversity, resulting in the narrowing of nutrients in our food. Support the health of your family and the earth by purchasing organic products. To help you choose authentically organic brands, Cornucopia offers scorecards for dairy, eggs, soy, yogurt and more under the Scorecards tab on our website.


Best Anti-Aging Foods: Health Benefits Of Pecans

health benefits of pecans

Your health can only be as good as the food you eat and following a regular diet based firmly on nutrient rich, organic food is one of the best things you can do to age gracefully. Supplying your body with vitamins, minerals, proteins, healthy fatty acids like Omega-3s, and antioxidants is critical to a healthy life. You might not guess it, but pecans are actually one of the best foods for accomplishing that goal.

The Key For Anti-Aging: Antioxidants

As you age, industrial and natural environmental toxins like radon, lead, and arsenic attack your body and make it harder for it to repair itself and protect against ailments. When you combine this with processed, refined foods loaded with sugar, unnatural chemicals like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), aspartame, soy lecithin, and hormone disruptors, the assault on the cells in your body becomes crystal clear.

To counter and reverse this damage, you need antioxidants. These neutralize the free radicals that harm your cells and organs and help soothe the inflammation that leads to chronic diseases. A French study run from 2007-2009 found those whose diets had the most antioxidants aged more slowly, lived longer, and had fewer health problems. [1]

A study from Brigham Young University found that antioxidants protected the eyes and reduced the risk of age-related macular degeneration. One of the researchers commented, “The implication is that people at risk of macular degeneration could help prevent the disease by consuming antioxidants.” [2] Simply put, consuming foods rich in antioxidants may help you be protected against degenerative conditions.

Pecans are an incredible source of antioxidants. One of the highest, in fact, according to the USDA. Ninety percent of a pecan’s antioxidants come in the form of beta-sitosterol, a plant chemical with powerful antioxidant properties that protects low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol from oxidizing and damaging the arteries. Pecans are also a rich source of vitamin E, which compounds the antioxidant benefits.

Pecans for a Healthy Heart

Years ago, it was believed that nuts were bad for your heart, but this was untrue. It was even reported in the British Journal of Nutrition that the more nuts you eat, the less you are at risk of cardiovascular or coronary heart disease. [3]

Consuming pecans encourages normal cholesterol levels. This is due to the high content of vitamin E. There are two types of vitamin E, and pecans provide two of them – alpha- and gamma-tocopherols. When you eat pecans, the gamma-tocopherols can lower LDL cholesterol levels by as much as 33%. [4]

Pecans support the heart in other ways too. They promote normal blood pressure, help with weight loss, and help keep blood sugar under control.

The Best Anti-Aging Diet

These foods are a great source of nutrients that promote graceful aging.

Unsaturated Fats

Omega-3 fats fit into the this category of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The densest sources of these healthy fats are fish like salmon, avocados, and flax seeds.

Vitamins and Minerals

You know you need vitamins like A, the B-complex, C, D, E and K. To get these you need to eat natural, organic foods. These contain forms of vitamins your body can readily use, unlike processed foods that contain artificial vitamins. The same goes for minerals like magnesium and calcium. In fact, magnesium is responsible for more than 300 processes throughout your body. Great sources for combined vitamins and minerals include dark leafy greens, broccoli, beans, cheese, whole grains and dark chocolate.


Foods like yogurt and kefir provide you with ‘friendly’ gut bacteria that support immune function, toxin removal, and supply important vitamins like B12. When you buy probiotics, make sure they contain live, active cultures. If they don’t, you’ll be missing some of the key health benefits that such foods boast.


Fruits and vegetables provide fiber–or prebiotics–and types of sugars that feed your friendly probiotic bacteria, keep them healthy.


Fruits like blueberries, raspberries, cruciferous veggies like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and green tea are known for their antioxidants.

Raw, Organic Pecans

Rich in antioxidants, raw, organic pecans are also a complete source of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, protein, and fiber. And they’re easy to eat! Grab a handful as a snack or add them to your favorite dish to add texture and enhance the meal with a rich nutty flavor. Just remember to buy raw and organic. The fats in nuts like pecans soak up pesticides and herbicides more than other fruits and vegetables.

Besides munching on healthy foods like pecans, what do you do to maintain a healthy body and mind? Tell us in the comments below. We always enjoy hearing from you!


  1. Assmann KE, Andreeva VA, Jeandel C, Hercberg S, Galan P, Kesse-Guyot E. Healthy Aging 5 Years After a Period of Daily Supplementation With Antioxidant Nutrients: A Post Hoc Analysis of the French Randomized Trial SU.VI.MAX. Am J Epidemiol. 2015 Oct 15;182(8):694-704. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwv105.
  2. Brigham Young University. How Diet, Antioxidants Prevent Blindness In Aging Population. ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2008.
  3. Blomhoff R1, Carlsen MH, Andersen LF, Jacobs DR Jr. Health benefits of nuts: potential role of antioxidants. Br J Nutr. 2006 Nov;96 Suppl 2:S52-60.
  4. C. Hudthagosol, E. H. Haddad, K. McCarthy, P. Wang, K. Oda, J. Sabate. Pecans Acutely Increase Plasma Postprandial Antioxidant Capacity and Catechins and Decrease LDL Oxidation in Humans. Journal of Nutrition, 2010; 141 (1): 56 DOI: 10.3945/jn.110.121269.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

Preserving Apples: 3 Simple Ways To Enjoy Local Fruit This Winter


Harvest season is winding down, and we’re busy this week, preserving apples. Today we’re putting up 2 more bushels for the winter. I pulled out my canning book, and now my house smells like apple cinnamon potpourri and I couldn’t be happier about it!

A visit to a you-pick orchard or farm stand is a great way to spend a fall afternoon if you don’t happen to have an apple tree in your backyard.  (You can find a local orchard or market HERE.) You can often get the best deals at the end of the season.

The nutritional benefits of apples

The old adage goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  Here are a few reasons why this is true!

  • One medium apple (about 3″ in diameter) contains about 95 calories, no fat, 25 grams of carbohydrates, and more than 4 grams of fiber.
  • The phytonutrients in apples can positively affect insulin production to help regulate blood sugar.
  • The consumption of apples can have a positive influence on the bacterial balance of the digestive tract.
  • Much of the apple’s nutrients can be found in the skin, particularly beneficial polyphenols such as quercetin.
  • Apples contain substantial amounts of Vitamin C, the B vitamins, and potassium.
  • Regular consumption of apples has been proven to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s.

Method #1: Storing apples in a cold room

If you have the right location, you can store apples for several months.  Here are some tips on keeping fresh apples over the winter:

  • Choose the very best apples from your bushels. Opt for firm apples with unblemished, unbruised skin.
  • The thicker skinned, more tart varieties will stay good for the longest time.
  • Wrap them individually in newspaper to keep them from being in direct contact with one another.
  • Place them loosely packed in a cardboard box.
  • Don’t store them near potatoes. Potatoes release a gas that causes apples to spoil more quickly.
  • Store them at 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit for the longest shelf life. Good locations are basements, root cellars, or unheated pantries.

Method #2: Making apple chips

In theory, apple chips are a great way to preserve apples without the need for a cold cellar. In reality, they are a delightful snack that will be gone within a week, no matter how many you make.

You can make these with no added sugar and cinnamon, but we truly love this as a sweet treat. If it helps your conscience, it contains far less than any commercial fruit treat you could buy.


  • Apples (duh)
  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • Organic sugar
  • Cinnamon


  1. Cut the apples into 1/8 inch thick slices.
  2. If you are concerned about discoloration, you can toss the slices in lemon juice. I don’t worry about the discoloration because the cinnamon makes them look brownish anyway. I don’t normally use lemon juice, but you can if you want to.
  3. In a bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon in the ratio that pleases you. I use about a 1/4 cup of sugar to a teaspoon of cinnamon, and replenish it when necessary.
  4. Toss the slices in your sugar and cinnamon mixture.

There are two ways you can dry them from here on out. You can use a dehydrator or your oven. I use a 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator because I do a lot of dehydrating.

Dehydrator instructions:

  1. Place the slices in a single layer on your dehydrator tray. I use these inexpensive dehydrator sheets to line my trays for easy clean-up.
  2. If your dehdrator doesn’t have temperature settings, dry the slices on low for about 20 hours.
  3. If you do have temperature settings, dry the slices at 135 degrees for about 10 hours.
  4. When you take them out, they won’t seem crispy, but if you let them sit before putting them in a jar, they’ll crisp right up in a couple of hours.

Oven instructions:

  1. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Set your oven for 200 degrees.
  3. Place apples on the parchment paper in a single layer.
  4. Dry the apple slices for 4-6 hours, or until almost crisp.
  5. When you take them out, they won’t seem crispy, but if you let them sit before putting them in a jar, they’ll crisp right up in a couple of hours.

In theory, these would be great lunch box treats, but unless you hide them, they won’t last that long! After they’ve cooled completely, put them in a Mason jar or gallon Ziplock bag.

Method #3: Canning to preserve apples

Canning is my favorite way to preserve anything, and apples are no exception. Below, find the links to thorough instructions for canning apples. Because fruit is naturally high in acid, these can all be preserved using a water bath canner.

Basic apple sauce

This apple sauce is pure enough to use for baby food, because it contains only two ingredients: apples and water. With it, you will get the flavor of fresh, delicious apples all winter long. I incorporate the peels into my apple sauce because it’s where the fiber and vitamins lie. This apple sauce can also be used as an ingredient in baking or cooking because it’s completely neutral.

Spiced apple sauce

Here’s a twist on ordinary apple sauce. There’s still no sugar, but it’s jazzed up with cinnamon,, allspice, and cloves. Your house will smell a-flippin-mazing while this is on the stove.  Save the cooking liquid for the next recipe!

Spiced apple toddy

You will definitely thank me for this one! After making spiced apple sauce, the reserved liquid is the perfect basis for a hot winter beverage. All of the warming spices that were added will making you feel toasty from the inside out. This is also a nice treat for someone suffering from a cold or flu.

Apple filling

This apple filling is basically an instant dessert. You can warm it and serve it over ice cream, stir some into vanilla yogurt, or use it as a filling for a pie or a crisp. You are only limited by your imagination! This recipe DOES NOT contain any type of thickener. If you’re baking with it, you may want to add a teaspoon of flour or starch when you open the jars. I don’t like using the weird commercial thickeners like Clearjel.

How do you preserve apples?

What is your favorite method for preserving apples for the winter? Please share in the comments below!


The canning recipes are from my book, The Organic Canner.

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor who lives in a small village in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States. She is the author ofThe Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy writes about healthy prepping, homesteading adventures, and the pursuit of liberty and food freedom. Daisy is a co-founder of the website Nutritional Anarchy, which focuses on resistance through food self-sufficiency. Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and you can email her at [email protected]

5 Effective And Natural Face Moisturizers


Are you looking for a truly hydrating and rejuvenating face cream that will unlock the beauty of your skin? Who isn’t, right? I think we’d all agree there’s nothing better than finding a natural skin care plan that works. For many, that can sometimes seem like trial-and-error, but it doesn’t have to be a mystery. When it comes to faces, we all have different skin types, so let’s talk a little bit about how to find a safe and effective natural moisturizer.

What’s Your Skin Type?

There are three basic skin types you’ve likely heard about: normal, oily, and combination; however, you could have dry or sensitive skin instead. Keep in mind, though, any skin type is going to benefit from a natural skin care product. But let’s move onto those three main types.

“Normal” Skin

If you have normal skin, you probably don’t worry too much about your face. Your pores are small, and your skin tone even. And while a normal skin type can look great, you still need to care for it. Natural or vegan moisturizers could be just the ticket here, as recent studies suggest many use natural ingredients because of their antioxidant properties that may provide anti-aging benefits. [1]

Oily Skin

Now, if you have oily skin, don’t despair, this skin type requires finding the right regimen. Sometimes your skin might look and feel greasy and with medium to large pores – you might be additionally prone to breakouts. With the right natural skin care products and a little dedication to routine, you face can look and feel just right.

Oily and Dry Skin

Finally, those with combination skin normally have oily and dry patches on their faces. If you have an oily “T-Zone” (your forehead, nose, and chin) and dry skin around the cheeks and eyes, you likely have this skin type. Conversely, you might have a dry T-Zone with oily skin in those other areas. For combination skin, an organic moisturizing lotion or cream could work wonders for dry skin issues like hyperpigmentation and inflammation. [2]

5 Natural Moisturizers You Can Find at Home

Organic ingredients can work wonders for skin, and it’s likely you already have a few things around the house that you can try right now.

1. Olive Oil

Those of you with oily or combination skin might want to note that olive oil is an excellent natural face moisturizer that won’t clog pores. And if you’re looking to exfoliate as well, try mixing 1 tablespoon of oil with natural sea salt. As you rub this mixture over your skin, the slight abrasiveness of the salt acts with the deep, penetrating action of the oil to remove dead skin cells, leaving your skin looking rejuvenated.

2. Organic Coconut Oil

Organic coconut oil can be used as a lotion to moisturize your face, and could prove especially useful for those with dry skin. Recent studies have suggested that coconut oil significantly improves skin hydration and even has antiseptic properties. [3]

3. Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is touted as an effective face moisturizer because it helps decrease skin dryness and contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may protect against aging. [4]

4. Cucumber

Cucumber has moisturizing properties. The silica in cucumber is an essential component of healthy connective tissue and is rich in potassium, vitamin C, and folic acid. [5] Blend yogurt and cucumber and gently apply it as a mask. After 15 minutes, remove the mask with lukewarm water. Your will be pleased with the refreshing effects.

5. Beeswax

An intricate but highly effective moisturizing recipe is one with beeswax. Melt 4 ounces of organic almond oil and 1 ounce of beeswax in a stewpot, then remove from the heat. Add 2 ounces of distilled water, 10 drops of vitamin E oil, 10 drops of lavender essential oil, and stir until the mixture has cooled. Apply evenly to face daily or use as a spot treatment for dry patches. After that, you will have an all natural moisturizer for days.

What’s the Best Natural and Organic Moisturizer on the Market?

While you can use natural moisturizers like coconut or olive oils at home, a face cream like Parfait Visage® offers all those benefits in one and works for a combination of skin types by restoring natural fluid and lipid balance.

  • Penetrates and moisturizes 7 layers deep in the skin.
  • Enhances new cell growth at 6-8 times the normal rate.

Not only that, but it is made fresh every month with natural state, cold-pressed oils, and contains no refined, hydrogenated, or bleached oils. So, when will you try an organic skin care product? Tell us in the comments below.


  1. Bowe, W. P. & Pugliese, S. Cosmetic benefits of natural ingredients. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. 13 (9).
  2. Fowler, J.F. et al. Innovations in natural ingredients and their use in skin care. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. 9 (6 Suppl.).
  3. Agero, A. L. & Verallo-Rowell, V. M. A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis. Dermatology. 15 (3).
  4. Sapino S, Carlotti Me, Peira E, Gallarate M. Hemp-seed and olive oils: their stability against oxidation and use in O/W emulsions. Journal of Cosmetic Science. 2005 July-August;56(4):227-51.
  5. Shweta Kapoor, Swarnlata Saraf. Assessment of viscoelasticity and hydration effect of herbal moisturizers using bioengineering techniques. Institute of Pharmacy, Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur 492010 India.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

3 Facts About Organic Skin Care

organic skin care

When it comes to skin care, there’s no question that natural products are a must. We’re constantly exposed to pollution, chemicals, and different types of pesticides from our environment that are absorbed by our skin. Being mindful to avoid additional toxins can do wonders for your health, especially when you start to consider products directly applied to your skin and face.

1. Going Organic is Better for Your Skin

Non-organic skin care products can expose your skin to any number of endocrine disruptors including heavy metals such as mercury, emulsifiers and parabens, and even the flame retardant propylene glycol. These can be absorbed easily by your skin and spread throughout the body, causing accumulation and unseen damage. Not only can going organic eliminate exposure to such toxins, it can provide your skin with a much needed boost. One recent study suggests many organic ingredients demonstrate antioxidant properties that support anti-aging effects, while another suggests they are beneficial for hyperpigmentation and inflammation. [1][2]

2. Organic Skin Care Helps the Environment

Traditional skin care products such as makeup, lotions, and other personal care products may contain chemicals that can also do a lot of damage to the environment. Think about it: after you use these products, they go down the drain, where all those toxic chemicals can then accumulate into our water supply. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg; these toxins can spread from wastewater to the environment. Looking to hair care, for instance, a recent study suggests climbazole, a common anti-dandruff additive, contains a fungicide that kills off algae and is toxic to fish.

Perhaps you’ve also heard in the news how microbeads, the tiny plastic pieces used in many beauty and personal care products to exfoliate, are ending up in our lakes, rivers, and oceans. Fish and other marine organisms ingest these microbeads, and the toxins carried by the microbeads move up the food chain. And, as you might have already guessed, all these toxins end up in our bodies. [3] When you use vegan skin care or any organic product, you can take comfort, knowing you aren’t adding to those poisons.

3. It’s Important to Verify that Organic Label

While you should make the switch to organic for yourself and the environment, be sure you understand exactly what you’re purchasing. Sometimes, the “organic” or “natural” line on the product label might not mean what you think. [4] Some of the ingredients to look out for are fragrance, parabens, and triclosan. For a complete list of harmful chemicals check 19 Chemicals to Avoid in Skin Care.

Because additives and toxins can irritate and damage your skin, make sure you’re researching the ingredients in your skin care products! Consider the luxury face cream Parfait Visage®; it’s formulated from only 100% natural and organic ingredients, and provides your skin with all the vitamins and nutrients it needs for a healthy appearance. Compare the organic skin care product to your typical face cream product – there are no harmful chemicals, irritants, or preservatives but rather ingredients you can pronounce and recognize such as hemp seed oil and whole leaf aloe vera. It would make an excellent start to your organic skincare regimen.

Do you use organic products for your skin? What type of ingredients do you look for? Share with the community in the comments below.


  1. Bowe, W. P. & Pugliese, S. Cosmetic benefits of natural ingredients. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. 13 (9).
  2. Fowler, J.F. et al. Innovations in natural ingredients and their use in skin care. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. 9 (6 Suppl.).
  3. Richter, E. Ecotoxicity of climbazole, a fungicide contained in antidandruff shampoo. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 32 (12).
  4. Brody, JG, et al. Endocrine Disruptors and Asthma-Associated Chemicals in Consumer Products. Environmental Health Perspectives. 120 (7).

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

Organic Food Is Healthier By Far, Finds Study After Study

organic veggies

Organic food is healthier than conventional food by a long way, many studies are now showing. There are two main reasons why: pesticides and nutrients. Conventionally produced food is sprayed with numerous forms of pesticides, from insecticides to herbicides to fungicides and more. In large scale agriculture, these pesticides are petrochemical derivatives. In other words, they are made from industrial chemicals which are powerful and dangerous enough to kill bugs and mold, but which can also cause you serious illness if they end up in your body – which they do, since most food which is sprayed absorbs the pesticides. Since humans are at the top of the food chain, there’s no way we can easily avoid these hazardous pesticides when eating conventional food.

The other reason why organic food is healthier than pesticide-laden produce is simple (and linked to the first): organic food has higher nutrient content. Spraying food with industrial pesticides may help prevent a plant from being eaten by a certain insect, but it also damages the plant to some degree. This then is reflected by the plant having lower nutrient levels, since some of its phytochemicals (plant chemicals, e.g. vitamin C) are quite fragile and can be easily damaged by synthetic pesticides.

It is refreshing to see researchers pursuing scientific proof that organic food is healthier, to settle the question once and for all. Below are some of the top studies done on the subject, all of which came to the conclusion that organic food is healthier than its conventional counterpart due to its being higher in antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, minerals and other critical nutrients.

Organic Food is Healthier #1: Study entitled “Nutritional Quality of Organic Versus Conventional Fruits, Vegetables, and Grains”, 2001

This study analyzed organic and conventional fruit, vegetables and grains, and measured more iron, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin, C, as well as less nitrates, in organic crops as compared to conventional crops. On average, spinach had 52% more vitamin C, cabbage had 41% more iron and lettuce had 29% more magnesium! Additionally, it also discovered various trends, namely that organic food had less but better quality protein, more nutritionally significant minerals, and lower amounts of some heavy metals (e.g. lead), another great reason to choose organic over conventional.

Organic Food is Healthier #2: Study entitled “Organic Agriculture and Food Utilization”, 2007

This study came to several conclusions. One was that organic food had far fewer pesticide residues, with “the levels in organic products … consistently 4 to 5 times lower than in conventional products”. The study went on say that “pesticide poisoning causes some 20,000 deaths per year globally and an average of 11 days wages lost due to illness, per farmer per incidence, in some areas. Even symptom-free workers often exhibit biomarker changes indicating increased risk of diseases, including Parkinson’s disease.” Another finding was that plants grown organically had better defense mechanisms, and thus fared better after harvesting and during transport and storage. Also, the study mentioned that “epidemiological studies have shown better health scores among consumers of organic food for immunological characteristics and weight control, and similar benefits have been reproduced in animal studies, supporting a possible causal role of the food production system.”

Organic Food is Healthier #3: Study entitled “Fruit and Soil Quality of Organic and Conventional Strawberry Agroecosystems”, 2010

This study found that “organic farms had strawberries with longer shelf life, greater dry matter, and higher antioxidant activity and concentrations of ascorbic acid and phenolic compounds.” Although taste is a subjective thing, the study also reported that “sensory panels judged organic strawberries to be sweeter and have better flavor, overall acceptance, and appearance than their conventional counterparts.”

Organic Food is Healthier #4: Study entitled “Higher Antioxidant, Lower Cadmium Concentrations and Lower Incidence of Pesticide Residues in Organically Grown Crops”, 2014

Finally, this recent study concluded that organic crops are up to 60% higher in key antioxidants than conventionally grown crops. The research team analyzed 343 studies dealing with the differences between organic and conventional crops, and showed that by switching to eating organic fruit, vegetable and grains, you can get additional antioxidants equivalent to eating between 1-2 extra portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Incredible!

It’s Obvious: Organic Food is Healthier


It’s common sense that food sprayed with pesticides and other harmful chemicals will damage the plant, thus affecting its nutritional profile and overall health benefits. It’s good to see more and more studies being done showing the science is also bearing out this truth. Personally, I eat 100% organic wherever possible; it is somewhat more expensive (but not always), but how can you put a price on your health? Would you rather save a few bucks in the short term, only to have some pesticide or chemical-casued illness in the future, for which you may pay dearly?

Makia Freeman is the editor of The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at, writing on many aspects of the global conspiracy, from vaccines to Zionism to false flag operations and more, and also including info on natural health, sovereignty and higher consciousness.

True Colors: Conventional Vegetable Extracts In Organics

By: Jérôme Rigot, PhD; The Cornucopia Institute |

Surprising Facts about Colorings and Other Non-Organic Ingredients in Organics

Colors?!? Why would organic food need color? In fact, the original colors in prepared foods are often modified or destroyed during processing; thus, food manufacturers feel the need to add colors to their products to ensure their appeal to customers.

As an example, let’s look at certified organic Strawberry Cobbler Multigrain Cereal Bars, manufactured by Health Valley Organic, which is owned by industry giant Hain Celestial Group, Inc.


Many people know that when you cook strawberries, their color changes to a dark reddish brown — the natural color may not be eye-poppingly appealing. But customers certainly want a vibrant strawberry-red color like the one on the package, don’t they?

PrintSo what to do? There are at least two options. One is to use the cooked strawberries as is (unthinkable!). Another would be to add color — in this case it would have to be a “natural” color because artificial colors are prohibited in organic products. If you look at the ingredients list (right), you will see that red cabbage extract was added for color. Red-cabbage-colored strawberry cobbler…what a feast!

But all humor aside, this is cause for concern. The red cabbage extract used for color is derived from conventional cabbage grown with toxic agrochemicals. Yet it appears on the National List, the itemization of all synthetic and non-organic substances allowed in organic production. Why?  Because at the time it was petitioned to be added to the National List, there was no commercially available red cabbage extract in organic form.

Red cabbage extract: is it so bad? Let’s look at the health and environmental effects of cultivating red cabbage conventionally. A database maintained by Beyond Pesticides indicates that there are 49 pesticides with established toxicity used for growing cabbage: 32 are acutely toxic, creating a hazardous environment for farmworkers; 47 are linked to chronic health problems (including cancer); 15 contaminate streams or groundwater; 44 are poisonous to wildlife; and 25 are considered toxic to honey bees and other insect pollinators.

Another cause for concern is that pigments derived from agricultural sources are highly concentrated. They are also most often extracted from parts of fruits or vegetables likely to contain the highest levels of pesticide residues. Examples include grape skin extract, beet juice extract, purple potato juice extract, and red cabbage extract, all commonly used for color in processed foods.

Why do people want organic food? Because producing it has minimal negative impacts on the environment and human health, and there are demonstrably lower pesticide residues.

Is this what you, the concerned customer, are getting when you purchase processed organic foods that contain “natural” colors or flavors?

To avoid potentially toxic color in your food, one of the most effective approaches is to stay away from any form of processed food. Home-cooked meals made from scratch are so satisfying. But if you must use processed foods, look at the label carefully. Only organic colors, which are becoming more readily available, should be listed. When possible, avoide organic food that lists a vegetable extract without specifying whether it is organic or not.

Other Allowed Ingredients

Colors are only a few of the highly questionable and controversial ingredients, synthetic or “natural,” allowed for use in organic processed foods.

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) looks poised to keep many of these ingredients on the National List, even though, in many cases, they are not essential to the manufacture of the food or organic alternatives exist.

Ironically, unlike the USDA’s organic program, a number of corporations that manufacture and sell conventional processed foods are listening to their stakeholders—that is, their customers. KRAFT, General Mills, Hersheys, Nestlé, Kellogg, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, and Subway, among others, have announced that they will remove a number of artificial ingredients, preservatives, and food processing aids from their products.

One of the most notable examples of this corporate responsiveness is Panera. In May, the popular bakery-café chain published its “No No List” identifying all of the ingredients it refuses to use or plans to remove from its food by the end of 2016. Surprisingly, some of the ingredients Panera has banned from its products are currently on or being petitioned for addition to the National List! (See sidebar at right.)

It is obvious that the corporate organic food industry is pressuring the USDA to keep ingredients in organic processed food that should not be there. That is why Cornucopia’s policy and scientific staff will be at the next NOSB meeting, October 26–29 in Stowe, Vermont. You can count on us to keep you informed as to when your voice — farmers and consumers together — can make a difference.

10 Reasons To Buy Your Fruits And Veggies At Your Local Farmer’s Market


Which of these two scenarios sounds more vibrant for overall quality of life and health?

The wind on your face, the sun on your skin, you talk with a local farmer about the size and taste of this year’s harvest of peaches, as you pop a slice in your mouth. After tasting several different varieties, you choose your favorite one, walking away with a great memory of the farmer in your mind.


You stand shivering in the freezer section at your local mega-mart, your eyes begin to glaze over from the halogen lights and the neon-colored cardboard boxes containing substances claimed to be food products? You decide on the one with the least amount of additives and make your way to the self-check-out line, excited to get in your car and out of the supermarket.

Clearly, most of us would agree that the first scenario, at the local farmer’s market, is much more appealing than a trip to a big chain grocery store. But what, besides the aesthetic factor, are some of the other benefits of supporting your local farmers market? Here are ten reasons why I believe you should shop at your local farmers market.

  1. Buying Locally

heirloom tomatoes

Buying from your local farmer allows you to support local agriculture. This means that the food you are eating comes from nearby, and does not require us to waste lots of energy and petroleum to ship the food halfway around the world. You are eating food in your own environment, where it has perfectly-created nutrients for your specific climate and region. You are also supporting the environment by reducing the usage of fossil fuels.

  1. Cheaper Organic Fruits & Veggies

You can find a variety of fresh, organic produce at more affordable prices than in a supermarket. There are also many farmers that carry products that are not technically “organic,” (as this is a costly and often beurocratic-heavy process), but have many low-priced foods that are pesticide and herbicide free. The advantage at a farmers market is that you can actually talk to the farmer, learn about their methods, and then decide for yourself and in most cases they will allow you to come and visit their farm.

  1. Supporting Your Local Economy & Farmers

You are supporting human beings and the local economy, not massive agribusiness GMO food conglomerates.

Not only will your money be staying in your area, but you will happily please the farmer that worked to grow that food. Your belly will remember the farmer’s smile as they handed you that juicy peach.

  1. Eat Seasonally

By shopping at the local farmers market, you will eat seasonally, fresh and ripe. This is another great way to increase your overall health. Supermarkets offer too much variety and the food is picked before it has ripened decreasing the vitality. The body does not need to be eating imported pineapple in the dead of a Montana winter!

  1. Safer Foods

Food from your local farmers market is generally safer. Remember the recent outbreaks of E. coli in bagged spinach? These things happen mostly in large industrial settings, where business-men work to mass produce food, preserve it and bag it in mass amounts.

  1. Fresher Fruits & Veggies

The food from your local farmers market is, quite frankly, fresher. Because it was grown locally, there is a good chance that the apple you buy from the farmer was picked a few days ago. This is virtually impossible in a big supermarket.

  1. Great Variety

There is usually an amazing variety of fruits and veggies at your local farmers market. Each farmer may have his own method for growing tomatoes or peppers. This is something that never happens at a grocery store.

  1. Better Taste

There is no doubt that locally-grown foods just simply taste better. You will never be able to eat a carrot from the grocery store again!

  1. It’s Healthy!

There’s just no way around it, eating fresh, locally-grown fruits and veggies are great for your health.

Buy yourself some local honey, which is sold at most local farmer markets. It has just the right components for allergy prevention in your neck of the woods, not to mention it’s tasty!

  1. Most Importantly — It’s Fun!

We stated it in the beginning, but farmers markets are just plain fun for the whole family. Meeting your local community is an excellent way to feel connected to the world around you, increasing health for body, mind and spirit.

Or Just Start Your Own Organic Garden

An even better solution would be to grow your own food by creating an organic garden in your yard or even on your balcony. Of course, this will take extra time and money, which alot of us seem to lack these days.

Why do you shop at your local farmers market? Let me hear your reasons.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

Why Is Natural Skin Care Better?


There’s no question that a natural and organic approach makes sense when it comes to choosing your food, and the same can be said for other products you put on your body. Specifically, skin care. Think about all of the products you may use on a daily basis that may come in contact with your skin. Clothes, moisturizers, cleansers, fragrances, city treated water during showering, deodorant, the list goes on. Remember, it’s not only what you eat that matters, but also what you put on your skin. Natural skin care is one of the best choices you can make for your health.

Protecting your Skin

As the largest organ of the body, your skin not only absorbs lots of nutrients, but it can also take in a number of toxins each day. Since your skin acts as your body’s barrier against those toxins, it’s so important to be aware of just what you’re using! If you’re putting dangerous ingredients on your skin, you can bet those are getting into your body—exactly where they don’t belong. For example, many traditional skin care products can contain endocrine-disrupting phthalates or parabens. [1] While these poisons can cause reproductive issues, they’re also linked to increased cancer risk, and studies also suggest the more products you use, the higher toxic concentrations can get in your body. [2] And, because cosmetics are notorious for having these toxic ingredients, I suggest avoiding makeup completely. But if you must use it, why not look for natural or organic makeup instead?

Benefits of Natural Ingredients

Many of us can use up to 10 skin care products each day; that could be 10 products full of toxic chemicals! Going organic with your skin care routine will help your skin and body steer clear of those toxins—and there are other perks! A recent study suggests using natural ingredients for skin care can help treat hyperpigmentation and inflammation, while another comments on how it can help with photoaging (skin damage caused by the sun’s rays over our lifetimes). [3][4]

What’s Behind Skin Care Products

The process of developing and putting a skin care product on the market can be shrouded in mystery, and sometimes regulations fall short. Believe it or not, the FDA doesn’t need to approve what ingredients are added to personal care products or cosmetics and can only request, not order, that a company pull a skin care product, regardless of what’s in it. [5][6] But it doesn’t have to be this way; we believe a great company should stand behind a natural product, and believe in what it can do—that products can help you maintain a clean body and live a healthy lifestyle. Here’s what you can count on when you buy from our natural skin care line:

  • NO harmful chemicals, irritants, or preservatives.
  • Non-allergenic and carefully formulated with all natural, organic ingredients.
  • GMO free, never tested on animals, and made in the USA.

Isn’t it time to try something better for your skin and your health? After all, it’s our mission to bring back good health, positive thinking, happiness, and love, and we think using products like Parfait Visage® or Aquaspirit® can help you reach that goal. So, tell us how you would go natural with your skin care in the comments below!


  1. Brody, JG, et al. Endocrine Disruptors and Asthma-Associated Chemicals in Consumer Products. Environmental Health Perspectives. 120 (7).
  2. Braun, J. et al. Personal care product use and urinary phthalate metabolite and paraben concentrations during pregnancy among women from a fertility clinic. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. 24.
  3. Fowler, J.F. et al. Innovations in natural ingredients and their use in skin care. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. 9 (6 Suppl.).
  4. Bowe, W. P. & Pugliese, S. Cosmetic benefits of natural ingredients. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. 13 (9).
  5. U.S. Food & Drug Administration.FDA Recall Policy for Cosmetics.
  6. U.S. Food & Drug Administration.FDA Authority Over Cosmetics.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

For Your Health: Organic vs. Non-Organic

Organic vs. Non-Organic

Consumer demand for healthy, sustainably grown food has grown the organic market from just $1 billion in 1990 to nearly $30 billion today. Increasingly, consumers are saying “No” to foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), “No” to highly processed junk foods, and “No” to foods that come from factory farms.

Health tops the list of concerns about GMOs, junk foods and food from factory farms. But consumers aren’t just rejecting these foods because of their potential to cause health problems. They’re consciously choosing organic for its nutritional superiority.

The health safety benefits of organic foods are well known. For the most part, organic farming prohibits the use of toxic pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, nanoparticles, chemical fertilizers like toxic sewage sludge or coal waste, and genetically engineered ingredients.

But recent studies reveal that organic foods, especially raw or non-processed, are also substantially more nutritious. They contain higher levels of beta carotene, vitamins C, D and E, health-promoting polyphenols, cancer-fighting antioxidants, flavonoids that help ward off heart disease, essential fatty acids, essential minerals, and significantly lower levels of saturated fats.

More facts on organic vs. non-organic

19 Chemicals To Avoid In Skin Care – Organic Skin Care


The beauty industry has an ugly secret. Most skin care products – both regular and “organic” – contain harmful chemicals. When it comes to cosmetics, no one regulates what “organic” or “natural” means. [1]

Your makeup, face cream, skin moisturizer, or cleanser may deliver short term smoothness and brightness, but it may disrupt your hormones and fertility, expose you to known cancer-causing pesticides, and deliver dangerous toxins that penetrate and age your skin. That’s right. The cosmetics you use may actually speed the formation of wrinkles, age spots, and worse.

In the US, researchers have found 1 of every 8 ingredients used in cosmetics is an industrial chemical. Many of these were originally created to keep concrete soft, remove grease from auto parts, and as surfactants paints and inks. [2]

You might think if these industrial chemicals were that bad they’d be banned. Well, in fact many are…in Europe. European authorities have banned more than a thousand of these chemicals. In the US, the FDA has banned eight.

Lookout for These 19 Ingredients

To protect your skin and keep it looking young, firm, and bright, look for these chemicals in all skin care products – and avoid them.


Used to lighten skin, BHA and BHT are considered by the National Toxicology Program as a likely carcinogen. In studies, animals exposed to these chemicals developed stomach cancer and liver damage, and developed problems with their thyroid and reproductive organs. Banned in Europe.

2. Sodium Borate / Boric Acid

These chemicals interfere with hormones and cause infertility in men. Regular exposure is linked to low sperm counts. It absorbs easily through the skin and is used in diaper creams. Banned in Europe and Canada, and the cosmetic industry states it’s unsafe for infants.

3. Coal Tar

You can find coal tar still used in hair dyes and dandruff and psoriasis shampoos. It’s recognized as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. On ingredient lists, it goes by aminophenol, diaminobenzene, and phenylenediamine.

4. Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives

Another known cancer causing agent, formaldehyde also harms the brain, interferes with growth and development in children, and induces asthma. These preservatives slowly release formaldehyde to keep the skin care product from spoiling. These often trigger allergic reactions on the skin. If you’ve ever experienced a contact allergy after using a skin lotion, it probably had one of these ingredients: DMDM Hydantoin (very common), diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, and quaternium-15.

5. PEG Compounds

These go by many names like Propylene glycol, polyethylene glycols, or polyoxyethylene as they are petroleum-based compounds. But they go by other names too; If you see a word with “–eth” or “–oxynol” in it, it’s likely one of these PEGs. These chemicals can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a chemical the FDA says may cause cancer. [3]

6. Mercury

You know mercury is bad, but some cosmetics use it to lighten the skin. It absorbs easily through your skin and with enough use can develop into mercury poisoning. Steer clear of products with “calomel”, “mercurio”, “mercurio chloride” or just plain old “mercury”.

7. Hydroquinone

Another skin lightener, it causes a skin disease called ochronosis that features black and blue lesions that can become permanent. In animals, studies have found enough exposure leads to tumor development.

8. Oxybenzone

Sunscreens use oxybenzone to absorb UV light. In humans, this chemical causes skin irritation and allergic reactions. Animal studies report it acts as an endocrine disruptor and interferes with hormone activity.

9. Triclosan

You’ll find this one in many antibacterial hand soaps and hand sanitizers. But it’s also used in deodorants, skin cleansers, and toothpaste. It’s another endocrine disruptor that harms your thyroid and reproductive hormones.

10. Parabens

You’ve probably seen a slew of products marketing themselves as “paraben-free”. These chemicals mimic estrogen and lead to hormone imbalance. Now, CDC reports suggest their presence in every American’s body. Whether they are or aren’t, avoid products with parabens to prevent reproductive problems like infertility or slowed growth and developmental disorders in children.

11. “Fragrance”

Also called perfume, these terms indicate a mixture of ingredients that cosmetic companies don’t have to legally tell you about. Three thousand or more chemicals may be used to create a fragrance. Some “Unscented” products contain fragrances with masking agents. [2] Some fragrances have been linked to allergic reactions, asthma, and breathing difficulties while others have links to cancers.

12. Phthalates

A common ingredient in “fragrances”, phthalates block testosterone and damage a man’s reproductive system. These dangerous chemicals have also been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. [4]

13. Petroleum distillates

Used in mascara, these ingredients come from oil refineries and often contain impurities linked to cancer.

14. Siloxanes

These, and similar ingredients labeled as “methicones”, soften and smooth skin. They also disrupt your hormones and interfere with fertility and libido.

15. Sodium Lauryl (Laureth) Sulfate

You’ll find this one in most shampoos, soaps, and cleansers. It may contain 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen, and ethylene oxide, a chemical known to harm your nervous system. The California EPA has even identified it as a possible developmental toxin. [5]

16. Toluene

Used in nail polish, toluene is also used in paint thinners. Research suggests it interferes with the human immune system and may be tied to the development of malignant lymphoma.

17. Retinol, or Retinyl Palmitate/Acetate

These vitamin A compounds are not safe for skin use. Sunlight breaks them down and creates free radicals that increase the risk of skin cancers. Avoid all skin and lip products with any of these vitamin A chemicals.

18. Fungicides

Used in dandruff shampoos, these ingredients wreak havoc when rinsed down the drain and into nature. Researchers report that one fungicide, climbazole, kills tiny organisms like algae and stops growth in larger plants and fish. [6]

19. Nanoparticles

Many cosmetics now use nanoparticles to deliver chemicals to the surface or even into the skin. Many of these products have not been evaluated for safety. Some are even used in sprays that make it possible for particulates to enter your lungs and blood stream.

Best Options for Natural Skin Care

Even though the cosmetic industry is largely unregulated, with a few mindful steps, you can protect, heal and restore your skin. Many natural products including olive oil, coffee berry, and green tea can treat and prevent premature aging of your skin from UV exposure. [7] Here’s what to do…

First, don’t buy or use any cosmetic product, cream, sunscreen, ointment, or lotion that has any of the ingredients listed above. This may take a little work, but you and your family will be far better off in the long run.

Next, do a little research online. Take a little time and research products that not only claim to use natural, organic products, but have ingredient lists that support their marketing. Find out where you can buy these.

Many of the best, safest, and “real” natural skin lotions and cosmetics can be bought online, saving you time and travel. For your most delicate skin, I personally recommend Parfait Visage®, an all-natural facial cream that contains no synthetic preservatives. For more information and as a great comparison label, view this ingredient list of a natural and organic skin care product.


  1. FDA. Cosmetics.
  2. Suzuki, David. Dirty Dozen Cosmetic Chemicals to Avoid.
  3. FDA. 1,4-Dioxane A Manufacturing Byproduct.
  4. Breast Cancer Fund. Phthalates.
  5. Suzuki, David. Sodium Laureth Sulfate.
  6. Richter E1, Wick A, Ternes TA, Coors A. Ecotoxicity of climbazole, a fungicide contained in antidandruff shampoo. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2013 Dec;32(12):2816-25. doi: 10.1002/etc.2367.
  7. Bowe WP, Pugliese S. Cosmetic benefits of natural ingredients. J Drugs Dermatol. 2014 Sep;13(9):1021-5; quiz 26-7.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

15 Best Fall Superfoods

fall superfood

By: Dr. Mercola

There are many good reasons to choose your foods seasonally, and contrary to popular belief, there are many foods in-season during the fall.

Seasonal foods will taste fresher and their nutrition will be at its peak level, as opposed to foods picked prior to ripeness, which are then chilled and put into storage for days or weeks. As they sit, both their flavor and nutrient levels diminish.

Meanwhile, in-season foods will typically be available in abundance, which means prices tend to go down, making seasonal eating easier on your wallet. It’s good for the environment, too, because in-season foods are often locally grown and available from farmer’s markets or other direct-to-you venues (like community-supported agriculture programs).

And in the grand scheme of living, eating seasonally allows you to be a part of the natural ebb and flow of nature. According to the ancient science of Ayurveda, for instance, seasonal eating helps with digestion, because it favors easier-to-digest foods in the winter when your body is hard at work burning energy to keep you warm (and therefore theoretically has less energy to devote to digestion).

If you eat seasonally year-round, it will even automatically create a varied diet that provides your body with a diverse palate of nutrients to keep you going strong. Still, just because a food is in-season doesn’t make it healthy, which is why I’ve featured 15 of the best in-season foods for fall.1

15 Top Fall Superfoods

1. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts contain sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates, which your body uses to make isothiocyanates. These activate cancer-fighting enzyme systems in your body. Brussels sprouts have been linked to the prevention of a number of cancers, including colon cancer,2 ovarian cancer,3 and others.

One study even found that compounds in Brussels sprouts may trigger pre-cancerous cells to commit suicide, which suggests adding more of this superfood to your diet could be a powerful anti-cancer strategy.4

Brussels sprouts also have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, useful for fighting both chronic oxidative stress and inflammation.

They help to support your body’s natural detoxification system and are an excellent source of vitamins K and C, and good source of fiber, manganese, potassium, choline, and B vitamins. Brussels sprouts are in season from September to March.

2. Apples

Compared to other commonly consumed fruits in the US, apples ranked second for highest antioxidant activity. However, they ranked highest for the proportion of free phenolic compounds, which means they are not bound to other compounds in the fruit and therefore may be more easily absorbed into your bloodstream.5

Notably, much of apples’ antioxidant power is contained in the peel, where you’ll find antioxidants like catechin, procyanidins, chlorogenic acid, ploridizin, and more. Eating apples has been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and dementia.

It’s best to eat apples in their whole form, as this will give you the synergistic blend of nutrients and fiber the way nature intended, yielding greater health benefits than apple juice. Apples are in season from August to November.

Also, four in five of us are insulin resistant and you now are if you are overweight, diabetic, have high pressure, or taking a statin drug. If you have insulin resistance, then it is best to limit apples to one small one a day or even avoid them until you resolve your insulin resistance.

3. Cauliflower

Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that has also been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth. Some researchers believe eliminating cancer stem cells may be key to controlling cancer.

For instance, research has shown that combining cauliflower with curcumin (the active compound in the spice turmeric) may help prevent and treat prostate cancer.6

Cauliflower is also anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich, and may boost both your heart and brain health. Eating cauliflower will provide your body with impressive amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, beta-carotene, and much more while supporting healthy digestion and detoxification. Cauliflower is in season from September to June.

4. Sweet Potatoes

Orange-colored sweet potatoes owe their appearance to the carotenoid beta-carotene. As an antioxidant, beta-carotene can help ward off free radicals that damage cells through oxidation, which can speed up aging and make you vulnerable against chronic diseases.

This antioxidant can help support your immune system, as well as lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. Research shows that sweet potatoes can help regulate blood sugar because of their ability to raise blood levels of adiponectin, a protein hormone created by your fat cells, to help regulate how your body metabolizes insulin.

Sweet potato extract is said to help reduce inflammation in brain and nerve tissue throughout your body. The phytonutrients within sweet potatoes also influence fibrinogen, an important glycoprotein required for blood clotting.

Together with thrombin and fibrin, balanced amounts of fibrinogen are important for wound healing and blood loss prevention. Sweet potatoes are in season from September to December.

5. Pomegranates

The primary source of pomegranate’s benefits come from its antioxidant content, particularly ellagitannin compounds like punicalagins and punicalins, which account for about half of the pomegranate’s antioxidant ability. It’s also an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C, with one pomegranate providing about 40 percent of the daily requirement for this vitamin.7

In fact, according to a 2008 study, which compared the potency of 10 different polyphenol-rich beverages, pomegranate juice scored top billing as the healthiest of them all.8 Pomegranates contain three types of antioxidant polyphenols, including tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid, in significant amounts.

Pomegranate’s antioxidant activity is known to inhibit cell proliferation and invasion, and promote apoptosis (cell death) in various cancer cells.9 The antioxidants in pomegranates may also help to reduce inflammation that contributes to the destruction of cartilage in your joints, a key reason for the pain and stiffness felt by many osteoarthritis sufferers.

One study even found that pomegranate extract blocked the production of a cartilage-destroying enzyme.10 Many people enjoy pomegranates alone as a snack, but you can also sprinkle the arils (the juice-filled seed sacs) over salads or cooked dishes. Inside each aril is a crunchy fiber-rich seed. While some people spit them out, you can eat them whole, seed and all. Pomegranates are in season from August to December. So how do you get out the arils? The POM Council recommends this simple three-step process:11

  1. Cut off the crown, then cut the pomegranate into sections
  2. Place the section in a bowl of water, then roll out the arils with your fingers (discard everything else)
  3. Strain out the water, then enjoy the arils whole, seeds and all

6. Turnips

Turnips contain a type of phytonutrient known as indoles, which may help fight cancer. One type in particular, brassinin, has been shown to kill human colon cancer cells.12 Turnips are also rich in fiber. Just 100 calories’ worth of turnips can give you 25-40 percent of your daily fiber requirement. While turnip root is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, it is a starchy vegetable and therefore should only be eaten in moderation. The greens, on the other hand, can be eaten in generous quantities (although admittedly they are quite bitter).

Turnip greens are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and manganese, but it’s their vitamin K content that really stands out. One cup of turnip greens will give you nearly 600% of your recommended daily value of the nutrient. Vitamin K is a powerful regulator of your inflammatory response, and along with the anti-inflammatory plant-based omega-3s found in turnip greens (in the form of alpha linolenic acid, or ALA), make this vegetable an inflammation-fighting powerhouse. Turnips are in season from September to April.

7. Rutabagas

Rutabaga, a cross between a turnip and a cabbage, are rich in fiber and vitamin C (one cup contains 53% of the daily recommended value). Rutabagas are also members of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants and anti-cancer phytonutrients. Rutabagas are also an excellent source of potassium, manganese, B vitamins, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Rutabagas are also a good source of zinc, which is essential for immune support and may help protect your body from the effects of stress. As a mild-tasting root vegetable, rutabagas work well roasted or baked, and can serve as a nutrient-rich substitute for potatoes. They can also be eaten raw along with a dip, such as hummus. Rutabagas are in season from October to April.

8. Winter Squash

Winter squash contains an impressive amount of vitamin K1 (not K2) – 457 percent of the daily value per serving. Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, is beneficial for your skin, vision, and mucous membranes and may protect against certain types of cancer. Squash is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium, and magnesium. It even contains a respectable amount of plant-based omega-3 fats. Because winter squash has such a thick skin, it can be stored for months. Try it paired with healthy spices like cinnamon and ginger. Winter squash is in season from October to February.

9. Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a type of winter squash but deserves special mention. It is an excellent source of carotenoids, including beta-carotene (which converts into vitamin A in your body). Pumpkin is also rich in fiber, with three grams in a one-cup serving, and you can consume the seeds, too, for additional benefits (like immune system and prostate support). Other notable nutrients in pumpkin include vitamin C, potassium, riboflavin, copper, and manganese, along with vitamin E, B vitamins, folate, iron, and phosphorus. Taken together, pumpkin provides a powerful blend of nutrients that work together to synergistically benefit your health. As reported in Nutrition Research Reviews:13

“Pumpkin is one of the well-known edible plants and has substantial medicinal properties due to the presence of unique natural edible substances. It contains several phyto-constituents belonging to the categories of alkaloids, flavonoids, and palmitic, oleic and linoleic acids. Various important medicinal properties including anti-diabetic, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and others have been well documented.”

When using pumpkin in your cooking, you needn’t resort to canned. Simply wash the pumpkin’s exterior, scoop out the seeds and pulp, and roast it, whole, in a 350°F oven for one to two hours, until tender. You can also cut it in half and place it, cut side down, on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for one to two hours. Then, simply scrape out the tender flesh and discard the rind.14 Pumpkin is in season from October to February.

10. Parsnips

These root vegetables resemble carrots but are whitish in color and have a sweet, nutty flavor. Parsnips are rich in nutrients like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamin C. Eating foods rich in potassium is important because this nutrient helps offset the hypertensive effects of sodium. An imbalance in your sodium-potassium ratio can lead to high blood pressure and may also contribute to a number of other diseases, including heart disease and stroke. Parsnips are in season from October to April.

11. Pears

Pears are rich in vitamin C and copper, and are on of the highest-fiber fruits (one medium pear contains about 5.5 grams of fiber). Fiber plays an essential role in your digestive, heart, and skin health, and may improve blood sugar control, weight management, and more. People who ate a diet high in white-fleshed fruits like pears or apples also had a 52 percent lower risk of stroke, according to an American Heart Association study,15 likely due to their fiber and phytochemical contents. Pears are in season from August to February.

Also, four in five of us are insulin resistant and you now are if you are overweight, diabetic, have high pressure, or taking a statin drug. If you have insulin resistance, then it is best to limit pears to one small one a day or even avoid them until you resolve your insulin resistance.

12. Kiwi

Rich in phytonutrients that appear to protect human DNA from free-radical damage, kiwi is also an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene. Kiwi is also a good source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus. One cup of kiwi contains 273% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, which is five times that of an orange. Kiwi is in season from September to March.

13. Grapefruit

Grapefruits are an excellent source of vitamin C and also contain pantothenic acid, copper, vitamin A, fiber, potassium, biotin, and vitamin B1. Grapefruit is also a good source of the dietary fiber pectin and the carotenoid phytonutrient lycopene. Lycopene’s antioxidant activity has long been suggested to be more powerful than other carotenoids such as beta-carotene.

Research has even revealed it may significantly reduce your stroke risk (while other antioxidants did not). Lycopene has also been shown to have potential anti-cancer activity, likely due to its antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that people with a diet high in lycopene have a lower risk of certain cancers, particularly prostate cancer. Grapefruit is in season from September to April.

14. Tangerines

Tangerines are rich in antioxidant flavonoids, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, and potassium. They also contain the healthy fiber pectin and, if you eat the white tissue between the segments, even more soluble fiber that may offer protection to your heart. Notably, nobiletin, a citrus flavonoid isolated from tangerines, appears to prevent atherosclerosis16 and may also help prevent the buildup of fat in your liver.

15. Dates

Dates are a rich source of fiber and potassium, along with B vitamins, vitamins A and K, copper, magnesium, and manganese. There are also at least 15 minerals in dates, including selenium, along with protein, 23 types of amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids including palmitoleic, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids. One study even concluded, “In many ways, dates may be considered as an almost ideal food, providing a wide range of essential nutrients and potential health benefits.”17

Dates are in season from September to December. One caveat: dates should be eaten only in very limited amounts because they are high in fructose. One medium date (Deglet Noor style) contains 2.6 grams of fructose. My recommendation is to keep your total fructose intake below 25 grams of fructose per day, if you’re in good health, and below 15 grams a day, including that from fruit, if you struggle with insulin resistance.

Also, four in five of us are insulin resistant and you now are if you are overweight, diabetic, have high pressure, or taking a statin drug. If you have insulin resistance, then it is best to limit dates to only a few a day as they are very high in fructose or better yet even avoid them until you resolve your insulin resistance.

Where to Find Locally Grown, Seasonal Foods

The following organizations can help you locate farm-fresh seasonal foods in your local area, raised in a humane, sustainable manner. If you want to get the freshest seasonal produce possible, you can also try your hand at growing it yourself by planting a winter garden.

How To Avoid GMOs When You’re On A Budget

grocery store

What’s the most controversial topic at the grocery store these days?

It’s GMOs.

Should you consume them? Are they okay in moderation? Should you strictly avoid them at all times? And if so, how on earth can you manage to navigate the store without stepping into a genetically modified landmine? And if you really want to challenge yourself, how can you do that on a budget?

The anti-GMO movement is picking up steam, for a multitude of excellent reasons. My family is making continuous efforts to remove genetically modified products from our lives. If you want to learn how you can banish them too, read on!

Forget about GMO labeling.

First of all, let’s face some facts here.  Crony capitalism in America isn’t going to allow changes that would require the labeling of genetically modified ingredients in your food.  While in a perfect world, a place that requires people selling healthfully grown organic foods to jump backwards through hoops and turn a cartwheel to be allowed to place a “certified organic label” on their items, Big Agri can blithely don hazmat suits to spray ever-increasing amounts of glyphosate on crops that have been genetically modified to withstand the poisons, with nary a word to consumers.

The reality is, Monsanto and their ilk have incredibly deep pockets. The Big Food companies that purchase vast amounts of GMO crops are also rolling in money. If you want to avoid GMOs, you can’t look to those who have a vested interest in selling them to protect you. You have to constantly educate yourself to beat them at their own game.

And their game, of course, is Monopoly.

If they refuse to label their products, we can refuse to buy them.  Money talks, and to large corporations it SHOUTS.  If their bottom line begins to dwindle because people refuse to consume their products, eventually they will have to make a change.

That’s exactly what happened with Dean Foods, actually. In 2009, Dean Foods switched their formula for their popular Silk Soymilk.  Instead of using organic soybeans, they began purchasing conventional soybeans. As we all know, nearly all of the soy grown in the United States is genetically modified – at last report it was over 94%.  So, more than likely, the soymilk that Dean Foods was putting out was GMO.  When outraged customers refused to purchase the product, Dean realized that they were losing money hand over fist, and they switched back to organic soy.

Victory: Team Anti-GMO.

So, you see, that’s how it works. In a free market where consumers have adequate information, their desires direct what is produced. The issue right now is that consumers do NOT have adequate information – at least not without a diligent search for it.

We can wish for labeling until the rBGH-free cows come home, but the battle will have to be fought without the aid of labels.

Avoiding GMOs is easier than you might think. And it can be done on a budget. Here’s how.

Learn to use the labels that DO exist.

non gmo verified project

Although companies are no required to put warning labels on GMOs, companies can opt to boast when their products are GMO-free.

The Non-GMO Project is focused in the opposite direction of the activists that insist GMOs be labeled. They are working to label products that have been scrupulously tested and are verified NOT to contain genetically modified material.

(Here’s a list of  1,000 non-gmo foods)

The pretty little butterfly label is your best indication that the product in your hand doesn’t contain GMOs.   Through a third-party verification process, the products are tested and audited to maintain their standing.

The retailers who started the Non-GMO Project were motivated by a simple idea. They believed that consumers in North America should have access to clearly-labeled non-GMO food and products, now and in the future. That conviction continues to guide the Non-GMO Project, as North America’s only independent verification for products made according to best practices for GMO avoidance.

The verification seal indicates that the product bearing the seal has gone through our verification process. Our verification is an assurance that a product has been produced according to consensus-based best practices for GMO avoidance:

  • We require ongoing testing of all at-risk ingredients—any ingredient being grown commercially in GMO form must be tested prior to use in a verified product.
  • We use an Action Threshold of 0.9%. This is in alignment with laws in the European Union (where any product containing more than 0.9% GMO must be labeled). Absence of all GMOs is the target for all Non-GMO Project Standard compliant products. Continuous improvement practices toward achieving this goal must be part of the Participant’s quality management systems.
  • After the test, we require rigorous traceability and segregation practices to be followed in order to ensure ingredient integrity through to the finished product.
  • For low-risk ingredients, we conduct a thorough review of ingredient specification sheets to determine absence of GMO risk.
  • Verification is maintained through an annual audit, along with onsite inspections for high-risk products.

Other products sometimes say that they do not contain GMOs.  While this may be true, the Non-GMO Project Verified seal is earned through rigorous testing, and you can feel fairly confident that foods bearing this seal are free of genetically modified ingredients.

Another label to look for is USDA Certified Organic.

According to the USDA’s official blog, the inclusion of any type of GMOs is prohibited in an organic product.

The use of genetic engineering or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is prohibited in organic products. This means an organic farmer can’t plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can’t eat GMO alfalfa or corn, and an organic soup producer can’t us any GMO ingredients. To meet USDA organic regulations, farmers and processors must show they aren’t using GMOs and that they are protecting their products from contact with prohibited substances, such as GMOs, from farm to table.

Sadly, it’s important to note that the USDA has relaxed their standards and “organic” now means 95% or more organic.

Learn about the likely suspects.

In the United States and Canada, two things shout “GMO” like no other: corn and soy. As of 2012, more than 94% of the soy and 88% of the corn in America was genetically modified.

The sad fact is, if you are buying anything processed at all, corn or soy is most likely to be an ingredient. And given the statistics above, it’s almost guaranteed that the corn or soy is GMO unless it’s otherwise noted. Both ingredients masquerade under many names. The lists below may seem overwhelming, but it’s important to see the number of aliases that allow these products to sneak into your food.

Here’s a sobering chart from the website Corn Allergens that shows many of the names under which corn lurks in your food.

  • Acetic acid
  • Alcohol
  • Alpha tocopherol
  • Artificial flavorings
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Ascorbates
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Aspartame (Artificial sweetener)
  • Astaxanthin
  • Baking powder
  • Barley malt* (generally OK, but can be contaminated)
  • Bleached flour*
  • Blended sugar (sugaridextrose)
  • Brown sugar* (generally OK if no caramel color)
  • Calcium citrate
  • Calcium fumarate
  • Calcium gluconate
  • Calcium lactate
  • Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA)
  • Calcium stearate
  • Calcium stearoyl lactylate
  • Caramel and caramel color
  • Carbonmethylcellulose sodium
  • Cellulose microcrystalline
  • Cellulose, methyl
  • Cellulose, powdered
  • Cetearyl glucoside
  • Choline chloride
  • Citric acid*
  • Citrus cloud emulsion (CCS)
  • Coco glycerides (cocoglycerides)
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Corn alcohol, corn gluten
  • Corn extract
  • Corn flour
  • Corn oil, corn oil margarine
  • Corn starch
  • Corn sweetener, corn sugar
  • Corn syrup, corn syrup solids
  • Corn, popcorn, cornmeal
  • Cornstarch, cornflour
  • Crosscarmellose sodium
  • Crystalline dextrose
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Cyclodextrin
  • DATUM (a dough conditioner)
  • Decyl glucoside
  • Decyl polyglucose
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose (also found in IV solutions)
  • Dextrose anything (such as monohydrate or anhydrous)
  • d-Gluconic acid
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Drying agent
  • Erythorbic acid
  • Erythritol
  • Ethanol
  • Ethocel 20
  • Ethyl acetate
  • Ethyl alcohol
  • Ethyl lactate
  • Ethyl maltol
  • Ethylcellulose
  • Ethylene
  • Fibersol-2
  • Flavorings*
  • Food starch
  • Fructose*
  • Fruit juice concentrate*
  • Fumaric acid
  • Germ/germ meal
  • Gluconate
  • Gluconic acid
  • Glucono delta-lactone
  • Gluconolactone
  • Glucosamine
  • Glucose syrup* (also found in IV solutions)
  • Glucose*
  • Glutamate
  • Gluten
  • Gluten feed/meal
  • Glycerides
  • Glycerin*
  • Glycerol
  • Golden syrup
  • Grits
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Hominy
  • Honey*
  • Hydrolyzed corn
  • Hydrolyzed corn protein
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose
  • Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose pthalate (HPMCP)
  • Inositol
  • Invert syrup or sugar
  • Iodized salt
  • Lactate
  • Lactic acid*
  • Lauryl glucoside
  • Lecithin
  • Linoleic acid
  • Lysine
  • Magnesium citrate
  • Magnesium fumarate
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Maize
  • Malic acid
  • Malonic acid
  • Malt syrup from corn
  • Malt, malt extract
  • Maltitol
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltol
  • Maltose
  • Mannitol
  • Methyl glucose
  • Methyl glucoside
  • Methyl gluceth
  • Methylcellulose
  • Microcrystaline cellulose
  • Modified cellulose gum
  • Modified corn starch
  • Modified food starch
  • Molasses* (corn syrup may be present; know your product)
  • Mono- and di- glycerides
  • Monosodium glutamate
  • MSG
  • Natural flavorings*
  • Olestra/Olean
  • Polenta
  • Polydextrose
  • Polylactic acid (PLA)
  • Polysorbates* (e.g. Polysorbate 80)
  • Polyvinyl acetate
  • Potassium citrate
  • Potassium fumarate
  • Potassium gluconate
  • Powdered sugar
  • Pregelatinized starch
  • Propionic acid
  • Propylene glycol monostearate*
  • Propylene glycol*
  • Saccharin
  • Salt (iodized salt)
  • Semolina (unless from wheat)
  • Simethicone
  • Sodium carboxymethylcellulose
  • Sodium citrate
  • Sodium erythorbate
  • Sodium fumarate
  • Sodium lactate
  • Sodium starch glycolate
  • Sodium stearoyl fumarate
  • Sorbate
  • Sorbic acid
  • Sorbitan* (anything)
  • Sorbitol
  • Sorghum* (not all is bad; the syrup and/or grain CAN be mixed with corn)
  • Splenda (Artificial sweetener)
  • Starch (any kind that’s not specified)
  • Stearic acid
  • Stearoyls
  • Sucralose (Artificial sweetener)
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar* (not identified as cane or beet)
  • Threonine
  • Tocopherol (vitamin E)
  • Treacle (aka golden syrup)
  • Triethyl citrate
  • Unmodified starch
  • Vanilla, natural flavoring
  • Vanilla, pure or extract
  • Vanillin
  • Vegetable anything that’s not specific*
  • Vinegar, distilled white
  • Vinyl acetate
  • Vitamin C* and Vitamin E*
  • Vitamins*
  • Xanthan gum
  • Xylitol
  • Yeast*
  • Zea mays
  • Zein

Likewise, soy is another item that wears many hats and can be difficult to avoid. Here are some of the names under which soy could be hiding in your food. (List is from

  • Bean curd
  • Bean sprouts
  • Bulking agent
  • Edamame (fresh soybeans)
  • Guar gum
  • Gum arabic
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP) or hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
  • Hydrolyzed soy protein (HSP)
  • Kinako
  • Lecithin
  • Miso (fermented soybean paste)
  • Mixed tocopherols
  • Mono- and di-glycerides
  • MSG (monosodium glutamate)
  • Natto
  • Natural flavoring
  • Nimame
  • Okara
  • Shoyu
  • Soy (albumin, cheese, fiber, grits, milk, nuts, sprouts, yogurt, ice cream, pasta)
  • Soy lecithin
  • Soy protein (concentrate, hydrolyzed, isolate)
  • Soy sauce
  • Soya
  • Soybean (curds, granules)
  • Soybean oil
  • Stabilizer
  • Tamari
  • Tempeh
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • Thickener
  • Tofu (dofu, kori-dofu)
  • Vegetable gum, starch, shortening, or oil
  • Vitamin E
  • Yuba

As you can see, it’s difficult to avoid potential GMOs if you eat anything that comes from a package.  Despite the fact that many people suffer from food allergies, these items are allowed to be included under names that make it difficult to discern what you’re actually getting.  Names like “thickener”, “natural flavoring”, and “drying agent” do not give the label reader much of a clue.

More than 60 GMO crops that have been approved in the US are:

  • Corn (20 varieties)
  • Oilseed Rape/Canola (11 varieties)
  • Cotton (11 varieties)
  • Tomato (6 varieties)
  • Potato (4 varieties)
  • Soybean (3 varieties)
  • Sugar Beet (3 varieties)
  • Squash (2 varieties)
  • Cantaloupe
  • Rice
  • Flax
  • Raddicchio
  • Papaya
  • Alfalfa
  • Wheat

Fortunately, not all of these are currently on the market.  Currently corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, squash, and papaya are all sold commercially. (Source: Organic Consumers)

The best possible choices have no label at all.

Bluntly put, food manufacturers are out to deceive the consumer. They know that many people are trying to avoid GMOs, but they still want you to buy their products. This is why they are adamantly against labeling the products, although they like to say it’s because we, the mere mortal customers, just aren’t smart enough or educated enough to comprehend in our fuzzy little brains that GMOs are “safe”.  So, they opt not to disclose the inclusion of genetically modified ingredients.

If you shop at the grocery store, then I have to be honest – it’s nearly impossible to avoid GMOs. If every item you purchase is organic, then you can probably get through the checkout line unscathed. But these days, who can afford to push a cart full of organic grocery store food up to the register? I know that I certainly can’t.  Prices are sometimes triple that of a conventionally grown item. If you truly want to avoid GMOs – and by avoid I mean banish them from your dinner table and cupboards for good – you need to stop buying food with ingredients. You need to rethink where your food comes from.

Food shouldn’t contain ingredients. Food should BE ingredients.  What you purchase when doing your weekly food shopping should be the basis for delicious meals.  When you no longer eat things from packages that have long lists of ingredients in them, you will begin to free yourself from the ridiculous Monopoly game that you have been playing with Big Food.

Here are some examples:

Instead of buying a package of pasta and a jar of Alfredo sauce, make zucchini noodles and a homemade Alfredo primavera.

Instead of buying a box of flavored, sugar-y cereal for breakfast, have oatmeal (cooked from scratch – not the little packets) and top it with fruit and nuts.

Instead of a sandwich made from a loaf of processed bread and a deli meat, have a salad made from fresh greens and vegetables, and topped with a slice of chicken that you cooked yourself.

Instead of opening a can of tomato soup, puree some tomatoes and make your own soup. Top it with freshly chopped basil.

Instead of a breakfast sandwich with rubbery eggs on a processed English muffin, make a decadent omelet with farm fresh cheese and vegetables.

None of these meals takes a diploma from Le Cordon Bleu to make. None of these meals started their journey to your table at a factory farm and then on to a facility to be processed into a box on the grocery store shelf, either. They came straight from the garden or farm. Grab some farm-to-table cookbooks or vintage cookbooks, and you’ll find loads of recipes that are simple, fast, and filling.  (My favorites are The Nourished Kitchen and The Fanny Farmer Cookbook from 1896.)  For more inspiration, think about what you like to eat, and then about how your grandmother would have made it.

It’s time to change your definition of food shopping.

It’s entirely possible for many of us to completely break up with the grocery store. I grow veggies in my backyard and I purchase what I can’t grow from farmers, farmer’s marketsCSAs, and the local co-op.  Specific staples like organic sugar and baking items come from online vendors. (I realize that these are the same items I could be purchasing at the grocery store, but I have made the personal choice to no longer do business with that industry. I try to buy direct from farms and small producers as much as possible.)

Don’t limit yourself to produce, either. Be sure to look for meat and dairy products from local vendors as well!  The organic free-range chicken that you get from your local farmer is well worth the additional price you’ll pay.  If you have a freezer, you can buy many types of meat in bulk (quarter of a cow, anyone?) I’m able to serve free range chicken, rabbit, and grass-fed beef to my family, even on a tight budget, by shopping direct from the farmers. There are few occupations where people work so hard for such a small amount of profit. Farming is a noble profession that doesn’t get the respect it deserves, and I like nothing better than giving my hard-earned dollars to people who give me true nourishment.

I can hear some of you saying, “That’s fine in the summer, but what am I supposed to eat in the winter, when there’s nothing local that is being harvested? I’ll have to go back to the grocery store.”

Not necessarily. It’s possible to skip the grocery stores (and the GMOs) even in the winter if you are prepared to do some food preservation when produce is at its peak. If you aren’t familiar with the lost arts, check out some websites, go to a class at your county extension office, or read a book. Canningdehydrating cellaring, and freezingcan make your summer bounty last all through the year. I like to take extra effort when canning fruits and vegetables to make them special, so that we are excited to pop open a jar in the winter.  I add vanilla and spices to pears. I toss a little bit of garlic into the jar with green beans. Carrots have a dash of cinnamon and a dollop of honey. Jams are bursting with intense fruity flavor. Relishes, chutneys, and sauces await their invitations to the table, dressing up a wintery dish with a dash of summer. Jars of chewy dehydrated fruits are ready to go into lunchboxes, and dehydrated veggies add a burst of out-of-season nutrition to soups and sauces.

It’s amazing how far you can make a bushel of peaches extend if you use the “whole buffalo” – a family theory of food economics named by my youngest daughter that means we use every edible part of the item to help stretch our budget. We recently took 100 pounds of peaches (purchased for $1 a pound from an orchard down the road) and made 3 kinds of jam, 3 kinds of canned peaches, peach peel candy, peach liqueur, and peach iced tea. Only then, after getting every last drop of flavor and goodness out of those peaches, pit and all, did we cast the remnants onto the compost pile.

If you think you don’t have time to eschew the grocery store, with its convenient boxes and freezer aisle, reconsider. Fruits and vegetables are the original “fast food”.  Many of them can be consumed right after you pick them from the plant.

Challenge yourself to one week without groceries – you may find that the food is so much more delicious and satisfying that you don’t want to go back to the store!

Here are the top 10 things to remember when shopping for non-GMO foods.

Don’t buy into the malarkey that it’s impossible to avoid GMOs these days. It’s entirely possible when you stop playing by the rules laid out by Big Food!

Keep these things in mind when purchasing food:

  1. Stop looking for labels. Assume that if it isn’t labeled GMO-free, that it contains GMOs.

  2. Look for products that are USDA Certified Organic or Non-GMO Project Verified.

  3. Avoid all corn, soy, and canola that is not specifically labeled as non-GMO.

  4. Familiarize yourself with the abundant aliases for corn and soy.

  5. Buy ingredients, instead of food with ingredients.

  6. Cook from scratch.

  7. Stop shopping at the grocery store.

  8. Get to know your farmers personally.

  9. Preserve food while it’s in season.

  10. Don’t be wasteful. Use every single edible part to make your food dollars go further.

Do you have other ways of avoiding GMOs?  Please share them in the comments section.



GMO Free Diet: How to stay healthy by identifying and avoiding dangerous foods

Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives

GMO Food Poison Handbook: ‘Genetically-Modified’ Agriculture and Animals

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor who lives in a small village in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States. She is the author of The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy writes about healthy prepping, homesteading adventures, and the pursuit of liberty and food freedom. Daisy is a co-founder of the website Nutritional Anarchy, which focuses on resistance through food self-sufficiency. Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and you can email her at [email protected]

95 State Lawmakers Say ‘No’ To DARK Act

dark act

GMO labeling is more than just a fad. Over the past several years, more than 70 bills have been introduced in more than 30 states, by state lawmakers who want GMO foods labeled.

Monsanto and Big Food, though they say they have nothing to hide, are intent in preventing or repealing those state laws—so they can continue to hide the fact that their products have been genetically engineered, or contain GMO ingredients. This week (October 7, 2015), 95 state lawmakers from 21 states issued a joint letter asking Congress to reject H.R. 1599, Monsanto’s bill to preempt state and federal mandatory GMO labeling laws. (The bill passed the House on July 23).

In a press release, Maine Rep. Michelle Dunphy (D-Old Town), said:

“H.R. 1599 is being deceptively sold to Congress on the mistruth that it will address consumers’ concerns by establishing a uniform federal standard for GMO labeling. In fact, H.R. 1599 would preempt state and federal mandatory labeling laws and instead establish a voluntary, government-run program for labeling non-GMO foods. States have historically held the right to pass food safety and food labeling laws, and Congress should not undermine that right just to protect the biotech industry.”

In their joint letter, the lawmakers wrote:

HR 1599 would undermine the existing rights of states to pass food labeling laws; it would undermine the efforts of the thousands of people working to create basic transparency in food labels in their states; it would undermine the rights of consumers to basic information; and it would undermine the concept of a free market based on truth and transparency in labeling.

Read the letter from state lawmakers

Read the press release

Monsanto Exposed!

us right to know

The Monsanto public relations machine has done a stellar job in recent years of reducing the GMO debate to one that pits “pro-science advocates” against “anti-science climate-denier types”—with Monsanto portrayed as being squarely planted in the pro-science camp.

But that well-oiled machine may be starting to sputter.

Turns out that a Monsanto executive solicited pro-GMO articles from university researchers, and passed the “research” off as independent science which the biotech giant then used to prop up its image and further its agenda.

We know this, thanks to thousands of pages of emails obtained by US Right to Know, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). And because a host of news outlets—including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Bloomberg, the StarPhoenix and others—are now running with the story.

Read the essay

7 Tips For Starting Your Own Organic Garden


Many readers have expressed interest in creating their own organic garden in their own backyard. As a result, I wanted to share a few tips for starting a backyard garden that is organic, sustainable and earth-friendly.

There are numerous benefits to planting your own organic garden at home. It enables you to eat the freshest fruits, herbs and vegetable. At the same time, you act to help reduce the amount of pesticides and toxins in the environment. As organic produce can be costly in the supermarket, growing your own delicious organic produce at home can also save money.

Gardening Tip #1 – Plan

Plan your garden before planting your crops, it’ll help you reap the best harvest possible. Make a decision on what fruits, herbs and vegetables grow best in your area and find local sources that sell organic seeds.

Decide how much space you can use for your garden and what the budget will be. For smaller yards, a container garden works well. You can also make a small herb garden with pots and boxes. By planning you can coordinate what plants grow in the spring, fall, winter and summer to create a year long harvest.

Gardening Tip #2 – Less is More

It may seem like a good idea to plant every edible plant that you love to eat… but it may be better to start with a small, manageable garden in the beginning. If you plant too many of one plant, you may find yourself selling tomato sauce to all of your neighbors this summer. Start small and expand each season. Experiment with various plants and find what grows best. City dwellers can easily create a small rooftop or balcony garden consisting of pots and raised beds. You can also grow indoors or in a greenhouse during the winter months. For indoor growing I use the aero garden which works pretty well.

Gardening Tip #3 – Choose Productive Plants

Choose plants that grow well in your climate and geography. Think locally. Nothing can be more frustrating than trying to plant avocados in Maine.

Also, some plants may grow well but have different economics. Corn, for example is cheap, but is labor intensive. Berries, on the other hand, are quite expensive in grocery stories, and are labor free. They require little money or time to cultivate!

Gardening Tip #4 – Share and Barter

If you buy a large packet of seeds and have extras, share with your friends and neighbors. You can also do the same with gardening equipment. By planning and sharing, you can reduce the costs of buying heavy equipment on your own, a process that helps keep overall costs down.

Gardening Tip #5 – Go Organic With Your supplies

Organic seeds can be bought locally or by mail order. Do not use chemical pesticides, herbicides, or any other synthetic chemicals.

There are many natural products for treating weeds, diseases, pests, and soil issues. These natural products are much safer and better for the environment.

Be sure your planting area will not be contaminated with lawn fertilizer or other chemicals. Try to find organic soil and compost or make your own compost by recycling your food waste.

Gardening Tip #6 – Complement Your Plants

Research traditional methods of natural gardening to grow plants that complement one another such as permaculture. Beans and squash grow well together, so do potatoes and corn. Complementary growing helps soil nutrients and overall plant success.

Gardening Tip #7 – Have Fun!

Gardening can be an incredibly grounding family affair. Remember, no garden is perfect. Choose some of your favorite plants and enjoy watching their process of growth.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.