Healthy meals through the day

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I need quick, easy, and healthy meals that can power me through the day. I also try to eat locally grown and organic food as much as possible – it’s the best for me and the environment. (Ashlan Gorse Cousteau) This sentence not only reveal her view while choosing foods in the supermarket or restaurants, but also reflect most people’s thought when they are making a decision.

Try to looking back to the moment that you standing in front of the shelf and decide between two products, which is the non-organic and organic. Based on affordable price, a large number of people will choose the organic one. And, how does people defined the word organic? Take America as an example, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), organic means farmers growing or processing agriculture with different ways. For example, farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. [1] Furthermore, it means without using common pesticides during planting period.

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With this strong reason, the price of organic foods usually two or even three times than non-organic foods. However, there are still many people prefer to buy organic food. There are some reasons that occur people to choose organic rather than normal foods. As we know, foods without pesticide residue is the biggest reason attract people to buy. In addition, no food additive, higher nutritional value, more delicious, to improve healthy, take responsibility to the society, and to support the local production. These reasons are regarded as the motivations to those who are blow hot and cold, and the following context are going to discuss these reasons.

According to the ANS analyzation, there are nearly 73% of people have purchased organic food in Taiwan. More deeply, ANS found out that products label with no pesticide, natural, no pollution will more attractive to the customers. Nonetheless, a large quantity of people is not really understanding the meaning of the label. Organic means no pesticide residue, hence many farmers in order to reach this standard then start using other methods. As the CODEX Guidelines mentioned, due to the environmental pollution, organic agricultural cannot guarantee that they do not contain residual substances such as pesticides. Yet, they should be produced in the way which minimize the content of chemical fertilizer.

The clause revealed the main idea of organic farming, its final goal is to make a society with soil, planet, animal, and human live peacefully. Organic farming emphasized the balance between sustainable development of natural resources and eco-environment rather than pay attention on non-pesticide crops. In other words, to live in harmony with nature and people cannot buy a product that is totally without pollution. In fact, normal agricultural products do not mean worse since all the products on the shelf of supermarket has meet the minimum standard of the usage of pesticides, a small amount of toxin will not cause huge influence on human’s healthy.

Higher nutrition, another reason for customer to buy organic food. In general, the masses consider that organic foods contain more nutrition than non-organic foods. Nevertheless, there is no evidence that organic foods contain higher nutrition. A 2012 study at Stanford University collect all papers from 1966 to 2011 to compare organic agricultural products and conventional foods about the nutrition. The results of this study is that there has no significant difference between them because of the lack of strong evidences. Based on the report of Food Standards Agency(FSA), there is truly something different between organic foods and conventional foods. For instance, the content of Magnesium and Zinc in organic is higher than conventional. Still, it is only slightly gap between them and little difference will not benefit or harm people’s healthy. The Dr. Yan from Clinical Toxicology Division of Chang Gung Hospital in Taiwan pointed out that the biggest advantage of people buying organic food can reduce consumers’ suspicion about the pesticides and chemicals residue. But even if you purchase non-organic foods, you can get same nutrition value after washing vegetables or fruit for 15 minutes. The dietitian from John Tung Foundation prompted that people cannot rely on organic food to get the extra nutrition since there is no discrepancy of nutrition value in organic foods. What people should do is to noted that the balance of daily three meals and the diversified intake of six categories of foods, with less oil and salt. This is the only way to maintain the nutrition instead of buying valued organic foods.

Some people thought healthier foods taste bad, in contrast, some people thought organic foods taste better. Yes, that is true that organic foods actually more delicious. British Journal of Nutrition(BJN) released a paper which talked about the organoleptic qualities of food such as flavor, fragrance, and mouthfeel will be affect by higher antioxidant. The research Benbrook explained: The concept of terroir can be traced to particular biological stresses in a region or soil types that impact how a plant responds to stress. The chemicals that a plant produces to respond to stress become part of that plant’s signature taste. People are yearning for more intense flavors, and there’s good news that organic farming accentuates flavor in fruits and vegetables. As the expert mentioned, organic foods may draw people’s attention by its taste, however, there are another reason influence people’s taste buds. Psychological actions, the price tag effect people’s taste of foods. There is a study discuss whether higher value influence the taste of foods. The study found out that when the price of wine is higher, even if the researchers give the same thing, the subject will think it is more delectable. In addition, researchers learned from the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging(NMRI) that there has a higher level of pleasure in the subject’s brain while eating higher valued products.

As mentioned earlier, there is no evidence that organic foods healthier than conventional foods, nonetheless, a new French study found out that eat organic products will lower the cancer risk roughly 25%. More specifically, those who eat organic regularly are more resistant to cancer such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancer than those who eat rarely. Like what experts pointed out, conventional agriculture using the pesticides such as Glyphosate, Malathion, and Diazinon cause higher cancer risk to people. It seems that organic food actually better than conventional foods and most people believe in this concept. Nevertheless, this comment was refuted by some French and American experts immediately. The Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique(INRA) announced that the results of this study have to go a step further confirmed. The American Cancer Research Society had doubt on the result, they thought the research method is considered to be one-sided and limited and they said: Diet is complicated. Frank B. Hu, one of the chairman of the department of nutrition at Harvard. He claimed:From a practical point of view, the results are still preliminary, and not sufficient to change dietary recommendations about cancer prevention. He said, if people want to prevent cancer, it is more important for them to eat more vegetables and fruit, whether organic or not and eat whole grains instead of refined grains. Furthermore, a representative of the Alliance for Food and Farming said that there is no need to worry about the cancer risk cause by the conventional foods. Experts cannot have defined that eating more organic food can lower cancer risk because there is no food that can directly change human’s body and healthy.

To save environment and take the responsibility to the society, some of customer will choose organic. One study found out that the quantity of organic production is less than conventional, it means organic require nearly 1.5 times yields to produce as much as conventional way. Yet, the world’s population is still growing, organic farming is not an efficient way to plant foods. For instance, quinoa planting in Bolivia and labeled with organic and healthy then cause problems. Many countries want to purchase and give rise to the raise of price in Bolivia. This situation not truly save environment and even cause the problem of uneven distribution of foods.

With the development of society, more and more people pay attention on their healthy.

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