Natural News Blogs Natural vs GMO vs Organic » Natural News Blogs

Natural vs GMO vs Organic

When we shop, what we purchase is our “vote”. That buy, tells a company we want that product; even though you may not know you have bought an unhealthy product. This is how companies promote their product the most, no matter how good or bad it is; if it’s purchased frequently then it makes them money!

Please Read below and reconsider your purchases:

“Natural” the term by itself generally is conventionally grown. The word “Natural” means it has just become a ‘sale method’ used by the company to make the public think that these products are good for you! Always read the labels, if there are a lot of names and additives you do not understand; like dyes, chemicals or forms of sugar—then it’s not going to be healthy! Sometimes these foods come from GMO seeds or animals treated with drugs or bad feed which they would never tell you! Many companies will feed you anything with the term, “Natural”, to help increase their profits.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) means that the seeds used to grow that food have been changed, the “Genes” or the DNA in the seed, was modified by inserting a gene from another family of organisms or to add a chemical/pesticide. So—who wants DNA from a fish, maybe if you want to grow fins, or perhaps sheep DNA, only if you want to grow wooly hair! What makes this unhealthy for our bodies is that your body, your cells, do not recognize this as food and it confuses the cells. This confusion to our cells can bring about abnormal disease results. For instance, allergies will appear because cells in the immune system mistake the substance as an outsider, it attacks and builds up antibodies against that bad DNA. Or the GMO seed can cause abnormal growth since our cells are pre- programmed and not knowing what else to do with invaders will grow a wall around it as a form of protection. This would be the cells normal behavior but it may start a tumor or a blockage depending on where it is in the body. So I question; do you really think you want to eat this?

Organic is a very popular but misunderstood word. Organic means food grown with no chemicals, no pesticides, no GMO seeds and if its meat, fish or chicken it also includes no hormones and no antibiotics.

Yes, it can be a little more expensive but organic is much safer, it contains more healing power; for it is much more nutritious than natural, conventional or GMO.

Additionally, that means you are not eating empty calories, so actually, your saving money in the process per a European Study in 2008 which found organic fruits and vegetables contain 40% more disease fighting compounds and antioxidants than conventional equivalents. In organic milk the Omega 3’s are 68% higher. Other studies confirm organic grown foods have more Vitamin C, iron and mineral content plus three times a higher quality protein.

All this means is that if it is Organic it’s a higher nutrient content per calorie, per serving and per dollar; besides it‘s tastier, fresher and has more flavor!

Do remember when you read conflicting study results to ask yourself who funded this study and was it a good study! Many of these quote studies are done with questionable parameters and also fudged—I am sure that you realize results need to be in the best interest of the funded company; so what if they are lying to the general public!

Amy Dean, DO, founder of EcoLogical Internal Medicine in Ann Arbor Mich. and President of American Academy of Environmental Medicine says that even though GMO’s have not been studied on humans, its animal studies (closest to our type of body system), shows that they cause changes in the immune system, disrupt fertility and even trigger aggression and anger. She has seen many patients with very similar reactions. Too to many to be just coincidental. Dean recommends avoiding them by eating organic or foods labeled as non-GMO as much as possible.

How to tell if it’s Organic:

General Key Codes at the Supermarkets:

  • Organically grown—code # starts with 9 and has 5 digits
  • Conventional grown—code # starts with 4 and has 4 digits
  • GMO grown—code # starts with 8 and has 5 digits

Local Farmers Markets have started up everywhere. This is the best way to be sure of how your fruits, vegetables and meats were grown, best bargains, most nutritious and the freshest. Here market produce is in most cases, just picked that morning or the day before and are in their highest nutritious state. In comparison to your grocery store which has stored, shipped and packed produce picked many days and weeks ahead, so naturally at much lower nutritious state by the time you buy!

Talk to the farmer himself to find out growing methods many are organic but not certified (due to high cost of certification), and others may be certified organic, but all are superior for health. Supporting your local farmers also helps your local community.

So please start voting where it counts, when you purchase your food!

Organics vs. Conventional: What’s the Difference?

organic versus non organic foods

The difference between organic and conventional foods is more than just what you find on a Nutrition Facts label. Organic products and conventional products have the same nutritional values. For instance,

  • 1 cup of organic milk has very similar calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrate content to non-organic milk, and both organic and conventionally produced milk are fortified with Vitamins D and A. In other words, organic milk does not have more or less calories than conventional milk.
  • Fruits and vegetables, whether they are organic or conventionally grown, all contain vitamins, minerals, fibers, and other phytonutrients. Actual levels will vary regardless of their organic/non-organic status because of the differences in growing conditions, including nutrient levels in the soil.

Therefore, better nutrition should not be the reason we purchase organics. For most people, buying organics means eating fewer pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, etc. Organic milk is produced without the use of growth hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics. Organic regulations also prohibit the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and require that the production of foods adhere to environmentally and ecologically friendly practices. Produce grown in accordance with organic regulations cannot use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Several studies have documented the reduction in pesticide levels in the urine of children consuming conventionally grown produce when they switch to the organic version of the produce they eat.

So, Is Organic Worth the Extra Money?

We would argue that yes, organics are worth the extra money because organic is about much more than which nutrients are contained within the food. However, not everyone can afford to buy organic exclusively. Don’t be discouraged: there are still ways to minimize your exposure to pesticides in conventional produce, such as by checking out the Environmental Working Group’s list of “clean” (minimal to no detectable pesticide residues) and “dirty” (high levels of pesticide residues) produce. If you have room in your budget, buy organic versions of the produce listed as the “dirty dozen,” such as apples, celery, strawberries, and bell peppers.

The Bottom Line

Health guidelines all recommend that we eat more plant-based foods, particularly of the minimally processed variety: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Don’t let the “non-organic” status of a particular food discourage you from buying it. We would also like to point out that there are local growers or farmers who may not be officially certified organic, but are growing and producing their foods in a way that preserves the soil and environment. So eat local! Don’t discount local producers just because they don’t sport an organic label.

What Does “Organic” Mean? | Mental Floss

What Does “Organic” Mean?

By Maggie Koerth-Baker

What’s in a Name?

You’ve probably noticed by now that organic products tend to be pricey. That’s partially because federal certification costs money, and partially because the right to use the word “organic” requires meeting the USDA standards that were set in 2002. Even imported foods have to be up to government snuff before they can be called organic.

Continue reading

The Best Superfoods, from A to Z | Greatist

Fruits, and veggies, and whole grains, oh my! Beyond the grocery store shelves lined with less-than-healthy processed foods in brightly-colored packaging, there are still hundreds of healthy options waiting to be picked up and put in your shopping cart. (Many come in vibrant natural packaging!) They span every food group, from fruits and veggies to grains, dairy, and healthy fats! Here are 26 of our favorites, one for each letter of the alphabet, along with what makes them so super. (Plus a few healthy recipes to help you get super with some superfoods in the kitchen.)Superfoods A-to-Z


If you’ve spent even a few minutes on Greatist, it’s no secret we’re huge fans of avocados. (There’s even an avocado-shaped piñata in our office!) There’s good reason, too: Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fat (which can improve cholesterol levels, decrease risk of heart disease, and benefit brain function), vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant), and vitamin B6 (which promotes healthy skin and serves as a back-up fuel) [1] [2]. Plus, they’re just darn delicious (kale salad with avocado and grapefruit, anyone?). Just remember not to overdo it — this fruit is pretty heavy and high in calories, it’s probably best to consume no more than about half a fruit per day.
Try It Now: Dark Chocolate Avocado Cookies
Other A Superfoods: almonds, asparagus, apples


It’s hard to beat beets. First off, let’s talk about that color: Beets are high in betalain, an antioxidant that gives them that purple hue and may help ward off cancer and other degenerative diseases [3]. Vitmains A, B, and C offer additional benefits ranging from bolstering the immune system to helping the body produce collagen [4]. A healthy dose of potassium, which is essential for proper organ function, and fiber, which keeps the digestive tract regular and helps maintain heart health, help round out beets’ nutrition profile.
Try It Now: Spinach-Citrus Salad with Roasted Beets and Almond Vinaigrette
Other B Superfoods: broccoli, blueberries, bananas, beans


These little seeds may have gained fame as the base of the 90s chia pet craze, but they offer oh so much more as a superfood. Chia seeds are packed with magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. Plus, they’re perfect for adding to smoothies, yogurt, and pudding. The little seeds can absorb up to 10 times their weight in water, which some studies suggest can help the body stay hydrated longer and may improve overall endurance [5].
Try It Now: Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding
Other C Superfoods: cantaloupe, cherries, cinnamon, cauliflower, cranberries, cabbage

Dates are great for a few reasons. First off, they’re a perfect healthy recipe substitution for both sugar and/or butter in baking. They’re also packed with fiber (which is essential for good heart and digestive health) and vitamins and minerals including potassium, selenium, copper, and magnesium [6].

Try It Now: Fruit and Nut Bars
Other D Superfoods: dill, dandelion greens


Eggs are one of the best superfoods because you get a good serving of protein in an inexpensive little package. Just 70 calories and 6 grams of protein, eggs are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help with proper body function and heart health. They’re good for the eyes, too: The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin (found in the yolks) help protect the eyes from light and free radicals (and may even help prevent eye degeneration that can present with age) [7]. And while there’s been much debate about the health of those lil’ yellow centers (some say their cholesterol content is bad news bears), the yolks are full of choline, a B vitamin essential for proper brain function [8] [9].
Try It Now: Brussels Sprout and Egg Scramble

Besides their crazy-high fiber content, research suggests the omega-3s in these seeds can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease [10] [11]. It is important to note that the positive effects of flaxseed on cholesterol have been shown to be temporary, meaning they can wear off if regular (daily) consumption stops [12]. Add the seeds (whole or ground) to baked goods, oatmeal, or a salad, and skip the flax oil, which may not have the same awesome cholesterol-regulating powers [13].

Try It Now: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Flax

Vitamins C and K, beta-carotene, and resveratrol are the health-benefit stars of this favorite super-fruit. These vitamins act as antioxidants in the body to help eliminate free radicals that can cause cellular damage [14][15]. Resveratrol has made headlines for its potential to lower LDL cholesterol, help inhibit cancer cell growth, and treat cognitive impairment [16][17].

Try It Now: Grape and Ginger Glazed Chicken
Other G Superfoods: goji berries, guava, green tea, Greek yogurt, garlic, ginger


The biggest benefit here comes from essential fatty acids and protein. Those fatty acids (including polyunsaturated fats and omega-3s) may help fight coronary heart disease, cancer, and even symptoms of depression [18]. These little seeds aren’t lacking in vitamin and minerals, either — they’re high in magnesium, zinc, and iron. Gamma linolenic acid (aka GLA, also found in breast milk) also makes an appearance, adding a variety of benefits ranging from allergy defense, to helping treat attention deficit disorder, and even helping lower cholesterol levels [19].
Try It Now: Chia, Hemp, and Buckwheat Breakfast Pudding

Inca Berries

(aka cape gooseberries or, ground cherries, or husk cherries)
Here’s yet another superfood native to South America (along with goji berries and quinoa, to name a few!). Incan berries are packed with vitamins C and A, iron, niacin, and phosphorous. They’re also high in protein (especially for a berry!) and fiber. When eaten, they start off with a sweet flavor and finish with a bit of a sour twist.
Try It Now: Husk Cherries with Goat Cheese on Toast
Other I Superfoods: ice water

Jalapeño Peppers

Jalapeños are packed with capsaicin, a compound found in spicy peppers that’s credited with speeding up metabolism and suppressing appetite [20] This magical compound also increases fat oxidation (so the body can more easily use fat as fuel) [21].
Try It Now: Healthier Jalapeño Popper Chip Dip


Aside from containing a superhuman amount of vitamin C (243 percent of the daily recommended amount in just two fruits), kiwi is a fantastic source of folate, which is essential for overall cell health. Some studies suggest it may even reduce the risk of heart disease and colon cancer [22].
Try It Now: Greek Yogurt and Kiwi Parfait
Other K Superfoods: kale


It’s no secret that citrus fruits — like the mighty lemon — are packed with vitamin C, which is essential for the body to produce collagen (which helps keep blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bones healthy and strong. Plus, they’re filled with the antioxidants known as flavonoids, which may help reduce risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, and fight some cancers [23] [24]. (Citrus fruit and pancreatic cancer risk: a quantitative systematic review. Bae J.M., Lee E.J., Guyatt G. Department of Preventative Medicine, Cheju National University College of Medicine, Jeju, Jejudo, Korea. Pancreas, 2009 Mar; 38(2):168-74.)). To get the biggest benefits from these sour sweeties, pair with foods high in iron (like leafy greens and red meat): Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, too!
Try It Now: Healthier Lemon Artichoke Dip
Other L Superfoods: lentils, leeks


Believe it or not, it’s the chocolate version of this cafeteria treat that’s touts some serious post-workout health benefits. Studies suggest that this delicious drink provides the optimal ratio of carbohydrates and protein for gym-goers to consume post-exercise. The research suggest that a chocolate milk fix could help improve performance, make for quicker exercise adaptation, and lead to better body composition [25].
Try It Now: Healthier Chocolate-Blueberry Smoothie


Mixed Nuts

Giant bags of assorted nuts have been known to appear at the Greatist office regularly — and not just because they’re irresistibly delicious. The unsaturated fats in nuts are good for your heart, and some types (looking at you, almonds) can help lower blood pressure and body fat (when combined with a low-calorie diet) [26]. Nuts are also a good source of protein, making them perfect for a healthy midday snack to keep you full longer. While they can be a bit high in calories, they’re also nutrient-dense, meaning that you get a big nutritional bang for your calorie buck!
Try It Now: Fruit and Nut Bars


By now, the whole “whole-grains” thing is burned into all of our brains, right? Good news: Oatmeal, that unassuming, easy, delicious breakfast staple is a great source of whole grains. It’s that “whole” part that makes oatmeal a great source of fiber, which has been shown to help lower blood cholesterol, aid in digestion, and improve metabolism [27]. While those instant oatmeal packets are certainly convenient, we recommend making your own at home to cut out any unnecessary sugar or additives (and so you can customize to your liking).
Try It Now: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal


This superfood goes way beyond the standard pie — you can enjoy its health benefits in oatmeal (see recipe above), roasted and served in a salad, or in baked goods. The orange flesh of these Fall favorites is rich in antioxidants and vitamins including beta-carotene (essential for eye health), fiber, and vitamin K (which may reduce risk for some types of cancer) [28] [29]. But don’t stop with the actual meaty part of this gourd — the seeds are healthy, too. One ounce (about 140 seeds) is packed with protein, magnesium, zinc, and potassium, and studies suggest pumpkin seeds could help prevent enlargement of the prostate gland, lower the risk of bladder stones, and help prevent depression [30] [31] [32] [33].
Try It Now: Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding
Other P Superfoods: pineapple, pomegranate, pistachios


It may look like rice or couscous, but this mildly nutty, grain-like staple is actually a seed related to green leafy vegetables like kale and Swiss chard. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa) is one of the only grains or seeds that provide the nine essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce themselves [34].
Try It Now: Quinoa Apple Cake

These peppery, crunchy little beauties come in a few varieties, from white (also called daikon), to red, to (wait for it) watermelon! Some studies suggest certain compounds in radishes may be able to help stop the growth of some cancers (including breast cancer) [35]. More research suggests another compound found in radishes, anthocyanins (also found in cherries), may help prevent some cancers and even aid in muscle recovery after a tough workout (though this research is based on anthocyanins in cherries, not radishes) [36] [37].

Try It Now: Fresh Snap Pea and Radish Salad


There’s nothing fishy about the health benefits of this seafaring superfood. Salmon is full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which studies suggest can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease [38]. Those trusty Omega-3s may also help protect skin from UV-induced damage [39].
Try It Now: Baked Salmon with Avocado-Dill Yogurt
Other S Superfoods: spinach, strawberries


Tea is undoubtedly one of the go-to beverages in the Greatist office, and it’s this ancient tonic’s health benefits that keep us steeping more and more! From boosting endurance to reducing the risk of cardiovascular issues and (potentially) a bunch of cancers (including breast, colon, skin, and lung, to name a few), tea leaves are a great way to stay hydrated and healthy at the same time. Plus, some research suggests green tea could help prevent some types of skin cancer, while black tea may help cure those annoying sunburns [40].
Try It Now: Green-Tea Oatmeal
Other T Superfoods: turmeric

Ugli Fruit
(aka Tangelo)

These ugly Uglis are actually a type of tangelo from Jamaica. And, well, we’ll leave it to you to guess how it got it’s name. This citrus fruit is a cross between a grapefruit, Seville orange, and tangerine — sort of like a tangelo, but bumpier and more lopsided. One fruit contains about 140 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C and about 90 calories. (Photo: Betty B)
Try It Now: Ugli Fruit Smoothie


Good news: you can’t really go wrong with vegetables. Regardless of the variety you choose, they’re going to have at least a handful of redeeming qualities, from high levels of vitamins and minerals to a good dose of fiber. Green veggies are a great source of iron and calcium; red veggies are usually packed with lycopene and anthocyanins; and allium veggies like garlic and onions are full of antioxidants (which can help protect against free radical damage to the body’s cells (and especially the skin) [41] [42].
Try It Now: Mixed Vegetable Salad Platter



With just 48 calories per cup and packed with water, this refreshing fruit makes for the perfect healthy snack mid-summer (or any time of year). It’s low in sugar, and high in vitamins A and C, as well as the amino acid citrulline, which help the body produce another amino acid, arginine. Arginine can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease [43] [44]. This melon’s also a great source of lycopene, the super-healthy essential carotenoid found in tomatoes, that studies suggest can protect the body from UV rays, cardiovascular disease, and some forms of cancer [45] [46].
Try It Now: Watermelon-Lime Ice Pops
Other W Superfoods: wheatgrass

(aka Watermelon)

Well, we’ve basically said it all. Xigua is just a specific type of the commonly known watermelon, so they have very similar (err, identical) health benefits. (Give us a break! There aren’t many foods that start with the letter X….)
Try It Now: Minted “Xigua” Salad


First, let’s get one thing straight: Yams and sweet potatoes are not the same thing (though, yes, sweet potatoes are also a superfood). These tubers are low on the glycemic index, meaning that they can be consumed without negatively affecting blood sugar levels, making them a great food to eat for sustained energy. On top of that, yams are a great source of fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese, which are key for things like proper production of serotonin, nervous system function, and wound healing [47] [48].
Try It Now: Caribbean Roasted Root Vegetable and Goat Cheese Spring Rolls


Come July and August, zucchini’s a staple on most grocery store shelves. The best part? It can be used perfectly in both sweet (think zucchini bread) and savory (think simply grilled) dishes. This green-skinned veggie is packed with vitamins C and B6, potassium, manganese, and folate. Plus, it’s low in calories (just 20 per cup!) and has a high water content, so it’s great for hydrating in the summer heat, too.
Try It Now: Zucchini Noodles with Leek-Tomato Sauce

What’s your favorite superfood? Share with us in the comments below, or start a conversation in our Greatist #foodlover community forum!