Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

On Nutrition: Clarifying organic terminology

By Barbara Quinn



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Definitions are important, I was reminded after receiving a letter from the Public Affairs Office of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in response to a recent column on food labeling.

"There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about USDA organic that I'd be happy to clarify for you," Kim Soo graciously wrote. "For example, we don't make the distinction between 'organic' and 'certified USDA organic.' When it comes to agricultural products, all organic certification is done by the USDA."

"As such," the letter continued, "there are 3 distinct organic levels based on product composition:

"100 percent organic." must contain 100 percent organically produced ingredients; "Organic" must contain at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients. Any remaining product ingredients must be organically produced (unless not commercially available in organic form), or must be listed as "allowed" according to the "National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances;" "Made with organic (specified ingredients or food groups)" is for agricultural products with multiple ingredients. At least 70 percent must be organically produced and handled according to the organic standards of the National Organic Program (NOP). And no ingredients may be produced using prohibited practices such as genetic engineering, sewage sludge, or radiation.

These definitions, by the way, are based on "weight or fluid volume, excluding water and salt," according to the USDA.

I stand duly corrected. And not surprised that "organic" is not easily defined. Such as this statement from USDA Deputy Administrator Miles McEvoy: "In general, synthetic substances are prohibited unless specifically allowed; non-synthetic substances are allowed unless specifically prohibited."

OK then. So I promise go to the "source" for clarification on organic food issues…USDA's "National Organic Program" (NOP) (http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop). This is where "organic" is defined as an agricultural product that "has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used."

And that organic food can be identified with the USDA organic seal which indicates that the product has 95 percent or more organic content.

Besides organic food labels, USDA also regulates the use of voluntary terms that a producer of eggs, poultry or meat may use:

"Free-range" on a label means a flock (as in poultry) "was provided shelter in a building, room, or area with unlimited access to food, fresh water, and continuous access to the outdoors during their production cycle. The outdoor area may or may not be fenced and/or covered. "

"Cage-free" indicates that the flock was able to freely roam a building, room, or enclosed area with unlimited access to food and fresh water during their production cycle.

"Natural" only pertains to meat, poultry, and egg products that are minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients, says the USDA. "There are no standards or regulations for the labeling of natural food products if they do not contain meat or eggs."

"Grass-fed" means an animal receives a majority of its nutrients from grass throughout life. Use of the "grass-fed" label does not restrict the use of antibiotics, hormones or pesticides, says the USDA.

"Organic" animals may eat pasture grass as well as grain. And some meat products that meet both criteria may labeled "grass-fed organic."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.



Previously:


Facts about type 1 diabetes

Myths and facts about diabetes
Food Still Better Than Supplements
Celiac questions


© 2011, The Monterey County Herald Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles