What Does "Organic" Mean?

Organic foods

What Does "Organic" Mean?

You see the word "organic" thrown around a lot these days. Everywhere you look, foods are being touted as being organic, which usually equates to a significant increase in the price of the food. While most people know the term "organic" refers to fruits and vegetables that were grown and brought to market without use of harmful chemicals like herbicides and pesticides, they know little else about organic foods.

The simple definition of organic food is that it's food produced naturally, without use of the following items:

  • Pesticides.
  • Synthetic chemicals.
  • Synthetic fertilizers.
  • Antibiotics.
  • Growth hormones.
  • Sewage sludge.
  • Genetically modified ingredients.
  • Ionizing radiation.

Organic farms have to be inspected and certified by a government agent before they're allowed to label their foods as organic. Companies that process organic foods also have to be certified in order to ensure the food is being handled and/or processed in a manner that qualifies as organic.

Labeling of Organic Foods

There's something you need to know about foods that are labeled as being organic. The word "organic" being on the box of a food item doesn't always equate to the food being completely organic. The USDA allows for three different methods of labeling organic foods, all of which may lead consumers to believe they're buying fully-organic foods when they're actually only getting some organic ingredients.

Read more: What Does "Organic" Mean?

5 Foods that Are Killing Your Diet

 

Working hard in the gym all week and then stepping on the scale to find you gained a couple pounds has to rank amongst the most frustrating things in the fitness world. It's right up there with choosing a workout routine only to get to the gym to find all of the machines you planned on using are taken or realizing you forgot your protein powder after you've just finished an intense workout and are craving it.

Here's the deal. Even if you literally work your ass off in the gym (or wherever it is you work out), your diet could be seriously hampering your weight loss (and muscle gain) efforts. The following 5 foods are foods that are killing your diet if you're eating them regularly.

Energy Drinks

Are you the type of person who needs a Rockstar in the morning to get your day started right? Or maybe you need a RedBull in the afternoon to help you make it through to 5 o'clock?

This alone could be hampering your weight loss efforts. An 8-ounce serving of RedBull contains 115 calories, while a 16-ounce can of Rockstar contains a whopping 280 calories. If you drink 1 Rockstar a day, you're adding nearly 2,000 worthless calories to your diet per week. Along with the calories, you're getting a super-dose of sugar. A single can of Rockstar has upwards of 60 grams of sugar. Redbull is marginally better at just over 50 grams.

Read more: 5 Foods that Are Killing Your Diet

Recipe: Baked Protein Peaches

 

I lift weights. A lot. Some might say it's an addiction. I say it's a way of life. 

I started my bodybuilding journey as a casual lifter. I worked out 2 to 3 times a week, lost a little bit of weight and managed to build a little muscle. I lifted casually for a full year before I decided to step my game up and got serious about getting fit. 

The gym became my new best friend. It was there for me through thick and thin. When life was good, I hit the gym to celebrate. When life threw me a curve ball, I hit the gym to drown my sorrows in heavy lifting and protein shakes. No matter how I felt. No matter the weather. Rain or shine. Sleet or snow. I somehow managed to hit the gym.

I thought more lifting would equate to more muscle, but no matter what I did, six-pack abs and rippling muscles remained just out of reach. I was toned, but could never quite get the results I was looking for.

A good friend gave me a bit of advice that's stuck with me ever since and has been the key to unlocking the results that always seemed just out of reach. Here's what she said:

"Abs are built in the kitchen. It doesn't matter how much exercise you do in the gym, if you aren't eating right, your abs will remain out of sight."

Read more: Recipe: Baked Protein Peaches

What's In Your Food pt. 1: Silicon Dioxide (a.k.a. Sand)

 

NOTE: This is the first part in a planned series of articles discussing the disgusting and/or potentially harmful compounds that are intentionally being added to food by manufacturers who care for little else than their bottom line. At the end of each article, a rating as to the perceived danger level and the gross-out factor will be provided using a scale of 1 to 10, with one being the low end of the scale and 10 being the high-end.

What Is Silicon Dioxide?

Silicon is the most abundant mineral found in the Earth's crust. The next time you're at the beach, take a look at all of the sand and bask in the knowledge that silicon dioxide, a form of silicon, is one of the main chemical components of sand. It's also found in glass, plaster, ceiling tiles, cement, fiberglass, cosmetics, toothpaste, adhesives, paints and pesticides.

Read more: What's In Your Food pt. 1: Silicon Dioxide (a.k.a. Sand)

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