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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Food & Water Watch Unveils its New Smart Seafood Guide and “Dirty Dozen of Fish”

If you are looking for organic fish in the U.S., you will not find it. Why?

Because there is no such a thing as USDA certified organic fish, as national organic standards for fish have not yet been approved.

That being said, some fish are certainly better to eat than others, and Food & Water Watch recently released its Smart Seafood Guide.

The Smart Seafood Guide gives an excellent analysis of over 100 different fish, provides regional guides, and offers helpful suggestions so that consumers can make the healthiest and most sustainable choices possible.

Food & Water Watch uses five major criteria when it comes to recommending seafood:

– Contaminants

– Status of the Stock

– Catch Method or Farming Method

– Economic/Cultural/Social Significance

– Key Species

THE DIRTY DOZEN OF FISH

Similar to what the Environmental Working Group does with the Dirty Dozen of fruits and vegetables, the Food & Water Watch has come out with its own Dirty Dozen of Fish – the 12 fish to avoid. These are the fish that have failed at least two of the criteria for safe and sustainable seafood.

1. Atlantic cod

2. Atlantic flatfish, e.g. Atlantic halibut, flounders and sole

3. Caviar, especially from beluga and other wild-caught sturgeon

4. Chilean seabass

5. Eel

6. Farmed salmon, often called “Atlantic salmon.” (Tip: don’t be fooled by “organic” salmon – it’s usually farmed internationally and not certified by U.S. standards.)

7. Imported Basa/Swai/Tra: (Tip: These are often called “catfish” — ask where it is from and check country of origin labels.)

8. Imported farmed shrimp

9. Imported king crab

10. Orange roughy

11. Sharks

12. Tunas, especially Atlantic bluefin (Pacific albacore and Atlantic skipjack are exempted)

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Why Organic Coffee is So Important

A girl I used to know in New York City was so fanatical about recycling that she would literally take empty bottles home from bars because she feared that they would be tossed in the garbage.

I’ll never forget the time when we were out one night and she started filling up her designer handbag with empty beer bottles, which weren’t even hers!  She was that committed to the environment.

Yet, when she drank her coffee each morning, organic coffee was never even a consideration.

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, this didn’t make much sense.  Why?

Because conventionally-grown coffee is incredibly unhealthy for people and the planet.

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A message from Tradin Organic

How Tradin Organic is Helping Coconut Farmers in The Philippines

For more than a decade, Tradin Organic has been working with local partners in The Philippines to bring a diversified range of organic products to the market, such as coconut oil, tropical fruits and even cocoa.

The company is helping to support local farmers by assisting them with technical support and organic certification, in addition to paying Fairtrade premium on top of the organic premium.

Learn more.

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

5 Reasons to Eat Organic Apples

In a previous post, I wrote that milk is the most important organic product that a family can buy.

But milk is by no means the only item that people should be concerned about.

The worst offender on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list are apples.

Forbes magazine recently did an excellent piece talking about five reasons to eat organic apples, and I wanted to share the highlights with you and provide commentary. To read the full article, click here.

Reason #1 – The average conventionally grown apple has more pesticide residue on it than any other fruit or vegetable.

Data from the Environmental Working Group showed that 98% of 700 apples tested had pesticides on them and that 48 different pesticides appeared. WOW!!!!

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Study: Organic Ketchup Has Higher Levels of Antioxidants than Conventional Ketchup

Last year, I wrote about a groundbreaking study from Washington State University that said that organic strawberries have higher antioxidant activity and concentrations of ascorbic acid than conventional strawberries.

This research was the subject of much conversation in the organic industry because now we could point to objective, independent research that validated the superiority of organic.

Well, for those who still don’t believe that organic is a better option, maybe a recently released report from Spain will make them think differently.

In a study performed at the University of Barcelona Science and Technology Centres and reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, ketchup made from organic tomatoes proved to have higher levels of polyphenols than ketchup made from conventional tomatoes. (Polyphenols are biomolecules with antioxidant properties and protective effects in the human body.)

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink