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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Another Reason to Eat Organic — Organic Apples Contain More Diverse, Healthier Bacteria than Conventional

An apple a day will keep the doctor away.

Thanks to a new study, that saying has taken on even more meaning, particularly for organic apples.

In a recently published paper in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, it was found that organic apples contain a more diverse population of beneficial bacteria than conventional apples.

Researchers analyzed the peel, flesh, seeds, and stem of both organically and conventionally grown apples, looking to find how much and what kinds of bacteria were present. While organic and conventional apples contained the same amount of bacteria, there was a big discrepancy in the types of bacteria found.

“Organically managed apples harbor a significantly more diverse, more even and distinct bacterial community compared to conventional ones,” said Professor Gabriele Berg, an author of the research study.

And that diversity could be key to improved health.

Our guts are home to approximately 100 trillion bacteria, and it is widely believed in the medical community that the more numerous and diverse the bacteria in your gut, the stronger your immune system is likely to be.

Healthy, diverse colonies of gut bacteria can help prevent and treat many common diseases, and research on mice has linked improved gut health to protection against some cancers.

Furthermore, many conventionally-grown foods are sprayed with the super-toxic herbicide glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp and a chemical that has been found to disrupt the gut bacteria in honey bees. Not surprisingly, the Frontiers in Microbiology paper showed that conventionally-grown apples contained fewer beneficial strains of bacteria than organic.

Given that diversity is key to gut health, this makes organic apples an even more obvious choice for those looking to improve their well-being.

As a bonus, organic apples were found to contain more of the microbe methylobacterium. Why is this significant?

This is the bacteria that is known to enhance the biosynthesis of strawberry flavor compounds. As such, it could also be one of the reasons why organic apples taste better than conventional.

What this all tells us that it is not just the human gut that thrives on the diversity of healthy bacteria — so does soil, the bedrock of our food system.

That means that organic products — like apples — aren’t just potentially healthier for you, they’re better for the environment, too.

A message from E3Live

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Another Reason to Eat Organic – It is Essential for Managing Climate Change

Ever since I started eating organic food in 2001, people have asked me – why do you eat organic?

The most common answer that I give is that I don’t want to consume toxic pesticides or GMOs. That seems to resonate with people and they can easily understand it.

Over the last few years, however, my answer has evolved.

Of course, I mention the pesticides, but I also talk about how the chemicals used in conventional agriculture ruin our water supply (94% of our water now contains Atrazine) and sicken farm workers (residents in the farming community of Central Valley, CA are forced to drink bottled water because the tap water has become so contaminated from pesticides).

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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

The Mystery Behind Organic Honey

One question has been really bothering me as of late: Is there such a thing as USDA certified organic honey?

Despite the picture you see above, there is good reason for me to have serious doubt.  Here is why.

In the past, I have spoken to numerous local beekeepers and when I asked them if their honey is organic, they have all told me that there is no such thing as USDA certified organic honey.

Yet when I go to the market, I see one or two brands of honey that have the USDA organic seal on the label. Almost all of the honey that has the seal on it comes from Brazil, which has made me wonder whether there is some type of corruption going on with the certification.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Have We Been Misled? 5 Organic Foods That Should Make You Think Twice

I spend an inordinate amount of time learning about the healthiest and newest organic food products available. Through my research at the various trade shows — most notably, Natural Products Expo East and Natural Products Expo West —  talking to industry contacts, roaming supermarket aisles, speaking with as many well-informed food people as I can and reading books, I have come to the following conclusion:

You can take almost any food in the world and some health expert will have something good to say about it while a different health expert will have something bad to say about it.

So, what I do is educate myself as much as I can and then make my own decision about whether I should be eating it or not.

The following five organic foods seem to be the most controversial. While books could be written on all of the foods below and by no means am I covering all of the pros/cons of each, I will try to highlight the most salient points.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink