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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Organic vs. Natural: Understand the Difference, Educate Others

These past few days have been heaven for college football junkies such as myself. Why?

We got to watch a ton of great bowl games and the best is yet to come — January 10th when Auburn and Oregon play for the National BCS Championship. Then, a few months later comes March Madness, the college basketball championship tournament.

Now that I got the sports plug in, let’s talk about Organic vs. Natural.

I am addressing this now because when I was watching the Rose Bowl game yesterday (TCU vs. Wisconsin), a major potato-chip manufacturer kept popping up with its “all-natural” ads. The vegetables in the ads looked pristine, the kitchen was sparkling white and the cutting board was beautiful. It was about as picturesque and healthy-looking as you can imagine.

And, they kept saying their potato chips were “all-natural”.

According to the USDA’s website, this is what “natural” means.

As required by USDA, meat, poultry, and egg products labeled as “natural” must be minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients. However, the natural label does not include any standards regarding farm practices and only applies to processing of meat and egg products. There are no standards or regulations for the labeling of natural food products if they do not contain meat or eggs.

Did you read that last sentence? There are no standards or regulations for the labeling of natural food products if they do not contain meat or eggs.

As a result, “natural” has been badly abused as a marketing technique, and tons of companies have used genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), synthetic chemicals, and growth hormones in the production of their “natural” foods.

Since the government has been unwilling to enforce any type of standard for the term “natural”, class action lawyers have gotten involved and filed lawsuits against corporations such as Pepsi (Naked Juice) and Kashi who have used ingredients that are anything but natural.

What to do?

Avoid buying products labeled as “natural” and purchase “organic” products.

Organic food has very strict standards — no GMOs, no toxic pesticides or chemicals, nothing artificial, nothing can be irradiated or grown in sewage sludge — and the certification process is rigorous. Organic food is MUCH healthier for a person and for the planet.

So, the next time some person or some advertisement says that a food product is “natural”, now you know what the word really means. Or, doesn’t mean.

A message from Tradin Organic

Why Tradin Organic is Prioritizing Regenerative Organic Farming

At Tradin Organic, we believe that regenerative organic farming is key to growing healthy and nutritious food ingredients — for now and for future generations.

And in Sierra Leone, we have grown the world’s first Regenerative Organic Certified cacao.

Learn more.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Another Reason to Eat Organic — The Water Supply in the Midwest is Becoming a Serious Health Risk

I got a comment from someone the other day who said “Why should we care about GMOs (genetically-modified organisms)? Let them grow what they want. It doesn’t impact the people who eat organic.”

Unfortunately, this individual could not have been more wrong.

GMOs impact everyone, including people who eat 100% organic, and a recent study from the Pesticide Action Network confirms this.

Water sampling results from communities across four Midwestern states — Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota — indicate Atrazine is present in drinking water at levels well above those linked to birth defects and low birth weight.

WHAT IS ATRAZINE AND WHY YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IT

Present in 94% of our water supply, Atrazine is a toxic weed killer and 76 million pounds of it is dumped onto our farms each year, mostly for corn.

And the health effects of Atrazine?

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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

Organic Restaurants – A Very Important Question To Ask

I get asked all of the time by people “how do I know that the food that I am eating is organic?”

Well, when we buy food in the supermarket, there is an organic certification process managed by the USDA. Those organic food products have the organic seal.

Yet, what do we do when we go to restaurants?

While there are very few restaurants that have actually been certified organic (there used to be one in NYC called Gustorganics), most of them are not.

In this video, I share with you the one question that I always ask when I go to a new organic restaurant. The answer gives me a good idea about how serious they are about organic.

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Want to Learn More About the Vegan Ketogenic Diet? If So, You’ll Definitely Want This Book

Everywhere you turn these days, you’ll find news and stories about the ketogenic diet.

This low-carb, high-fat, high-protein diet is helping people lose weight and giving them much needed mental clarity.

However, one of the misconceptions of the keto diet is that animal products are an essential component of it. And for people who only eat plant-based, this can be quite disconcerting.

Along with her co-author Nicole Derseweh, my good friend Whitney Lauritsen — also widely known as the EcoVegan Gal — has just come out with a fantastic book called The Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook, and it is a phenomenal resource for people looking to explore this lifestyle.

Not only does it clear up a lot of the confusion about the keto diet requiring the consumption of animal products, but it provides 75 delicious recipes. And when I was sent an early version of the book, I literally read it cover-to-cover in one sitting. I was that impressed by it.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink