A genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically engineered organism (GEO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques are generally known as recombinant DNA technology. With recombinant DNA technology, DNA molecules from different sources are combined in vitro into one molecule to create a new gene. This DNA is then transferred into an organism and causes the expression of modified or novel traits.

Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods produced from GMO that have had their DNA altered through genetic engineering. GM foods were first put on the market in the early 1990s. The most common modified foods are derived from plants: soybean, corn, canola cotton seed oil and wheat.


Going Organic at the Grocery Store  

In the quest to get the healthiest, most nutritious food to fuel our families, many people want to buy the foods that are healthier and purer by buying food that is organic. These foods are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers or genetically engineered ingredients.

As for the environment, organic farming helps keep the air, soil, and water clean and natural by not using synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Green and organic are both becoming quite universal concepts in this day and age.

The word "organic" refers to the way agricultural products and foods are grown and processed. Organic food production is based upon a farming system that maintains and replenishes the natural soil without the use of toxic pesticides or fertilizers. It's based upon a completely natural way of working with nature and the environment.

By eating organic foods, you limit your exposure to dangerous chemicals, synthetic insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. In addition you also limit your intake of growth hormones and antibiotics, because organic meat and dairy farmers are prohibited from using hormones and antibiotics. Genetically modified foods are also prohibited from carrying the "organic" label.

On October 21, 2002, the U.S.D.A. put into effect the national organic standards ensuring consistency for all organic products marketed in the United States. Along with the new standards, there are strict labeling rules to help the consumer know the exact organic content of the food they see on the shelf. The "USDA Organic" seal helps you find products that contain at least 95 percent certified organic ingredients.

There are four labeling categories to look for when purchasing organic products as a consumer:

"100 percent Organic". All of the product's content is certified to be organic. These products may display the USDA Organic seal on the label.

"Organic". At least 95% of the product's content is certified organic. These products may also display the seal but may contain some minor ingredients that are not certified as organic.

"Made with Organic ingredients". At least 70% of the product's contents are certified Organic.

Products containing less than 70% Organic contents can only identify the organic ingredients on the ingredient listing on the label.

There are a few grocery stores that have been "certified organic". These stores have taken rigorous steps because to be "certified organic" requires extensive research, planning and commitment to the way that the food is transported, stored and sold.

Autor: Karen Lynch Karen Lynch
Level: Platinum
Karen Lynch is a freelance writer and work-at-home mom who is passionate about many different subjects....

Karen Lynch is a freelance writer who is passionate about saving money for her family. She uses Grocery Coupons, sales and rebates to maximize her savings. She shares her tips and techniques at http://www.bestfreegrocerycoupons.com

Added: July 15, 2009
Source: http://ezinearticles.com/


Food and Farms Emerge As a Key Movement of Our Era  

If all politics is personal, as is widely held, then ultimately not much is more political than our food, and the farms which produce it. Everyone must eat, thus everyone has a vested interest in food.

Just now, early in the 21st Century, foods and farms are emerging as a leading-edge political movement. Thousands of college students are awake to the crucial importance of food and farms, and more are awakening.

With food poisoning scares, the ongoing onslaught of genetically modified food products being surreptitiously introduced to our diets, and the mounting evidence of the health and environmental consequences of large-scale, chemically dependent industrial agriculture, the list of reasons is growing for people to become active and take a direct part in ensuring food quality and food supply.

According to a May 23 story in The New York Times, a new wave of students is heading to farms this summer, in search of both work as interns, and social change. The interest in summer farm work among college students has never been as high.

According to the Times, the students come armed with little more than soft hands and dog-eared copies of Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. They are acutely aware of the gross environmental problems caused by mass-scale industrial agriculture; they want to help bring about change, and to know they are doing something to better the world.

Meanwhile, the dietary forces impelling people to recognize foods and farms as a key political issue are mounting in strength and credibility. According to stories in both Time Magazine and Mother Earth News this Spring, we now have solid, scientific evidence that industrial farming is giving us less healthy food. Produce in the U.S. not only tastes worse than it did in our grandparents days, the evidence shows it also contains fewer nutrients.

Both articles cite a February, 2009 study entitled "Declining Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Composition" by Dr. Donald R. Davis published in the journal HortScience, 2009.

Davis reports that the average vegetable found in today's supermarket is anywhere from 5% to 40% lower in minerals than those harvested just 50 years ago.

Because of widely used chemical fertilizers and pesticides, modern crops are harvested faster than ever before. But quick and early harvests mean the produce has less time to absorb nutrients either from synthesis or the soil. Meanwhile, monoculture, another hallmark of the Big Ag industry, has also led to soil-mineral depletion, which, in turn, affects the nutrient content of crops.

What can we do? Follow the examples of the new agrarians of the 21st Century They continue to respond intelligently, creatively, and innovatively in backyards, neighborhoods, and with community gardens and farms across the land.

Changing economic conditions represent yet a third force making it likely many more people will be looking for the practical and political pathways being trailblazed by the new agrarians. For example, a May 24 story in The Hartford Courant told of how in the face of drastically changing economics local growers have begun offering CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares as a survival strategy to keep their farms alive..

CSA describes an emerging agrarian form that has swept the country in 1978, and that is now well established in Connecticut. The number of CSA farms is barely keeping up with demand. As reported elsewhere, CSA farms have increased dramatically in recent years, with more than 13,000 now operating in the USA according to a census taken by the US Department of Agriculture.

We can expect to see more in the times ahead as, of necessity, food and farms come to the forefront of public awareness.

Autor: Steven McFadden Steven McFadden
Level: Basic
Steven McFadden has been an independent journalist for over 30 years. He has authored hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles and 8 nonfiction books, including ... ...

Journalist Steven McFadden is the author of hundreds of articles, and 8 nonfiction books including "Farms of Tomorrow" and "Odyssey of the 8th Fire." His work is available at http://www.thecalloftheland.com

Added: July 14, 2009
Source: http://ezinearticles.com/


The Simple Gardening Essentials Nobody Ever Talks About  

Out of the thousands of gardening books, magazines, articles, and websites out there, very few even mention the fundamental elements of growing food. Once you find out what these steps are, you'll realize gardening is easier than you first thought.

There are only a handful of essential things you need to know to be able to grow food in any climate with any soil. Gardening "experts" like to make people think gardening takes years of study to be able to do.

The truth is, the only ingredients you need for a producing garden are good seeds, soil, fertilizer, and water.

Let's start with seeds. The seeds you use don't necessarily need to be heirloom or organic but they must not be genetically modified. It's getting harder to tell which seeds are genetically modified and that's why gardeners are migrating to only organic seeds. One way you can tell if they are GMO seeds is by looking on the back of the seed packet to see if there is a patent number. Lots of seeds you can buy in the super stores like Walmart have a patent number on the back of the seeds packets.

The next important factor is the soil. Soil ranges from sandy to loam to clay. Sandy soil allows water to drain quickly, so plants need to be watered sometimes 10-20 times a day. Clay soil does not drain very well, so standing water around plants can cause disease and root rot. But there is an easy remedy for all soils...


And compost is easy make. It's not cost effective to buy compost at the store but you're in luck, it's easy to make your own. All you need to do is call your local horse or cow ranches to see which ones discard the manure. Once you've transported the manure back to your property, shovel it into a large pile and wet thoroughly with a sprinkler. This will start the process of composting the manure and facilitating beneficial bacteria growth. After one week, turn the compost pile so that the outside is now on the inside, wet with a sprinkler and wait another week.

Using an organic fertilizer that does not harm the soil is important. And you're in luck. All you need to do to make your own fertilizer is fill a plastic bin a third full of compost, fill two thirds with water, and let sit for a day or two.

Supplying the garden with water is important. When a plant shows signs of withering, it's growth has already been stunted. The two easiest ways to water a garden are: (1) with a rubber garden hose and an impulse sprinkler on a stand, and (2) with a drip system. Which ever method you choose, remember to water deeply every couple of days.

Now that you know the essentials for a producing garden, you can start your own.

Autor: Will Randolph Will Randolph
Level: Platinum
Will Randolph is a healthy lifestyle advocate. He runs a health blog called Republic of Health, where he fights for the sovereignty of our immune ... ...

...now that you are more informed, do you want to learn how to make $1000's a day in passive income? To learn how Click Here and change your life today.

Added: July 12, 2009
Source: http://ezinearticles.com/


Why Light Ice Cream is Not a Healthier Choice  

Foods like light ice cream are just one of the many reasons our bodies are so unhealthy.

These frozen sweet treats may claim to have less fat or fewer calories, but most of the time they are really hiding the truth. And even if they're living up to parts of their claim, most likely the taste won't be what you're expecting.

Most companies who claim to have a better version of the stuff just can't live up to its name no matter what the ingredients may be. The main reason why companies are trying to make a healthier version of this treat is because of its fat content. Simply put, fat is not good for you. And because practically everything we eat has some form of fat in it, we're getting fatter with each and every bite. So companies try to mimic the real stuff. Yet, the results are disastrous.

Because it's very difficult to make a lighter version that tastes just as creamy, companies must use unnatural ingredients like mono and diglycerides. They use artificial sweeteners, dyes and other synthetic ingredients to try and cover the bland taste. And to make the product even creamier, they have now resorted to using genetically modified ingredients like protein cloned from a fish, which is approved by the FDA.

If that doesn't make you stop and think, many lighter ice creams have as much as 85 grams of sodium, 20 grams of cholesterol, 22 grams of carbohydrates and 150 calories per cup. That's pretty scary if you're concerned about heart disease and diabetes.

If you really must have a frozen sweet treat, why not try frozen fruit? If it's the creamy texture you crave, look for your favorite dessert that uses soy milk rather than dairy. And be sure to enjoy it in moderation. One serving should be about cup. If you're dishing out more than that, you better be adding more exercise to your lifestyle as well. Keep things simple and eat naturally, and your body will thank you for it.

Autor: Harold M Stokes Harold M Stokes
Level: Platinum
Harold M (Mike) Stokes is living the "Jimmy Buffet" lifestyle after a few years of setting up Internet Marketing systems. Stokes Media LLC is the ... ...

Harold M Stokes is an expert on eating healthy, living healthy and natural vitamin supplements such as can be found at http://www.seaaloes.com/. SeaAloe is a natural whole food nutritional supplement containing over 80 nutrients. SeaAloe is the original Seasilver formula.

Added: July 10, 2009
Source: http://ezinearticles.com/