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Definitions Used by KidsOrganics.Com.



Artificial Colors
Artificial Colors, Artificial Flavorings, and Artificial Fragrances are derived from petroleum and coal-tar.
Artificial colors are added to foods to make them look more appealing, however, they contribute nothing nutritionally. In fact, artificial colorings and artificial flavorings may contribute to hyperactivity in children.
The following is a list of artificial colorings, still on the market, which may be unsafe.
Blue No.2. Industry studies have shown an increase in brain tumors among rats fed this additive, which is used in baked goods, cereals, snack foods, ice cream, confections, cherries, pet foods, and beverage powders.

Citrus Red No. 2. This is restricted to coloring the skins of oranges sold in produce departments, and has induced cancer in animals.

Red No. 40. Any artificially colored red, orange, brown, or purple food is likely to contain Red 40. Specific uses are gelatins, puddings, dairy products, confections, beverages and condiments. Research reveals that Red 40 may cause tumors in the lymph glands.

Red No. 3. Some evidence exists that this additive may be harmful, but clear evidence is lacking. It has shown adverse effects on blood and may also cause mutation of the genes. Its use in now banned in cosmetics. It is used in cherries in fruit cocktail and in canned fruits for salads, confections, baked goods, dairy products and snack foods.

Yellow No. 5. This additive has been found to cause allergic reactions. As of July 1, 1982, manufacturers are required to list this additive on labels of foods that contain it. It is used mainly in candy, desserts, cereals, and dairy products. Foods that contain Yellow No. 5 are custards, beverages, ice cream, confections, preserves and cereals.

Blue No. 1, Green No. 3, and Yellow No. 6. No evidence of hazard has been found in these last three additives. However, they may cause an allergic reaction, and products containing them may be required to be labeled in the future.

Artificial Preservatives
Designed to increase shelf life of products. Some well known artificial preservatives are: BHT, nitrates, sulfites, sulfur dioxide, BHA, etc. Many artificial preservatives are incriminated for their potential to become carcinogenic, increase hypertension, and provoke allergies.
BPA
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is an industrial chemical used to line food cans, children's juice cartons, make plastic cling wrap, dental sealants, non-breakable plastic water bottles, etc.

There are some serious questions as to how BPA affects hormones as it is easily leached into our food and water.

BPA is considered a xenoestrogen, meaning a substance that adversely affects the estrogen in our bodies.

Other xenoestrogens include:
    The dangerous DDT,
    "PCB"'s,
    Polyvinyl chloride or "PVC" which comprise the plastic in baby bottles, baby teethers, etc.
    Phthalates--(Again, soft plastics),
    and Perchloroethylene--(Used in dry cleaning).
See Dangers of Plastics for more on BPA, PVC and phthalates.
Certified Organic
In order to be certified, an independent testing company tests a grower's or manufacturers product.

In order to be "certified organic", products must have been grown and processed according to organic standards (federal definition) and must maintain a high level of quality.
To be certified as 100% organic, a product or crop must not have been grown with pesticides, utilized genetic modification, used human sludge as fertilizer, or have been irradiated.

A crop has had to rely on the health and richness of the soil for its growth. The richer the soil, the more enzymes a crop has. Since this is the case, growers, with integrity and time, make every effort to maximize soil fertility using natural systems like crop rotation, fallow fields, and bug-eating animals (ducks in the rice fields, for example), and composing.

To be organic means not only growing crops without the use of chemicals, but also applying natural, even sophisticated, agricultural techniques. Certifying companies therefore include inspections of farm fields and processing facilities, keep detailed record keeping, and periodically test soil and water in order to ensure that growers and handlers have met the standards of organic set by the federal government.
Conventionally-Grown
Crops or products grown or produced with the aid of pesticides and "modern" growth aides.

Conventional farming is dependent on chemicals to raise disease-free crops. At the moment, the majority of crops grown in the USA, are grown using conventional farming methods.
However, the demand for "cleaner foods" is growing rapidly. Why, organic foods can now even be found in the grocery aisles of Vons, Ralphs and Albertons!

There is good reason for a growing dissatisfaction with conventional crops. USDA data, shows that 73 percent of conventionally grown produce contains at least one pesticide residue.

Conventionally grown crops are six times as likely as organic ones to contain residues of more than one pesticide. Also, the efficacy of pesticide use is dropping--insects are becoming "immune" to the toxins that killed preceding generations, and crop yields are dropping, not rising, as more pesticides are used. Ground water is becoming more polluted, and pesticides linger and accumulate in our livers long after conventionally-grown foods are consumed, or tainted water is drunk.

Ever wonder why there is an increase in auto-immune diseases? Could it possibly be due to the inability of the immune system to rid toxins which pervade our environment?
Free-Trade
Crops that have been bought from the farmers at a competitive and living wage rate. Reinforces the farmer to plant and maintain the earth, decreases the profits to the middle-men. Free trade is fair trade.
Genetically Modified Foods
Foods that have been produced by genetic transfers between species. For example, tomatoes which have been spliced with DNA from moths, or pesticides like "Round Up Ready" by Monstanto which have been manipulated into soybean genes so that the pesticide can never possibly be washed off, and will eventually kill anything that eats it, starting with the smallest living things, such as insects, and ending with...?

The most widely grown GM foods are soybeans, corn, cotton (used for cottonseed oil) and oilseed rape, or canola. Other approved GM foods include chicory, tomato (US and EU), melon, papaya, potato, squash, sugarbeet, rice (US only), salmon, peas, rice, etc.
GMO
Abbreviation for "genetically modified organism".

Genes from other species are transferred by "gene-splicing."

The term refers to any genetic plant (or fish or animal) type that has had a gene, or genes, from different species transferred into its genetic material.

The idealistic goal of GMO producers is to become more productive with their product, that the product be more pest resistant, or to create a "better" and "different" product than that created by previous plant or animal generations. The goal of the sponsors of GMO's are to grow vegetables and fruits that can have a longer life-span, increase profits by decreasing spoilage, increasing yield, etc.
However, long-term studies have not been done on these new crops and animals to ascertain the effect they will have on the environment at large, on the lives of genetically-modified animals, or on the entire biosphere.
The current tests, show that GMO's spread more rapidly than anticipated, contaminate wide-spread areas, greatly affect the biosphere, and, once released into the environment, are difficult to curtail or control, if possible at all.
Foods that have been genetically-modified have been found to negatively affect the organism doing the consuming, including humans.
See Russian study and Canadian study, and well-written article by Jeffrey M. Smith.


Current GMO Crops
Soybeans, Corn, Tomatoes, Potatos, Sugar Beets, Farm-Raised Salmon, Cotton, Wheat, Rice, coffee, onions, Canola, and now, Grass, Peas, Alfalfa, even goats and silk. :(
For updated genetically altered crops, see www.greenpeace.org, www.newscientist.com or www.organicconsumers.org.

GMO crops are more prolific than you may think. Over 80% of all corn and soybean grown in the USA has been genetically-modified.

Growth Hormones
Growth hormones are added to livestock to increase their girth and therefore, price per pound at the time livestock is sold to a meat processing plants, or to increase their milk production.
The most widely used growth hormones are rBST and rBGH (genetically-engineered). Growth hormones have recently gotten a lot of attention, as they are passed from livestock to the consumer. Hence, are children, like the livestock, are larger than their genetic predisposition and are maturing at a much earlier age. To read more on rBGH or rBST, click onto this article by Rachel.org on Dangers of Hormones in Milk. Or, the link between Breast Cancer and Beef Hormones.
Holistic
A global, all-encompassing view of things.
A holistic approach to an illness, would take into account all aspects surrounding the individual, life-style, diet, environment, emotional and spiritual states, etc.

Homeopathic
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, discovered homeopathy over 200 years ago. He coined the phrase "similia similibus curentur" ("let likes be cured with likes").

Homeopathy stimulates the body at an energetic rather than physical level, it is vibrational in action. A homeopathic remedy's effectiveness depends solely on its energetic properties.

Many remedies are so diluted that no molecules of the original substance remain, just the energy "imprint" of the substance. If the energy imprint of the remedy matches the energy profile of the disease, then a cure results. If there is no match, then nothing happens--no cure, no harm and no side effects.

Hydrogenated Fats
Fats created by heating vegetable oils at a high temperatures and dousing them with hydrogen gas to form more stable oils with longer shelf lives. The problem with these "trans fats", are that the body does not recognize them, and therefore cannot readily assimilate them.

Hydrogenated fats increase the risk of coronary disease, decrease HDL (good cholesterol) and increase LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase the potentiality for diabetes, among other disrupting effects like breast, lung and skin cancer. See Atkins Center.com for a lengthier analysis.

Irradiation
Irradiation is exposure to penetrating radiation.

When foods are irradiated, natural digestive enzymes in foods are damaged, or "killed". The foods change molecularly.

Irradiation on fats create free radicals and the fats become rancid. The free radicals combine with existing chemicals (like pesticides) in the food to form new chemicals, unidentifiable by our bodies. Free radical consumption has been incriminated in many cancers.

There have been no long-term studies on the effects of a diet that includes consumption of foods frequently irradiated, or observational studies on infants or children whose diets have consisted on irradiated foods. However, studies on animals fed irradiated foods have shown increased tumors, reproductive failures and kidney damage.

No wonder the kidneys, liver and other excreting organs begin to suffer,-- irradiated foods are considered a toxin by the body.

Irradiated foods at processing plants include meats, vegetables, fruits and juices.

Irradiated foods from your microwave include anything you put into that microwave and heat. Even the molecular structure of water changes when zapped in a microwave.

Irradiated foods have just been approved to be fed as lunch to our children in schools by the FDA and USDA.

Natural
A basic food or product source. Straight from Nature. Unmodified. Not synthetically produced.

Organic
That which is considered organic, has varied from state to state and producer to producer. The toughest definition of organic has come from the state of California. When a grower or processor claims that its' product is organic "According the the California Foods Act of 1990", that grower/processor is claiming that there were no:
    Pesticides or fertilizers used in their products--the earth was tended to in a natural and beneficial manner.
    No transgenic ingredients, or ingredients where genes were transferred across species, were used. (aka, No GMO's!)
    No irradiation was used.
    No processed human sewage/sludge was used as fertilizer.

However, as of October 21, 2002, there is a federal standard for what a producer can call "organic".

A meat or dairy product must not have been fed any growth hormones, antibiotics, have had any pesticides in their food, or have been fed meat by-products. A crop may not have been grown with pesticides, synthetic chemicals, biotechnology-augmentation (aka GMO!), sewage sludge or have undergone irradiation.

According to the Federal guidelines, labels on products will be acceptable using the following criteria:
    Foods labeled "100-percent organic" must contain only organically produced raw or processed products.

    Foods labeled as "organic" must be at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt).

    Foods that contain 50-95 percent organic ingredients can use the phrase "made with organic (specific ingredients)" and list up to three such ingredients on the main label.

    Foods that contain less than 50 percent organic ingredients can not use the word "organic" on the main label, only on a side label that lists all ingredients.
We do not know how this will play out once the requirements take place. However, we highly recommend your reading the entire ingredients on a product before purchase, regardless of what that front label may say. And avoid non-organic products and by-products of the crops listed under GMO above, until someone can prove that they will not harm us or our environment in the long-run.
rBST
Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin (rbST) is a genetically engineered, synthetic bovine hormone created through (rDNA) technology.
rBST/rBGH is given to cows to increase their girth and milk producing abilities. rBST/rBGH, has an extra amino acid (methionine) added to its' DNA chain.
These growth hormones, (rBST and rBGH), appear to pass through into the cow's milk, and into the end-consumer of the milk.
So, it looks like we too are getting growth hormones. :(
Shade-Grown
Refers to crops grown under a canopy of trees, such as trees in the rainforest. Under the canopy of trees, coffee plants grow beautifully, as well as many beneficial herbs. Promotes maintaining rainforest, instead of logging it all down and hastening desertification and global warming of Earth.
Surfactants
There are three primary types of surfactants, cationic, anionic, or non-ionic.

Anionic surfactants are used as active ingredents in products like hair shampoo, hand dish washing liquids, toothpastes, washing powders and flakes. Anionic surfactants may cause skin irritation, skin ailments, and damage to developing eyes. An example of an anionic surfactant is
sodium lauryl sulfate.

Cationic surfactants are anti-bacteria agents. They are found in disinfectants, antiseptics, germicides and sanitizer products. Cationic surfactants are toxic substances and may cause corrosive burns of the mouth and throat if ingested.

Non-ionic surfactants are generally regarded as non- toxic. Non-ionic surfactants (NIS) are composed of alcohols and fatty acids.

There is some concern about the biodegradability of anionic and cationic surfactants, and they role they may play in the disruption of aquatic ecosystems.

Wild-Crafted
Gathered straight from Nature in its original state. Not grown in a garden, or under controlled conditions, such as those found on a farm.

It is thought that wild-crafted botanicals have a higher energetic frequency than garden-grown botanicals, as they have not been coddled or cloistered, segregated or tended.


old book


Question Genetically-Modified Foods
and crops.

Know what you plant.
Know what you eat.