The answer is no. It is possible to eat healthy, organic food if you live on a fixed income or below the poverty line. However, it may be possible, but it is not easy. It will take a lot of research and work from you, the consumer, to truly understand the food you are purchasing and seek out the best places to purchase. Let us explain.
The benchmark for most people when buying organic food is the “USDA Certified Organic” logo. This logo appears on commercially mass produced food items that have met the USDA’s certification requirements and have been deemed “organic”. The problem with the USDA is that their organic classification is process-based meaning there is no end product testing for GMOs, chemicals or other contaminants unless there is reason for the USDA agent to suspect contamination. Many of these commercial companies producing organic food do not truly care about organics; they only care about fitting within the word of the law that certifies them organic for the sake of profit. Unfortunately many of these products are not truly organic, and are just products produced by good paper pushers.
Our suggestions to get around the organic quality issue as well as eating organic on a budget is to do your research, eat local, buy in bulk and cook everything from scratch. By finding someone local who is growing and selling their food to the public, you can tour the facility and find out what he/she uses for pest control and fertilizer. Although this food may not be USDA Certified organic, if true organic practices are used to produce it, then it’s probably higher quality and closer to true organic than the certified food you’d buy in the store. As well, locally grown food is often cheaper, especially compared to expensive store bought organics.
Buying food in bulk is also often cheaper than buying single servings at a time, so try buying and cooking larger quantities,
The old adage “an apple a day keeps the Dr. away” may be more accurate than you think. More specifically, it seems that fresh apple juice three times a week can greatly decrease the chance of Alzheimer’s disease from occurring, and can help improve heart health.
In a 10 year study examining apples’ affects on brain health, Dr. Thomas Shea, a neurobiologist at the University of Massachusetts, produced positive findings in lab tests with mice for years before moving on to a human clinical trial. In the human trial, he simply gave twenty-one Alzheimer’s patients from ages 72 to 93 four ounces of apple juice twice daily for thirty days.
Dr. Shea recorded noticeable improvements in the memory of his subjects as well as the negative emotional moods normally associated with AD victims and concluded that by drinking apple juice only three times per week, your chances of developing Alzheimer's could be reduced by up to 75%.
On top of this, other benefits have been seen as well. A study by Dr. Bahram Arjmandi at Florida State University showed that a heavy diet of apples reduced LDL in women aged 45-65 by 23% in six months and helped them lose an average of 3.5 pounds. In other studies done on animals, show evidence that apples help protect the heart, contain anti-inflammatory properties, and increase lipid metabolism.
Overall there is quite a bit of evidence emerging that apples provide more for your health than just a tasty treat, but before you just start eating a bunch of apples, we have a few suggestions:
If you wish to purchase apples in juice form stay away from store bought pasteurized apple juice; these tend to be full of sugar and the pasteurization process destroys enzyme activity which may be important in the apple’s healing power. Purchase organic, raw, unfiltered apple juice instead.
What might be better than purchasing apple juice is to juice the app
You may not realize this but the US federal government pays out billions of dollars every year to farmers to encourage the growing of particular crops. Something else you may not realize is how drastically this subsidization affects which foods end up in your diet. Here are the top 9 foods the US government most heavily subsidizes and are therefore paying for you to eat:
Corn is easily the most subsidized of all. Between 1995 and 2010, $77.1 billion was given to corn farmers within the US. Does this mean we can all enjoy more delicious corn on the cob? No, it does not. In fact, the majority of the corn produced isn’t even edible. It’s grown and genetically modified strictly for the purpose of being processed into food additives such as high fructose corn syrup; a mercury containing, cancer causing ingredient that has nearly replaced sugar in many products like cereal, beverages and ketchup. As well, corn is processed into cornstarch, corn gluten meal, hydrolyzed corn protein, and corn syrup, which can all be found in cookies and other snack foods. Lastly, corn is heavily subsidized with the intention of being used as animal feed to prompt weight gain before slaughter. The problem is that the digestive tract of these slaughter animals is designed to break down grass, not corn, making the animals sick and prompting the use of heavy antibiotics just to keep them alive.
When most people think of honey, the image of a delicious, sweet, golden colored treat probably comes to mind. What would you do if we told you that delicious, sweet honey is actually a health food? That’s right, honey is incredibly healthy for you. Those bees really know what they’re doing.
How Is Honey Made?
The honey making process begins when the bees fly from flower to flower, collecting nectar with their long tubelike tongues. Nectar is made up of approximately 80% water and some complex sugars. Honeybees store this nectar in one of their two stomachs, which is specially designed to hold the nectar. These “honey stomachs” hold almost 70mg of nectar and when filled weigh as much as the bee itself. In order to fill the honey stomach, a bee must visit between 100 and 1500 flowers depending on how much nectar is contained in each. Now we know why they say “as busy as a bee”.
Once the bee’s honey stomach is full it flies back to the hive where worker bees suck the nectar out of the honeybee’s stomach and “chews” on it for about half an hour. What the worker bee is actually doing in this time is mixing the nectar with special enzymes contained in it’s mouth which break down the nectar’s complex sugars into simple sugars so that it is both more digestible for the bees and less likely to be attacked by bacteria while it is stored within the hive. After being broken down in the worker bee’s mouths, the nectar is basically honey. The bees then deposit it into the cells of the hive's walls and thicken it by fanning it with their wings to reduce its moisture content and making it ready for consumption. When the bees are satisfied with the liquid’s viscosity, they seal off the cell with a plug of wax to store the honey until it is eaten.
Fructose, a sugar naturally found in fruit, has been extracted, concentrated and has become America’s sweetener of choice in many processed foods we consume every day. Generally found in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, this sweetener contains mercury, a known carcinogen, and may actually feed cancer cells after being metabolized by the liver.
In a recent study, the link between refined sugar and cancer was examined. The results add to the growing evidence and reports of many health experts stating that excess sugar consumption contributes to the development of cancer. According to the researchers, fructose consumption directly contributes to the development of cancer and other health problems by damaging DNA, producing inflammation, altering cellular metabolism, and increasing free radical production.
According to the Cancer Center director at Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Lewis Cantley, as much as 80 percent of all cancers are “driven by either mutations or environmental factors that work to enhance or mimic the effect of insulin on the incipient tumor cells” (the insulin feeds the cancer cells the sugars they feed on).
Similarly, a study published in the journal Cancer Research states that metabolized fructose stimulates cell growth. The researchers of this paper tested their theory on pancreatic cancer cells, pancreatic cancer being widely thought of as the most deadly form of cancer, and showed that not only do tumor cells feed on sugar, but that the tumor cells actually used fructose for cell division in order to speed up the growth and spread of the cancer. The introduction of fructose actually caused a rapid increase in tumor cell growth and proliferation, far beyond that of regular glucose.
In our society today cancer rates continue to rise, and its no wonder when we consider that North Americans consume these cancer fueling sugars so often that for many, high