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Organic Canteen - Ojus Ayurveda Hospital and Research Centre

Organic Canteen

The Importance of Organic Foods

Adopting an organic lifestyle helps to enhance the health of ecosystems and organisms. It is generally agreed upon by its supporters that growing and eating organic food is better for the environment. Growing foods organically excludes, when possible, the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators and additives to livestock feed. Organic farmers usually rely on crop rotation and animal manures to maintain soil productivity, to supply nutrients, and to control weeds, insects and other pests.

As a result, in addition to reducing your exposure to harmful pesticides, eating organically may also reduce your exposure to hormones, antibiotics and potentially harmful irradiated foods. Less antibiotic use may help to avoid the development of antibiotic resistance.

The Organic Seal of Approval guarantees the consumer that there has been no use of genetically modified crops or sewage sludge as fertilizer, helping to reduce toxic runoff into rivers and lakes and the subsequent contamination of watersheds and drinking water.

When you eat organically grown food, you may also be supporting small, local farmers who are able to use less energy in transporting food from the field to the table.

Organic beef, chicken and poultry are raised on 100% organic feed and never given antibiotics or hormones; in addition, their meat is never irradiated. Organic milk and eggs come from animals not given antibiotics or hormones and fed 100% organic feed for the previous 12 months. (Free range eggs come from hens that are allowed to roam, but they are not guaranteed to be organic.)

Several studies at the University of Washington support the claim that organic diets can dramatically reduce pesticide exposure. One such study in 2001 compared pesticide metabolite levels in 18 children who got at least 75% of their juice and produce servings from organic sources with those in 21 children who got at least 75% of their juice and produce from conventionally grown food. Levels of organophosphorus pesticide metabolites in the urine collected were six to nine times higher in the children who ate conventionally grown foods than in those who ate organic diets.

There has been much controversy regarding the enhanced nutritional benefits of organic foods. Another study showed that it may be more nutritious to eat organically. In 2001, the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reported a study showing that, on average, organic crops contain 86% more chromium, 29% more magnesium, 27% more vitamin C, 21% more iron, 26% more calcium, 42% more manganese, 498% more iodine and 372% more selenium. Significantly fewer nitrates were also found in the organic foods. Resulting from nitrogen-based fertilizers, high nitrates in food and drinking water can be converted to potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines.

The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry published a peer-reviewed article in 2003, reporting that organically grown corn, strawberries and Marion berries have significantly higher levels of anti-cancer antioxidants than non-organically grown foods. Protective compounds, such as flavonoids, are produced by plants to act as their natural defense in response to stresses, such as insects or other competitive plants. The report suggested that good soil nutrition seems to increase the amount of these protective compounds, while pesticides and herbicides disturb their production.

The following information shows which foods it is most important to eat organically, and those that are of less concern. The foods listed that should be organic often have high pesticide residues on their peels or skins.

In addition, if you eat meat, it is important to choose USDA Organic meat; if possible, you should also choose grass-fed meats. Remember that free range does not mean a product is organic.

The Dirty Dozen – Only Buy if Organic

  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Bell Peppers (green and red)
  • Spinach
  • Cherries grown in the United States
  • Cantaloupe grown in Mexico
  • Celery
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Green Beans
  • Grapes grown in Chile
  • Cucumbers

Ok to Buy Non-Organic

  • Avocado
  • Corn
  • Onions
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Grapes grown in the United States
  • Bananas
  • Plums
  • Green Onions
  • Watermelon
  • Broccoli

Organic Ojus

Diet regimen has an important role in ayurvedic treatment, more important in panchakarma treatment. Ayurveda not only elaborates the importance of naturally grown foods but also explains the harms caused due to unhealthy foods. So we have paid our sincere attention in providing organic foods to the patients as well as the visitors of the patients.