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Blog for Monday, March 21, 2016

Good evening folks! Hope you're having a great weekend. In today's blog, we'll look at why one man doesn't buy organic vegetables, the health benefits of kimchi, nutrition advice for athletes, and more! First up, this author doesn't buy organic vegetables, in fact he specifically avoids buying them. He lists 3 primary reasons,
  1. Informed confidence that we are safe buying “conventional” foods
  2. Recognizing that some of the best farming practices from an environmental perspective are not always allowed or practical under the organic rules
  3. An ethical problem with the tactics that some organic advocates and marketers employ which seriously misrepresents their “conventional” competition                         

While there are many organic producers who have very good intentions, the word "organic" like many other well-intentioned "buzzwords" is sometimes reduced to a mere marketing ploy. (Gluten-free also comes to mind!) Another intesting point the author makes is that "organic" farmers can only use pesticides that are considered "natural". Sounds good, right? He rightly points out that that is not much of a safety measure since some of the most toxic substances known are "natural". The next article looks at a talk a nutritionist gave to athletes at the University of Minnesota. There were a couple of good points made, as she stressed the importance of carbohydrates to athletes, as they allow the body to produce glycogen, an important energy source for the muscles to make it through a workout. She also stressed a food group that many diets downplay, carbohydrates. While those among us who are less active may need to cut back on our carbohydrate intake, for athletes carbs can be very important! Next up,  this article looks at how to fix "food deserts". A food desert is an area where it's difficult to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, and is defined as an urban area where 50% of the population lives more than a mile from a grocery store, or, in rural areas, 10 miles or more. The problem is more than just proximity, however. Even with access to fruits and vegetables, if a person doesn't have time to prepare them, they're more likely to go with the easier to prepare, processed foods. Another problem is the growth of gas stations accepting SNAP(formerly known as food stamps). Given that gas stations almost exclusively offer processed foods, this trend is troublesome. More stringent guidelines for how SNAP is used could help, as well as the growth of programs like HelloFresh, a meal-delivery service for those with limited transportation. Lastly, this article tells us about another "superfood", kimchi! It's a traditional Korean dish, made by fermenting vegetables, then seasoning them with spices. Cabbage is often used, but sometimes cucumbers, scallions, and radishes are used as well. The result is a side dish packed with probiotics(similar to yogurt), in addition to fiber,anti-inflammatory properties, and cholestrol- reducing properties! The one downside is that kimchi is high in sodium, so don't absolutely overdo it. Hope there was something here today that you found informative! I'll blog at you later. Be healthy, my friends!

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