Here are some recipes that highlight research on particular food types. We’ll cover nutritional benefits of organic ingredients, the importance of avoiding pesticides, and environmental impacts of different food types. We’ll post new recipes every month, so keep an eye out for the latest on food-centric science!
Quinoa is one of the most healthy grains out there (or pseudo-grains, anyway – it’s not actually related to most other grains!). In addition to having high protein content it also can have beneficial effects on blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. One research study found that eating quinoa lowered overall cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL levels in research participants. The authors state that “it can be concluded that the use of quinoa in diet can be considered beneficial in the prevention and treatment of risk factors related to cardiovascular diseases that are among the leading causes of death in today’s globalized world.”Read More
Kamut khorasan wheat is an ancient grain that is full of protein and nutrients, not to mention delicious! Several studies have come out recently comparing kamut to durum wheat, consistently finding that the kamut had health benefits over durum wheat. For example, one study that compared kamut to durum wheat found that kamut had higher protein content, antioxidants, and several other health benefits when compared to durum wheat. Another paper reported that study participants who ate kamut had lower inflammatory profiles and improved blood variables such as lower cholesterol and higher levels of potassium and magnesium.Read More
It’s especially important to buy organic for children, because they are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of exposure to synthetic pesticides. A few years ago a report was issued by the President’s Cancer Panel on ways to entitled “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What we can Do Now”, going over ways to reduce environmental exposure to carcinogens to decrease the risk of cancer. The report detailed how eating organic can reduce one’s risk of developing cancer, especially in infants and children. For example, in the executive summary they cover pesticide contribution to chronic diseases and cancer, concluding that “Exposure to pesticides can be decreased by choosing, to the extent possible, food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers and washing conventionally grown produce to remove residues”. Also, on there is a section about how animals raised on non-organic farms add to the runoff of medications (such as antibiotics, growth hormones, etc.), and there is speculation that these chemicals can disrupt the human endocrine systems. Because children are especially sensitive to environmental toxins, make sure to choose organic when you stock your child’s lunchbox.Read More
One reason to choose organic salmon is that it’s a sure fire way to avoid genetically modified (GM) fish. A recent study found that GM salmon could be posing a threat to native fish through hybridization with common trout. The research shows that the offspring of genetically modified (GM) salmon and wild brown trout could pose a risk to wild fish species, because hybrids formed between the two species can out-compete both parent species for food, suppressing the growth of GM salmon by 82%, and suppressing the growth of wild populations of fish by 54%.
“These findings suggest that complex competitive interactions associated with transgenesis and hybridisation could have substantial ecological consequences for wild Atlantic salmon should they ever come into contact [with GM salmon] in nature,” wrote the study authors. Unfortunately, the contact between GM salmon and wild fish may become more frequent in the future, as fisheries farming GM fish continue to expand. The researchers warn that “escapes and introductions of domesticated salmon can increase rates to as much as 41%,” which could result in the slow spread of GM genes.
When you make this recipe be sure to use organic salmon, and help contribute to native fish health and population strength!Read More
Professor John Reganold teamed up with eight other researchers to examine the differences in fruit quality between organic and conventional strawberry production. Their research showed that strawberries that are grown organically have longer shelf lives, higher antioxidant levels, and higher concentrations of ascorbic acid and phenolic compounds than conventional berries. They also found that organic strawberries taste better than conventional ones! If nutrition and taste weren’t enough to convince you, they also showed that the organic farms that grew strawberries had higher soil health than conventional strawberry farms. You can learn more about the study here.Read More