Organic/Healthy Eating Tips from Texas Woman's University
WFAA Ch. 8 news anchor Shelly Slater, left, interviews TWU alumna Karin Hosenfeld, center, and TWU professor Nancy DiMarco, right.
Photo credit: WFAADALLAS/DENTON – TWU Professor of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Nancy DiMarco and TWU alumna, Karin Hosenfeld, president of North Dallas Nutrition, appeared on WFAA Ch. 8 News July 6 to discuss Farm to Table, especially as it pertains to organic food. A copy of the segment can be found here. In addition, Professor DiMarco offers this additional advice on organic eating and healthy nutrition:
- A single serving of fruits or vegetables (whether organic or not) would help Americans avoid 20,000 new cases of cancer each year.
- Being labeled organic doesn't necessarily mean pesticide free. Details on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program and the Organic Label can be found here.
- The health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables far outweighs ANY negative effects of pesticides in them. About 7 to 10% of organic crops have detectable pesticides because of wind drift from conventional farm.
- To know which fruits and vegetables you should buy organic, like apples, and shouldn't, like asparagus, visit www.ewg.org/foodnew/.
- Some domestic organic crops may actually be worse for containing pesticides than foreign crops, because of their lack of use of many or any natural pesticides.
- From a nutrition standpoint, there are no advantages to eating completely organically. Conventionally grown crops are just as nutritious as organically grown crops. We believe, however, that as more research is done, we will begin to see the benefits of eating organically raised crops.
- Eating organically will have immediate and dramatic effects on decreasing pesticide exposure, but we still do not know how lack of pesticide exposure will affect disease risk – more research needs to be done.
- There is little or no difference between washing produce with water and the fruit and vegetable washes available in the market – in fact, the best way to remove pesticides is to wash all produce (regardless whether you eat the skin or not) in 1 part salt and 9 parts water.
- Many people think organic foods are lower in calories – however, organic junk food is still junk food!
More Nutrition Tips and Advice from Nancy DiMarco
- Eat seasonally – that means only purchasing foods that are in season. Americans have gotten so used to seeing all fruits and vegetables year round but at an enormous cost for producers and consumers. Usually cheaper produce is indicative of it being in season. For example, in Texas, visit http://texasfarmersmarket.org/in-season/#july to learn what foods are in season and likely cheaper in the market.
- Try your hand at gardening – visit Shiloh Fields in Denton, the largest community garden in America right here in Denton, to learn firsthand about putting a garden together. Free 15’ X 15’ plots, water, and knowledge available to get you on your way! Visit https://www.facebook.com/dbcgarden, as they are always looking for volunteers
- 1 out of 3 Americans has or is trying to avoid gluten protein from wheat, rye, and barley when only perhaps as many as 3% of Americans have a true allergy to gluten. Many of the products that are gluten free lack iron, fiber and other essential nutrients.
- Try not to waste food. If you are wasting food, you are also wasting water. Water is by far our most precious commodity and necessity. Try to only purchase food that you know you will consume in a week.
- Use water bottles that are refillable rather than purchasing disposable plastic water bottles – it is good for you and the environment.
- A concept developed by the Dutch, water footprint, calculates how much freshwater is needed to produce a product while also taking into consideration the amount of water consumed and polluted in all steps of food production of that product. See http://waterfootprint.org/en/resources/interactive-tools/personal-water-footprint-calculator/ to calculate your own personal water footprint and then visit Water Use It Wisely, which gives more 100 ways to conserve water at home, office and outdoors.
- Reduce meat consumption – animal products generally have a much larger water footprint than plant products. For example, to produce 1 pound of beef requires 1,875 gallons of water. To produce 1 pound of green beans requires 74 gallons of water – see the difference? Try a Meatless Monday dinner and give up animal products one day a week – think about how much water could be saved.
About Nancy DiMarco – TWU Professor of Nutrition and Food Sciences Nancy DiMarco is a nationally known and respected expert in the field of nutrition and food sciences. She serves as the director of TWU’s Institute for Women’s Health, performs research in the areas of osteoporosis and the effects of diet, exercise and hormonal status on bone metabolism throughout the lifecycle, and the impact of nutrition education on elementary school children’s food selections and bone mineral density. She is a member of the American Society of Nutrition, American College of Sports Medicine, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians in Research, Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN), the North Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Phi Kappa Phi. She also created the new subunit Sports Dietetics-USA for SCAN and helped to create and served on the specialty workgroup that created the certification examination for the Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD).
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page updated 5/9/2016 4:57 PM