writing about how my four year-old granddaughter who loves
playing with her Magic Mealtime Magnet — a fun way to teach
children to choose healthful foods — many of you have asked
for ordering information. Here’s the website: http://bit.ly/2aopGjh.
recent column about organic and conventionally grown produce
generated a passionate letter "to challenge your
continuing attempts to downplay the benefits of eating organic
fruits and vegetables." Michael M. cited many reasons to
eat organic produce including farmworkers, children who attend
schools near fields and the environment in general. He
concluded that "we all have a responsibility to consider
our lives in the broader context of those lives we impact ...
especially when the impact is negative, as it is with
your concerns, Michael and in no way intended to downplay the
benefits of eating organic produce or the risks of careless
use of pesticides. As I noted in the column, the organic food
industry is growing at an incredible pace. Organic foods now
comprise about 13 percent of all the produce sold in the
United States, according to Laura Batcha of the Organic Trade
I do not
share your absolute distrust in any food that is not labeled
research has established the health benefits of eating fruits
and vegetables. And those studies are based on produce from
conventional as well as organic growing methods.
means, organic food is an excellent choice for many of the
reasons you cite. But if a mom wants to buy apples — or any
other fruit or vegetable — for her family and organic is not
available, most health experts agree it would be a mistake to
not buy produce at all.
Bruce C. wrote to comment on the column that discussed the
health benefits of seeds. "I wonder how well our
digestive system can extract (nutrients) when the seeds are
not broken apart by mastication, which is particularly
inefficient with small hard seeds like poppy and chia seeds. I
make a point of trying to chew up larger seeds and nuts in my
cereal, but I run chia seeds through a 'blender' type of
coffee mill to produce an oily paste first. Am I gaining
anything by this?"
question, Bruce. Nutrition experts say that poppy and chia
seeds can be digested in their whole form. Not so with whole
flax seeds however; best to grind them in your coffee mill or
buy flax meal instead of the whole seeds.
caution about chia seeds, however. Do not eat them dry. Chia
seeds can absorb up to 27 times their weight in water,
according to Dr. Rebecca Rawl from Carolinas Medical Center in
Charlotte, North Carolina. If consumed dry, they can expand as
they travel through the digestive tract and potentially cause
a blockage. Rawl therefore recommends we mix chia seeds with
some form of liquid (yogurt works, too) so they can expand
before we swallow them.