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Cheryl_C

Going Organic

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After being compelled, thanks to the gluten issue, to read every single word on every label on every package in the store, I have decided it is time to start making the change to organic. I'm sick of reading ingredients I can't identify, or even pronounce. I'm tired of artificial this and fake that ... ugh. I can't take it anymore!

So, where do I begin? I'm interested in growing vegetables rather than buying them, but as it is December in Toronto, I have a feeling that will have to wait until spring. Though, I did read somewhere about growing tomatoes indoors all year around - anyone try that?

How many people here do organic, or as much organic as possible? Any secrets of success? All tips and ideas are welcome!

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How many people here do organic, or as much organic as possible? Any secrets of success? All tips and ideas are welcome!

I've switched to organic-only and find it much simpler than the gluten-free diet. The local grocery has an organic section for fruits and vegetables. There is also a specialty grocery nearby which offers a comprehensive selection of organic products. Packaged foods can be identified as organic by the government specified organic logo. I'm in the U.S. so I checked to see if Canada has something similar. It does, as do several other countries. Click on the following link to see a Wikipedia article that shows the Canada logo.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_certification

I started eating organic when I discovered it was part of the solution to additional food reactions I was having. Certain foods were causing something under the right-side of my jaw to swell. Swallowing would become difficult. There would also be severe horseness. Eggs, dairy and corn were causing this along this several other foods. I happened to notice one day that the local grocery was offering frozen organic corn. I tried it and discovered I did not get the reaction described above. Later, I tried organic dairy and eggs (i.e. eggs from hens fed organic feed). Same thing; no reaction. The remarkable thing is that if I switch back to non-organic dairy / eggs, the reaction comes right back. It's very reliable and predictable.

With all the environmental contamination nowadays, organic is really a necessity. Two books worth reading are:

Slow Death by Rubber Duck, Rick Smith

Our Stolen Future, Dr. Theo Colburn

Hope this helps.

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Keep in mind that if you are going to grow truly organic, you'll need to use organic seeds, soil, fertilizer, etc. I didn't do that. I used regular seeds and soil, I did use some Miracle Grow fertilizer, but I didn't use any more chemicals.

I have a kitchen garden window. I have tried to grow herbs, lettuce and tomatoes with varying degrees of success. Sadly in the winter it just seems to get too cold in there. I have heard good things about the Aerogarden. I just don't have a big enough kitchen to put any in.

We buy mainly organic. Organic produce and meats when we can. Organic sugar. But I can't afford to buy everything organic, nor is it feasible for me. When I do have the option though, I usually go organic.

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Thank you both for the insights! I'll admit to feeling a little overwhelmed, as there is so much information out there. In fact, it's reminding of me of when I first went gluten-free ... that feeling off "too much information" swirling around.

Codetalker, thank you for the book names; I will definitely be looking into those. Hopefully a post-Christmas book sale at my favourite online bookstore will help me out! Also, I was interested in what you mentioned about your throat. That's something that's happened to me on and off since I was a teenager, and whenever I mentioned it to anyone, they would tell me I wasn't paying attention to my food. I always wondered if there was more to it, maybe.

Julieabove, the Aerogarden looks awesome! I found their Canadian website and checked it out. It's a little pricey, but for the winter months when growing outdoors is not an option, that's really nice. I still have a little homework to do, but it's a good place to start. With respect to growing herbs and things on the kitchen table - were there herbs that were especially successful? I have a big kitchen window. It's north-facing, but gets an amazing amount of sun and heat. Did you just plant them in containers or did you buy something pre-fabricated? How did you get started?

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Also, I was interested in what you mentioned about your throat. That's something that's happened to me on and off since I was a teenager, and whenever I mentioned it to anyone, they would tell me I wasn't paying attention to my food. I always wondered if there was more to it, maybe.

The throat problem took over 3 yrs to figure out and deal with. The solution was more than just eating organic.

The reaction is extremely well-defined, predictable and reproducible. The neck swelling is not generalized. There is a particular mass of tissue under the right side of my jaw that swells up. The best I could figure out is that it is the submandibular saliva gland. There is difficulty swallowing. The hoarseness is most severe after the offending food is removed and the swelling is starting to subside.

Using my gluten-free diet skills, I gradually determined that the following caused the problem: soy, legumes, nuts, corn, potatoes, yams (but not true sweet potatoes), eggs, chicken, dairy, olives, cinnamon. Add this to the gluten-free diet plus the acid reflux diet (no tea, coffee, citrus, chocolate, fatty foods, etc.), my food choices were limited to say the least.

As a footnote, the cinnamon was a head scratcher until I found several web pages that said that most of the cinnamon in the U.S. is typically not

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Codetalker, thank you for the book names; I will definitely be looking into those. Hopefully a post-Christmas book sale at my favourite online bookstore will help me out!

The books I read were borrowed from the local library.

After I retired, I had the time and desire to read more. However, there was the issue do I keep buying books and filling up my book shelves or do I buy an e-reader. Then one day, I had a head-slap moment and thought, why not spend no money and just join the library!

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I would be interested in hearing about your experiences. You are the only person I

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I buy organic as much as possible. I don't like pesticides seeping into my body and the taste is not even a comparison.

But it is $$$

:( It kills us at the grocery store. But I absolutely do not want to compromise on this. This is my health. I do without in other areas to make it happen. Plus in the long run it is saving me money and suffering. It is just a matter of taking that long term view. :)

Always hold the long term view. -_-

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Wow, your issue sounds a lot more severe than mine has ever been. Once in a while I go to swallow and it's like my throat gets stuck for a moment. There's a brief "I'm going to choke" moment and then everything is fine again. It sounds like you've gone through a lot to get to the point of stopping it - I'm going to start paying attention more often, in case I can discover some kind of trigger. Thanks for your input!

I've experienced that on accasion. Once I got serious about avoiding foods that aggravated my acid reflux though, the problem went away.

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But it is $$$

I will admit that I am a bit biased on this, but it truly makes sense. I used to be a senior executive at the nation's second largest All Natural/Organic frozen foods company. With that said, make sure that you choose FROZEN organic fruits and vegetables in addition to fresh. They have a tendency to be more affordable than fresh, and you just open as needed.

I'm not recommending that you replace your fresh with frozen, it's just an option that will make your organic shopping more affordable.

PS - I have been 100% organic for more than 5 years. It's worth every cent... especially when you're savvy about how you find the deals in the store.

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Also, one more note.

If you can't afford to go organic on everything, start with things that you can't wash chemicals off of (meat, dairy, etc) and things that grow in the ground.

For instance, going organic on your onions and potatoes has a bigger effect than going organic with your apples. The tree helps to filter out some of the chemicals used in farming. Not saying that the apples aren't worth it, but we have to start somewhere.

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I will admit that I am a bit biased on this, but it truly makes sense. I used to be a senior executive at the nation's second largest All Natural/Organic frozen foods company. With that said, make sure that you choose FROZEN organic fruits and vegetables in addition to fresh. They have a tendency to be more affordable than fresh, and you just open as needed.

I'm not recommending that you replace your fresh with frozen, it's just an option that will make your organic shopping more affordable.

PS - I have been 100% organic for more than 5 years. It's worth every cent... especially when you're savvy about how you find the deals in the store.

Interesting......

I am doing as much organic as possible. I will buy the chicken when it goes half price due to the "Eat BY" date.

Same with the meat. I guess all fish is organic.

Another fact is just going with WHOLE FOODS. Organic if possible.

I think you guys are right on about the organic diet. Cooking is so easy and I love cooking anyway so going gluten-free if not hard for me. The fact remains that we all should eat heathy foods. Yes the cost is worth it.

Let me drop this link I found to be my wake up call.

Is frozen as good as whole foods. I mean the processing ruins the nutrients, yes no, so why eat organic frozen?

I think this woman's thoughts are unforgettable. She has changed my thinking of food.

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Is frozen as nutritious as fresh.......the answer to that is it depends.

If a fresh fruit or vegetable is in season where you live, the grower can pick it much later. In these cases fresh is usually more nutritious because freezing does degrade some of the nutrients - but not as much as canning does.

If a food is not in season locally, it has to be harvested much much earlier to make the trip often half way around the world. Then fresh or frozen are about the same - in fact the frozen may even be more nutritious in some of these cases.

No one is advocating that you replace fresh with frozen, but definitely replace canned with frozen if you can and if fresh is out of season, to high priced, or it isn't something you use all the time - frozen is a great option.

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One good place to start with is the dirty dozen (reported by the environmental working group, updated every year). These are the dozen produce items that are highest in pesticide residue.

http://static.foodnews.org/pdf/EWG-shoppers-guide.pdf

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    Celiac.com 06/15/2018 - There seems to be widespread agreement in the published medical research reports that stuttering is driven by abnormalities in the brain. Sometimes these are the result of brain injuries resulting from a stroke. Other types of brain injuries can also result in stuttering. Patients with Parkinson’s disease who were treated with stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, an area of the brain that regulates some motor functions, experienced a return or worsening of stuttering that improved when the stimulation was turned off (1). Similarly, stroke has also been reported in association with acquired stuttering (2). While there are some reports of psychological mechanisms underlying stuttering, a majority of reports seem to favor altered brain morphology and/or function as the root of stuttering (3). Reports of structural differences between the brain hemispheres that are absent in those who do not stutter are also common (4). About 5% of children stutter, beginning sometime around age 3, during the phase of speech acquisition. However, about 75% of these cases resolve without intervention, before reaching their teens (5). Some cases of aphasia, a loss of speech production or understanding, have been reported in association with damage or changes to one or more of the language centers of the brain (6). Stuttering may sometimes arise from changes or damage to these same language centers (7). Thus, many stutterers have abnormalities in the same regions of the brain similar to those seen in aphasia.
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    My own experience with stuttering is limited. I stuttered as a child when I became nervous, upset, or self-conscious. Although I have been gluten free for many years, I haven’t noticed any impact on my inclination to stutter when upset. I don’t know if they are related, but I have also had challenges with speaking when distressed and I have noticed a substantial improvement in this area since removing gluten from my diet. Nonetheless, I have long wondered if there is a connection between gluten consumption and stuttering. Having done the research for this article, I would now encourage stutterers to try a gluten free diet for six months to see if it will reduce or eliminate their stutter. Meanwhile, I hope that some investigator out there will research this matter, publish her findings, and start the ball rolling toward getting some definitive answers to this question.
    Sources:
    1. Toft M, Dietrichs E. Aggravated stuttering following subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease--two cases. BMC Neurol. 2011 Apr 8;11:44.
    2. Tani T, Sakai Y. Stuttering after right cerebellar infarction: a case study. J Fluency Disord. 2010 Jun;35(2):141-5. Epub 2010 Mar 15.
    3. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    4. Jäncke L, Hänggi J, Steinmetz H. Morphological brain differences between adult stutterers and non-stutterers. BMC Neurol. 2004 Dec 10;4(1):23.
    5. Kell CA, Neumann K, von Kriegstein K, Posenenske C, von Gudenberg AW, Euler H, Giraud AL. How the brain repairs stuttering. Brain. 2009 Oct;132(Pt 10):2747-60. Epub 2009 Aug 26.
    6. Galantucci S, Tartaglia MC, Wilson SM, Henry ML, Filippi M, Agosta F, Dronkers NF, Henry RG, Ogar JM, Miller BL, Gorno-Tempini ML. White matter damage in primary progressive aphasias: a diffusion tensor tractography study. Brain. 2011 Jun 11.
    7. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    8. [No authors listed] Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Case 43-1988. A 52-year-old man with persistent watery diarrhea and aphasia. N Engl J Med. 1988 Oct 27;319(17):1139-48
    9. Molteni N, Bardella MT, Baldassarri AR, Bianchi PA. Celiac disease associated with epilepsy and intracranial calcifications: report of two patients. Am J Gastroenterol. 1988 Sep;83(9):992-4.
    10. http://ezinearticles.com/?Food-Allergy-and-Stuttering-Link&id=1235725 
    11. http://www.craig.copperleife.com/health/stuttering_allergies.htm 
    12. https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/73362-any-help-is-appreciated/
    13. Ford RP. The gluten syndrome: a neurological disease. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Sep;73(3):438-40. Epub 2009 Apr 29.
    14. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones GA, Lobo AJ, Stephenson TJ, Milford-Ward A. Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? Lancet. 1996 Feb 10;347(8998):369-71.

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