natural living glossary
Here are some important definitions here at VWJ. Have something you think is important to see here? Contact us and let us know!
ANDI: Aggregate Nutrient Density Index; a ranking system for fruits and vegetables that measures the health benefits of whole foods. Kale, collards, mustard greens, and watercress are the highest on the veggie list, and strawberries are at the top of the fruits list.
GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms): Genetic modification is a laboratory process that involves taking the genes from plants, bacteria, or animals and inserting them into other plants and animals. Upwards of eighty percent of corn, soybeans, canola, and cottonseed grown in the US are genetically modified. There are no long-term studies for GMOs, and many scientists agree that it is not safe to serve these foods to humans. GMOs are banned or require labeling in most countries in the European Union and in other countries around the world; the US and Canada do not require labeling, though Proposition 37 is on the ballot in California to require labeling, which may change things very soon. For more information see The Non-GMO Project or Organic Consumers Association. GMOs are usually found in processed foods; common GMO ingredients include soy protein, soybean oil, corn syrup, corn oil, hydrogenated oils, and canola oils.
Natural: Natural foods are those considered to be free of artificial colors, preservatives, additives, and chemicals. Natural is not regulated by the FDA, and as such all products labeled natural need to be checked for quality ingredients.
Organic: The organic label is regulated by the US Department of Agriculture (and many other third-party certification systems) and ensures that produce (and ingredients used in packaged goods) are grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and/or fungicides. Here are some good reasons to go organic.
vegan: a way of eating that does not include any animal products. Vegans do not eat meat, poultry, eggs, dairy; some vegans eschew honey. Most agree that a vegan lifestyle avoids animal products to the best of one’s ability, including leather, fur, and other animal products.
vegetarian: a way of eating that does not include eating any type of animal meat, poultry, fish. Some vegetarians eschew eggs and other animal products as well.