Good for your Health, Good for Hawaii

by Tandis Bishop, RD

Many kamaaina residents know that the health of our aina (land) and its entire ecosystem is intertwined with our physical and mental well-being. With this knowledge, we know how essential it is to care for our precious planet. Earth Day, April 22nd, is a great time of year to promote sustainability efforts on our islands and the earth. It is an opportunity to reflect on how our own health and quality of life is greatly impacted by the health of our environment.

Your Guide to Sustainable Eating

by Tandis Bishop, RD

For thousands of years, farmers used human and animal power to grow food that was mostly consumed locally. By the 20th century, mechanized "industrial" farming greatly improved crop yields while cheap fossil fuels made it possible to ship produce to consumers far from where it was grown. However, the improved food productivity and availability came at a heavy price. The more we learn about our current food production system, the greater the concern for what it means to our health, the environment and our future generations.  

Shop Organic Food on a Budget

by Tandis Bishop

If you're shopping on a budget, you can save money by knowing which foods you should buy organic. They're the ones that otherwise would be conventionally grown and have the highest levels of toxic chemicals and pesticides. Therefore, they are the highest priority to buy organic in order to avoid these agricultural chemicals. And you can save a little more money by buying conventionally grown items that are typically produced with fewer "baddies."  The key is knowing the difference. 

Nutritional Benefits of Eating Organic

by Tracy Ternes

The positive environmental benefits of organic farming are well-documented. Organic farming preserves biodiversity and soil fertility, prevents soil erosion and reduces contamination of the water supply from toxic runoff. Anecdotal evidence and common sense tell us that organic food tastes better and is less likely to be contaminated with pesticides. However, when it comes to the assertion that organic food is actually more nutritious than non-organic food, most scientists agree there is a need for more research.

Studies Show the Effect of Pesticides on Children

by Tandis Bishop

Some of us may not be very concerned about eating organic. Heck, with today’s busy lifestyle, it’s a challenge just to get enough fruits and vegetables in our diet. However, there is a special group of people who may need to eat organic as much as possible. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) infants and children may be especially sensitive to the health risks posed by pesticides.1 One of the reasons for their vulnerability, the EPA says, is that their internal organs are still developing and maturing.

Healthy, Natural Foods are Affordable

by Caitlin Rose

Making healthy food accessible and affordable for everyone has been a focus of Down to Earth since opening its first store at Wailuku on Maui 35 years ago. The idea was that whole, minimally processed foods often cost less than highly processed foods -- those laden with fat, sugar, additives and preservatives--because the cost to produce, package, and market them is much less.

The Dirty Dozen: Most Heavily Sprayed Foods

by Tracy Rohland

As consumers become more aware of the dangers associated with chemical pesticides and preservatives in produce, many are trying to adopt a more organic way of eating. While you may not be ready to eat exclusively organic, the next best option is to avoid those fruits and vegetables that are sprayed with pesticides more heavily than others. To help you make the healthiest shopping decisions, we’ve compiled this list of the most pesticide-contaminated foods (based on recent reports from the Environmental Working Group and TheDailyGreen.com).

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