Clean Eating Glossary

Clean Eating is A Way of Life.

If you are unfamiliar with common terms associated with clean eating, how to find healthy food or understanding what things like organic farming are, I’ve summarized and simplified a few terms that can help you better understand the food you are eating and where it is coming from.

ACAI [ah-sigh-ee]: This “superfood” is rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, fiber, and protein. Acai is said to help combat premature aging thanks to its inflammation-reducing properties. According to health claims, acai is known for its antibacterial and antimutagenic characteristics by reducing the instances of cellular mutation in the body that can lead to illness and cancer. Acai has the ability to stabilize blood sugar, fight free radicals, increase energy and stamina, regulate core systems and increase circulation, support weight loss, promote healthy skin and hair, improve digestive function– all in addition to improving mental clarity. As it supports the immune system, acai improves mental clarity and focus. It usually can be found in juice form or as frozen smoothie packs in health food stores and closely resembles blueberries.

Possible recipe: Acai berry smoothie—blend and freeze acai into ziplock bags for easy grabbing & blending. Warm plastic bag in cup of warm water until the blended fruit softens enough to remove from bag. Stick in blender with favorite fruits and organic juice, coconut water, or a nut/seed milk. Add any desirable nuts, seeds or supplements. Blend & enjoy. OR blend (frozen acai) on own (food processer works well) for sugar free acai sorbet (can add sugar or sugar substitutes, juice, cacao nibs, fruit, etc. etc.) and a healthy dessert.

ACIDOPHILUS: This is a general name for a group of probiotics, which are bacteria that aid in digestion. When most people think of probiotics, they immediately think of dairy products like yogurt. There are in fact many nondairy probiotics on the market that you can even make at home. Sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, and other fermented food products contain acidophilus but without lactose. Acidophilus offers digestive help, provides relief from intestinal problems, and naturally cures yeast infections. It is overall great for the immune system and is often found in capsule form.

Possible recipe(s): Make a fruit salad. Top with favorite granola. Stir seasonings like cardamom and cinnamon or vanilla extract into Greek yogurt. Open two capsules of your favorite probiotics and stir that in as well. Serve. Also can make a homemade applesauce and yogurt parfait with acidophilus mixed into either the applesauce or the yogurt. This is how we get my sister to take her medicines and supplements!! For nondairy recipe, try the recipes you had written that I edited for you the other day: “I use fermented vegetables twice a week in my meals and snacks. Loaded with the good bacteria your intestines require, I enjoy eating these probiotic-packed vegetables every day to keep your digestive system healthy. Mix a variety of organic vegetables such as carrots and celery into a brine with warm, filtered water; unrefined sea salt; and cultured vegetable starter or liquid whey. Stir in shredded cabbage heads and pack into sterilized glass jars. Allow the mixture to ferment for five to seven days. Each batch can be stored in the fridge for up to six months.”

AGAR AGAR: Originating from seaweed, this natural, plain-tasting, white vegetable gelatin consists of 80% fiber and is used to thicken and stabilize foods. Instead of using gelatin from animals, use this for exact substitution- plus it’s cruelty free. It is also composed of 80% fiber. Its powder form is great for recipes, but is also available as washed and dried strips, or in bar form. When using agar agar with fruit, know that acidic citrus fruits and strawberries require a larger amount and that enzymes in pineapple, papaya and mangoes will break down its gelling ability, so make sure to cook those fruits first.

ALMONDS:
One of the most healthy nuts nature has to offer, almonds contain high levels of vitamin B2, fiber, and antioxidants. They are also easily digested, making them a great addition to dishes. Within recipes, they are versatile, too. Milk, crusts, ice creams, flours, butters, and other foods are made from almonds. Plus, almond flour is gluten-free, which is perfect for those with a gluten intolerance. To get truly raw almonds and cashews with all their enzymes and vitamins intact, you must get them directly from a farmer or trusted sources due to current farming practices.

Try them in my: Warm Almond Quinoa Breakfast Sundae

ALOE VERA: Derived from the Aloe Vera plant and used as medicinal aloe with a wide variety of applications, this species aids in healing wounds or burns, stabilizing diabetes, and lowering elevated blood lipids in humans. Aloe Vera is also available in juice form, which can help people with Interstitial Cystitis (IC). Additional reports indicate that it assists with psoriasis, herpes, and cancer. Aside from juice form, Aloe Vera is available in gel form, capsule form, and you can even keep a live plant in your home. Try John’s Aloe Vera Juice if you’re looking to buy Aloe Vera in juice form.

AMARANTH: This seed is easy on the digestive system despite scoring high in terms of calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A and vitamin C. In fact, it has twice the calcium of cow’s milk. It also aids in absorption of calcium from the digestive track as it is rich in lysine. Amaranth flour, made from finely milled seeds, is a gluten-free alternative often used for baking. You can even pop the tiny seeds like popcorn. Look for amaranth seed or amaranth flour in the bulk section of your health food store.

Possible recipe: Amaranth is used to thicken flour in soup, as a pizza dough flower substitute. Many baby foods now contain amaranth as a wheat and rice alternative.

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR:
Is a type of vinegar made by fermenting apple cider. Medically, apple cider vinegar is said to aid weight loss and alkaline acid balance in addition to helping to lower blood glucose levels for diabetics. Apple cider vinegar can be used in many recipes, from raw preparations to vegan baked treats. Try the brand Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar- it’s one of my favorites.

Try it in my: Yellow Watermelon Berry Salad

*For me, a fall soup or a bean dish cooking up in the Dutch oven wouldn’t be the same without a little maple syrup or equivalent in combination with apple cider vinegar as the combination of base + acid = well rounded dish. Man, does it help to make the best caramelized onions!

ARAME: Containing high levels of calcium, iodine, ion, magnesium, and vitamin A, arame is one nutrient-packed species of kelp. It’s also alkaline-forming as well as a good dietary source for many other minerals. Unlike other sea veggies, this does not have a strong sea flavor and tastes best as a seasoning for soups and salads.

Possible Recipes: Miso (seasoned with arame) seared salmon? Or just a mild seaweed salad with a miso ginger carrot dressing? May sound odd but it’s also delicious with rice (preferably made in rice cooker) topped with a poached egg and different seasonings like seaweed/veggies like mushrooms to add to rice (like the traditional Japanese brunch EN serves in the West Village of NYC).

ARROWROOT:
Derived from the arrowroot plant, this starch is best used in recipes for gluten-free biscuits, puddings, and cakes. It even tastes good in hot sauces as it works as a thickener to replace cornstarch and add smoothness with a very mild flavor. It’s very easy on the digestive system.

Try it in my: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cherry Cashew Loaf

AVOCADO:
Did you know avocados come from trees and are classified as a fruit? They are loaded with a bunch of the good vitamins and nutrients you need in your daily dietary intake. Avocados contain potassium, vitamin K, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, copper, and lots of “good” fat. Avocados are said to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and help prevent cancer. Avocados can also be used outside the kitchen in creating skin masks and helping to treat skin disorders. Other than its pure form, avocado can be made into oil, which is often used for salad dressings, raw dips, or raw soups.

Try it in my: Grilled Cherry Guacamole

BAKING POWDER:
Baking powder is often used to increase the volume and lighten the texture of baked goods from muffins to cakes. It is a dry chemical leavening agent that releases carbon dioxide gas into batter or dough through an acid-base reaction, which later causes bubbles to expand, thus giving many baked goods their fluffy quality. Baking powders are available both with and without aluminum compounds. When stocking your pantry, look for baking powder free of aluminum.

Try it in my: Gluten-Free Coconut Cinnamon Sweet Potato Loaf

BAKING SODA:
Primarily used in baking, baking soda reacts with acidic components to release carbon dioxide thereby helping dough to “rise”. Lemon juice, cocoa, and vinegar are acidic compounds that induce this reaction. Sodium bicarbonate can be substituted for baking powder provided sufficient acid reagent is also added to the recipe. Baking soda can be mixed with water and/or apple cider vinegar in small doses and used to help relieve the symptoms of multiple forms of acidosis including acid indigestion, heartburn and Interstitial Cystitis. It even is an ingredient in many great, green homemade cleaning products!

Try it in my: Gluten-Free n’ Vegan Coconut Carrot Bread

BALSAMIC VINEGAR:
Balsamic Vinegar is often used in sauces or salad dressings and contains strong antioxidant ‘polyphenols’. These antioxidants fight cell damage, boost the immune system, and help to protect against heart disease, cancer, and other inflammatory conditions. It is produced from the juice of just-harvested white grapes (more specifically, trebbaiano grapes) and boiled down to approximately 30% of the original volume to create a concentrate or musk, which then ferments and ages over years to create a strong flavor. Balsamic vinegar can be found in many food stores, but I recommend using organic balsamic vinegar. Generally, the longer it has aged, the better quality the vinegar is.

Try it in my: Pineapple Quinoa with Scallions and Vidalia Onions

BEE POLLEN:
Bee pollen is a main food source for some honey bees and their larvae, and consists of honey and pollens gathered by worker bees. For humans, it serves as a good source of protein. It contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, co-enymes, B vitamins. It’s also packed with antioxidants including lycopene, selenium, beta carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E. As a “superfood”, it’s available in granules, tablets, powdered form, and capsules. It is often used in naturopathic medicine traditions and as a natural supplement to those who are not allergic.

Possible Recipe: Blend spinach/kale, berries, cacao nibs & powder, etc. and top with pollen.

BLACKSTRAP MOLASSES:
Made by boiling sugarcane, this tar-like substance is a potassium-rich sweetener that serves as a great source of calcium, vitamin B6, and iron. When buying, look for unsulfured 100% organic sugarcane molasses at your health food store. Blackstrap molasses can be added to recipes or consumed as is.

Try it in my: Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

BROWN RICE FLOUR:
This grain contains natural fats and oils and is often used to make a dense gluten-free baked good. It is derives from finely ground, un-hulled rice kernels. It is found at heath food stores in organic form and after purchasing is best kept in the refrigerator.

Try it in my: Sweet Balsamic Zucchini Scones

BROWN RICE SYRUP:
Commonly used in baking and desserts due to its mild, buttery, and sweet flavor, brown rice syrup is a naturally made from cooking brown rice flour or brown rice starch with enzymes and appears thick and butterscotch-colored. It tastes half as sweet as processed sugar and is found in most health food stores. Try the Lundberg Farms brand.

Try it in my: Gluten-Free Almond Truffles


BUCKWHEAT:
Despite its name, buckwheat is not wheat but a gluten-free seed that provides a source of protein and eight essential amino acids. These properties help balance mood and mind clarity. Buckwheat is also loaded with calcium, manganese, vitamin B, and vitamin E. It is cooked, sprouted, or ground and typically used as flour best stored in a cool place once purchased. I recommend keeping buckwheat in the refrigerator. Note that although it is a gluten-free seed, it can be processed in factories that also process wheat or blend wheat with it as a filler, so make sure the brand you buy is labeled as “gluten-free”.

Try it in my: Buckwheat Cashew Puddin’

CACAO:
Cacao is classified as a bean, and is the fatty seed of Theobroma cacao, also known as “cocoa.” It comes in nibs, beans, and powder forms and consists of sulfur and magnesium. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and boosts happiness. When tasting, it resembles unsweetened baker’s chocolate and smells similar to red wine. When purchasing, try Navitas Naturals Organic Cacao Nibs, Cacao Powder and Cacao.

Try it in my: Orange Coconut Cocoa Bread with Hazelnut Frosting

CAROB:
As a member of the legume family, carob is sometimes used as a substitute for chocolate despite the fact that it doesn’t taste like chocolate. In fact, carob tastes more similar to raisin. It is either dry or roasted. It is available in powder or chip form and is best used as a chocolate substitute in cakes and cookies. When purchasing, I recommend Bob’s Red Mill Carob Powder.

Try it in my: Agave Zest RAW Brownies

CASEIN: Casein is typically found in milk, working as a protein and binding agent in many foods. If you are avoiding the consumption of animal products, note that casein is found in numerous cheese products. Other names for casein include: sodium caseinate, calcium casinate, and milk protein.

CASHEWS: These “nut-like” seeds from the cashew tree have a mild buttery flavor and are typically eaten whole or ground into butter. They serve as a food replacement in cream as well as a milk form in recipes that contain dairy.

Try them in my: Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Cinnamon Cherry Oatmeal Waffles

CHIA:
As a flowering plant of the mint family, chia is a digestible “superfood” containing EFAs*, hydrophilic properties*, antioxidants, and fiber. For consumption, the seeds can be ground for nutritious drinks like smoothies, or used in cereals, protein bars, and salads. They slow down the rate at which our bodies convert carbohydrate calories into simple sugars. Some research shows that chia seeds are beneficial to those with diabetes. Looking for chia seeds? Try Barlean’s Organic Chia Seeds.

Try them in my: Chia Teff Salad with Lemon Scallion Dressing

*Defined below.

CHLORELLA:
This “superfood” is a single-celled freshwater microscopic green algae and is an environmentally efficient method of protein production. As a “superfood”, it contains 65% protein, plus vitamins, essential fatty acids, minerals, and enzymes. It works in detoxification for heavy metals and pesticides. My favorite brand is the X brand.

Try it in my: Arugula Salad with Moroccan Mint Brussels Sprouts

COCONUT OIL:
Coconut Oil consists of more than 90% raw saturated fat and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s). {MCT’s diffuse from the GI tract without modification like long-chain fatty acids. Many patients with malnutrition are treated with MCT’s because they do not require energy for absorption, storage or utilization. The raw fat supports the whole body and MCT’s aid in supporting the immune system, the thyroid gland, the nervous system and skin. MCT’s also help increase metabolism which aids in weight loss. They have antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties and are used as fat sources for patients on Candida diets.} Coconut oil is a stable replacement to olive oil or butter as it never forms toxic trans-fatty acids. It also aids in relieving dry skin. Looking for coconut oil? Try the Barlean’s Organic brand.

Try it in my: Blueberry Salad with Cilantro Coconut Dressing

COCONUT FLOUR: Coconut flour is a great addition or alternative to wheat and other grain flours as it is high in fiber and protein, low in digestible carbohydrates, and is gluten-free. When used in making baked goods, it gives great texture and natural sweetness to products. Try the Bob’s Red Mill brand of coconut flour—it’s a personal favorite.

COCONUT MILK: Coconut milk is best used as a substitute to dairy. Specifically, it is the meat of the coconut blended with the water of the coconut and can be purchased in a variety of flavors. Try buying the So Delicious Coconut Milk brand next time you visit your local food store.

Try it in my: Spicy Coconut Curry Pasta

COCONUT WATER: Coconut water is made from the clear liquid of young coconuts and is best used as a natural source of nutrition, wellness, beauty and hydration. It contains potassium in addition to five essential electrolytes, serving as a great sports drink replacement to prevent muscle cramping, promote recovery, and achieve optimal performance. Coconut water also replenishes and re-hydrates you at any time of the day.

Possible Recipe: Smoothie or Sorbet: Blend frozen fruit in a blender or food processor with a little coconut water.

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS (EFAs): Essential omega-3 and omega 6 fatty acids are sourced from food. EFAs help with regeneration, skin health, and cell repair by decreasing inflammation, efficient brain development, and blocking infections. They are also critical for the normal growth and functioning of cells, muscles, nerves, and organs. Omega-3s can be found in flaxseed products, hemp products, and walnuts. Omega-6s are found in hemp products, most nuts, seeds, avocados, and vegetable oils including olive oil. Symptoms of EFA deficiency or imbalance include dry or scaly skin, excessively dry hair, cracked fingernails, fatigue, weakness, memory and learning difficulties, frequent infections, allergies, mood disorders, hyperactivity, depression, slow wound healing, aching joints, poor digestion, high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol. Make sure to get your EFAs!

GLUTEN-FREE: Gluten is found in wheat, barley, and rye and adds moisture and air to bread and baked good products. Some digestive systems react negatively towards this glue-like substance and have an intolerance known as Celiac Disease, which is best diagnosed by a doctor. If confirmed, consider adjusting your diet to improve your health. Gluten is even located in some medications, so watch out if you are sensitive. Today, many gluten-alternatives exist to help people achieve a successful diet.

LIGNANS: Lignans are naturally occurring plant estrogens that can have a balancing effect on hormones and are found in pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds. They are also known to reduce cholesterol levels and help prostate cancer patients.

MICRONUTRIENTS: are nutrients that the body requires in small amounts. For example: vitamins or minerals.

MACRONUTRIENTS: are nutrients that the body uses in large amounts. For example: protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

PHYTONUTRIENT/PHYTOCHEMICAL: Phytonutrients and phytochemicals are natural bioactive compounds found in plant foods that work with nutrients and dietary fibers to protect against disease. When working together with fruits, vegetables and nuts, they are known to help slow the aging process and reduce the risk of diseases including cancer, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cataracts, osteoporosis, and urinary tract infections.

PREBIOTICS: Prebiotics are the preferred foods of probiotics. They maintain and stimulate the growth of existing probiotic bacteria and thus are “friendly bacteria.” The most effective prebiotics identified are FOS (fructooligosaccharides) which can be found in foods ranging from garlic, bananas, onions, chicory root to asparagus, barley, wheat, jícama, tomatoes, and leeks. Other effective growth enhancers are GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides) and inulin (not insulin) and can also be found in chicory root, jicama, onions, garlic, leeks as well as  yams, jerusalem artichokes, agave, artichokes and psyllium. Prebiotics and probiotics have a symbiotic relationship that helps heal and regulate the intestinal flora, particularly after the destruction of microorganisms following treatments like antibiotics, chemotherapy, or radiation therapies. Through the combination of these beneficial microorganisms, proper digestion, absorption, and the manufacturing of nutrients takes place.

PROBIOTICS: Probiotics are a type of “good” bacteria that promote health, balance, and efficient functioning of the digestive system. They are located in the intestinal tract and help to digest foods by breaking them down into fats, amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals for absorption into the body. They also prevent and/or limit the growth of “bad” bacterial pathogens that prevent nutrient absorption and disturb the intestines. Probiotics regulate intestinal flora, particularly after the destruction of important “friendly” microorganisms following antibiotic, chemotherapy, or radiation therapies. Taking probiotics helps to manage lactose intolerance, prevent colon cancer, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, improve immune function, prevent infections, reduce inflammation, relieve antibiotic-associated diarrhea, improve mineral absorption, prevent harmful bacteria growth from stress, help with irritable bowel syndrome and colitis, as well as help manage urogenital health. Aside from supplements, probiotics are found in olives, sauerkraut, Nama Shoyu , kombucha, tamari and miso. Probiotic supplements are best taken when the stomach is empty before meals.

RAW: Eating “raw” refers to a lifestyle that promotes the consumption of un-cooked, un-processed, whole, and organic foods as a diet to reap a great amount of health benefits. A belief behind the lifestyle is that cooking food above 46°C (115°F) destroys beneficial enzymes and depletes the nutritional value of foods. Some foods, however, should be cooked as to avoid poisoning and to aid digestion. Typical raw diet foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains, and legumes. Raw foodists achieve and experience weight loss, increased energy, clear skin, a clear mind, a positive mood, improved insulin tolerance, and an improved overall health from this diet.

RAW FOODIST: a person who eats a highly raw food diet.

S.A.D: S.A.D. refers to the stereotypical diet of Americans. This includes a high intakes of red meat, sugary desserts, fats, and refined grains. It also typically contains high-fat dairy products, high-sugar drinks, and eggs.

SLOW FOOD: Slow Food is a movement founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy to combat the fast food industry and preserve cultural cuisine as well as the consumption of food plants and seeds, domestic animals, and farming within an eco-region. Objectives include: forming and sustaining seed banks to preserve heirloom varieties in cooperation with local food systems; developing an “Ark of Taste” for each eco-region, where local culinary traditions and foods are celebrated; preserving and promoting local and traditional food products, along with their lore and preparation; organizing small-scale processing (including facilities for slaughtering and short run products); organizing celebrations of local cuisine within regions; promoting “taste education”; educating consumers about the risks of fast food; educating citizens about the drawbacks of commercial agribusiness and factory farms; educating citizens about the risks of monoculture and reliance on too few genomes or varieties; developing various political programs to preserve family farms; lobbying for the inclusion of organic farming concerns within agricultural policy; lobbying against government funding of genetic engineering; lobbying against the use of pesticides; teaching gardening skills to students and prisoners; and by encouraging ethical buying in local marketplaces.

SUPERFOODS: “Superfoods” are foods with high phytonutrient* content. Examples include: blueberries, goji berries, hemp seeds, cacao beans, maca, spirulina and bee products (i.e. bee pollen).

*Defined above.

SUSTAINABILITY:
Ecologically it is the capacity for biological systems to remain diverse and productive over time. In regards to food, foods are sustainable if they meet current food needs while protecting the ecosystem. Sustainable food systems encourage local production and distribution infrastructures and supports healthy lifestyles for farmers and consumers. For humans, it is the potential for long-term maintenance of one’s well being, which also effects our ecosystems. Sustainability is applied at both a global and local scale.

TRACE MINERALS: Iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt and selenium are also known as trace minerals. They are all needed by the body, in small amounts.

TRANS FATS:
Otherwise known as trans fatty acids or partially hydrogenated oil, trans fats are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. This substance makes food last longer and taste better while negatively affecting one’s health. They are found in fried S.A.D. foods like French fries and doughnuts, as well as baked goods including pastries, pie crusts, biscuits, pizza dough, cookies, crackers, stick margarines and shortenings. California is the first state to ban trans fats in restaurants.

VEGAN: Veganism is a diet and lifestyle that seeks to exclude the use of animals for all purposes from clothing to food to beauty products. Vegans exclude animals from their lifestyles for the purposes of animal rights or welfare, the environment, human health, and spiritual/religious concerns. Of particular concern to many vegans are the practices involved in factory farming and animal testing, as well as the intensive use of land for animal farming.

VEGETARIAN:
Vegetarianism is the practice of following a plant-based diet including fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, nuts, and seeds, with or without dairy products and eggs. Vegetarians do not eat meat. This includes red meat, game, poultry, fish, crustaceans, shellfish, and products of animal slaughter such as animal-derived gelatin.

WHEAT-FREE: Wheat-free is a way of eating to avoid foods that contain wheat. Most people who eat wheat-free foods do so due to an allergy or celiac disease. Today, a variety of wheat-free foods are made and can be found at health food stores.

WHOLE FOODS: Whole Foods is both a national health food market chain AND foods that are almost entirely or entirely unprocessed and unrefined before consumption. Whole foods do not contain sugar, salt, fat, or chemical additives; they do contain antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients like fiber and beneficial fats. Eating whole foods help reduce chance of early aging and diseases.

PESCETARIAN: Pescetarians practice a diet that includes seafood and excludes mammals and birds. In addition to fish or shellfish, a pescetarian diet typically includes some or all of vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains, beans, eggs, and dairy.

QUINOA: Quinoa is a seed prepared similarly to whole grains and is closely related to beetroots, spinach, and tumbleweeds. It contains essential amino acids, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. The seeds are often cooked similarly to rice and are used in a variety of dishes.

Try it in my: Almond Crusted Salmon with Cilantro Cherry Quinoa

HEMP SEEDS: Hemp seeds are a high protein seed containing all essential amino acids. It also contains fatty acids, fiber, vitamin E, and trace minerals. These seeds are used in packaged products found in health stores, or used in smoothies or on top of salads, granola, puddings or other desserts.

Possible Recipe: Gluten-free banana bread with hemp, chia, flax, maca, cacao & cacao nibs etc. etc.

TURMERIC: Turmeric is a plant in the ginger family that is often ground into a spice that appears as deep orange-yellow powder. It is often used in curries or mustards and has a hot, peppery flavor. Research indicates that turmeric can aid in treating diseases from Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, cancer, to other chronic illnesses.

Try it in my: Homemade Vegan Chile con Queso

FARMING Verbiage

BIODYNAMIC: A farming technique that combines organic methods with the influences of the sun, moon, planets, and stars.

CALIFORNIA CERTIFIED ORGANIC FARMERS: An independent party that was the first to provide certification services to all stages of the organic food chain from farms to processors, restaurants, and retailers.

COMPOSTING: Involves combining organic matter (any material that was recently living or produced by a living organism and is capable of decomposition) and recycling it back into the earth. You can start composting in your home and use it to start your own small garden.

CSA (COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE): This system allows people to pay a subscription and buy a share of a farm. This supports the concept of “buying local.”

ECO-CONSCIOUS: Those who choose to buy local and organically on a general scale.

FAIR TRADE CUSTOMERS: Workers, often in developing countries, are given good opportunities such as higher wages, proper training, and work provided directly from co-ops.

LOCAL FARMER’S MARKET:  While the food is not always organic, it is local- which is a great start to understanding one of the elements of clean eating.

NATURAL FOODS: Unlike organic foods, natural foods are not regulated. While they don’t consist of unhealthy preservatives and other chemicals, they may have been genetically engineered or created using conventional farming methods.

ORGANIC FARMING: Similar to organic techniques, this type of farming does not use chemicals, genetic modification, or irradiation.

ORGANIC TECHNIQUES: Techniques that don’t allow the use persistent toxic chemicals or pesticides or methods such as irradiation- exposure to ionizing radiation.

PERSISTENT TOXIC CHEMICALS: Materials that remain active after application and remain in the environment for years.

PESTICIDES: Persistent toxic chemicals that destroy living things and affect the environment.

UNCONVENTIONAL FARMING METHODS: Includes “free range” practices, which means that animals are not confined (free to roam) and have better conditions presented to them.

Now that you know some ‘clean eating’ terms, take it a step further. Try buying foods at a local Whole Foods or other health store. If you buy food in a regular food store, make sure you double check that its certified organic, as there are four classifications, or see if it’s certified naturally grown, which is typically food grown by local farmers.

You can help keep you and your family healthy and safe from toxic chemicals and hormones in foods!