Tag: lifestyle

Why eat organic food if it might not be all that “organic?”

Over the past ten years, organic food has become regularly accessible at most supermarkets. Customers often question why they should pay more for food that appears identical to its non-organic counterpart.

According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Organic foods are free from “synthetic pesticides and herbicides, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, and monosodium glutamate (MSG).” The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mandates that all items bearing the organic label must be at least 95% organic.

Critics argue that consumers who eat only organic food are merely paranoid, and have fallen victim to a scheme to increase profits.  Perhaps there is some validity to this claim.

According to Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, a recent study concluded that organically and conventionally produced foods “are not significantly different in their nutrient content.”

Therefore, eating non-organic fruits and vegetables may not make much of a difference to one’s health, aside from the potentially harmful effects of pesticides and herbicides. However, non-organic processed foods tend to contain some odd ingredients such as Butylated Hydroxyanisole, disodium guanylate, etc. Perhaps we should examine the ingredients labels of our food to make sure that we know what we are putting into our bodies.

With the organic craze sweeping the nation at super market chains everywhere, it’s hard to tell what really is organic anymore.

Adam Higgins
Staff Writer

To vape or not to vape?

What is “vaping?” Originally intended for current adult smokers that wished to continue enjoying their nicotine habit at a reduced risk, electronic cigarettes, also known as personal vaporizers or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), are battery-powered vaporizers.

While simulating the feeling of smoking tobacco by utilizing a Propylene Glycol or Vegetable Glycerin based liquid, they are mixed with small amounts of nicotine and food grade flavoring. The vapor created is inhaled and exhaled much like cigarette smoke, hence the term “vaping.”

The solution for these vaporizers are often sold in a bottle or in pre-filled disposable cartridges and are manufactured with various tobacco, fruit, and other flavors, as well as variable nicotine concentrations (including nicotine-free versions) and labeling according to their nicotine concentration.

Most tend to work the same way and include a battery, a heating element, and a cartridge that holds nicotine and other liquids and flavorings. Features and costs can vary, and while some are disposable, others contain rechargeable batteries and refillable cartridges. With an increase of popularity over the last year or so, it’s not hard to come across vaporizers in some form on campus.

The real debate lies in whether the pros outweigh the cons. Obviously, nicotine inside the cartridges is addictive just like it would be in any other form. When you stop using it, you can get withdrawal symptoms such as feeling irritable, depressed, restless and anxious and can be dangerous for people with heart problems. Tests have shown that the levels of dangerous chemicals they give off are a fraction of what you’d get from a real cigarette, but what’s in them can vary.

So, do e-cigarettes makethe problem better or worse?

Some argue that because nicotine is addictive, e-cigarettes could lead to becoming a “gateway drug,” resulting in nonsmokers and kids to use tobacco. There is also the worry about whether this could make smoking popular again, throwing away years of anti-smoking campaigns and rolling back decades of progress in getting people to quit or avoiding it altogether.

Meanwhile, others look at the possible benefits for smokers.

Michael Siegel, a professor at Boston University’s School of Public Health stated recently in an interview, “Obviously, it would be best if smokers could quit completely, but if that’s not possible, I think they’d be a lot better off with e-cigarettes. They’re a safer alternative.”

While replacing cigarettes with vaporizers may have its own risks, it is proven to be safer in some aspects. They are likely to be less harmful to users and bystanders.

Overall, the benefits of this newest fad and innovation include the non-use of tobacco, a cheaper alternative, no second hand smoke, and is completely odorless.

Due to the recent appearance, there’s yet to be a great deal of health research pertaining to the side effects of their use. Common courtesy is another necessary aspect to keep in mind when out in public areas. Whether or not you choose to see E-cigs as a positive or negative, remember to weigh your options carefully.

Megan Wise
Staff Writer