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All too often today consumers find themselves inundated with products that claim to be “green,” but the problem is that this term is so broad now that most consumers aren’t aware of what or how the food they’re consuming is grown. Is a product “Earth-Friendly” if it uses 60 percent less pesticides than a competitor? Companies like Perfekt Earth believe that the only truly green solution is all natural food, with no chemical additives what-so-ever, either in the growing or preserving process. That being the case, we compiled this list of helpful tips to help to make sure that food product is really earth-friendly.

1)  Did you buy it locally? Local foods don’t need to be shipped long distances and are less likely to have preservatives applied to keep them fresh for their cross-country or even cross-world journey. It’s also easier to check to see if a whether or not a local farmer uses chemical enhancers or organic soil enhancers when growing their food.
2)  Did it come from a farmer’s market? Not only are you much more likely to find non-chemically enhanced food, but many of the vendors there are the farmers and their families, who are usually more than happy to answer your questions about their farming practices.
3)  Did it come from a can? Stay away from canned fruits and vegetables. When buying a canned product you’re almost certainly going to have added chemicals of some variety.
4)  What type of food is it? It’s especially important to buy fruits like apples from local farms. Apples tend to go bad relatively quickly and crates are generally pumped full of methylcyclopropene before being shipped. This can preserve apples for up to a year, and bananas for up to a month…but it’s not something we should be putting into my bodies.
5)  Did you check the label? Especially with fruit juices, milk, and other drinks, if it contains Benzoic Acid or Sodium Benzoate you might want to avoid it. These preservatives temporarily inhibit proper functioning of your digestive enzymes which can cause headaches, stomachaches, and asthma attacks.
6)  Does it have artificial sweeteners? Stay away from artificial sweeteners, which have been shown to cause everything from anxiety attacks to diseases like lymphoma, and high fructose corn syrup which is packed full of calories and can negatively affect your cholesterol level in a very short time.
7)  Does it have MSG? Monosodium Glutamate is a popular flavor enhancer, especially in take-out food, chips, cookies, seasonings, and lunch meats, and is a proven cause of weight gain and depression.

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Follow these tips, but keep in mind that they are only a few of the things commonly found in today’s foods, so it’s important to educate yourself on how things are grown and farmed, and what is truly safe to put in your body. Always remember to check the labels for ingredients or chemicals which might be better off left outside you and your family’s bodies.