Keeping a Cool Head Can Earn You Money

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You’ve heard it before: Don’t let emotions get in the way of business.  Well the adage holds true for investing, as well – probably even more so.  It seems easy enough to do, but when you see the value of your savings falling like a botched Martha Stewart soufflé, your first instinct may be to sell, sell sell!  But acting out of emotion can often be the worst thing you could do when it comes to investing.  Here are some tips to prevent sabotaging your financial well-being.

  1. Make sure you have a specific financial goal (or goals) with a specific time frame in mind. Sounds pretty basic, right?  It may be, but the trick is to really give this some serious thought.  Very rarely are you saving for just one thing at a time.  Most of us are saving for retirement, future college costs, and near-term goals like buying a new car or house, a home remodeling project, or planning a big vacation.  The way you invest for a short-term goal is very different from the strategies you would use to meet a goal that may be 30 years away, like retirement.  Long-term goals require growth provided from stocks (equities), because you will need the money to outpace inflation.  If you put your retirement savings into CDs, after thirty years, your investment would be worth less than what you put in because inflation would have reduced its purchasing power.  Short-term goals require stability, because you plan on using the money soon.  If the stock market has a set-back, you can loose a substantial amount of your investment in an eye-blink.  Therefore, CDs, money market, or even short-term bonds would be a good choice for a shorter investment time frame. When I hear people say they want to make as much money as fast as they can – they need to know the reality is that the inverse holds true for that investment, as well.  If an investment can move up in value rapidly, it is volatile and it could just as easily (and swiftly) move in the opposite direction.
  2. Diversify your investments.  Yes, stocks are for growth and bonds, money markets and CDs are for income, but having a mix of investments can really protect your investments from times when the stock market may be volatile, or times when rates on CDs or money markets are anemic. Alternative investments, as a group might be risky, but when added to a portfolio (and combined in very specific percentages) can actually reduce a portfolio’s overall volatility.
  3. Start as early as you can, and invest regularly.  The earlier you begin investing for your long-term goals, the better, because time is on your side.  As your investment grows, you can take advantage of compounding, which is when you take whatever income or gains from an investment and buy more shares.  Investing regularly is another good strategy, because it helps remove emotions from investing.  By treating investing like a bill to pay every month, you stop thinking about how else you could spend the money.  Over the years, the money adds up and one day you look at your balance, and you can’t believe how painless it was to actually save.  Most mutual fund companies will even link payment to your bank so every month your bank account will automatically be debited and you won’t ever need to remember to write out and mail a check.  There is also another big advantage to making regular fixed investments every month:  it is called dollar-cost averaging.  Because there may be some months when the price of a fund is lower than other times, you will buy more shares, and during the months when the price is higher you will buy fewer shares.  The price, in effect, gets averaged out over time.  It helps protect you from sinking all of your money into an investment on a day that may happen to be a high.  Yes, this also means that you will not be buying on the absolute lowest day, either.  But, since the market is impossible to time, this is the most logical (unemotional) way to invest, not to mention it puts an element of discipline into your commitment to invest.
  4. The markets can be fickle, but don’t you be.  A well constructed plan needs to be followed out.  If you shift your plan as the market moves, you will forever chase performance and be a reactive investor.  Holding firm to your plan isn’t always easy, but deviating from it can prove fatal.

 Remember, like most things, the planning is the hardest part.  Once you’ve determined what your goals are, and how much time you have to reach these goals then you can begin selecting the right investments.  Then, you can let your money work for you.

Thank You Maya Angelou

I’ll never forget the first time I read something by Maya Angelou. It was a number of years ago. I had been in New York City, and found a used bookstore. Bookstores are something I rarely pass up, and used bookstores are a treat for me. I love finding old editions of books, and also old cookbooks, which I used to collect.

I saw a book on the table, picked it up and randomly opened it. The words immediately struck my eye, and then down into my soul:

“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size, but when I start to tell them, they think I’m telling lies. I say, it’s in the reach of my arms, the span of my hips, the stride of my step, the curl of my lips.
I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.”

I was so insecure at that time in my life, with a very low self-esteem. I went through my days thinking I wasn’t good enough, and that my body was ugly. Those words were a revelation to me! They told me, “You have a choice. You control who you are, and let no one else decide that for you.”. Wow…powerful.

I believe that those words Maya Angelou wrote, the ones that had such an impact on me, were the first of the healthy seeds to get planted that would eventually take root, so I could grow and blossom when I was ready to start my journey to be healthy, years later. Now I do believe that I am phenomenal, and don’t judge myself so harshly as I used to. My thoughts are rooted in love with any self-change being brought with positive thought, not negative criticism.

What book, poem or author has inspired you to take action in your life, or to see things in a new way?

IF YOU ARE THINKING OF RELOCATING 3 IMPORTANT ACTIONS TO TAKE

1.  Do thorough research on locations you are thinking of moving to.  Compare statistics on cost of living, employment opportunities, education, healthcare, crime and tax structure to get an overview on the “livability” of a community.  You want to check that your career opportunities and salary potential would support your desired lifestyle in that location.  Often when moving from a high-cost city like New York people find salaries are much lower.  You just want to be sure the cost of housing and taxes are measurably lower to make the move worthwhile.  Be sure to figure in your cost to relocate – homesale costs, moving van and various costs involved with a move in addition to home purchase or rental costs.

 

2.  Be sure you and your family really want to move.  Visit the new city on several occasions at different times of the year to see if living and working in the new community would provide better opportunities and quality of life than your current situation and home town.  How’s the weather?  What entertainment and recreational activities are available?  Will your spouse also be able to find work opportunities.  

 

Don’t overlook the “buy-in” of the children when moving.  Relocation experts can advise on preparing children and present solutions to help ease them into their new school and neighborhood.  

 

Think about what are the drawbacks to making the move?  Do the benefits outweigh them?  Try and project into the future how life will be there in several years.  Is this a place you would be happy for a good period of time?  No one wants to endure the stress and cost of moving too often.  Careful planning and decision making is important.  

 

3.  Work with a realtor who is a Certified Relocation Professional (CRP) and relocation specialist.  When relocating with your current employer a package of relocation benefits and services are often provided.  Your Human Resource Director or Benefits Director would detail company policy.  The benefits often include some reimbursement of costs and cover coordination of the move from the current or departure city to the destination city.

 

If your move is not through your current employer it is definitely important to work with a realtor who is a CRP or relocation specialist.  These agents have in-depth experience moving corporate personnel and are trained to provide top level service for individuals and families making such a move.  Services include pre-move counseling, community research, referral to and coordination with top realtors in the destination communities who provide area tours and temporary living arrangements, in addition to home or apartment searches.  Services of your relocation specialist will also include homesale assistance here in your current location and coordination of the total move – overseeing the actual move process itself.  Constant coordination and communication with the realtor  in the destination community is provided by your relocation specialist and ensures details of the living arrangements and settling-in services are carried out.  

 

Moving, as we know, is one of the more stressful events in life.  Moving to a new city is certainly a more difficult move than just moving across town.  However, a well-researched, well thought-out move using the services of experienced professionals makes all the difference.  

 

For a free Guide to Relocating and Relocation Consultation call Helen Keit at 800-742-0126 or email Helen.Keit@KW.com.

 

 

Remembering Those in Need

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Remember

Remember

This article was triggered by my frustration trying to help a lovely woman in need and my inability to rally people to help.  It breaks my heart how one person can give so much and can wind up so alone, fighting insurmountable obstacles. 

With this being Memorial Day, I started thinking broader about the silent plight of so many. 

I am a person who looks at an issue and sees the “big picture”, not just what directly affects me.  I continuously marvel about how today’s “problems”, in many cases, are not new.  Many of these issues are recurring in our society.  Time and again I marvel at how history repeats itself – it we let it – which I did go into greater detail in our book, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life” (www.ifiknewthenbook.com).  

I continuously assume people will feel the same urgencies I do for certain things and about situations that affect us as a whole.  Time and again I wind up frustrated, disappointed or surprised.

With this being Memorial Day, I am reminded of a conversation I had with an elected official.  I asked him why we don’t hear daily reports about our military personnel or the plight of our veterans.  He told me that, unlike during the world wars when everyone was affected, only 1% of people in our country are currently connected to military personnel or situations. 

My family does not have anyone in the military, but I totally believe that we should care about the men and women who are protecting our freedoms, at home and abroad.  I believe we should know what they need, how to help, and how to care.  Not just on Memorial Day or Veterans Day, but every day. 

Did you know that 22 soldiers a day commit suicide?  http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2013/02/05/22-the-number-of-veterans-who-now-commit-suicide-every-day  Did you know that many Veterans are homeless? There are many articles that gave a statistics that approximately 58,000 veterans were homeless in the year 2013.  It is so hard for me to believe that someone could fight for our freedoms and end up in this manner. Through my work experience in healthcare I have learned that many don’t know where to get help or the resources available.

If you look into history, these situations that currently affect our Veterans are not new.  We still hear the term “the forgotten war”, and many talk about our current Veterans fitting into this same category. 

Working in quality improvement for many years, I have learned that you cannot ignore issues – things will only continue to get worse.  I have learned that it is better to weigh your options and implement the best possible solution when first identifying the problem.  This can be applied to anything; for example a hole in a pipe will get larger and larger (it won’t go away), health problems will continue to compound, or a car that is in disrepair will eventually stop working. 

I am acutely aware that one person cannot be involved in and deal with everything, but I am also aware that many people might just say, “That’s too bad” and move along in their day.  I believe there are so many things that get put on the back burner without getting the proper attention that it should.  In the end, issues will just get larger and continue to reappear.  Just watch our nightly news and the stories that we hear over and over.  We see the same situations, on a daily basis, just reported on with different names and dates.

With this being Memorial Day, please take a moment today to reflect on our Veterans, their dedication and sacrifice.  Perhaps do a quick “Google” search to find one of the many organizations working to help our Veterans.  Perhaps there is something you can contribute.  If each one of us does one little thing to help, we can make things better.  That’s the concept behind “people helping people” and Time to Play (www.TimetoPlay.com).

I’ll even inappropriately venture out on this Memorial Day and ask you to stop a moment to consider the plight of others, those who may not be Veterans.

In reference to my dear friend, she has been going through a horrible health crisis for almost a year.  She’s just one of many who are going through a crisis in their lives or the lives of their loved ones.  I had believed she had a stronger support group than she actually does have.  Maybe I just want to believe that everyone has some type of support group or a person they can count on in their time of need.  The more I’ve been working on the Time to Play project, the more I realize that just isn’t so and how many people are out there truly out there on their own. 

In this particular case, I’ve been trying to do a fundraiser for her with not great results.  Maybe it’s because she is not a young child, maybe people just have too much of their own stuff that they are dealing with.  Through working on Time to Play, many have said to me that, unless something directly affects a person, it is hard for them to wrap their minds around the plight of another. 

I will never be able to accept that. 

We all need to care. 

People Helping People.  Collaboration = Success.

I've Seen the Future…

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I have been traveling non-stop for the past few months as opportunities were awarded to me that I just couldn’t turn down.  And you know how much I love to travel!!  These incredible trips have all been true learning experiences.  One of the benefits of being an experienced traveler is that I have a lot of practical experience to offer my clients.  I think of the trips as “research” in order to help my clients get the most from their vacation dollars.  But believe me, no one has to twist my arm!

One of the tips I can pass on to my clients is to consider the “timing” or calendar when booking a vacation.  A recent trip I was on happened to coincide with local May Day Celebrations.  May Day falls on May 1st and is an ancient spring festival and usually treated as a public holiday in many cultures.  This meant that the city center in Budapest that we were supposed to be exploring was completely shut down to traffic and we could not get into that city to see any sites.  Banks, attractions and shops were closed.  It was very disappointing and in the future I will make it a priority to advise all my clients to be aware of this type of “calendar” event.

I’ve also been noticing a very exciting technology trend that is showing up on cruises and specifically on my Scenic River Cruise trip to Europe.  You are given a GPS-activated “Tailor-made” device which allows you to independently listen to directions and commentary whenever you’d like.  A Scenic Tailor-made app can be downloaded for free on your Smartphone, or you can take one of their pre-loaded devices.  This is truly touring at your own pace.  Complimentary electrical-assisted bicycles are available which include special mounts to hold your personal GPS-guided tour system.  I was very impressed by the freedom this entitles you and my other travelers felt this was at times a vast improvement over using conventional local tour guides.  And one more note about the Scenic River Cruise, the food was outstanding!  You really needed to use those bikes after the wonderful meals they provide to you.

When I started to write travelblogs about my trips, it was really to help me remember my own experiences and memories.  But as I write this latest travelblog, I realize how happy it makes me to pass on good information and hopefully some of the passion I feel as a traveler.  Travel is our life and excellent customer service is our strength.  Give Chris and myself, at Cruise Planners American Express, a call to find out the latest travel deals and weigh in with your best travel tip on our comment section or on our FaceBook page.  I might just use it in my next travelblog! Happy Travels!!!  Call us at (631) 893-4232 for any of your travel needs or email to skorte@cruiseplanners.com

CHRIS & SHEILA KORTE, ACC
skorte@cruiseplanners.com
Winners of Best of Long Island Travel Agency 2014

www.kortetravel.com

Toll Free: (631) 893-4232 ~ 866-81-KORTE (56783)
Local: 631-893-4232

Babylon, NY 11702

Finding a Purposeful Midlife: Volunteer Vacations!

On my quest to find meaningful and purposeful ways for Baby Boomers to spend time, I stumbled on something and someone “truly amazing”: Global Volunteers and its co-founder Michele Gran.

global volunteers logo

As I dug through the organizational literature, I found that this nonprofit runs volunteer projects around the world – each one making a significant difference in the health and well-being of the community it serves, and each one providing needed and valuable services.

And, it gets better. This global organization is delivering all of this the exact, right way. All projects are done in conjunction with local organizations so that each project is built to best support the real needs of the community as seen from the inside. That hits us, the Baby Boomer generation at our core values, and hits me, on every single responsible, brain healthy activity level – we can Be Active, Be Social, Be Engaged, and Be Purposeful while being responsible and respectful of community and cultural values.

As I dug deeper, I found that about 30% of Global Volunteers’ current participants are Baby Boomers. I was so encouraged and intrigued by this focus that I reached out to Michele Gran, Trustee and Co-Founder, and she graciously agreed to speak with me.

When I asked Michele how she saw the value of Baby Boomers serving as volunteers, she explained that this 30 year old organization “grew up with the Baby Boom generation and to date Boomers have been the backbone of the Global Volunteers.”

Michele believes that we are the generation of change makers and that perspective makes us the perfect match for volunteer work. Service projects are the perfect vehicle for this huge group of ready willing and able-bodied people with a passion for fairness and social justice. Michele believes that we were raised on these values and, as we age, our generation will find service and service projects as a way to fulfill that need to find a deeper purpose.

And then the conversation turned to brain health and the St. Lucia project…. We talked about how brains need the proper environmental support to grow, develop, and thrive. With that basic premise in mind, Michele and her team built a demonstration project on St. Lucia as a perfect way to build the case for promoting healthy brain development – change the basic conditions, one community at a time, and change the world.

Talk about the most perfect fit…. More on Global Volunteers projects later but for now, it is so reassuring to know that I am not screaming into a vacuum. There are organizations out there, directed by people who “get it” – we just need to find what matches best for each of us.

What kind of service projects help you serve your purpose?

Celebrate Today – Don’t Wait

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celebrateI woke up thinking about celebrations today.  I guess it was a result of this past weekend being Mother’s Day.  My mother used to frequently say, “Mother’s Day is not just one day, but every day”.  True.  This is a thought we could actually utilize in so many aspects of our lives.

How many of us celebrate each day?  Let’s break that down a little, as I know that’s a bit vague.  I started www.TimetoPlay.com to relearn how to live and enjoy life.  I have worked in healthcare for 27 years and have seen what I term the “sick and sad”.  I have learned after these past years of this endeavor that life is short and meant to be savored. 

That’s a hard and vague concept for us, too.  It’s hard to grasp a concept of acknowledging each second of our day is precious when so much is thrown at us every day.  Job issues, family issues, health issues.  It gets truly overwhelming sometimes.  We are all human and may get caught up in the emotions and frustrations of our day.  My gift from working on www.TimetoPlay.com, becoming a life coach, and meeting people from whom I have learned amazing things has been my ability to recognize when I need to STOP, reevaluate and make a choice on how I react and to move on.  It is important to recognize when we are in a situation that is undesirable.  I recognize that some things we can do something about, and some things we can’t.  BUT, it’s ALWAYS in our power to change our reactions to a situation, to reevaluate, and to make the best choices to move forward.  We are NEVER without power.  Remember that.  Don’t let anyone, especially not your thoughts, steal your power.

Through www.TimetoPlay.com I have realized the importance of stopping what we’re doing or thinking, to be unplugged, to listen to a bird chirping, to talk to our friends and our children.  I have recognized the importance of celebrating each day, to see the beauty that we miss when we are part of the hustle and bustle to get things done.  Even as I sit here writing this, I have become more aware of my surroundings, listening to the sound of the fish tank and enjoy the shadows the sun is making in my home that I would have missed in months and years past. 

Start to celebrate the little things.  It will make your heart happy.  Try it.

Celebrate yourself… your beauty, your smile, your achievements, your surroundings.  Things may not be easy, or things may not be exactly as you want or had envisioned, but celebrate what you are and what you have at this exact moment in your life.  You are special the way you are.  You are the only one of you.

Celebrate others… I know from experience that we usually wait for milestones to make people feel special for their “special days” during birthdays, on holidays, or during special events.  I do my best to compliment people any time I can.  Do it and watch people’s reactions.  We all work so hard.  It’s nice for the sales person to get a, “Wow, you did that checkout so fast, I’m so impressed”, or “What a nice smile”, or “You are so pleasant, I enjoyed shopping here today”.  Try it.  It not only brings an amazing smile to their face (and a look of shock and awe), but I promise it will bring a smile to your face, too.

Celebrate family…  How many times do you say, “I love you” but mean it?  How many hugs or kisses do you bestow?  How many times do you sit down for a special dinner or a celebration or do something that’s not “required” due to a holiday, birthday or a day like Mother’s Day?  How many times do things feel more like work and not something you are doing from your heart? 

My babies are 22, 20 and 19 years old.  They are not at home very often anymore, and it seems to get harder and harder to even talk to them on a daily basis.  I know that I always had made efforts to create special days, projects, “field trips” and events when they were small, but savoring memories is not living.  Doing is living, and I strive to make what I can fit into my day as special as possible.  Let them know they’re special, not just a “job” or an obligation.  See and feel the difference it makes in your heart and in your relationship. 

Last but not least, how about our spouses.  Appreciation is everything, and, in our day to day, we may take them for granted.  It’s so important to acknowledge each other.  We are all so busy, but I’m throwing it out there to not just wait for an obligatory reason like a birthday or holiday to celebrate them.  Things are different and much faster today than when I was younger, and I know, personally, how we can get so caught up in things that are not important.  I’m asking that you take a moment to thank them for just being them, for doing the things that they do, and for being who they are.  That’s why we loved them, in the first place, isn’t it?

Love – the word of today.  Love life, love each other, love yourself. 

Don’t wait to celebrate. 

Every day is a reason for celebration.

Celebrate yourself and everyone around you.  Feel the feelings you get.  Try it.  You, and those around you (after they make you go to the doctor to make sure you are ok) might even smile.

The Great Love Debate

love debate

So, as a well-known Dating and Life Coach, I’m going to be speaking on the expert panel at “The Great Love Debate Comes to NYC” and I need to say something profound, right? Something thought provoking, creative, show stopping, ground breaking, correct? Yes, something to send singles home with the inspiration that they need to bring the love into their lives that they desire. But there’s one extremely simple and basic phrase, actually a question, that captures it all for me, and I can’t seem to get it out of my head…

 

Here it is in a nutshell: Let’s get off automatic pilot now and breathe into the courage of asking ourselves the following question regarding our love lives, “How is my approach working for me?” If the answer is “well,” that’s beautiful, carry on. If the answer is different than that, it’s time to take a look at our core beliefs.  All of us human beings love to cling to our views, our thought patterns, our understanding of people, our definitions, and our neat categories. Way down deep inside, each one of us thinks we’ve got it all completely figured out.

 

Well, let’s draw strength and support from each other and let’s challenge some of those beliefs that may be keeping us in our own isolated prisons.  Let’s ask ourselves that one powerful question, “How is my approach working for me?” Then let’s listen carefully to our own answers and begin to break out of our comfort zone, one belief at a time, one baby step at a time; no more excuses.

 

Who’s in for “The Great Love Debate Comes to NYC?” Let’s show up with open minds, ready to integrate some new perspectives into our dating belief system. Let’s truly listen not only to the expert panel, but to each and every audience participant, particularly of the opposite sex, and let’s begin to change things up, OK?

 

Connecting with your Loved Ones who have passed away for Comfort and Joy

As you may be aware from my bio, I am a psychic medium. As such I am able to help people by connecting them with their loved ones who have passed away. Although I was born with these abilities and was quite active as a young child, I, like many children, shut them down. I continued to live my life as what I refer to as a person with passive abilities versus active abilities. Although I had the occasional experience which I was unable to explain, it was not until 2004 that my abilities began opening up prompting me to enter into the study of these abilities and how to use them. Having experienced both sides of life, as a person with passive abilities and a person with active abilities, I much prefer being active. Part of what I do as a medium, is to validate the experiences of others. Frequently, clients will come to me having had contact with one of their loved ones but because they are at that time in their life, non active, they are unsure of whether the experience occurred or whether it was their imagination. Often during the reading, the spirit advises me of what happened, I relay that to the client and they then confirm it happened. The client is frequently relieved to hear validation and then even happier to hear that their loved one connected, whether it was for a visit or to provide assistance to the client in their everyday life.

When I lecture on the topic of connecting with our loved ones in the World of Spirit, most people ask how can they develop their own abilities. I tell them to develop a meditation practice and attend classes with experienced mediums, such as myself. Meditation is a practice which I have written about on this site before. It will improve physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. An aspect of developing a strong meditative practice is to raise your consciousness to a level where you are connecting not only to loved ones who passed away but also your higher self and the Divine. I strongly recommend meditation, for its benefits but also as a method to assist people who wish to develop their intuitive gifts.

For those who do not have active mediumistic gifts, they may still have experiences. So what are the ways our loved ones reach us if we are not practicing mediums? One way is through our dreams. Often times when we are asleep, our brain waves reach a level that a person in a meditative or trance state achieves, enabling them to communicate on different planes of consciousness. There is a name for this type of contact called after death communication. Often after a loved one has passed, a client will say they had a dream where the loved one came in and unlike most dreams, this was a different experience. Usually there is no emotion attached or fear during the encounter, it feels natural. The client may however feel some fear afterwards when faced with the uncertainty of whether it was real. Understanding that it can happen, often alleviates that fear. So, for those of you who have had this type of experience, understand it can happen and your loved ones often draw near in times when you are upset in order to bring comfort. They may also be present during celebratory times as well as everyday moments.

Organic Does Matter

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My daughter went through early puberty at the age of 6 years old. She is now 17 years old. I spent many days and nights researching the cause and how could I possibly slow down the process. Needless to say, going Organic was one of the solutions. Well 17 years ago Organic foods were not so popular, but I knew deep within my soul that chemicals, hormones and pesticides in our foods were one of the culprits.

Originally, all foods were “organic.” They were grown and prepared without pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, hormones or irradiation. Foods were unrefined, whole or minimally processed. Since World War II and the advent of chemical farming and food processing, the soils and foods of much of the world have been depleted of many important minerals and nutrients.

 Our food these days, whether of vegetable or animal origin, are not only deficient in nutrients, but also full of pollutants and farming chemicals. The modern process of denaturing foods via heavy refining and chemical treatment deeply affects the life force of our food supply, making it difficult to foster equilibrium and health.

 Pesticides, which have been shown to cause cancer and liver, kidney and blood diseases, create extra work for the immune system. They lodge and accumulate in tissue, resulting in a weakened immune system, and consequently allow other carcinogens and pathogens to filter into the body and affect our health. Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs.

 Top 10 reasons to buy and eat organic foods:

 1. Keep chemicals off your plate. Organic is more nutritious! Pesticides are poisons designed to kill living organisms and thus are harmful to humans. Many approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is a way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, water and food supply.

2. Protect future generations. Children are four times more sensitive to exposure to cancer-causing pesticides in foods than adults. Studies show that the hormones in these foods to make the animals mass produce, contribute to early puberty in children.

 3. Antibiotic resistance. Most non-organic animals are given low dose antibiotics to prevent illness. We ingest these antibiotics when we eat non-organic animals causing human antibiotic resistance. So when we get ill we may need to take a few different types of antibiotics before we may get better.

 4. Protect water quality. Pesticides pollute the public’s primary source of drinking water for more than half the country’s population.

 5. Organic farmers work in harmony with nature. Three billion tons of topsoil erodes from croplands in the U.S. each year, and much of it is due to conventional farming practices, which often ignore the health of the soil. Organic agriculture respects the balance necessary for a healthy ecosystem; wildlife is encouraged by including forage crops in rotation and by retaining fencerows, wetlands and other natural areas.

 6. Help small farmers. Buying local and organic supports your local community and can improve your health! Although more and more large-scale farms are making the conversion to organic practices, most organic farms are small, independently owned and operated family farms. USDA reported that in 1997, half of U.S. farm production came from only 2% of farms. Organic agriculture can be a lifeline for small farms because it offers an alternative market where sellers can demand fair prices for crops.

 7. Support a true economy. Local farm produce is priced pretty competitively with commercial produce. Organic foods might seem expensive at first. However, your tax dollars pay for hazardous waste clean-up and environmental damage caused by conventional farming.  You can’t put a price on your health!

 8.  Bee friendly. Unfortunately, 2013 saw a continued decline in bee population, without bees, many important crops would disappear. Such as apples, almonds, blueberries, cherries, avocados and oranges that depend on bees to pollinate and reproduce. Studies showed the honey bee population declined from a weakening in their immune system from a combination of insecticides and fungicides.

 9. Nourishment. Organic farming starts with the nourishment of the soil, in turn producing nourishing plants. Well-maintained soil produces strong, healthy plants that have more nutrients than conventionally grown produce.

 10. Flavor. Organic produce simply tastes better. Conduct your own taste test!

 

 Note: Review the “Dirty Dozen” put out by the Environmental Work Group to know which produce should be priority when buying Organic. http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

 

Sources:Adapted from materials provided by Whole Foods Market and the Organic Trade Association. Adapted by Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Adapted with additional information based on research and personal experience by Barbara Ann Grova.