Health Terminology



Allergen Free Logo



If you see an “Allergen-Free” logo it means the product is free of some ingredient(s) known to cause an allergic reaction in sensitive or intolerant people. The most common food allergies are to nuts, gluten, dairy, peanuts and eggs.

BOTTOM LINE: If you have a food allergy, read the ingredients list and don’t rely on the “Allergen-Free” icon.




Antioxidants are molecules that can help prevent cancer, aging and disease. Some research suggests that they could aid in preventing heart disease and strokes. Antioxidants are found in fruits and veggies as well as cocoa (dark chocolate), nuts, seeds, fish oils, liver, and egg yolk.


Generally means what it says, the animal isn’t given antibiotics, but the FDA doesn’t have uniform standards or a clear definition so practices can vary.

BOTTOM LINE: If you want to be sure your meat doesn’t have antibiotics, buy certified organic.


Aquaculture (see also ‘Farmed Fish’)


Aquaculture, also known as fish or shellfish farming, is the process of breeding, rearing or harvesting plants and animals in some body of water, whether in ponds, lakes, rivers or the ocean. Aquaculture is the fastest growing form of food production in the world; almost half of the world’s seafood is farmed.

BOTTOM LINE: It’s a great way to meet the world’s demand for fresh seafood, but it’s not without environmental hazards and the fish may not be as nutritious. If you can’t find wild-caught, buy sustainably farmed fish. Use the link below to find out how.



Artificial Colors


Artificial colors make our food look really exciting (would Skittles look as good if they were white?), but they could be toxic, carcinogens and contributors to ADHD.

The FDA has banned many artificial colors over the years because of health effects, especially to children. Currently, only seven colors are permitted. Yellow #5 is one of them, but it’s undergoing testing to see if it contributes to hyperactivity, anxiety, migraines and cancer. It’s currently banned in the European Union. Artificial colors are in everything from cheese to candy to pet food and beauty products, so read labels carefully if you want to avoid them.



Artificial Fragrances


Artificial fragrances are synthetic, or man made, and over 75 percent contain phthalates (THAL-ates), which are hormone disrupters that can reduce sperm count, cause reproductive malformation in addition to cancer, birth defects and nervous-system disorders. New research suggests that ‘styrene,’ a chemical substance used in many everyday products including some fragrance, can cause cancer (see EWG’s link below for more).

BOTTOM LINE: Don’t buy anything with “fragrance” on the label. Nature does a pretty good job of attracting us to each other. Rely on that!



Ayurvedic Medicine


Ayurveda medicine originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems. Literally it means ayur (life) and veda (knowledge) or life-knowledge. It’s all about developing a lifestyle that fosters a deep sense of balance and connection to self and nature. According to Ayurvedic principles, if self is out of balance, we can become ill. Treatment methods include plant-based medicines, herbal remedies, dietary and even life changes, meditation, yoga, massage and more.


Biodynamic Farming & Gardening




Biodynamic farming is a holistic form of agriculture, gardening and farming that emphasizes a connection between biodiversity, ecological, social and economic sustainability and even spirituality. The relationship between soil fertility, plant growth and animal welfare are seen as interrelated. The philosophy stems from a deep respect for the land so pesticides and chemicals are never used.







Bone Broth

What makes bone broth different from chicken or beef stock? It’s cooked at a low temperature for 24-48 hours and the bones of the animal are included in the mixture of water, vegetables, herbs and seasoning. Bone broth is high in protein and nutrition and may help replace electrolytes. Other claims are over blown. If made with chicken bones it may aid the immune system and reduce inflammation, but so does plain old chicken soup.

BOTTOM LINE: It’s not a cure-all, but is nutritious, has some health benefits.


BPA (Bisphenol-A) 


If you’re worried about plastic, you should be. BPA or bisphenol-A is an industrial chemical used to make plastic. It’s also an endocrine disrupter. Several studies have shown that it mimics estrogen and could harm brain and reproductive development in fetuses, infants and children. But the frightening news is that nearly all of the 455 commercially available plastics on the market (in 2011) were shown to leach estrogenic chemicals. A recent study showed that fish exposed to BPS and BPA experienced hyperactivity. Some studies found that people with cardiovascular disease had higher levels of BPA in their blood. The list of potential health effects to humans and animals from BPA is long and worrisome. Plastic BPA and BPS is everywhere, it’s in our water bottles, or canned food and even on some of our register receipts.









BOTTOM LINE: Avoid plastic. Drink out of glass bottles, don’t microwave in plastic or leave plastic in the sun, use glass storage containers at home and don’t buy canned foods as they are generally lined with BPA.


BPA-free or BPS bottles may be just as harmful as BPA. The vast majority of Americans have BPS in their urine. BPS can lead to metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity, asthma, birth defects or even cancer. Studies have shown that that BPS stimulates breast cancer cells slightly faster than BPA and it was recently shown to disrupt prenatal brain development. Another study involving rats found that when they were given the same doses of BPS found in humans, the females’ heart rates increased and their calcium channels were disrupted, which is a common cause of heart arrhythmia.


BOTTOM LINE: BPA-Free may be just as bad as BPA. Avoid eating or drinking anything out of plastic, including food, sauces and drinks in cans lined with plastic.



A substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue.

Certified Organic

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Yes, certified organic means your produce was grown without pesticides, but there’s a lot more to it. When the USDA inspector arrives on the farm, he checks everything from the sourcing of the seeds to soil conditions, water systems and contamination. The certification process also insures:

Soil has not been sprayed with synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or grown in sewage sludge for at least 3 years.


Animals are raised in natural living conditions—for example, cows can graze and moo-ve!


Animals chow on organic feed and grass and are not given antibiotics or hormones.


BOTTOM LINE: No pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, non GMO and animals can roam (free-range).

LINK to the USDA:




This means the little chickies gets to roam around free outside, right? Not necessarily. It literally means they aren’t raised in cages. Where they are raised can vary.

BOTTOM LINE: Cage-free is better than raised behind bars, but ask if you want more information about where they spend their time.

Chickens in a row


Candida Overgrowth

Candida is a fungus-like organism or a form of yeast. It’s naturally occurring in our bodies, but when it grows out of control due to overuse of antibiotics, eating a lot of sugar or simple carbs, some natural health practitioners believe it can wreak havoc on your health contributing to allergies, chronic inflammation, irritability, trouble concentrating, IBS and digestive health problems, UTI infections and more. However, there isn’t much evidence to support this claim and there are no clinical trials to show a candida cleanse or diet is effective in terms of treating candida overgrowth symptoms. However, this may be an area that requires more scientific investigation.

Carbon Footprint


The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) used either directly (driving your car or heating your house) or indirectly (the amount of energy needed to create the goods and services you buy) by each person or business.

CO2 contributes to global warming and climate change so reducing our carbon footprint is important.

BOTTOM LINE: Ride a bike, take public transportation and buy energy efficient appliances. Open the link below for more tips







Is a thickening or emulsifying agent used in a host of products from almond milk to ice cream and pet food. It comes from red and purple seaweed. There are two forms, carrageenan (approved for use in food products) and poligeenan (not approved for use in food products).

Some animal studies show an increase risk for ulcers and cancerous legions associated with poligeenan. Carrageenan is not a known carcinogen at this point. However, there is some concern that carrageenan could cause intestinal inflammation, but more studies are needed.

BOTTOM LINE: Best bet, avoid or limit it for now until research is more conclusive, especially if you or your pet has digestive issues.

LINK for more info:


Celiac Disease


Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that creates a severe intolerance for gluten in the body. If you have Celiac disease, gluten can damage the lining of the digestive system and can over time contribute to becoming malnourished. As a result, all gluten must be avoided. Some of the symptoms include abdominal pain and bloating, chronic diarrhea or constipation, iron-deficiency anemia, fatigue, irritability, ADHD, depression or anxiety and behavioral issues.


Climate Change


Climate change refers to the long-term warming of the Earth’s temperature (see also ‘Global Warming’) due to the build up of greenhouse gases, which blanket our planet and trap in the sun’s heat. The definition of climate change also includes a wide range of environmental effects associated with the warming of the planet such as extreme weather patterns both hot and cold, sea level rises, ocean acidification and warming seas. It’s important to note that the vast majority of scientists around the globe (97 percent) believe that climate change is due to human activities, specifically the burning of fossil fuels (coal or gas).


Cleanse (see also ‘Detox’)


A cleanse can take place over the course of a day, a week or longer and generally means ridding the body of built up “toxins” by either fasting, drinking concoctions of juice, vegetables and/or herbs or following a prescribed diet. Most doctors will tell you that the liver and kidneys detox for us. If you feel better, it’s probably because you eliminated processed food, sugar, alcohol and salt. Now just imagine how you’d feel if you ate that way everyday?



 Cold Pressed


If oil or juice is “cold pressed” it means it is produced at low temperatures (not to exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit) to retain its flavor, aroma and nutritional value.




Is the process of naturally breaking down produce and organic materials into a rich, dark substance called compost. It’s very beneficial for the soil and generates healthier plants, saves money because it reduces the need for fertilizers or mulch, is practical and convenient and you’ll feel good about yourself because you aren’t wasting food and adding to the piles of junk at the landfill.

Want to try it? Here’s how:


Detox (see also ‘Cleanse’)


A “detox” generally refers to a specific way of ‘cleansing’ the body of environmental toxins. People turn to various teas, herbs, fasting, tablets, special diets and more. Most doctors believe it’s completely unnecessary as the liver and kidneys detox for us.



Endocrine Disrupters

Endocrine disrupters are chemicals that negatively affect the body’s endocrine system, which produces and secretes hormones. They can affect developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune function in humans and animals.

Environmentally Friendly


In theory it means that the food, product or service has a limited negative impact on the environment. As of late, it has become a marketing term. If you want to be sure, look for the certified organic label or a logo from a well-respected non-profit organization.


Farmed fish (see also ‘Aquaculture’)


It’s getting tough to find fresh, wild-caught fish these days because so much of it is farmed-raised, or raised in tanks, ponds, cages or net pens, in large bodies of water or the ocean. The upside is these “farms” help supply the world’s desire for fresh fish; the downside is they aren’t as nutritious, don’t mirror a natural environment and may have some serious environmental consequences.

Disease can spread quickly because the fish are in such close quarters and as a result they are given antibiotics and pesticides; they are sometimes fed unnatural diets such as soy and corn meal; the pens fish are raised in can let the clean water in, but also the contaminated water out, which can pollute local waters and spread disease to wild fish; the nutritional content is generally lower and salmon are given chemicals to turn their flesh a pinkish color.

BOTTOM LINE: Eat wild-caught fish or fish sustainably raised with the Marine Stewardship Council logo. Look for fish raised in the United States as the US generally has stricter farming practices than other countries.




Farm-to-table means the produce was locally sourced and is in season. It literally means from the farm to your table. 














Food Co-op

A food cooperative or ‘co-op’ often refers to a type of grocery store that is owned by members. It will often contain locally sourced, seasonal food.


Are molecules that can negatively affect our cells and lead to a host of health issues including cancer. Antioxidants fight free-radicals, so be sure to eat plenty of them (see ‘Antioxidants’).

Free Range

What could be better for a little chickie than to roam around free on the range all day? But the truth is the USDA certifies that free-range chickens and turkey have been allowed “access to the outside.” It doesn’t certify what outside means, the quality of the outside or how long they get to spend outside.


BOTTOM LINE: “Free range” doesn’t necessarily mean the chicken is all that free. If you are concerned about animal welfare, buy USDA Certified Organic.


8677649972_f41b89ba0e_zGoing Green

Going green means reducing your overall environmental impact. A good place to start is to recycle, buy recycled products, eat organic food, purchase household cleaning supplies that are less toxic and buy energy efficient appliances.



Global Warming (see ‘Climate Change’)Working oil pumps

Global warming refers to the long-term warming of the planet due to a mixture of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), which blanket the planet and trap in the sun’s heat (like a giant greenhouse). Global warming can lead to ‘climate change,’ or more extreme weather patterns that create negative environmental effects like severe storms, drought, wildfires and flooding.

BOTTOM LINE: Find out what you can do to reduce your ‘carbon footprint’ some suggestions include drive less, bike and take public transportation, recycle and buy energy efficient appliances.
















No, this brownie is probably not for you if you’re gluten free.  Gluten is a mixture of proteins that occur naturally in grains such as wheat, rye and barley. A growing number of people are either gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant. Symptoms can range from gas and bloating to more negative and severe reactions throughout the body. A complete intolerance of gluten is called Celiac disease (see ‘Celiac Disease’ for more). If you see the ‘Gluten-free’ label, it means the product does not contain grains that have gluten–wheat, rye and barley.

Glycemic index

A system that ranks food based on how it effects our blood sugar and insulin levels. Some foods rank high such as russet potato, white bread and some rank low such as, oatmeal, sweet potato, and most fruits. This information is really important for diabetics.

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)


Is the process of inserting a gene from one species into the gene of another unrelated species to create a new species.  Sound confusing? It is, which is why this process is done in a lab and would not happen naturally. Today, many GMO crops are engineered to withstand the toxic chemicals sprayed on them to kill pests. One such example is Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” crops.

We need more research to better understand GMOs potentially unintended and negative consequences because once GMO crops are introduced into the environment, they can be difficult to control and contain.

MOST COMMON GMOs: soy, corn, cotton, sugar beets, canola, Hawaiian papaya, alfalfa, squash, (zucchini and yellow).

BOTTOM LINE: If you’re concerned about GMOs, buy USDA Certified Organic or look for products with the “NON GMO Project Verified” label.




Grass-fed means animals eat natural grasses and other tasty green things they might find growing in a pasture. Animals are not fed grain. It can mean that animals are raised in more humane conditions as well. Look for Food Alliance or the American Grassfed Association or the USDA Certified Organic label on the product.


Dried Tumeric at Srimongal Market - Bangladesh   Herbal Medicine

Is a natural medicine derived from a plants’ seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark or flower. Depending on the plant, there may be scientific evidence of its effectiveness. The spice used in a lot of Indian cooking, turmeric, for example is a natural anti-inflammatory and has numerous health benefits (see link below).



Is a natural and holistic form of treating various ailments and illness such as allergies, flu, IBS, rheumatoid arthritis. There is very little active ingredient in homeopathy, the contents are highly diluted, but the gist is that giving someone a small dose of what makes them sick, will help the body back to wellness or ‘like cures like’. There’s currently no scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of homeopathy.




Hormone-free means no growth hormones or hormones of any kind were given to the animal. The use of hormones in meat may increase the risk of cancer in humans and may increase the infection rates in animals. The USDA does not allow hormones to be given to chicken, turkeys or hogs. Some US farmers give hormones to diary cows to produce more milk and speed growth in beef cattle and sheep. If you want to avoid hormones in your food, look for the USDA Certified Organic label.



Junk Food


Junk food is food that can taste delicious, mostly because of the sugar and salt, but has low nutritional value, and generally comes with preservatives, artificial color and flavor, fat and lots of calories. Junk food may taste yummy, but it’s not good for you.








Food that is prepared in accordance with Jewish law. Kosher does not mean organic.



Macrobiotic Diet


Is a philosophy or way of life that emphasizes balance. Those on it are encouraged to avoid processed food, meat, sugar, eggs, tropical fruits, fruit juice and dairy and survive mostly on organic grains, such as brown rich, locally grown vegetables, seafood and nuts. They are also encouraged to exercise and maintain a positive attitude.

Marine Stewardship Council2999688274_cabf16fd7a_z

The Marine Stewardship Council is a non-profit organization that sets global standards for sustainable fishing. Seafood with the Marine Stewardship Council logo ensures that fisheries have met its environmental standards.

Marine Stewardship Council:



Mindfulness is the practice of staying present in the moment in order to connect with your thoughts, feelings and emotions. It’s goal is to reduce stress, depression, anxiety and increase a sense of happiness and well-being.  It can even improve your immune system. The good news is research supports it (see link below for more from UCLA).



UCLA Research on Mindfulness




The USDA defines natural as containing “no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed.” It could, however, contain genetically modified ingredients. Natural can also mean it’s loaded with sugar, salt and fat, so “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean healthy.




Nitrates are a chemical compound found naturally in fruits and vegetables, but they are also added to food as a synthetic preservative. When nitrates are heated at high temperatures they can become a cancer-causing compound called nitrosamines. Nitosamines are found in processed meats, like bacon, hot dogs, sausage and cold cuts.

BOTTOM LINE: Avoid nitrates and check labels carefully. If it says nitrate-free, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is. Check the label for added celery salt or juice, which contains high levels of nitrates and if you buy food with nitrates, avoid cooking at high temperatures.


Non-renewable energyWorking oil pumps

Non-renewable energy means that the energy source will run out over time. Generally, this refers to fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and crude oil.



4colorsealJPGOrganic (see “Certified Organic” )

Organic means that food is grown without pesticides or toxic chemicals, synthetic fertilizers sewage sludge and is a non-GMO. It also has provision to ensure animal welfare and soil health and considered.



Paleo Diet288090423_36e1bafed0_o

The Paleo diet attempts to mimic the way our early ancestors (think cavemen) ate by avoiding dairy, grains, processed food, sugar, legumes, starches and alcohol. The diet consists of eating fruits, veggies, lean meats, seafood, nuts & seeds and healthy fats.

Parabens & Phthalates

Are preservatives used in personal care and cosmetic products. Parabens are known to be endocrine disrupters. They are hormone-altering chemicals that are associated with miscarriage, metabolic disease and breast cancer.


Photo credit: DES Daughter, Women’s Health – Safe Cosmetics and Safer Chemicals Infographic

The jury is still out on how much exposure is harmful and it’s important to note that the FDA does not regulate ingredients in cosmetics. They can be tough to spot because parabens and phthalates are chemical compounds. Fragrance is the biggest culprit. Studies show that the more products women use; the more these chemicals show up in their urine.

BOTTOM LINE: Buy phthalate and paraben-free products.



A parasite is a living organism that feeds off a host (such as humans). They can cause a variety of health issues including digestive problems and disease.


Animals can roam freely and graze on yummy nutritious grasses and other greens. Look for the “Animal Welfare Approved” label. USDA Certified Organic means pasture-raised as well and is independently varied by the US government.




Pesticides are toxic chemicals used to kill insects (insecticides) and pests like mice, weeds (herbicides), fungi (fungicides), as well as bacteria and viruses. Often, these chemicals are harmful to our health, our pet’s health and the environment. They can cause cancer and threaten reproductive health.

BOTTOM LINE: Buy USDA Certified Organic and check into natural ways to remove pests from your garden. 

LINK (EWG’s list of produce with the highest pesticide residue)

Pesticide Treadmill or Trap2006-08-15 - Road Trip - Day 23 - United States - California - San Francisco - Sign - Warning Pesticides - Fire Will Cause Toxic Fumes - Skull and Crossbones - mustache - graffiti

Farmers use pesticides to kill bugs, those bugs become resistant over time, then farmers need to use more and stronger chemicals to get rid of them (see ‘GMOs’ for more on this).


Phthalates (see also ‘Parabens’)

Phthalates are a family of chemicals used in plastic, personal care products and cosmetics. Phthalates are endocrine-disruptors and are associated with reduced male fertility, endometriosis in women and cognitive and behavioral issues in children.

BOTTOM LINE: Buy phthalate and paraben-free products and don’t heat food in plastic.


Plastic (see BPA and BPS)


Chicory Root & Stems
Chicory Root & Stems

Prebiotics are non-living carbohydrates we cannot digest, but aid our digestive health by encouraging the growth of good bacteria or “probiotics” in the gut. Think of it this way, prebiotics fuel probiotics. The best source for prebiotic is raw chicory root. Other good options include raw garlic, leeks and onions, fruits and veggies, legumes and whole wheat.




6795796674_1ce616f5b8_z Probiotics are living bacteria found mostly in our intestinal tract that keep our          digestive system healthy. A natural source of probiotics is yogurt, kefir, buttermilk and fermented products like sauerkraut, aged cheese such as cheddar and Gouda as well as kombucha and tempeh (fermented soy). Sourdough bread and miso also contain probiotics.





Raw simply means uncooked. Just like these beets.


Raw Food Diet150532387_ea61992d7b_z

If you are on this diet, your food cannot be cooked past 115 degrees Fahrenheit in order to keep the highest nutritional value. A raw food diet includes mostly organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted grains.


rBGH or rBST

rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) or rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropin) is a genetically engineered hormone given to diary cows to produce more milk. There are health concerns for both cows and us.


BOTTOM LINE: Avoid rBGH by buying certified organic milk.








Recycling is the process of transforming used materials into new materials. Recyclables include glass, paper, metal, plastic, textiles and electronics. Composing, or naturally breaking down unused produce, is another form of recycling. Recycling helps the environment because we don’t have to use the energy and resources to make something new. Plus, it helps reduce the amount of trash in our landfills.

BOTTOM LINE: Recycling is good for the environment

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy means that the source can be renewed naturally over time. This includes energy sources such as wind, sun and water.







Non-Renewable Energy

Non-renewable energy means that the source will run out over time. Generally, this refers to fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and crude oil.

Working oil pumps










In an effort to reduce wasted food, a movement has sprung up to utilize all of our produce from the stem (tops of the radish, for example) to the root.






rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) refers to bottles made from recycled plastic.


 Saturated fat3226210517_839531a408_z

There seems to be some controversy surrounding saturated fats. Some studies show it raises HDL or the good cholesterol, does not cause heart disease and may lower the risk of having a stroke, while others say it raises the bad LDL cholesterol levels, can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and still others say it falls somewhere in the middle. Foods that contain saturated fat include fatty beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, beef fat, butter, cheese and some other dairy products.

Your best bet for now is to opt for healthier fats such as:

Monounsaturated fats found in olive oil, avocados, peanut butter, nuts.
Polyunsaturated fats found in flaxseeds, walnuts and salmon.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, mint, parsley and Brussels sprouts.



Seasonal Food


Food that is ripe and at it’s peak at a given time of year. Cherries, for example, are ripest from mid May to the end of June. If you’re buying cherries in October, they aren’t locally grown.






Sodium Lauryl Sulfate aka “Sulfates”


Sulfates are an organic compound found in thousands of cleaning and personal care products, such as shampoo. They have been linked to skin and eye irritation, organ toxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, possible cell mutations and cancer.

BOTTOM LINE: Buy sulfate-free





1035731892_bfa15081e4_zSoy comes from the soybean plant and is widely used as a replacement for animal protein. The good news about unprocessed, organic, natural soy is that it’s nutritious, high in protein and can lower cholesterol levels, prevent cancer, increase bone density and may relieve some menopausal symptoms. Edamame is a good example of healthy soy.

The bad news about soy is that the majority of it is genetically engineered and sprayed with potentially cancer-causing pesticides. Processed soy, such as “soy protein” should be avoided as it has been stripped of its nutritional content. Soy burgers, energy bars and other highly processed foods are examples of processed soy. Processed soy is ubiquitous and hard to avoid so read labels carefully.

There has been some concern about the isoflavones found in soy and its relationship to hormonal changes that can contribute to an increase risk of breast cancer. Studies have shown that the opposite is true (see link below).

BOTTOM LINE: Avoid processed soy and make sure the real thing is organic.


Sulfates (see ‘Sodium Lauryl Sulfate’)



PicMonkey Collage

Superfood is a marketing term (not used by scientist) and generally refers to a food that is packed full of nutrients and is highly beneficial to our health. The thing to note about superfoods is that many, if not most, of the natural and organic foods we eat, such as fruits and vegetables, are packed with nutritional benefit. Why chose one over the other based on a fad?

Also pay attention to whether they are raw or highly processed. Cocoa, the seed used to make chocolate for example, is extremely high in antioxidants and is considered a superfood, but when heavily processed, it loses almost all of its health benefits.



Sustainability is a practice, like organically growing food for example, that does not negatively impact the environment. The goal is to support conditions for long-term ecological balance.




Sustainably sourced

This means that the food has been obtained in a way that has either no, or a very minor, negative impact on the communities and ecosystems from where it came.

Sustainably farmed fish (see ‘Farmed Fish’) 


Fish raised in farms with limited or no negative environmental affects.

BOTTOM LINE: Buy wild-caught fish or fish with the MSC, Marine Stewardship Council label. Use the links below for help buying seafood.

LINK (Monterey Bay Aquarium’s guide to sustainable seafood choices) Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label.


Tonic (see ‘Cleanse’ or ‘Detox’)


 A tonic is a substance, often a liquid, that claims to enhance the immune system and/or restore health.




Trans Fat

Trans fat is the unhealthiest of all fats. It is artificial and is created by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. Trans fat increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke and raises your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.


Foods that include trans fat include, doughnuts, cakes, pie crusts, frozen pizza, margarines and many other processed foods.


BOTTOM LINE: Avoid trans fats by eliminating fried and processed foods.






Is an anti-bacterial found in most liquid hand and pump soaps. Triclosan is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity and can affect thyroid function.

Plus, germs are good for us and especially our children (read more below).They help strengthen our immune system.

BOTTOM LINE: Use soap and water to wash your hand.






 A vegan is a person who does not believe in any form of exploitation of animals. They do not eat or use animal products (no meat, eggs, dairy, honey, leather, etc.).













A person who does not eat meat (no, chicken, beef, seafood, etc.).


Vine-Ripened Tomatoes3881745239_21a0bacf09_z

If your favorite tomatoes have a label that reads“ripened on the vine,” be warned, it doesn’t mean the tomatoes turned red on the vine. On the contrary, it was picked at what’s called the “breaker” stage or when the tomato has just started to change color and is mostly green. They are picked at this stage to insure they are red by the time they make it to the grocers’ selves.



Wild-caught means the fish was born in wild, lived in the wild and was caught in the wild.