The Truth About Organic

December 16, 2010

What does organic really mean?
Buying organic products means that you’re purchasing food that was produced without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or growth hormones. Organic food cannot be genetically modified, and the farmers who grow it must practice environmentally friendly techniques.

Should I buy organic everything?
Not necessarily. Some foods don’t require a lot of pesticide, so there’s not much of a difference between organic and regular brands. Likewise, fruits and vegetables with thick skins are usually protected from chemicals, so buying organic isn’t as important. But for delicate fruits and vegetables with no outer protection from pesticides, and for products from animals that might have been injected with hormones, buying organic is definitely something to consider. —Ashley Rivers

Buy Organic Versions of These Foods

  •  Meat
  • Milk
  • Strawberries
  • Leafy greens
  • Carrots

Opt for the Regular Versions

  • Mangos
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli
  • Corn
  • Watermelon

Pass the Salt, Stop the Sniffles

If you wake up with the sniffles on the day of your big competition or performance, try gargling with saltwater. A study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine suggests that this simple home remedy can help keep cold symptoms at bay. Saltwater removes bacteria and other irritants from your respiratory system, providing relief from sore throats and nasal congestion. Gargle up to three times daily with one teaspoon of salt dissolved in eight ounces of warm water. —Sarah Badger


Turn Down the Heat

Most dancers know how great a heating pad can feel on sore muscles, but be careful that you’re not reaching for one too often. Regularly exposing bare skin to warm devices like heating pads and laptops for hours at a time may lead to a permanent discoloration of the skin called “toasted skin syndrome.” Severe cases can cause irreparable damage and can lead to the development of skin cancer. Rest assured, you don’t have to eschew your beloved heating pad entirely—just be sure to give your skin a break every 20 minutes.  —SB

Did You Know?

If you dance as part of a team or company, you may have better mental health than the average teen. According to a new study published in the journal Applied Research and Quality of Life, teens who participate in team activities report greater overall satisfaction with their lives than those who don’t.


Quick Tip:
If you have trouble remembering choreography, try taking a nap after rehearsal. A new study suggests that sleeping soon after learning something increases the likelihood that you’ll remember it later.