"I think the approval is one of the most significant milestones in the food industry in the last handful of decades," Eat Just co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick said in a statement reported by The Guardian. "It's an open door and it's up to us and other companies to take that opportunity. My hope is this leads to a world in the next handful of years where the majority of meat doesn't require killing a single animal or tearing down a single tree."
Giving up on meat consumption is one of the most important things an individual can do to fight the climate crisis and environmental destruction, studies have found. Companies have tried to tap into this growing ecological awareness by offering meat alternatives. Plant-based meat replacements like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are gaining traction, BBC News pointed out, and the market for meat alternatives could be worth about 10 percent of the global meat industry within the next decade.
However, some companies think that plant-based meat replacements will not be enough to wean meat-lovers off of steak and chicken, The Guardian pointed out. Instead, companies like Eat Just, Future Meat Technologies and the Bill Gates-backed Memphis Meats have worked to grow meat in labs, CNBC reported. They argue that their meat is also less cruel, healthier for consumers and better for the environment.
"We think that [the way] to really solve the meat problem — which is a health problem, a deforestation problem, a morality problem — is to make animal protein," Tetrick told CNBC.
Eat Just's cultured chicken has been approved for sale in Singapore as an ingredient in chicken bites. Eat Just
Eat Just worked to gain the approval of Singapore health regulators for about two years. To do so, they had to develop a consistent manufacturing process for their product and satisfy food safety standards for new foods.
"It was found to be safe for consumption at the intended levels of use, and was allowed to be sold in Singapore as an ingredient in Eat Just's nuggets product," the SFA ruled, as BBC News reported.
Eat Just's meat is made by putting animal stem cells into a culture that feeds the cells, and then putting the growing cells in a bioreactor, CNBC explained. Tetrick said the process was similar to making beer.
The product already has health benefits compared to conventional meat. It has a high protein content and many amino acids, but it has no antibiotics and very low amounts of microbes like salmonella.
It is also largely cruelty free. The meat cells can be taken from live animals, and they are fed with plant-derived nutrients, The Guardian explained. The Singapore lab chicken did use a growth serum from foetal bovine blood, but a plant-based serum will be used for the next round of production.
Lab-grown meat also uses less land and water than conventional meat. However, the process does have some environmental disadvantages. It is high-energy, and, because it is currently being done at a small scale, requires a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Once the process is scaled up, the energy costs will go down.
There are many challenges that must be overcome before cultured meat is widely available. Eat Just's product will first be offered in just one restaurant in Singapore, Tetrick told CNBC.
"We're going to start out with a single restaurant and then scale out to five, 10, 15 and then eventually into retail," Tetrick told CNBC. "The infrastructure required to do it is primarily the bioreactors, so we'll eventually be moving to 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 liters."
It is currently costly to produce cultured meat, and the product will be the price of premium chicken. However, costs have already decreased from $50 per chicken nugget, according to BBC News. They are expected to continue to do so as production is scaled up, and Eat Just says its products will eventually be cheaper to produce than conventional meat, according to The Guardian.
Another hurdle is making meat lovers comfortable with the idea of lab-grown meat.
Still, Bruce Friedrich of the Good Food Institute called the new approval a "very big deal for the future of meat production globally."
"A new space race for the future of food is under way," he told The Guardian.
- Most Meat Will Be Plant-Based or Lab-Grown in 20 Years, Analysts ... ›
- Slaughter-Free Lab Grown Steak Cast As Ethically Friendly Alternative ›
- FDA Takes First Steps to Regulating Lab-Grown Meat - EcoWatch ›
- Tyson Foods Invests in 'Clean Meat' - EcoWatch ›
- Tyson Exploits Consumers Just Like Its Animals and the Workers Who Raise Them - EcoWatch ›
By Michael Svoboda, Ph.D.
Despite a journey to this moment even more treacherous than expected, Americans now have a fresh opportunity to act, decisively, on climate change.
The authors of the many new books released in just the past few months (or scheduled to be published soon) seem to have anticipated this pivotal moment.
Their number includes a scientist, an entrepreneur, and a journalist, each of whom has published among the first calls to action on climate change: Michael Mann, Bill Gates, and Elizabeth Kolbert.
But all the authors recognize that our repeated failures to seize previous opportunities says something about our market economy, our mindsets, and our political institutions. Thus the solutions offered in these new titles are as often political as they are scientific and technical, and psychological as often as they are environmental.
Americans succeeded in making a critical change: a climate denier no longer presides over the United States. With the 12 titles listed below, Americans can now consider new possibilities – at all levels – made possible by that first change.
As always, the descriptions of the 12 titles listed below are adapted from copy provided by the publishers.
1. The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet, by Michael E. Mann (Public Affairs 2021, 368 pages, $29.00) (Editor's note: A separate book review on this title will be posted soon at this site.)
In The New Climate War, renowned climate scientist Michael Mann shows how fossil fuel companies have waged a thirty-year campaign to deflect blame and responsibility and delay action on climate change. But all is not lost. In his new book, Mann outlines a plan for forcing our governments and corporations to wake up and make real change, by allowing renewable energy to compete fairly against fossil fuels, by debunking the false narratives and arguments that have worked their way into the climate debate, and by combatting climate doomism. The societal tipping point necessary to win the new climate war won't happen without the active participation of citizens everywhere aiding in the collective push forward.
2. How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need, by Bill Gates (Penguin Random House 2021, 272 pages, $26.95)
In this urgent, authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical – and accessible – plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe. Drawing on his understanding of innovation and what it takes to get new ideas into the market, he describes the areas in which technology is already helping to reduce emissions, where and how the current technology can be made to function more effectively, where breakthrough technologies are needed, and who is working on these essential innovations. As Bill Gates makes clear, achieving zero emissions will not be simple or easy to do, but if we follow the plan he sets out here, it is a goal firmly within our reach.
3. Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future, by Elizabeth Kolbert (Penguin Random House 2021, 256 pages, $28.00)
In Under a White Sky, Elizabeth Kolbert takes a hard look at the new world we are creating. Along the way, she meets biologists who are trying to preserve the world's rarest fish, which lives in a single tiny pool in the middle of the Mojave; engineers who are turning carbon emissions to stone in Iceland; Australian researchers who are trying to develop a "super coral" that can survive on a hotter globe; and physicists who are contemplating shooting tiny diamonds into the stratosphere to cool the earth. One way to look at human civilization, says Kolbert, is as a ten-thousand-year exercise in defying nature. By turns inspiring, terrifying, and darkly comic, Under a White Sky is an utterly original examination of the challenges we face.
4. There Is No Planet B, Updated Edition, by Mike Berners-Lee (Cambridge University Press 2021, 321 pages, $12.95 paperback)
Hunger, climate change, biodiversity, antibiotics, plastics, pandemics – the list of concerns seems endless. But what is most pressing, and what should we do first? Do we all need to become vegetarian? How can we fly in a low-carbon world? How can we take control of technology? And, given the global nature of these challenges, what can any of us do as individuals? Mike Berners-Lee has crunched the numbers and plotted a course of action that is full of hope, practical, and enjoyable. He offers a big-picture perspective on the environmental and economic challenges of our day. This updated edition has new material on protests, pandemics, wildfires, investments, carbon targets and of course, on the key question: given all this, what can I do?
5. How to Prepare for Climate Change: A Practical Guide to Surviving the Chaos, by David Pogue (Simon & Schuster 2021, 624 pages, $24.00 paperback)
In How to Prepare for Climate Change, bestselling self-help author and beloved CBS Sunday Morning science and technology correspondent David Pogue offers sensible, deeply researched advice for how we should start to ready ourselves for the years ahead. Pogue walks readers through what to grow, what to eat, how to build, how to insure, where to invest, how to prepare your children and pets, and even where to consider relocating when the time comes. He also provides wise tips for managing your anxiety. Timely and enlightening, How to Prepare for Climate Change is an indispensable guide for anyone who read The Uninhabitable Earth or The Sixth Extinction and wants to know how to make smart choices for the upheaval ahead.
6. The Story of CO2: Big Ideas for a Small Molecule, by Geoffrey A. Ozin and Mireille F. Ghoussoub (University of Toronto Press 2020, 280 pages, $34.95)
The climate crisis requires that we drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions across all sectors of society. The Story of CO2 contributes to this challenge by highlighting the cutting-edge science and emerging technologies that can transform carbon dioxide into a myriad of products such as feedstock chemicals, polymers, pharmaceuticals, and fuels. This approach allows us to reconsider CO2 as a resource, and to add "carbon capture and use" to our other tools in the fight against catastrophic climate change. The Story of CO2 seeks to inspire readers with the latest carbon utilization technologies and explain how they fit within the broader context of carbon mitigation strategies in the shift towards a sustainable energy economy.
7. To Know the World: A New Vision for Environmental Learning, by Mitchel Thomashow (The MIT Press 2020, 288 pages, $30.00 paperback)
How can we respond to the current planetary ecological emergency? In To Know the World, Mitchell Thomashow proposes that we reinvigorate how we think about our residency on Earth. Mixing memoir, theory, mindfulness, pedagogy, and compelling storytelling, Thomashow discusses how to navigate the Anthropocene's rapid pace of change without further separating psyche from biosphere; how to achieve constructive connectivity in both social and ecological networks; and why we should take a cosmopolitan bioregionalism perspective that unites local and global. Throughout, Thomashow invites readers to participate as explorers, encouraging them to better understand how and why environmental learning is crucial to human flourishing.
8. Deep Time Reckoning: How Future Thinking Can Help Earth Now, by Vincent Ialenti (The MIT Press 2020, 208 pages, $25.00)
We live on a planet careening toward an environmental collapse that will be largely brought about by our own actions. And yet we struggle to grasp the scale of the crisis, barely able to imagine the effects of climate change just ten years from now, let alone the multi-millennial timescales of Earth's life span. In this book, political economist Vincent Ialenti takes on two overlapping crises: the Anthropocene, our current moment of human-caused environmental transformation, and the deflation of expertise – today's popular mockery and institutional erosion of expert authority. The second crisis, he argues, is worsening the effects of the first. Hearing out scientific experts who study a wider time span than a Facebook timeline is key to tackling our planet's emergency. This is the kind of time literacy we need if we are to survive the Anthropocene.
9. The Untold Story of the World's Leading Environmental Institution: UNEP at Fifty, by Maria Ivanova (The MIT Press 20201, 384 pages, $30.00 paperback)
The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) was founded in 1972 as a nimble, fast, and flexible entity at the core of the UN system – a subsidiary body rather than a specialized agency. In this book, Maria Ivanova offers a detailed account of UNEP's origin and history and a vision for its future. Ivanova counters the common criticism that UNEP was deficient by design, arguing that UNEP has in fact delivered on much (though not all) of its mandate. UNEP's fiftieth anniversary, Ivanova argues, presents an opportunity for reinvention. She envisions a future UNEP that is the go-to institution for information on the state of the planet, a normative vision of global environmental governance, and support for domestic environmental agendas.
10. How Are We Going to Explain This? Our Future on a Hot Earth, by Jelmer Mommers (Simon & Schuster 2020, 224 pages, $16.95 paperback)
If climate change is the biggest threat humanity has ever faced, then why are we doing so little about it? Journalist Jelmer Mommers knows most people prefer not to talk or even think about climate change, and that is exactly why he wrote this book. Denial and despair are not the only possible responses to the current crisis. Drawing on the latest science, Mommers describes how we got here, what possible future awaits us, and how you can help make a difference. Five years in the making, How Are We Going to Explain This was an instant bestseller in the Netherlands. This updated translation, which includes responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, brings Mommers' unique blend of realism and hope to the wider world.
11. The Good Ancestor: A Radical Prescription for Long-Term Thinking, by Roman Krznaric (The Experiment 2020, 288 pages, $25.95)
"Are we being good ancestors?" asked Jonas Salk, who developed the polio vaccine in 1953 but refused to patent it – forgoing profit so that more lives could be saved. Salk's generosity to future generations should inspire us. But when philosopher Roman Krznaric examines society today, he sees just the opposite: Our short term mindsets have "colonized the future." In The Good Ancestor, Krznaric reveals six practical ways we can retrain our brains to think of the long view, including Deep-Time Humility (recognizing our lives as a cosmic eyeblink) and Cathedral Thinking (starting projects that will take more than one lifetime). He aims to inspire more "time rebels" like Greta Thunberg – to shift our allegiance from this generation to all humanity.
12. Hope Matters: Why Changing the Way We Think Is Critical to Solving the Environmental Crisis, by Elin Kelsey (Greystone Books 2020, 240 pages, $22.95 paperback)
We are at an inflection point: today, more people than ever before recognize that climate change and biodiversity loss are urgent and existential threats. Yet constant reports of climate doom are fueling an epidemic of eco-anxiety. Hope Matters boldly breaks through the narrative of doom and gloom that has overtaken conversations about our future to show why hope, not fear, is our most powerful tool for tackling the planetary crisis. Award-winning author, scholar, and educator Elin Kelsey describes effective campaigns to support ocean conservation and species resilience, and rewilding. And she shows how we can build on these positive trends and harness all our emotions about the changing environment into effective personal and political action.
We encourage readers to suggest titles for future bookshelves by contacting the bookshelf editor. We welcome review copies but suggest first contacting the editor prior to sending PDFs or print copies.
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
- 10 Best Books On Climate Change, According to Activists - EcoWatch ›
- New and Recent Books About Hope in a Time of Climate Change ... ›
- Scientist Michael Mann's Must-Read Book: 'The New Climate War' - EcoWatch ›
- Bill Gates' New Book Has a Stark and Simple Message for the World - EcoWatch ›
- Endless Summer? Climate Crisis Could Lengthen Hottest Temperatures by Six Months - EcoWatch ›
- The Newest Books by Women Fighting the Climate Crisis ›
- 'Prolonged and Widespread Drought' Predicted for Much of U.S. in New NOAA Report ›
CBD oil is one dietary supplement where "organic" labels are very important to consumers. Learn about the importance of organic hemp oil, why it's better for the environment, and which CBD companies actually make trustworthy products with sustainable farming processes. Use our curated list to find the best organic CBD oil that's better for you and the environment.
What is Organic CBD Oil?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it's one of the hundreds of cannabinoids found within cannabis sativa plants. This plant compound is believed to have many potential health and wellness benefits, including support for anxiety, stress, sleep, and chronic pain.
Since CBD is extracted from industrial hemp, it contains only trace amounts of THC (the psychoactive component in cannabis plants). Instead, the effects of CBD are much more subtle and promote a general sense of calm and relaxation in most users.
The most important (and prominent) certification for organic products comes from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). What exactly does this certification entail? Essentially, a label indicating that a product is "USDA Organic" or "Certified Organic" means that at least 95% of the ingredients are obtained from organic sources.
For hemp to be considered organic by the USDA, it must be grown without the use of industrial solvents, irradiation, genetic engineering (GMOs), synthetic pesticides, or chemical fertilizer. Instead, farmers rely on natural substances and mechanical, physical, or biologically based farming techniques to cultivate healthy and organic crops.
Choosing an organic CBD oil without additives is important because it indicates that a product is both safe to use and better for the environment. CBD extracted from an organic hemp plant is more likely to be free from pesticides, heavy metals, and other harmful toxins. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of the plant extract without worrying about any additional and unwanted compounds. Organic CBD is also a better choice for the environment, as it is grown using more sustainable farming practices that help preserve and protect land and water resources.
Our Top Organic CBD Oils
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Best Overall Organic - Spruce Lab Grade CBD Oil
- Best Organic Full Spectrum - Charlotte's Web Original Formula
- Best USDA Organic - Cornbread Hemp Whole Flower CBD Oil
- Best Organic Flavor - R+R Medicinals Fresh Mint CBD Tincture
- Best Organic Broad Spectrum - Joy Organics CBD Oil
- Best Organic CBD for Stress - Plant People Drops+ Mind + Body
- Best Organic CBD for Sleep - NuLeaf Naturals CBD Oil
- Best Organic Satisfaction Guarantee - CBDistillery Relief + Relax
How We Chose the Best Organic CBD Oils
To create our list of the best organic CBD oil, we compared brands and products on a number of different criteria. These included:
- Hemp Source - We chose brands that use organic hemp grown in the U.S. and that follow natural and organic farming practices.
- Natural Ingredients - Each of the products on our list were examined to see if they used organic and natural ingredients for things like flavoring and carrier oils.
- Strengths - We looked for organic CBD oils that provide different concentrations of CBD to choose from, depending on your needs.
- Lab Testing - All of the CBD products we recommend must undergo independent third-party lab testing and provide access to those results.
- Certifications - In addition to USDA organic certification, we also looked for seals from the U.S. Hemp Authority, U.S. Hemp Roundtable, B-Corp, and other industry standards.
A note about USDA organic certification: before the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, no hemp-derived products could be dubbed as "certified organic" as the hemp plant and its extracts were still categorized as a Schedule I Controlled Substance.
Due to the fact that industrial hemp has only recently become an agricultural crop, very few CBD oils are USDA certified organic. Many CBD products contain hemp extracts from plants that were grown organically, but may not be federally certified yet. Where necessary, we researched each brand's growing and harvesting practices to determine if they follow organic and natural cultivation methods, even if they are not fully certified by the USDA.
8 Best Organic CBD Oils of 2021
Spruce CBD is well-known for its potent full spectrum CBD oils that provide many of the additional beneficial phytocannabinoids found in hemp. This brand works with two family-owned, sustainably focused farms in the USA (one located in Kentucky and one in North Carolina) to create its organic, small product batches. This tincture contains 750mg of CBD, but they also offer a max potency Spruce CBD oil that contains 2400mg of full-spectrum CBD extract.
- CBD - Full Spectrum
- Strength - 25 mg CBD per serving
- Source - North Carolina and Kentucky
One of the most well-known brands in the CBD landscape, Charlotte's Web has been growing sustainable hemp plants for years. The company is currently in the process of achieving USDA Organic Certification, but it already practices organic and sustainable cultivation techniques to enhance the overall health of the soil and the hemp plants themselves, which creates some of the highest quality CBD extracts.
- CBD - Full Spectrum
- Strength - 50 mg CBD per serving
- Source - Colorado
Why buy: Charlotte's Web offers CBD oils in a range of different concentration options, and some even come in a few flavors like chocolate mint, orange blossom, and lemon twist. We love Charlotte's Web Original Original Formula because it is made with U.S. Hemp Authority Certified CBD and organic extra virgin olive oil.
Cornbread Hemp Whole Flower CBD Oil uses USDA organic hemp grown on Kentucky farms and USDA organic MCT coconut oil. What makes Cornbread Hemp unique is that they only use hemp flower to create their CBD extract, resulting in a cleaner, purer product. Vegan and non-GMO, this organic CBD oil provides all of the secondary cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids of hemp without any preservatives, flavorings, seeds, or stems.
- CBD - Full Spectrum
- Strength - 50 mg CBD per serving
- Source - Kentucky
Why buy: We love Cornbread Hemp Whole Flower CBD oil because it is made using USDA certified organic hemp flowers to create a top-notch CBD oil packed with beneficial plant compounds. Use this oil in the evening to relax and to help you fall asleep.
R+R Medicinals Organic Full Spectrum Hemp Extract comes in a great introductory strength for new CBD users and a delicious fresh mint flavor. Made with organic full spectrum hemp extract, organic MCT coconut oil, and organic mint flavoring, this CBD oil is USDA certified organic for a product you can trust. It also contains over 2 mg of the secondary cannabinoids, like CBC, CBG, THC, CBN, and CBDv, that can help provide the fullest effect.
- CBD - Full Spectrum
- Strength - 16.67 mg CBD per serving
- Source - Colorado
For those concerned about THC, Joy Organics CBD oil makes a great option. This formula is USDA certified organic and is made with organic broad spectrum hemp extract and organic olive oil for a natural, THC-free product. It's also certified by the U.S. Hemp Roundtable and third-party lab tested for purity. If you prefer, you can also find Joy Organics CBD Oil in several additional flavors, including Tranquil Mint, Summer Lemon, and Orange Bliss.
- CBD - Broad Spectrum
- Strength - 30 mg CBD per serving
- Source - Colorado
Plant People Drops+ Mind + Body CBD oil offers an organic, natural supplement that could help support your body's response to stress and inflammation. USDA certified organic, non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free, this CBD oil is also doctor-formulated using 100% organic hemp grown in Colorado. It can provide 21 mg of cannabinoids like CBD, CBL, and CBG per serving. Plus, Plant People is a certified B-corp and certified Climate Neutral as they plant a tree for every sale.
- CBD - Full Spectrum
- Strength - 21 mg CBD per serving
- Source - Colorado
Why buy: We love Plant People Drops+ Mind + Body formula because it provides a doctor-formulated and USDA organic way to help you manage stress and inflammation while promoting overall wellness. We especially like that the brand is Climate Neutral certified, making this organic CBD oil good for you and the earth.
NuLeaf Naturals sources its CBD extract from organic hemp plants grown on licensed farms in Colorado. Their CBD oils contain only two ingredients: USDA certified organic hemp seed oil and full spectrum hemp extract. NuLeaf Naturals uses the same proprietary CBD oil formula for all of its products, so you get the same CBD potency in every tincture (30 mg per mL), but can purchase different bottle sizes depending on your needs.
- CBD - Full Spectrum
- Strength - 30 mg CBD per serving
- Source - Colorado
Why buy: We love NuLeaf Naturals CBD oil because of its simplicity. With only two ingredients and one consistent strength, this oil makes it easy to know exactly what is in it and how much CBD you will get with each serving. Take NuLeaf Naturals CBD oil in the evenings to relax and enjoy a full night's sleep.
All CBDistillery products use non-GMO and pesticide-free industrial hemp that's grown using natural farming practices on Colorado farms. Their hemp oils are some of the most affordable CBD products on the market, yet they still maintain a high standard of quality. CBDistillery has a wide variety of CBD potencies across its product line. We also love that they offer a 60 day money back guarantee so that you can try their CBD oil risk free.
- CBD - Full Spectrum
- Strength - 33 mg CBD per serving
- Source - Colorado
Why buy: We recommend CBDistillery Relief + Relax CBD oil as a great way to start your day and promote a sense of calm and wellness throughout. The brand is certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority, the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, and the National Hemp Association for their natural, reliable CBD extracts.
The Research on Organic Hemp Oil
What does the science say about organic CBD oil? There is evidence that CBD can help for certain conditions, specifically things like anxiety, sleeplessness, and pain. In fact, CBD taken for anxiety may have fewer side effects than certain prescription anxiety medications. However, as hemp and CBD remain unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration, it is vitally important to do your research and choose high-quality and safe products.
Using organic CBD oil is an easy way to help ensure that you can enjoy the health and wellness benefits of CBD while avoiding any potential toxins or synthetic chemicals.
Hemp is a unique plant, not only for its rich cannabinoid content, but because it is a bioaccumulator, and has the ability to absorb a wide variety of components in the soil. This trait means that hemp can help the environment through the remediation of green spaces, but it poses great risks when it comes to the creation of CBD products derived from hemp.
Because hemp has a high capacity for compound uptake, this means that the plants can retain harmful chemicals like pesticides, heavy metals, and other residual solvents. This is especially true when it comes to synthetic chemicals that are more toxic to humans, and difficult to remove once they have been absorbed by the hemp plant.
Organic farming practices help reduce the risk of hemp crops absorbing harsh chemicals that may later end up in CBD oil after extraction. When you're taking CBD as a wellness supplement to help alleviate your symptoms or improve your overall well-being, the last thing you want is to ingest compounds that might negatively outweigh the benefits of CBD. This is an important reason to look for third party lab test results when shopping for CBD products since these certificates of analysis can show the full cannabinoid and terpene profile of a hemp extract, as well as test results that search for the presence of any residual solvents. If you choose a non-organic CBD oil, you will need to rely even more on the independent lab test results to make sure the product is safe.
In addition to creating a better end product, organic farming practices are also better for the environment. Sustainable and organic farming methods may reduce pollution, conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. The use of natural pest deterrents as opposed to chemical pesticides is also better for nearby animal populations and ecosystems.
How to Choose CBD Oil for You
When shopping for an organic CBD oil, you can look for certain key ingredients and certifications to find the best options. Here are some tips on how to compare and choose the right organic CBD oil.
What to Look For
Start by looking for the following pieces of information when considering any CBD product:
Make sure you know if the product uses full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate hemp extract. Full spectrum CBD contains all of the natural phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and fatty acids found in the hemp plant, including THC. This may produce a fuller result through the entourage effect. However, if you are concerned about THC, or are subject to a drug test, broad spectrum and CBD isolate products offer a great alternative.
Always check to see how much CBD the product contains. This is measured in milligrams per container and milligrams per serving. A single serving for CBD oil is typically 1 mL, and most brands offer recommendations for measuring and dosages.
The source of the hemp used to extract CBD is vitally important. We recommend choosing brands that use organic and naturally-grown hemp raised in the U.S.A. for safety standards. This is the quickest way to ensure that the CBD itself is pure and free from pesticides or other harmful compounds.
We only recommend CBD oils and products that are subject to independent third-party lab testing. This is a crucial step that verifies both the safety and purity of the oil as well as the potency of the CBD per serving. Look for brands that give you easy access to the lab test results for every product they sell.
How to Read Labels
Here are the primary things to look for when reading the label on a CBD oil or product:
- Type of CBD - The label should clearly state whether the product contains full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate hemp extract. If it is broad spectrum or isolate, look for a mark that tells you it is "THC-free."
- Certifications - Certain brands will include seals of approval to show that their product is USDA-certified organic, non-GMO, made in the U.S.A., or U.S. Hemp Authority certified.
- Other Ingredients - Check the ingredients list for anything in the product besides the CBD extract. This typically includes a carrier oil, like MCT or hemp seed oil, but can also include flavorings or botanicals. Make sure they are all-natural and that you are not allergic to any of them.
- Test Results - Most brands include a QR code on the packaging or the label of their CBD product that you can scan to view the third-party test results. This is a key way to know if a brand is trustworthy and whether their CBD is safe to use.
How to Use
Organic CBD oil is used just like any other CBD oil tincture, and is primarily ingested using a dropper to measure out the correct dose. Many brands recommend that you take the CBD oil sublingually by placing the CBD tincture under your tongue for 30 seconds or so before swallowing to aid in absorption. You can also add CBD to food and beverages, though some argue that this lessens the effect.
Some of the most common wellness advantages that people seek from organic CBD include:
- Chronic pain relief
- Anti-anxiety effects
- Better sleep
- Improvements in mood
- Internal balance and regulation
If you take organic CBD for help with sleep, take the recommended amount about an hour before bed. If you are taking it for anxiety, you can take one dose in the morning and another in the evening to help promote a sense of calm throughout the day. As with all CBD products, we recommend that you start with a lower dose and gradually increase it to achieve the desired effects rather than starting with a high dose.
Safety and Side Effects
CBD, while generally well-tolerated and safe for adults, can produce side effects in certain people. These are generally very mild, but can include things like nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, and irritability. CBD may also interact with certain prescription drugs, especially blood thinners and statins. If you take a prescription medication, be sure to consult with your doctor before starting CBD.
CBD has the potential to help with a number of health and wellness concerns, especially anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. To make sure that you choose the right option, go with the best organic CBD oil without additives from a brand you trust. Use our list to help you get started and find the natural relief you need.
Melena Gurganus is the Reviews Editor at EcoWatch. She is passionate health and wellness and her writing aims to help others find products they can trust. Her work has been featured in publications such as Health, Shape, Huffington Post, Cannabis Business Times, and Bustle.
Countries around the world are seeing a mounting threat from antibiotic resistance. After decades of overprescribing antibiotics and overusing them in factory farming, rivers are polluted with antibiotics and complications from drug-resistant infections are projected to cost $100 trillion by 2050, according to Scientific American.
The Centers for Disease Control released a report last month that said more than 2.8 million people in the U.S. experience an infection from antibiotic resistant bacteria each year, leading to 35,000 deaths. The report also pointed out that this is a global crisis, not just a domestic problem.
In fact, this spring, the United Nations declared this problem an urgent global crisis in need of immediate action.
Just when the fight against superbugs needs to ramp up, drug companies are either going bankrupt or refusing to invest in research, according to The New York Times. Achaogen and Aradigm, two antibiotic start-ups, both went bankrupt. Pharmaceutical giants like Novartis and Allergan have stopped investing in antibiotic research. And one of the largest developers of antibiotics, Melinta Therapeutics, recently said it was running out of money.
The prospect of losing money has investors fleeing the sector, just when more money is needed, according to The New York Times.
"This is a crisis that should alarm everyone," said Dr. Helen Boucher, an infectious disease specialist at Tufts Medical Center and a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, to The New York Times.
"Antibiotic resistance has long been a problem, but the threats we face are real, immediate, and demand immediate action. Antibiotic resistance threatens modern medicine — our ability to safely perform routine surgeries and complicated organ transplants, as well as chemotherapy, all rely on the ability to prevent and treat infections," said Dr. Jesse Jacob from the Emory Antibiotic Resistance Center at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta to Medical News Today.
The Trump administration has worsened the problem by cutting the budges of nationwide, hospital-based programs researching the issue. It has also ignored the World Health Organization's suggestions on reducing antibiotic use in livestock, as NBC News reported.
Companies that have spent billions to find a solution to the increasing strength of germs that have developed a resistance to common antibiotics have not found a market to recoup their investment into research. Most antibiotics are used for short durations, unlike profitable medicines for chronic conditions, and many hospitals are unwilling to pay the high price for new therapies, according to The New York Times.
The story of Achaogen provides a cautionary tale. After spending 15 years and a billion dollars to win FDA approval for a drug that cures hard-to-treat urinary tract infections, the World Health Organization added the new drug to its list of essential new medicines. But, by then, Achaogen was out of money. It fired all of its scientists and declared bankruptcy, as The New York Times reported.
"If this doesn't get fixed in the next six to 12 months, the last of the Mohicans will go broke and investors won't return to the market for another decade or two," said Chen Yu, a health care venture capitalist who has invested in the field, to The New York Times.
"We need research to find new drugs but can't rely on a pipeline of new drugs alone to solve this problem, since resistance eventually happens to all drugs," said Dr. Jacob to Medical News Today.
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Meal kit services offer pre-portioned recipes and a fun cooking experience. But what options are best for the earth-conscious family?
For those looking for a quick and convenient way to eat delicious, hearty meals with little to no hassle, there are plenty of meal kit delivery services to choose from. But out of all of the brands available, which is the best meal delivery service for the environment?
We've all seen the overwhelming number of meal kits promoted via Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms, but many consumers are left wondering if these delivery services are really worth the purchase. Despite all the hype, these programs can be beneficial for a number of reasons, including their environmental impact, which you can read more about below our reviews.
Each kit comes with pre-portioned packets of produce, meat, or fish if requested, and all of the spices and seasonings you need to complete a chef-inspired dish at home. We've reviewed several leading meal kit delivery brands like Sunbasket, Freshly, and Purple Carrot, plus the best vegetarian meal delivery services, that promote their eco-friendly approach. Here is our list of the top five best meal delivery services.
Our Picks for the Top Eco-Conscious Meal Kits
- Sunbasket - Best Organic Option
- Purple Carrot - Best Plant-Based Option
- Green Chef - Best Keto and Paleo Option
- Freshly - Best "No-Cooking" Option
- Every Plate - Best Value for Beginners
How We Reviewed Each Meal Delivery Service
To create our list, we looked at each meal kit delivery service based on their food options, ingredient sourcing, packaging, and customer reviews to find the services we think are best for the conscious consumer.
- Dietary options - For the actual meals we considered both the quality and variety of the recipes and whether they offered vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options.
- Ingredients - We then examined how they sourced their ingredients, whether they were organic, non-GMO, and locally grown. We looked for important eco-friendly labels from authorities like the USDA, Non-GMO Project, and the Marine Stewardship Council.
- Packaging - An important component of our review was also the packaging for each meal, how much was recyclable or biodegradable, and whether the brand used recycled materials in their packaging.
- Customer reviews - Finally, we looked at customer reviews to see what users liked or didn't like about each service.
Each product featured here has been independently selected. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Sun BasketSun Basket J030-Shrimp-Paella
Sunbasket is our favorite organic meal kit brand. Sun Basket delivers a box of 100% organic produce, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat, and farm-fresh eggs. Their approach to sourcing wild seafood was named Best Choice or Good Alternative by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® Program.
Sun Basket aims to support farmers who push for sustainable water management and crop rotations, as well as ranchers and fisherman who treat the planet with respect.
Read our full Sunbasket review to learn more about the brand's sustainability efforts.Cost: Three meals each week for two people costs $71.94 plus $7.99 shipping. That's $11.99 per serving
According to researchers, you could cut the carbon footprint of your diet by 60% by eating plant-based meals for two-thirds of your diet.
Now, if sustainability is about achieving a balance between human consumption and the environments we impact, plant-based is the way to go. Purple Carrot offers all plant-based meal kits in a variety of tasty menu items. There's even a black bean burger if you want to prepare the vegan-skeptic member of your family a familiar plate.
Purple Carrot meal kits, in many ways, support the idea that many small, smart choices can add up to a big impact. They do, however, use a lot of plastic in their packaging and you will need to check if it can all be recycled in your area.
Cost: Purple Carrot costs $11.99 per serving for two people and $9.99 per serving for the four-plate plan. With introductory discounts, the first week costs $50 to $60.
Green Chef is a certified organic company with meal kit plans that include keto, paleo, and plant-based options. You can schedule a weekly delivery or stagger deliveries during the month, depending on your personal needs or how often you choose to cook. Green Chef has a wide variety of recipe options, and according to its website, it "offsets 100% of its direct carbon emissions and plastic packaging" through its sustainability efforts.
Cost: Price is based on the plan chosen, but costs are generally $11.49 per meal for the Keto + Paleo option, $10.49 per meal for the Balanced Living option, and $10.49 per meal for the Plant-Powered option. Shipping and handling costs are additional.
Freshly is the only service we came across that offered corporate options. We liked the idea of a cost-efficient way to serve a large group a healthy meal. Freshly boxes in the office fridge would be a nice reprieve from the typical mid-day exodus to the nearest quick food option. All Freshly meals come in recyclable packaging and the single portions mean less food going to waste during preparation.
Our review of Freshly also notes they are ideal for those who don't have the time or space to prepare a full meal. They come in recyclable microwavable containers and only take three minutes to heat up.
Cost: Individual meals are $8.99 to $12.50 per serving with free shipping.
If you're looking for organic ingredients, simple recipe cards, and a highly affordable option, Every Plate is for you. Every Plate uses less packaging than most other delivery services due to their simpler packages that contain fewer spice and sauce packets. Most Every Plate meals can be made in under 30 minutes, which makes this as close as you can come to fast and "cheap" meals with clean ingredients.
Cost: Weekly boxes of two or four servings for as little as $4.99 per serving.
Are Meal Kits Really Sustainable?
Whether meal kits are really sustainable depends on how you define sustainability. While they produce more waste, they have lower greenhouse gas emissions and result in less food waste compared to grocery store meals.
Food waste is the largest category of waste going into landfills in the U.S. The average American generates more than 200 pounds of waste each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Both a 2017 study out of the University of Texas at Austin and a 2019 study published in the journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling found that meal kits are more sustainable than purchasing ingredients from a grocery store for the following reasons:
- On average, meal kits produce 33% lower greenhouse gas emissions than grocery store meals.
- The pre-portioned ingredients in meal kits lead to less food loss and waste.
- Meal kits have lower last-mile transportation emissions than grocery store meals.
- The ice packs used in meal kit packages present an average emissions decrease versus retail refrigeration.
Now, if you plan your meals out each week, use all of the ingredients you intend to, compost what you don't use, and buy locally from a farmers market or other community shop, meal kits will likely be a step backward in terms of your food-related sustainability.
The studies also mentioned that meal kits produce more packaging waste than grocery store meals — UT Austin estimated an average of 3.7 more pounds of packaging material per meal. Because meal kits come in cardboard boxes and ship ingredients in small packages (for example, if you need a tablespoon of pine nuts for your recipe, they'll likely come pre-portioned a small plastic sleeve), there's much more plastic waste produced. One study found that "disposable packaging can represent over 50% of per-meal energy use for meal-kits."
Some of these items can be repurposed, such as the tiny glass jars that spices and condiments come in, which can be used for travel, crafting, or storing small objects. Others can be washed and recycled, depending on your local recycling guidelines. But most of the waste will end up in a landfill.
So, it's up to you whether you think the pros of lower carbon emissions outweigh the cons of more plastic waste.
Getting Started with a Meal Delivery Service
With so much variety, selecting a meal delivery service can turn into a stressful endeavor. Additionally, brands like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Home Chef, and Daily Harvest are options that might try to win you over, but they may not have as sustainable methods as some of the options listed above.
Although, the sheer number of meal kit options can also work to your advantage. These companies are competing for customers and often offer sign-up specials and discounts to get you started. When shopping for a subscription service, try multiple options, and take advantage of these deals. With many programs, you have the freedom to change or cancel your subscription, so you can try a few different options to find one that fits your taste and your budget. We also recommend that you compare your per-meal cost to what you might spend on dinners at the grocery store to maximize your savings.
If you give one of these meal kits a try, let us know what you think. We'll update this list regularly as we get feedback from readers and add additional sustainability notes as we dive deeper into new services.
Melena Gurganus is passionate health and wellness and her writing aims to help others find products they can trust. Her work has been featured in publications such as Health, Shape, Huffington Post, Cannabis Business Times, and Bustle.
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Worried about the overuse of antibiotics and the emerging trend of bacteria-resistant drugs, researchers recommend that honey should be tried first to treat upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), according to a new review published by Oxford doctors in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine.
URTIs commonly include sore throat, congestion, coughing and a stuffy nose.
The researchers looked at 14 different studies and 1,761 study participants to analyze the efficacy of honey in treating URTIs. They found that honey's antimicrobial properties allowed it to outperform the standard of care when addressing symptoms and reducing a cough's severity.
Two of the studies revealed that honey shortened infections by one to two days.
"It provides a widely available and cheap alternative to antibiotics," the authors wrote in the study. "Honey could help efforts to slow the spread of antimicrobial resistance."
The healing properties of honey have been used for thousands of years. Honey is known to treat burns and prevent infection in wounds, Sky News reported.
While honey has a deep tradition as a home remedy, medical professionals have also adopted it: It's now part of standard treatment for children's chest colds. Yet, honey's efficacy for treating adults with URTIs had not been thoroughly reviewed until now, The Guardian reported.
The researchers noted that the overuse of antibiotics for treating URTIs is often due to doctors wrongly prescribing them to treat viral infections, which don't respond to antibiotics. On the other hand, honey is cheap, easily found and poses no side effects for most people, The Evening Standard reported.
"Upper respiratory tract infections are the most frequent reason for antibiotic prescription," study authors Hibatullah Abuelgasim of the Oxford University Medical School and Charlotte Albury and Joseph Lee of the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences wrote. "Since the majority of URTIs are viral, antibiotic prescription is both ineffective and inappropriate," the Evening Standard reported.
However, researchers also said that more studies need to be conducted on honey since it's a complex substance.
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Perhaps you like to add a few drops honey to your tea or drizzle it over yogurt for a bit of sweetness. But did you know that consuming high-quality products, like the best Manuka honey on the market, can also improve your health?
Manuka honey, produced from the nectar collected by bees from the Manuka tree, holds antibacterial properties, and as far back as 1392 has been used to help heal wounds and assist in improving overall health.
In the late 1900s, a doctor in New Zealand discovered why Manuka honey is an effective healer: Honey contains natural hydrogen peroxide. In some honey, the hydrogen peroxide is destroyed when the honey is subject to heat or light outside the hive. But it stays intact in Manuka honey, making it effective against strains of bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, the MRSA superbug.
As you can tell, Manuka honey is not like regular honey. Therefore, when you look at a product that claims to contain Manuka honey, it's important to check for such compounds that come from the Manuka plant such as:
- Methylglyoxal (MGO): This is an antibacterial compound found in Manuka honey and is used to heal wounds, soothe sore throats, and prevent tooth decay.
- Dihydroxyacetone (DHA): This compound found in the nectar of Manuka tree flowers converts into MGO during the production of honey, but it may still be listed on Manuka honey supplements.
- Leptosperin: This compound is a naturally occurring chemical found in Manuka tree plants and is important because it is only found in Manuka honey and a few close relatives, so it's presence indicates a Manuka honey product's authenticity.
You can ensure such compounds are in the Manuka honey product you purchase if it is an authentic Manuka honey with Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMF) certification. If you see a UMF stamp on a product, it means it has been produced by one of the 100+ beekeepers, producers, and exporters it licenses to indicate the strength of the hydrogen peroxide compounds.
UMF also uses grading systems to reveal the quantity of Manuka honey compounds in a product. These grading systems include the label claim that it is authentic Manuka honey. The second grade is a number that shows how much of DHA, MGO, and Leptosperin a product contains. A higher score indicates better quality. Try to choose a product with at least a score of 10, but a UMF rating of 15 or more would be even more high quality.
Also, the K Factor 16™ can tell you if a product contains a high amount of bee pollen and if it's from the Manuka plant. It indicates a pollen count of 70% or higher, purity, live enzymes, and a product containing the compound DHA.
Finally, the symbol MGO will tell you if a product contains a potent level of the compound methylglyoxal which indicates if a product has a good level of antibacterial activity. An MGO level of 400 to 550+ indicates a very high antibacterial activity.
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
We rate this Manuka Health product as the best Manuka honey on the market. This Manuka honey comes in many different levels of potency and may help support healing through its potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- 100% pure New Zealand Manuka honey
- MGO 400+
- Independent quality testing in an ISO17025 accredited laboratory
- Traceable from beehive to shelf
- Raw and unpasteurized
- Only 45 calories per tablespoon
Kiva Raw Manuka honey has a high UMF and MGO level, making it full of powerful antioxidants and antibacterial compounds. In turn, this product can help boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.
- UMF 15+ certified
- MGO 514+
- Harvested from New Zealand
- Independently tested, verified, and traceable
- Raw and unpasteurized
The distinction "monofloral" is important because it indicates honey that comes from the nectar of one flower, whereas multiflora could specify that it either comes from the nectar of multiple types of flowers or is blended with other honey products. Multiflora therefore may indicate the health-benefiting Manuka compounds are less potent.
Wedderspoon's product is authentic Manuka honey made in New Zealand and is raw and unpasteurized, which preserves its antioxidant properties. The authenticity gives it an earthy, caramelized flavor that is delicious on its own or in your favorite beverage, making it one of the best Manuka honey supplements around.
- Made in New Zealand
- Non-GMO Project Verified
- K Factor 16
- Raw and unpasteurized monofloral Manuka honey
- Traceable from hive to home
- 70 calories per tablespoon
- Free of antibiotics, glyphosate, and pesticides
- SQF level 3 facility to certify safety standards
What You Need to Know to Find the Best Manuka Honey
The Manuka bush is indigenous to New Zealand, so you should look for Manuka honey from New Zealand to help ensure an authentic product. Also, it's important to choose a Manuka honey product that is raw and unpasteurized to preserve the anti-inflammatory properties and other nutrients found in the bee pollen.
Some products also come from Australia. Australian Leptospermum scoparium plants may even be more active than those in New Zealand when it comes to antimicrobial properties.
Either way, high-grade Manuka honey is available from both places if you want to take honey for its medicinal properties or use it as a sweetener.
Benefits of Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is well-known for its ability to help improve wound healing due to its antibacterial properties. Additionally, this honey can also boost the immune system due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
A 2017 study shows that Manuka honey can stop the growth of bacteria and enhance wound healing and tissue repair by boosting immune health. Manuka honey can also help those with sore throats as it can not only coat the throat and soothe it, but can also fight off inflammation and bacteria leading to a sore throat.
Cons of Manuka Honey
There are no dosing restrictions on honey bee products in general, however, any type of honey should not be used by infants or those allergic or sensitive to bee pollen. Pediatricians recommend children under 12 months of age should not be given honey because it may contain spores of bacteria that could cause botulism, which can lead to paralysis. Studies show though that for most people, Manuka honey of UMF 20+ is generally safe to consume. A UMF 10+ may be a good place to start, too.
Just like with any dietary supplement product, you should make sure that the product has undergone independent lab tests for purity and potency. If a product is independently tested, or third-party tested, you can ensure that what is on the label is what is in the product you're purchasing. An SQF certification can also indicate safety testing has been done on the product.
If you have questions about UMF certifications or the extraction process—how the Manuka flowers are processed—the brand should make this information available. You can also find kosher superfoods with light brand research.
FAQ: Best Manuka Honey
Why would you take Manuka honey?
You would use Manuka honey if you feel you are getting sick often or having trouble with wounds healing properly. You should never replace any prescribed medicines with Manuka honey, but you can use it as a supplement to your current treatments for health issues. Always be sure to talk with your healthcare provider before starting any new dietary supplement regimen.
Is it worth your money?
If Manuka honey helps reduce your sick days from work or improves your quality of life, then it's worth the money. Also, if Manuka honey helps you have a stronger immune system or better healing wounds, then the money you spend on it will be well worth feeling better inside and out.
Who is best for?Manuka honey is best for anyone who wants an extra boost in their immune health. There are many quality Manuka honey brands out there, but if you use the tips above, you can choose a high-quality product that can help you reap Manuka health benefits.
Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD is a registered dietitian, freelance writer, health editor, and founder of LighttrackNutrition.com. She has been a registered dietitian with the Commission on Dietetic Registration since 2010 and has over a decade of experience in the nutrition and dietetics industry. Staci has graduate degrees in Biology, Human Nutrition, and Nutrition and Education from New York University, the Columbia University Institute of Human Nutrition, and Teacher's College, Columbia University, respectively. She has treated thousands of patients across many wellness arenas such as weight management, fitness, long-term care, rehab, and bariatric nutrition. Also, since 2011 Staci has also been applying her health and wellness knowledge to writing and editing for such websites as CDiabetes, Anirva, and Casa de Sante, to name a few. She has also been a featured expert in such online publications as Shape.com, ThisisInsider.com, and Eat This Not That.
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Nearly 900 people across the U.S. and Canada have been sickened by salmonella linked to onions distributed by Thomson International, the The New York Times reported.
The outbreak reached 43 states and 7 provinces in Canada by the end of Sunday, forcing major retailers, including Trader Joe's, Giant Eagle and Publix, to remove onions from their shelves. The outbreak is likely to continue spreading as onions were shipped to all 50 states from the Bakersfield, California-based food distributor, according to Ars Technica.
It is possible that an increasing number of cases will be reported over the next few weeks due to the lag between when a person gets sick and gets tested, then having an agency report the illness, Martin Wiedmann, a food safety professor at Cornell University, told The New York Times.
A CDC map of the outbreak identifies 640 cases across the country, with Utah, Oregon and California showing the largest number of cases. The recalled list includes red, yellow, white and sweet yellow onions.
The major chains that carried the onions also include Walmart, Kroger, Fred Meyer, Food Lion and H-E-B. According to a statement Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the onions were sold under the following brand names: Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Tender Loving Care, El Competitor, Hartley's Best, Onions 52, Majestic, Imperial Fresh, Kroger, Utah Onions and Food Lion.
The CDC asked people to proceed with extreme caution. "If you used onions to make any other food and don't know where the onions were from, don't eat the food. Throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one got sick," the CDC said. It added, "Wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with onions or their packaging, such as countertops, storage bins, refrigerator drawers, knives, and cutting boards."
The CDC also urged customers to ask restaurants about the source of their onions before ordering at a restaurant or any food shop. In Oregon, five people were sickened after eating at Si Casa Flores restaurant in Grants Pass, according to ABC News affiliate KDRV.
"We have been working closely with the managers and staff at Si Casa Flores to ensure the continued safety of its customers," said Mike Weber, the County Public Health director. "This restaurant has done everything right in this unfortunate situation, and customers should feel safe dining there. I recently enjoyed a meal there myself."
"People who believe they've gotten diarrhea from consuming red onions might want to contact a health care provider," Emilio DeBess, an epidemiologist at the Oregon Public Health Division Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention Section, told KDRV. "However, most people with salmonellosis will recover without antibiotics."
U.S. infections started in late June, the CDC said. All ages have been affected, with a median age of 39. Women account for fifty-four percent of those sickened. No deaths have been reported in the U.S. or Canada.
The Public Health Agency of Canada announced 239 cases with 29 hospitalizations as of Friday, The New York Times reported.
According to the CDC, salmonella is a bacteria that can cause salmonellosis, and most human infections are caused by eating food contaminated with it. Salmonellosis can lead to diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. These symptoms usually appear within three days after becoming infected and usually resolve within four to seven days.
In some cases, the infection may spread to the bloodstream and other parts of the body. These cases are associated with more severe diarrhea, which can lead to hospitalization. Severe cases can be deadly if not treated promptly with antibiotics.
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By Tim Ruben Weimer
Tanja Diederen lives near Maastricht in the Netherlands. She has been suffering from Hidradenitis suppurativa for 30 years. Its a chronic skin disease in which the hair roots are inflamed under pain — often around the armpits and on the chest.
€3,900 ($4,302) for treatment in Georgia
In August 2019, the now 50-year-old made a radical decision: she discontinued the antibiotics, which were becoming less and less effective. And she traveled to Georgia for two weeks to undergo treatment with bacteriophages (or phages for short).
Such phage therapy is not yet approved in most Western European countries. She paid 3,900 euros out of her own pocket in the hope that the unconventional therapy would help her.
Bacteriophages are viruses that fight against the proliferation of their host bacteria. Therapy with bacteriophages involves the oral administration of a single, isolated type of phage. They attach themselves to their bacterial counterparts in the patient's body in order to survive.
The phages reverse the polarity of the bacterial cell in such a way that it produces further phages, filling up with more and more phages and finally bursts. Then, the released phages attach themselves to other bacteria until all of the bacteria has been destroyed.
Journey Into the Unknown
"It tastes a bit like mushrooms," Tanja Diederen remarked as she took her morning phage dose. "When I went to Georgia, I was at first very nervous and excited, but above all disappointed about the treatment here in Holland."
After antibiotics stopped working for her, her doctor suggested that she take biopharmaceuticals, i.e. genetically engineered drugs. He had never heard of bacteriophages.
Instead, Diederen decided to look for treatment options with bacteriophages on her own, which she had heard about in a television program.
The Doctor Never Heard of Phages
A phage model — phages are viruses, that multiply in bacteria and then destroy them.
She came across the Georgi-Eliava Institute in Georgia, which has been researching bacteriophages since 1923 — just a few years after their discovery. Georgia has since developed into the global center of phage therapy.
During the Cold War, antibiotics were difficult to get there or anywhere in the Soviet Union. Treatment with phages was the best way to cure infectious diseases. Today, the Eliava Institute has one of the largest therapeutic collections of bacteriophages in the world.
Tanja Diederen stayed in treatment for two weeks, after which she traveled back to the Netherlands with a large suitcase full of phage tins. Since she began taking two different phages a day and applying a cream, she feels better.
She has more energy again and the small inflammations on her chest and armpits have decreased. The large inflammations come and go, but not as severe as before.
"It Doesn't Feel Illegal to Me"
Communicating with the Georgian doctors was difficult for Tanja Diederen. She needed a translator.
Every three months Diederen travels to Belgium — 15 kilometers away — to pick up a new ration of bacteriophages sent from Georgia for 500 euros. Her health insurance doesn't pay for this. Belgium is the only Western European country where phages are allowed. In the Netherlands, as in all other countries, they can only be used in individual cases to save lives or relieve severe pain.
Her physician is solely responsible for the application.
"It doesn't feel illegal to me," said Diederen. "I am one hundred percent sure that this medicine will help many people."
Like antibiotics, bacteriophages can also lead to bacterial resistance. Their big advantage, however, is that they are always one step ahead of the bacteria and can overcome the resistance. In addition, they are always directed against a specific type of bacteria and thus leave useful bacteria undamaged, like in the intestine, for example.
Before phage treatment, it is always necessary to determine which bacteria actually trigger the disease. The phages are then produced individually for each patient — often in Georgia.
Bacteriophages Permitted in Belgium
Professor Jean-Paul Pirnay from the Queen-Astrid Military Hospital in Brussels works with bacteriophages.
Such an individual medication does not meet the applicable regulations for medicinal products in any Western European country. It would take too much effort to have each individual phage formulation approved by the authorities.
Not so in Belgium. Since last year, this process can be legally circumvented by the Scientific Health Institute, in cooperation with doctors, patients, manufacturers, pharmacists and the Belgian Federal Office for Medicinal Products, issuing a certificate for the required phage ingredients. Pharmacists will then be able to use them for the manufacture of bacteriophages, subject to certain guidelines.
"We have used the existing legal framework to insert the bacteriophages," said Dr Jean-Paul Pirnay, who works at the Queen Astrid Military Hospital in Brussels on bacteriophages.
Around 30 patients have already been treated there. Currently, the military hospital is the only place in Belgium where bacteriophages are produced.
Useful Supplement to Antibiotics
"We need pharmaceutical companies to make the phage," says Pirnay. "A hospital can't produce all phages for a growing number of patients."
But industrial production of phages would require a clearer legal framework, and research is not yet ready.
"I believe that phages will not replace antibiotics," he said. "Both will be used together to make antibiotics more effective."
Tanja Diederen wants to continue her treatment in Brussels in the future. Communication with the Georgian doctors was difficult for her, she always needed a translator.
"I really hope that phages will soon be allowed in Europe," she said. "Going to Georgia is quite difficult and expensive."
Germany and the Netherlands are currently conducting pilot studies to see whether an individual prescription of bacteriophages would be possible. France has already imported Belgian phages and agreed to their use.
Reposted with permission from Deutsche Welle.
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There are a lot of meal delivery companies out there, and while most of them offer great food for a decent price, not all meal delivery services are created equal with regard to sustainability practices. In this Sunbasket review, we'll introduce you to a company that truly makes it easy to cook delicious meals responsibly. Not only does the company offer a host of clean and organic meal kit options, but it also set a high bar when it comes to minimizing environmental footprint.
Below, we'll tell you everything you need to know about the sustainable home cooking options that are available through Sunbasket.
How We Review Meal Delivery Services
When evaluating each meal delivery service, we based our review on their food options, ingredient sourcing, packaging and customer reviews to ensure that they are both good for you and for the environment.
- Dietary options - We considered both the quality and variety of the recipes and whether they offered vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options.
- Ingredients - We looked to see how they sourced their ingredients, whether they were organic, non-GMO and locally grown. We looked for important eco-friendly labels from authorities like the USDA, Non-GMO Project and the Marine Stewardship Council.
- Packaging - A very important component was also the packaging for each meal. We wanted to know how much was recyclable or biodegradable and whether the brand used recycled materials in their packaging.
- Customer reviews - Finally, we looked at Sunbasket reviews to see what users liked or didn't like about each service.
Sunbasket Meal Delivery Overview
It's impossible to talk about Sunbasket without mentioning Justine Kelly, aka Chef Justine. As Sunbasket's executive chef, she's the one who develops each recipe and ensures wholesome, delicious flavors in every box that's delivered.
Chef Justine has an amazing track record that includes a role at Slanted Door, an award-winning restaurant in the San Francisco area. From her time in the restaurant world to her current role at Sunbasket, Chef Justine has developed a strong reputation for championing the very best, most sustainably sourced produce, seafood and meats.
She has brought her commitment to healthy, environmentally responsible and farmer-friendly cuisine to Sunbasket, a meal delivery service that's defined by its very admirable corporate values:
- First and foremost, the company is devoted to meals that taste good, relying on clean and high-quality ingredients. Sunbasket reviews indicate the company is going this well, with many customers impressed by the caliber of meals.
- Sunbasket is a certified organic handler and is committed to providing patrons with ingredients that are well-sourced and 100% organic, all the time.
- The company offers meal plans that accommodate a range of lifestyles and dietary choices, including paleo, vegetarian, gluten-free and more.
- Sunbasket champions sustainability, from its compostable packaging to its partnerships with eco-friendly farms and fishermen.
These are just some of the reasons why Sunbasket stands out from other meal delivery services. Now, let's take a closer look at how some of these values play out day-to-day.
Sunbasket's Sustainability Practices
There are a number of ways in which Sunbasket proves its commitment to sustainability, starting with its partnerships with farmers, fishermen and ranchers:
- Chef Justine has always been known for ensuring thoughtful partnerships with local agriculturalists, and she's brought that ethos to Sunbasket. The company is steadfast and judicious in sourcing farms, partners who pioneer sustainable practices such as crop rotation and water efficiency.
- Similarly, the Sunbasket team shows great care in the fishermen they choose to work with, only selecting seafood providers recommended by the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program and fisheries certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. This ensures all of their suppliers use low-impact fishing methods that preserve natural populations and ecosystems.
- Sunbasket also sources its meat from ranches that treat animals with respect. They provide only antibiotic- and hormone-free meat, organic eggs and organic meat and poultry options like grass-fed beef.
These are just a few examples of how Sunbasket ensures that its wholesome and delicious meals also promote good stewardship of the environment.
Corporate Citizenship at Sunbasket
Additionally, make note of the ways in which Sunbasket demonstrates responsible corporate citizenship.
Specifically, Sunbasket does a lot to give back and to reinvest in local communities. It does so through a partnership with Feeding America, as well as key relationships with local food banks. They also have various employee programs that allow them to be a force of good in the world.
This, combined with their support for independent and sustainable farms, shows that Sunbasket is serious about modeling good corporate citizenship. Simply put, this is a company you'll likely be able to support without qualms of conscience.
What About Sunbasket Packaging and Recycling?
One specific concern about sustainability is packaging. After all, Sunbasket meals are delivered to your door in a box, which can't help but produce a lot of physical waste. What steps do they take to ensure eco-friendly packaging?
- All Sunbasket packaging is recyclable and/or compostable.
- Sunbasket also lists a lot of ways in which the items in their boxes can be reused around your home.
- Reclaimed denim is used as insulation.
- Ice packs may also be reused in various ways, or the non-toxic gel can be thrown out and the plastic packs recycled at store drop off locations.
Sunbasket Meal Options and Pricing
There are four types of Sunbasket meals to choose from, depending on the amount of time and effort you have to spare on making your meals:
- Classic Meal Kits: Sunbasket provides the ingredients, but you'll do all the work. Chop, slice and dice as needed, then cook everything up and serve. Most recipes are ready in 30 minutes or less.
- Fresh & Ready Meals: These meals come ready-made in heat-safe baskets. All you need to do is pop them in the microwave or oven, and they're ready to eat in as little as six minutes.
- Pre-Prepped Meal Kits: With this option, all ingredients come pre-chopped, mixed and measured. You simply cook and assemble the meal, which can be done in 15 to 20 minutes.
- Chef's Table Meal Kits: These Sunbasket meals feature premium ingredients and more unique flavor combinations. These kits are perfect for celebrating special occasions like birthdays or date nights.
A final topic for consideration is pricing.
- Sunbasket meals cost anywhere from $11 to $13 per serving; the price goes down depending on how many meals you opt to get each week.
- You may also choose to get either two or four servings for each recipe.
- An order may be as low as $52 per week, or as high as $175; again, the price is determined by serving number and meal number.
Sunbasket Pros and Cons
One thing we love about Sunbasket's meal delivery service is that it gives you the option to choose between meal kits and Fresh & Ready pre-made meals. Many Sunbasket reviews mention how easy it is to adjust your Sunbasket menu for the week if you have a lot going on and don't have time for as much prep and clean up.
We also love that Sunbasket menus can be customized. The company offers many different meal plans for different lifestyles and dietary needs, including options for gluten-free, low-carb, paleo, vegetarian, pescatarian and diabetes-friendly meals, just to name a few. Many Sunbasket reviews mention that the food is tasty and easy to prep. However, the company does not offer a vegan option at this time.
The only thing we found that we didn't love about Sunbasket meals is that not all meat is guaranteed organic. The company says that it offers "organic options," meaning that you can sometimes select things like grass-fed beef, but that it may not always be available. While Sunbasket touts the fact that it works with ranchers and farmers who raise meat "responsibly and sustainably," it does not list any certifications on its site to back this up. The company's seafood, however, is certified by multiple sources, so you can always feel good about those Sunbasket meals.
Final Thoughts on Sunbasket: Delicious, Sustainable Meals Delivered to Your Door
Sunbasket isn't the only meal delivery service out there, but it may be the most impressive with regard to its commitment to eco-friendliness, sustainable agriculture, local farms and astute corporate citizenship. That Sunbasket meals are also filling, delicious, creative and reasonably priced only makes the company more appealing. There are many Sunbasket reviews from customers praising the company's delicious meals, great customer service and push toward sustainability.
If you're looking for a way to cook at home more regularly, and with less impact on the environment, Sunbasket is a meal delivery service that deserves your attention.
Are Meal Kit Delivery Services Really Sustainable?
Over the past several years, home cooking has made a big resurgence with a contemporary twist. Thanks to the rise of meal delivery services, anyone who wants to make their own meals at home can do so, with relative ease. Most of these services work in roughly the same way: They allow you to denote some basic dietary preferences, as well as the frequency with which you'd like to receive your meals. Each meal is then shipped in a box, with all the ingredients you need as well as clear, accessible instructions. You can then make your own delicious meals without the hassle of recipe sourcing, going to the market, or ensuring the right quantity of ingredients.
But, do you have to sacrifice sustainability for convenience? Well, it depends on how you define sustainability. While meal kit boxes produce more packaging waste, they have lower greenhouse gas emissions and result in less food waste compared to grocery store meals.
According to studies out of the University of Texas at Austin and in the journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling, meal kits produce 33% lower greenhouse gas emissions, lead to less food loss and waste because of their pre-portioned ingredients, have lower last-mile transportation emissions and produce fewer emissions from refrigeration than grocery store meals.
The studies also mentioned that meal kits produce more packaging waste than grocery store meals — UT Austin estimated an average of 3.7 more pounds of packaging material per meal. One study found that "disposable packaging can represent over 50% of per-meal energy use for meal-kits." Sunbasket gives customers tips on how to reuse every last bit of its packaging, but it's likely most will still end up in a landfill.
So, it's up to you whether you think the pros of lower carbon emissions outweigh the cons of more plastic waste.
Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. His writing on natural health, nutrition, and supplements has appeared in Health, Shape and Remedy Review.
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A California resident has been diagnosed with plague, the state's first case of the deadly disease in five years.
The patient is a hiking enthusiast and South Lake Tahoe resident whom public health officials think may have been bitten by a flea while walking their dog, El Dorado County Health and Human Services reported Tuesday.
"Plague is naturally present in many parts of California, including higher elevation areas of El Dorado County," El Dorado County Public Health Officer Dr. Nancy Williams said. "It's important that individuals take precautions for themselves and their pets when outdoors, especially while walking, hiking and/or camping in areas where wild rodents are present. Human cases of plague are extremely rare but can be very serious."
Officials think the patient contracted the disease while walking along the Truckee River Corridor north of Highway 50 or the Tahoe Keys area in South Lake Tahoe. The patient is currently recovering at home.
The news comes about two weeks after a New Mexico man died from septicemic plague, CNN reported at the time. It was the second case of the plague reported in New Mexico this year.
Plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Humans usually contract it after handling an infected animal or being bitten by a rodent flea that carries the bacterium. While it is infamous as the disease responsible for the Black Death that killed 50 million people in Africa, Asia and Europe during the 14th century, it can now be treated effectively with antibiotics if diagnosed promptly.
Plague was first introduced to the U.S. from rats arriving on steamships in 1900. The last urban epidemic was in Los Angeles in 1924 and 1925. Since then, it has passed to rural rodent populations in the Western U.S., and most U.S. cases now occur in two Western regions: northern New Mexico, northern Arizona, and southern Colorado or California, southern Oregon, and far western Nevada. There are an average of seven U.S. cases each year.
The last time plague was reported in California was in 2015, when two visitors to Yosemite National Park were infected by contact with either rodents or fleas, The Associated Press reported. They both recovered.
Around 20 ground squirrels and chipmunks were exposed to plague in the South Lake Tahoe area between 2016 and 2019, however.
To protect themselves from plague, El Dorado County officials recommend that residents avoid contact with wild rodents, tuck long pants into boots and spray their cuffs and socks with repellent to avoid flea bites, keep pets away from wild rodents and protect pets with flea products, among other measures. Anyone who becomes sick after spending time in an area where plague is present should contact a doctor. Symptoms include fever, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes and usually emerge within two weeks of exposure.
A herdsman in the Chinese autonomous region of Inner Mongolia was diagnosed with the bubonic plague Sunday, The New York Times reported.
The Bayannur city health commission confirmed the diagnosis and issued a third-level alert, the second from the bottom in a four-level system. Mongolian health authorities are also investigating a second suspected case involving a 15 year old who developed a fever after coming into contact with a marmot that had been hunted by a dog, China's Global Times tweeted.
#Mongolia discovered another suspected patient infected with the bubonic plague. The 15-year-old patient had a feve… https://t.co/AHQBW0KH1X— Global Times (@Global Times)1594018342.0
"At present, there is a risk of a human plague epidemic spreading in this city. The public should improve its self-protection awareness and ability, and report abnormal health conditions promptly," the local health authority said, according to China Daily.
The bubonic plague caused the Black Death that killed around 50 million people in Africa, Asia and Europe during the 14th century, according to BBC News. But public health experts say it is unlikely to give the new coronavirus a run for its money as a global pandemic.
"Unlike in the 14th Century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Stanford Health Care infectious disease physician Dr. Shanti Kappagoda told Heathline, according to BBC News. "We know how to prevent it. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics."
Bubonic plague is caused by the Yersinia pestis bacterium which is spread from infected rodents to humans by fleas, according to The New York Times. In Inner Mongolia, the rodents in question are usually marmots, and the health alert put in place by Bayannur health officials warns against eating, hunting or transporting potentially infected animals and urges people to report diseased or dead rodents. The alert will remain in place till the end of the year, according to BBC News.
The plague can come in different forms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic. The latter is consistently fatal if left untreated and can be spread person to person via respiratory droplets, according to The New York Times. The bubonic plague is fatal 30 to 60 percent of the time if not treated. Antibiotics can cure it if administered early.
Symptoms of bubonic plague include swollen lymph nodes, fever, chills and coughing, according to CNN. Pneumonic plague infects the lungs.
The plague in both its forms is an example of how the exploitation of nature and the consumption of wild animals can put humans at risk from deadly pathogens. A 1911 pneumonic plague epidemic in northeast China, which killed around 63,000 people, is believed to have been spread by the trade in marmot fur. Last week, two brothers in Mongolia caught bubonic plague from marmot meat, and a couple in Mongolia died of the plague after eating marmot kidney last May.
Worldwide, the plague infects 1,000 to 2,000 people a year, according to World Health Organization data reported by CNN, though that is likely an underestimate.
An average of seven cases are reported every year in the U.S., according to the CDC.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that there are two forms of plague. There are actually different forms and three common ones, and the article has been updated to reflect this. The source of this information has also been modified.
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By Alexandra Rowles
Oregano is a fragrant herb that's best known as an ingredient in Italian food.
However, it can also be concentrated into an essential oil that's loaded with antioxidants and powerful compounds that have proven health benefits.
Oregano oil is the extract and, although it's not as strong as the essential oil, it appears to be useful both when consumed or applied to the skin. Essential oils, on the other hand, are not meant to be consumed.
Interestingly, oregano oil is an effective natural antibiotic and antifungal agent, and it may help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol levels.
What Is Oregano Oil?
Botanically known as Origanum vulgare, oregano is a flowering plant from the same family as mint. It's often used as an herb to flavor food.
Although it's native to Europe, it now grows all over the world.
Oregano has been popular ever since the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations used it for medicinal purposes. In fact, the name oregano comes from the Greek words "oros," meaning mountain, and "ganos," meaning joy or delight.
The herb has also been used for centuries as a culinary spice.
Oregano essential oil is made by air-drying the leaves and shoots of the plant. Once they're dried, the oil is extracted and concentrated by steam distillation.
Oregano essential oil can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied topically. However, it should not be consumed orally.
Oregano oil extract, on the other hand, can be produced via several extraction methods using compounds like carbon dioxide or alcohol. It's widely available as a supplement and can often be found in pill or capsule form.
Oregano contains compounds called phenols, terpenes, and terpenoids. They have powerful antioxidant properties and are responsible for its fragrance:
- Carvacrol. The most abundant phenol in oregano, it has been shown to stop the growth of several different types of bacteria.
- Thymol. This natural antifungal can also support the immune system and protect against toxins.
- Rosmarinic acid. This powerful antioxidant helps protect against damage caused by free radicals.
These compounds are thought to underlie oregano's many health benefits.
Here are 9 potential benefits and uses of oregano oil.
Oregano and the carvacrol it contains may help fight bacteria.
The Staphylococcus aureus bacterium is one of the most common causes of infection, resulting in ailments like food poisoning and skin infections.
One particular study looked at whether oregano essential oil improved the survival of 14 mice infected with Staphylococcus aureus.
It found that 43% of the mice given oregano essential oil lived past 30 days, a survival rate nearly as high as the 50% survival rate for mice that received regular antibiotics.
Research has also shown that oregano essential oil may be effective against some potentially antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
This includes Pseudomonas aeruginosa and E. coli, both of which are common causes of urinary and respiratory tract infections.
Although more human studies on the effects of oregano oil extract are needed, it contains many of the same compounds as oregano essential oil and may offer similar health benefits when used as a supplement.
One mouse study found oregano essential oil to be almost as effective as antibiotics against common bacteria, though much more research is needed.
2. May Help Lower Cholesterol
Studies have shown that oregano oil may help lower cholesterol.
In one study, 48 people with mildly high cholesterol were given diet and lifestyle advice to help lower their cholesterol. Thirty-two participants were also given 0.85 ounces (25 mL) of oregano oil extract after each meal.
After 3 months, those given the oregano oil had lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and higher HDL (good) cholesterol, compared with those who were just given diet and lifestyle advice.
Carvacrol, the main compound in oregano oil, has also been shown to help lower cholesterol in mice that were fed a high fat diet over 10 weeks.
The mice given carvacrol alongside the high fat diet had significantly lower cholesterol at the end of the 10 weeks, compared with those that were just given a high fat diet.
The cholesterol-lowering effect of oregano oil is thought to be the result of the phenols carvacrol and thymol.
Studies have shown that oregano may help lower cholesterol in people and mice with high cholesterol. This is thought to be the result of the compounds carvacrol and thymol.
3. Powerful Antioxidant
Antioxidants help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.
It's thought that free radical damage plays a role in aging and the development of some diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
Free radicals are everywhere and a natural product of metabolism.
However, they can build up in the body through exposure to environmental factors, such as cigarette smoke and air pollutants.
One older test-tube study compared the antioxidant content of 39 commonly used herbs and found that oregano had the highest concentration of antioxidants.
It found that oregano contained 3–30 times the levels of antioxidants in the other herbs studied, which included thyme, marjoram, and St. John's wort.
Gram per gram, oregano also has 42 times the antioxidant level of apples and 4 times that of blueberries. This is thought to be mostly due to its rosmarinic acid content.
Because oregano oil extract is very concentrated, you need much less oregano oil to reap the same antioxidant benefits as you would from fresh oregano.
Fresh oregano has a very high antioxidant content. In fact, it's much higher than that of most fruits and vegetables, gram per gram. The antioxidant content is concentrated in oregano oil.
4. Could Help Treat Yeast Infections
Yeast is a type of fungus. It can be harmless, but overgrowth can result in gut problems and infections, such as thrush.
The most well-known yeast is Candida, which is the most common cause of yeast infections worldwide.
In test-tube studies, oregano essential oil has been found to be effective against five different types of Candida, such as those that cause infections in the mouth and vagina. In fact, it was more effective than any other essential oil tested.
Test-tube studies have also found that carvacrol, one of the main compounds of oregano oil, is very effective against oral Candida.
High levels of the yeast Candida have also been associated with some gut conditions, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
A test-tube study on the effectiveness of oregano essential oil on 16 different strains of Candida concluded that oregano oil may be a good alternative treatment for Candida yeast infections. However, more research is needed.
Test-tube studies have shown that oregano essential oil is effective against Candida, the most common form of yeast.
5. May Improve Gut Health
Oregano may benefit gut health in a number of ways.
Gut symptoms like diarrhea, pain, and bloating are common and can be caused by gut parasites.
One older study gave 600 mg of oregano oil to 14 people who had gut symptoms as a result of a parasite. After daily treatment for 6 weeks, all participants experienced a reduction in parasites, and 77% were cured.
Participants also experienced a reduction in gut symptoms and tiredness associated with the symptoms.
Oregano may also help protect against another common gut complaint known as "leaky gut." This happens when the gut wall becomes damaged, allowing bacteria and toxins to pass into the bloodstream.
In a study on pigs, oregano essential oil protected the gut wall from damage and prevented it from becoming "leaky." It also reduced the number of E. coli bacteria in the gut.
Oregano oil may benefit gut health by killing gut parasites and protecting against leaky gut syndrome.
6. May Have Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Inflammation in the body is linked to a number of adverse health effects.
Research has shown that oregano oil may reduce inflammation.
One mouse study found that oregano essential oil, along with thyme essential oil, reduced inflammatory markers in those that had artificially induced colitis.
Carvacrol, one of the key components in oregano oil, has also been shown to reduce inflammation.
One study directly applied different concentrations of carvacrol to the swollen paws or ears of mice. Carvacrol reduced paw and ear swelling by 35–61% and 33–43%, respectively.
Oregano oil and its components may help reduce inflammation in mice, though human studies are needed.
7. Could Help Relieve Pain
Oregano oil has been investigated for its painkilling properties.
One older study in mice tested standard painkillers and essential oils, including oregano essential oil, for their ability to relieve pain.
It found that oregano essential oil significantly reduced pain in mice, exerting effects similar to those of the commonly used painkillers fenoprofen and morphine.
The research proposed these results were likely due to the carvacrol content of oregano.
A similar study found that oregano extract reduced pain in rats, and that the response was dose-dependent, meaning the more oregano extract the rats consumed, the less pain they appeared to feel.
Oregano oil may significantly reduce pain in mice and rats, exerting pain-relieving effects similar to those of some commonly used medications.
8. May Have Cancer-Fighting Properties
A few studies have indicated that carvacrol, one of the compounds of oregano oil, may have cancer-fighting properties.
In test-tube studies on cancer cells, carvacrol has demonstrated promising results against lung, liver, and breast cancer cells.
It has been found to inhibit cell growth and cause cancer cell death.
Although this is promising research, no studies have been carried out on people, so more research is needed.
Preliminary studies have shown that carvacrol — the most abundant compound in oregano oil — inhibits cancer cell growth and causes cell death in lung, liver, and breast cancer cells.
9. May Help You Lose Weight
Thanks to oregano's carvacrol content, oregano oil may aid weight loss.
In one study, mice were fed either a normal diet, high fat diet, or high fat diet with carvacrol. Those given carvacrol alongside their high fat diet gained significantly less weight and body fat than those just given a high fat diet.
Furthermore, carvacrol appeared to reverse the chain of events that can lead to the formation of fat cells.
More research is needed to demonstrate that oregano oil has a role in weight loss, but it may be worth trying as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Oregano oil may be beneficial for weight loss through the action of carvacrol, though human studies are needed.
How to Use Oregano Oil
Oregano oil extract is widely available in capsule and tablet form. It can be bought from most health food shops or online.
Because the strength of oregano supplements can vary, it's important to read the directions on the individual packet for instructions on how to use the product.
Oregano essential oil is also available and can be diluted with a carrier oil and applied topically. Note that no essential oil should be ingested.
There's no standard effective dose of oregano essential oil. However, it's often mixed with around 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of olive oil per drop of oregano essential oil and applied directly to the skin.
Like other essential oils, keep in mind that oregano essential oil should not be consumed orally.
If you're interested in taking oregano oil extract but currently taking prescription medications, make sure to consult your healthcare provider before adding it to your regimen.
In addition, oregano oil extract is not generally recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Oregano oil extract can be purchased in pill or capsule form and taken orally. Oregano essential oil is also available and can be diluted with a carrier oil and applied to the skin.
The Bottom Line
Oregano oil extract and oregano essential oil are both relatively cheap and readily available.
Oregano is higher in antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables, and it's packed full of powerful compounds called phenols.
Oregano also contains compounds that may be effective against bacterial and fungal infections, inflammation, and pain, among other conditions.
Overall, it appears to have several health benefits and may be useful as a natural treatment for some common health complaints.
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