The Health Benefits of Eating Organic Food

So, you’ve seen organic produce in the grocery store, organic labels on packaging, and heard about organic food on the news. What exactly does it mean to be USDA certified organic?

Organically certified foods are grown without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, GMOs, radiation, or growth hormones as well as free from other unnatural growth methods.

Alright, so does that mean organic foods are healthier?

Yep.

Foods grown organically have a higher nutritional value than foods that are not. Organically grown fruits and vegetables potentially contain 40% more antioxidants and organic milk potentially contains 90% more antioxidants according to a Newcastle University study.

Not only do these foods have more nutrients, they also contain less chemicals. The chemicals often sprayed on crops are meant to kill other life forms, and while humans may not die from consuming them, these chemicals can still be very detrimental to our health.

Non-Organic foods that were grown using radiation methods can change the chemistry of the food itself, potentially even promoting cancer.

Foods that were not grown organically can be genetically modified, meaning that they are different than the food you are intending to buy. A genetically modified apple is structurally different than a non-genetically modified grown apple, and our bodies were not meant to process and run on genetically modified food.

Yes, organic foods generally are more expensive than other foods. This is because organic farmers do not receive subsidies and organic farming is more labor intensive and time-consuming.

Many people believe that organic foods taste better than other foods. I tend to agree, in part because non-organic foods can be grown with quantity and ship-ability in mind rather than taste.

Something else to consider when deliberating between organic or not is the cost to the environment. Growing food with toxic chemicals creates runoff that can damage nearby water sources. When chemicals are used to grow food, the land can be harmed to the point of the soil becoming infertile.

Not only produce can be labeled as organic. Animal products can gain the certification as well. Organic meat generally means that the animals were treated well, and ate higher quality feed in addition to being free to graze pastures.

Often times, organic produce can be less appealing the eye. But don’t let appearance fool you…try eating them before discounting them. You may find that you feel better and that the food actually tastes better.

Investing in your health pays off in the short term and long term, and buying organically grown foods is a good way to do that.

Three Important Aspects of a Successful Food Court Project

Unless you are a professional in this field, it is unlikely that you have ever given thought on what brings you to choose a certain food court. The first answer that crosses your mind, and it’s not a silly answer, is – “Because it is located in the mall I’m at” or “It’s in the shopping center I like”.

Until not long ago mall developers did not take all the factors other than the one stated above into consideration when planning a food court. In recent years, many mall’s financial returns have been moving from a ratio of 80% coming from retail shopping- against 20% from hospitality- to a 50 by 50% and in some cases hospitality (including entertainment) answers for as much as 80% of the foot traffic and proportional returns.

Currently mall developers and managers pay much more attention to their food outlet areas, contracting experienced professionals to work with them on better developing this market niche.

Location of the mall, parking, safety and range of options are obvious reasons of consumer’s attraction but on top of that, what also comes is our intrinsic instinct of being perceived as part of a determined group sharing its values and tastes. The social attachment of a determined image we make of ourselves and how we promote it is understood and widely accepted to be a definitive factor on your choice of a place to hang out, whether with your friends, sharing an ice-cream with your kids, or just to be seen with other members of your wider tribe.

The concept is easy to be understood and acknowledged as on mundane acts of our day by day lives we state this inclination. We love making statements on our t – shirts, wearing branded sneakers and purchasing the right smart phone. On a more spatial and wider sense, involving more capital expenditure, another good example is the trend of Design Hotels which started some ten years ago and its far from fading away. To see and be seen on a special place is what maters. With this in mind, when we start on a project for a successful food court, the golden rule of our design is to create a “The Place to Be”.

As we evolve and constantly change our habits and tastes, food courts are expected to do the same, otherwise they would run out of their targeted public taste, date to early and in doing so, compromise the performance of the rest of the mall. Flexibility supported by sensible technical solutions to minimize updates and modification costs is the second rule. If the Wow Factor is not backed by a well thought drainage and air extraction projects for example, it won’t work as expected.

Finally, leaving to another time, other important factors such as a good mix of Caf├ęs and Restaurants. Another “must have” for a food court is: comfort. A good food court must be attractive to all tastes and able to cope with different groups of people. Certain styles of food attract a specific group of consumers and buffer zones are sometimes necessary. If you stop to think for a second you will certainly agree; noisy places are uninviting and enervating, endless cleaning operations done in the centre of the court, uneven tables, uniform furniture, just to name a few. These are the worst enemies of the food court.

Contract the services of architects with sound experience on the design of fast food outlets, franchises, restaurants and food courts is essential for malls, restaurant owners and Franchisors to minimize risks and maximize their profits. Next time you think about upgrading your existing business or starting on a new project, don’t rush, have a good look around and exchange ideas with who really understand the requirements and nuances of the hospitality business.