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</P> There are three main reasons to buy a certified organic turkey this thanksgiving. 1. Your certified organic turkey will not have been given growth hormones or antibiotics.

Benefits of certified organic turkey

There are three main reasons to buy a certified organic turkey this thanksgiving.

1. Your certified organic turkey will not have been given growth hormones or antibiotics. This means that you and your family won't be eating these chemical residues, either.

2. A certified organic turkey won't be given genetically modified grain in its poultry feed.

3. Factory-farm turkeys (and other poultry) are fed animal by-products such as meat meal and bone meal, in addition to grains. Organic turkeys aren't fed animal byproducts.

Your certified organic turkey, if also raised "free range" or "free run," will not have been kept in crowded, stressful conditions in a two-foot square cage in a dark barn, as factory-farmed turkeys are. It will have been exposed to natural light and regularly allowed to walk about in a pasture or barn.

For more information on where to buy certified organic, free-range, or humane-certified turkey across Canada, see the links to a select directory of grocers in your province on the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals website at www.humanefood.ca/humanegrocerlist.html.

Flavonoids for a healthy heart

The April 2004 issue of Journal of Nutrition reports a recently completed clinical study of French women that found that women with the most flavonoid-rich diets were at the lowest risk for cardiovascular disease as measured by blood pressure, weight, serum cholesterol count, and fasting plasma glucose level.

Flavonoids are a diverse group of compounds found in foods such as soy (genistein), onions (quercetin), red wine (proanthocyanidins), citrus fruits (citrus bioflavonoids), and green tea (polyphenols), among many others. Flavonoids are now being studied for their antioxidant qualities in the nutritional battle against cancer, heart disease, age-related vision disorders, and more.

Tired of green tea?

Want the antioxidant benefits of green tea without the taste? Try rooibos tea. Rooibis (pronounced roy-boss), is made from the needles of a shrub native only to South Africa. Also known as red tea due to its colour, rooibos is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and is caffeine-free. It is also very low in tannin, which gives tea a bitter taste when steeped too long. Rooibos is one of the few herbal teas that can be made with milk.

South Africans have been drinking the tea for centuries, and it is known for its soothing and healing properties. Rooibos has no oxalic acid so those suffering from kidney stones can safely enjoy a cup. Look for rooibos tea at health food stores and specialty tea shops.

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