I get the feeling that a great many people are little confused or possibly misinformed about the pros & cons associated with choosing organic foods. So what IS the difference between Organic & regular (a.k.a “conventional”) produce and meats you can pick up at any chain type grocery store? Unfortunately, what you may not yet know about conventional produce CAN hurt you and your kids. The “regular” food that fills those traditional style grocery stores can cause a great many health complications ranging from infertility to cancer. Why? Because of the pesticides. So what’s the big deal about it? Well there wasn’t really a need for pesticides to be used until World War II. Find that kind of strange? Yeah, me too. You can read more about the history of pesticide usage here. Without getting too in depth, lets just say that with the advancement of the industrial age was born the fall of truly natural, organic fruits & vegetables.
So let me explain a little more. In one hand you hold a fresh conventionally grown green apple. In the other a fresh organically grown green apple. So what’s the difference? They’re both high in fiber, their nutritional content is equal, some may argue that the taste is better. But there is one huge difference, the practices and methods used by the farmers that grew them. One farmer uses seeds that are provided by the “Coca-Cola” of seed companies, the other a seed that’s been passed down for a hundred years through his family orchard. Two different ways to achieve the same result. One has a lab engineered chemical sprayed onto it to keep it free from the little bugs that can prey upon it. The other uses a natural form of cultivating (via insects) & agricultural practices that keep the apples safe from pestilence.
Isn’t it time that we start really stop buying all the hype & do our own deductive reasoning? Maybe ask ourselves some simple questions like why do we buy the food where we buy it? Is it because that’s what our parents did? I know thats how used to shop, just buying those same foods I enjoyed from my childhood, and when I became a wife & a mother I did my best to duplicate the meals I loved. It wasn’t until I had a serious life changing health condition pop up out of nowhere that I started to question things. Maybe that was what it was going to take for me to start taking ownership of my health.
A lot of people think that organic food costs more. If you think eating healthy is costly, try getting sick! If you compare it apples to apples, oranges to oranges, yes certain items can be priced incongruently, however it’s all about learning to make your budget work.
Here’s a few simple reasons to start doing your own research about the benefits of organic produce:
1. There’s too much disease present in our culture. Cancer used to be a distant cousin’s issue & now it’s a household name. Coincidence? I think not.
2. Are you connected to your food source? (And I’m not talking about the grocery store)
3. Have you heard about community supported agriculture yet?
4. Are you listening to your body? If there’s some things going on that you’re a little uneasy about it’s time to initiate some changes in your diet in addition to getting to a doctor. Here’s a few tips if you suffer from an autoimmune condition like I do.
5. Have you considered where your food actually comes from or more importantly the manner in which it’s processed before it hits your grocery cart?
In the meantime here’s a simple list of the “Dirty Dozen” 12 foods you should always buy organic because they’re heavily sprayed:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Kale & Collard Greens
Here’s a list of “The Clean 15” These are conventionally grown fruits & vegetables that have the fewest pesticides.
- Sweet Corn (Frozen)
- Sweet Peas
Each year the Environmental Work Group (EWG) publishes a list of the most & least contaminated fruits and vegetables. Use their list as a guide when buying & transitioning to a more “health friendly” diet. It can really make a difference in the way you feel, mind & body.