You may be just like me. I didn’t grow up eating organic foods. And as I got older and purchased my own food, I found organic unnecessary and a waste of money. You may feel that way yourself. But there is a lot more to organic than just the cost. The health benefits alone are worth the switch. Keep reading to find out why I made the decision to go organic.
What does Organic mean?
Let’s start from the beginning and find out what organic means. Read the label “USDA Certified Organic” and automatically know that the food has not been sprayed with harmful pesticides, insecticides or chemicals. But there is even more to that label. Companies follow many guidelines to meet USDA compliance. Some of the qualifications are:
- The types of pesticides and fertilizers used
- The quality of the soil
- The health and treatment of the animals
- The use of unnecessary food additives
- Genetically Modified Organisms, GMO’s (prohibited)
What is the harm in Pesticides?
Have you heard the word glyphosate before? It’s the main ingredient in Roundup. Roundup is the pesticide that removes weeds from crop fields and can be sprayed over the crops themselves. It has strong links to causing diseases like cancer and is carcinogenic to humans.
I used to think I could just wash off the pesticides. But the chemicals penetrate beyond the surface and affect the whole product. Pesticides sink into the soil and absorb into the roots as well.
These pesticides can cause mineral deficiencies, strip our gut of beneficial bacteria and cause hormone imbalances in our bodies, just to name a few.
Have you seen the farmers in hazmat suits spraying down their fields? Go ahead and give that a google search. It’s frightening. Yet it’s “safe” for us to put that into our bodies? No thanks!
Organic guarantees food to be free of glyphosate and other harmful chemicals. That in itself was enough to turn my choice from conventional to organic.
Why is organic better for the environment?
Organic farming is vital to the health of our soils. The harsh use of conventional farming, with the heavy use of pesticides and chemicals, depletes and strips the soil of its nutrients.
According to the Scientific American, because of the degradation to the world’s top soil, we may only have about 60 years of farming left. This is an alarming statistic.
Organic farming and regenerative agriculture will help preserve the world’s top soil for many more years to come.
What about meat and dairy?
I’m sure you’ve heard about the over use of growth hormones and antibiotics within conventional meat and dairy. When we consume the products from these animals those substances transfer into our bodies.
Research shows humans can develop an antibiotic resistance from the overuse of antibiotics in the meat we eat.
But the more milk a cow produces, the more money is made. The fatter a cow is, the more money is made. Notice a pattern? It seems to be all about the money and not about the health of the consumer.
Purchasing organic meat and dairy ensures you will not be buying foods tainted with growth hormones and antibiotics.
What are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s)?
GMO’s are organisms that have had their genetic makeup altered. Laboratories can actually modify certain genes of plants and animals to change the way they grow and live.
The problem is that these are not natural to nature. They are no longer the way God designed them in creation and no longer natural to our bodies.
Most packaged foods contain soy, corn and sugar beets. Most of the soy, corn and sugar beets grown in the US are genetically modified. These foods are foreign to our bodies and the negative affects of these foods are many.
Illnesses, allergies, infertility and other health issues can spring out of nowhere, leaving us questioning the cause.
Why is organic a better choice?
Organic products have over 60% more antioxidant levels and higher vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus content. They also contain micronutrients and naturally occurring lactobacilli (learn more about this benefit in my fermentation post).
Overall, organic is much better for our optimal health. It is something I definitely chose to fuel my body with and without question, my growing children’s bodies.
What about the extra cost?
I wanted to jump into organic everything right away. But financially we started with small changes. I researched which produce was the most heavily contaminated with pesticides and then chose to buy those organic as my first step.
If you are looking to do the same, grains, oats and legumes score the highest on the pesticide list. Think about your own diet. Most likely grains, oats and legumes make up a good portion of your everyday foods.
Otherwise, I suggest looking up the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” for the foods with the most and least pesticides for a place to start.
My health journey has been a very gradual change. I am still growing and will keep educating myself how to make the best food choices for my own family.
Friends and family always ask me “why” I choose to do and eat certain things. It’s actually why I started this blog.
I want to bring up topics you may have never thought of before. To open your mind into questioning the narrative of our standard American diet. To consider the traditional ways of cooking and the essential benefits from how our ancestors used to live and eat.
I have a better understanding of the food I feed my family now because of the research I have done. I am always learning and growing and I encourage you to as well.
Ask questions. Don’t take my posts as facts. Please research for yourself and make your own decisions on how best to feed you and your family.