Why Choose Organic?

One of the most common questions I get from people interested in nutrition and diet is about organic products. There is so much information and misinformation out there, it is hard to know what to believe. After all my studying and reading the past few years, this is my take on organic…

Organic foods are by law free of additives, flavor enhancers (MSG), artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and contaminants.  Organic farming supports our natural ecosystems by minimizing the input of toxins and chemicals into our land, soil, and water. Organic products meet strict USDA standards.

Organic foods are free of pesticides. Pesticides are linked to asthma and cancer; children are more sensitive to these chemicals. Some pesticides are linked to early puberty in children. Keep the toxins out of our bodies and our ecosystem!

There is no bioengineering in organic foods, no cloned foods and no GMOs. GMO, genetically modified foods, are altered to enhance size, appearance, and productivity. GMOs also include cloning of both plants and animals. Just say no chemistry experiments with your food!

No hormones or antibiotics are used in organic meats. The hormones often used are linked to breast, testes, and prostate cancers. And the animals are supposed to be treated humanely, fed organic feed, and have fresh air and outdoor access. Unfortunately some of the large organic farms are abiding by the feed regulations but the treatment of the animals has come into question. If you are going to eat meat, it should be organic. If you can find a local farm with organic meat, even better! You could go visit and see how the animals are treated. You have to do your own research.

Organic food is 25% more nutritious in vitamins and minerals. It contains higher quality nutrients like iron, magnesium, and Vitamin C than non organic foods grown in soil with pesticides and nitrates.

Organic foods are not irradiated. This process destroys the quality of the food and creates free radicals that can harm our cells. Some foods that have been irradiated look fresh and raw but have the nutrient quality of cooked foods!

Crops on organic farms are not fertilized with toxins or sewage. The crops are not watered with bacteria laced sewage water either.

Organic farming protects the soil for future generations by feeding rather than poisoning the soil with chemicals. It also preserves diversity of plant species and increases the lands productivity.

Buying organic can often help support small, local farms. And it is an investment in our planet for the long-term. 

Organic foods taste better! It just makes sense that crops grown in harmony rather than sprayed with poisons would be better.

So now you know but it’s not always easy to find all organic foods. There is a list know as “The Dirty Dozen” that are the foods most contaminated by non organic farming.

Here’s the list to AVOID if not organic:

  1. Peaches
  2. Apples
  3. Sweet bell peppers
  4. Celery
  5. Nectarines
  6. Cherries
  7. Strawberries
  8. Pears
  9. Imported Grapes
  10. Spinach, kale, and collard greens
  11. Lettuce
  12. Potatoes

 Now to learn about organic labeling so you know what you’re getting.

100% Organic  

  • Product contains only organically produced ingredients, except salt and water.

Organic  

  • Product is at least 95% organically produced foods. The label may state the percentage of organic ingredients or not. The remaining products must be nonagricultural substances approved by USDA’s list of products not commercially available to organic farms.

Made with Organic Ingredients 

  • Product is at least 70% organic ingredients. The label may state the percentage of organic ingredients or may state up to three of the organic ingredients.

 

*** I recommend buying as much local produce (and meat if you eat it) as you can for many reasons. You will be supporting your local farmers, helping your local economy, the food is fresher when you get it, you are helping the environment by eating food close by, and you will be forced to eat more of a seasonal diet which has its own benefits so choose local, organic when you can! Find a farmer’s market near you!

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