Organic is a way of life
You know you are a healthy eater when you go to the market and pick plenty of fruits, vegetables and
white meat. But while walking through the aisle you realize you have another choice to make, to buy
Organic or not? This is a tough choice to make these days, Organic food is relatively more expensive.
This article will help you make the right decision
What does Organic mean?
Food grown without the use of artificial chemicals is called Organic. This naturally implies it should be more nutritious and better tasting. It also means it is better for the environment.
Our great grandparents survived on a completely organic diet-it was called 'Food' NOT 'Organic Food'. Modern farming methods that involve the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides did not exist back then. Over the few decades, our diet and farming practices have changed significantly owing to the ever increasing population and lack of time, however our bodies and our genetics have not evolved to accept these chemicals and food laced with toxins that our body doesn’t recognize.
There are various advantages of eating Organic
1. Eating organic helps to reduce our body’s toxic burden- Plants and animals termed “organic” have not been treated with Pesticides and herbicides. Most conventionally raised livestock are fed a combination of soy and corn, 90% of which is genetically modified. Dairy cows are given growth hormone called rBGH to increase milk production. These hormones and antibiotics make their way into dairy products and, eventually, our body.
2. Organic foods are by definition non-GMO- GMOs are plants and animals created by combining DNA of different species in a way that could not occur in nature or by traditional cross-breeding. They comprise a large percentage of commercial soy, corn, beets, and alfalfa crops in the United States. Genetic engineering alters crops to make them weather- and pest-resistant thereby increasing production. GMO Corn for example was combined with bacteria in order to produce its own insecticide, called Bt-toxin. Bt-toxin kills insects by destroying the lining of their digestive tracts, which sounds good right? What we don’t know is that this poison is not specific to insects and affects human cells the same way!
3. Organic farming is good for the earth- Organic farmers rely on crop rotation, companion planting, and animal manure in place of synthetic fertilizers, weed killers, and pesticides to control pests and maintain the quality and integrity of the soil. These pesticides are the largest pollutants affecting water quality. We can lessen the burden on our water bodies by supporting farmers who grow organically.
4. Organic crops are more nutritious- A recent study provides evidence that organic foods are richer in nutrients and antioxidants and lower in heavy metals, especially cadmium, and pesticides. Overall, crops treated with any amount or form of chemicals have a negative impact on your body. Organic crops are more nutritious, and they won’t deplete your health by putting unwanted and unnecessary toxins in your body.
It is expensive!
The benefits of having organic food is manifold, but the implications of that on our family budget can be daunting. It may not be easy to make the complete switch at one time, but we can start with one food at a time. It may be beneficial to know which food items in your fridge should definitely be organic.
The following are called the Dirty Dozen and have the highest concentrations of pesticides.
10 Sweet bell peppers
11 Cherry tomatoes
+ Hot Peppers +
+ Kale / Collard greens +
The following are called the Clean 15 and have the least amount of Pesticides
2 Sweet Corn*
5 Sweet peas frozen
12 Honeydew Melon
* A small amount of sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from GE seedstock. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid GE produce.
These are the top GMO foods:
2 Corn (including high fructose corn syrup, corn oil, corn syrup)
3 Sugar Beets (most sugar is made from this)
4 Canola (as in canola oil)
5 Cotton (including cottonseed oil)
6 Zucchini and yellow squash
Source: Lists from https://www.ewg.org/
Credit: Thank you Anandita Mukherjee for assisting with this blog