Organic and Natural
Organic food has become a popular term lately. Years ago organic food was available only in health stores or in farmers markets, nowadays it has become widely available in many grocery markets. What does organic mean? The term refers to the manner in which agricultural products are grown and processed. In the beginning of farming, all foods were organic. It was as simple as placing the seed in the ground and harvesting when ready. They were all grown free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Foods were minimally processed, unrefined and whole. Today with the population growing, farming has taken a turn and tried to supply more and more with the help of pesticides and chemicals. This has made our foods not only deficient in nutrients, but also full of chemicals and toxins making it difficult for us to be healthy and well balanced. In order to qualify as organic crops and livestock must be:
Organic crops must be grown in safe soil, have no modification or be genetically modified, and must remain separate from conventional food. Farmers are not allowed to use synthetic pesticides and petroleum or sewage-based fertilizers.
Benefits of Eating Organic Food
- More nutrients. Several studies have shown that organically grown foods contain more nutrients than non-organic grown foods because the soil is sustained and nourished with healthy practices. The nitrogen that is found in composted soil is slowly released this way plants can grow at a normal rate, with their nutrients in balance.
- Better Taste. Many foods are now being modified to enhance their colors and achieve a more consistent shape. In return, the taste is not taken into account. Organic foods might not always be prettiest or shiniest, but they sure are the tastiest.
- Pesticide and chemical free. Research from the past few years demonstrate the negative effects of these toxins in our body such as cancer, asthma, brain function and more.
- Promote the local economy. Organic foods are quite often grown locally, visit your local market, you will probably get a better price and a fresher product.
- Organic Farming is better for the environment. These farms are sustainable, reduce pollution, conserve water and use less energy.
Cost vs. Health
This kind of grocery shopping will most likely be more expensive than you’re used to. Fresh organic food costs more because it’s real food. It will spoil quickly unlike processed foods which can be stored in boxes for months and still be edible somehow. If you find buying fresh and organic to be too expensive for you can also opt for frozen vegan meats, fruits and vegetables as an option. Every year the EWG Environmental Working Group releases a list of 12 foods that you should always whenever available buy organic. It has been estimated individuals can decrease their exposure by 80% if they change to organic when purchasing those foods. The group analyzes which foods contain the highest pesticide residue and call those 12 the dirty dozen. Each year some foods change, but over the past couple of years these are the
foods that have been on the dirty dozen consistently.
- Sweet bell Peppers
You must decide for yourself if eating this way is worth the cost. Personally I try to make cuts in other areas of my budget, but I find my health more important than anything else. Of course, the bag of Cheetos is cheap and easy, but I am not willing to eat that when I have better options available. Many of these changes might seem extreme from your current way of life. But if you want to improve your health and performance these changes are necessary. You can choose to eat cheap and fast now and pay for it later or spend a little more on
healthier food now but enjoy a better life on the long term.
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