By Marcela Owen
My organic journey started years ago when I started college and learned about the foods we eat. For many years I knew that eating organic is beneficial and that it’s definitely much healthier than conventional foods and produce. Sadly, “conventional” in the foods market is essentially food that is grown with the use of chemicals and pesticides. It’s not rocket science right? Farmers following conventional farming methods use pesticides, organic farmers don’t. That is the basic difference, but what do these differences mean for our bodies, our health and our environment? I list a few reasons why I opt to purchase and consume organic.
- The main and most obvious reason to eat organic is to avoid consuming residue of pesticides. With that said, we may also avoid herbicides and insecticides. Anything that is foreign and unnatural that we ingest, will most likely affect our bodies and our health in a negative way.
- One great reason to consider eating organic meats, if you are a meat or poultry eater, is to avoid the effects/residue of hormones, antibiotics and steroids that conventional meats have today. Animals are fed very low quality feed full of antibiotics and elements that are harmful not only to the animals, but also to the end consumer, as this toxicity is passed through to us.
- I typically can tell the difference between organic and non-organic food. Organic food simply tastes better, the colors are more vibrant and we get the full benefit of nutrients and minerals without chemicals.
- Environmentally is best to farm and consume organic all around. Organic farming practices nourish the environment instead of adding chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and a myriad of other harmful elements that our earth could do without. Organic farmers work with our ecosystem not against it. Organic farming not only respects the environment but also helps in reducing pollution and waste.
- Another factor to consider is that conventional foods last a very long time. What I mean is that their shelf time is extensive. Doesn’t that seem odd? So food companies need to ensure that food won’t spoil by adding preservatives, which essentially translates to chemicals. Organic food may spoil quicker, but isn’t that normal? Of course it is!
- Consuming altered food, alters our body. Our society has so many health problems and most of them, I truly believe are tied in part to the food we consume. The additives in food are not natural to the environment and not to our bodies. So it makes logical sense that our bodies will react to these chemicals. Organic foods can’t alter your body since it doesn’t contain added chemicals. Clean food is best to maintain our bodies healthy.
- How about the animals that we consume? If the animals that we eat are treated inhumanly, kept in bad conditions, are sick and inundated within their own waste, would you want to eat them? I doubt it, right? Animals that are raised as organic livestock go through a completely different process, one that it is humane, cleaner and free of unnecessary chemicals.
- Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs are exactly that, genetically engineered organisms. Several foods out in the market today include GMOs and no regulating agency incurs a labeling requirement, so you and your family may be consuming GMOs without knowing it. This type of food may be tied to health issues as well. Organic food is prohibited from utilizing GMOs in their food, so by consuming organic, you’ll know that GMOs should be excluded.
Be cool, go organic! That is my message to all of you. I encourage you to consume organic when possible, but please don’t overwhelm yourself. Be conscious of your purchases and take control. You have the power to purchase or reject what products you want or don’t want. As a consumer, you have more power that you realize. Re-evaluate where you shop, consider where your food comes from. Make wise decisions for you, your family and the planet.
When you see the USDA Organic label, it will give you peace of mind that you are buying products with none or very low exposure to toxic pesticides and herbicides. Remember that consuming toxic pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals in conventional food could potentially cause severe illnesses and physical/mental conditions. Organic foods compared to conventional foods and products that are grown without the use of chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and other harmful elements, are much healthier options for you and your family. When you buy certified organic products, be aware that this type of label also prohibits:
- Genetically modified organisms
- Ionizing radiation
- Sewage sludge – a source of asbestos, bacteria, fungi, heavy metals, and industrials solvents
- Antibiotics and synthetic growth hormones
By now you clearly have an idea of the differences between conventional foods and organic foods. You are welcome to expand your research it you need further convincing that organic foods are much better for you, your family and the environment than conventional foods. I assure you that your family will appreciate it as much as you will.