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Is Organic Food Really Better for You?
Plug Your Ears When it Comes to Naysayers
I am continually dismayed by the number of individuals and companies that say that organics are no better than non-organics. This is completely untrue. So, are organic foods really better for you?
Prior to the Second World War, there was no need for organic food because of the care taken with the soil and the purity that was maintained with the fruits and vegetables being grown in that soil. In fact, fruits and vegetables were organic without being labeled as such. However, in nature, “perfect” fruit has always been rare. One of the reasons that chemicals started being added to fruits and vegetables was to improve their appearance. The organic apple is smaller, has a duller sheen, and the skin is a subtle blend of colours and imperfections. Chemicals were also added to keep the bugs away and prolong shelf life.
If a food has a “certified organic” label, with a code beginning with a 9, it means that each ingredient and every process qualifies it as organic and chemical free. Organic foods contain no:
- Preservatives, pesticides, artificial fertilizers or food colouring; these chemicals affect digestion and immunity, causing food sensitivities, allergies and other illness.
- Genetically modified ingredients, which result in new proteins being formed. Remember, adverse reactions to foods often occur because the body cannot break down proteins.
- Heavy or unnecessary antibiotics; only antibiotics that are necessary for individual animal treatment are used.
Also, organic food is grown in nutrient-rich soil that is rotated regularly. An organic apple has ten times more nutrients than non-organic. As a result, organic foods taste better than non-organic foods!
I have a fabulous example demonstrating the authenticity of certified organic foods. Our family had a hamster, which was our girls’ best friend for a long time. I fed it different kinds of organic lettuce and nuts and seeds. It came time for us to take a vacation and our neighbours agreed to look after our hamster for us. Now I am past worrying about what others think, but back then, I didn’t want our neighbours to know that we were feeding our hamster expensive organic lettuce! So I bought the regular lettuce, which they fed our hamster for one week. I told them that they didn’t need to clean the cage in our absence. When we returned after one week, our hamster’s cage was filthy, smelled horrible and there were piles of bowel movements everywhere. When I had been feeding the hamster organic lettuce, the cage hadn’t needed to be cleaned for at least two weeks! And the hamster had eaten his bowel movements! When I looked into why a hamster would eat his bowel movements, I discovered that if they are eating healthy food, they eat their bowel movements for extra nutrients! I experimented with the two types of lettuce again a few months later and sure enough, the non-organic lettuce required a cage cleaning twice a week versus every 2 weeks with organic lettuce! I should also mention that what I fed the hamsters that we owned over the years, created wonderful, fluffy, soft and relaxed little creatures! All I fed them was organic lettuce, nuts and seeds.
So how much needs to be organic? The answer is to choose organic whenever possible. Buy as much as you can afford. You’ve probably noticed that the cost of organic products has reduced and the availability has increased over the years as the demand has increased. There is no doubt that organic products do still cost more than non-organic. By cutting out all the convenience and junk food and focusing on quality foods such as fruits and vegetables, you may find you’re actually able to spend less on groceries in the long run. Just think of the improved health that organic food brings and you may start viewing the cost of organic food differently too! When children become accustomed to eating nutritious organic food, good eating habits are formed, which helps them stay healthy for a lifetime.
“It is no coincidence that an increased number of miscarriages, stillbirths, childhood cancers, birth defects, heart disease, allergies and auto-immune conditions in children has coincided with the expansion of the processed, convenience food market, based on intensively farmed foods. Children need good, nutritious, fresh, healthy food and they need an environment that is as free from chemicals as possible. From the moment a parent makes the decision to have a baby, the emphasis has to be on reducing the load of toxins in food and in the products used in the home. The best and safest way to do this is to go organic.” Allergy-free Cooking for Kids – A Guide to Childhood Food Intolerance with 80 Recipes by Antoinette Savill and Karen Sullivan.
What are your thoughts? I love receiving feedback. Here on my blog, you’ll get commentluv. This is a plug in that allows you to leave a link back to your own site when you leave a comment. But, you don’t have to be a blogger to leave feedback. I’d love to hear from everyone!
Until next time,
Great overview Meredith. We have purchased mostly organic produce for many years now and our family all benefit from the extra nutrients and fewer toxic overload. Eating healthy in our culture takes continuous focus however I believe our well-being is worth it! Keep the info coming. Karen
I’m so pleased that you are another family who are taking advantage of the healthy foods we have available to us, Karen. Thank you for writing. The more that go organic, the more affordable it will become.
You are so right, Joanne. We have to earn our health these days – it doesn’t just come to us naturally as it did for prior generations and it starts with educating ourselves. I forgot to mention that getting to know the organic farmers is an even better idea for ensuring you are purchasing true organic food. A large group of authentic local organic farmers congregate at the Waldorf school market in Thornhill each Saturday morning.
Meredith, thanks for publishing this article. You are right. There are so many naysayers out there. I believe those that adopt that strategy are doing so out of a reluctance to change. Big business has done a great job brainwashing us and there are so many people out there with health challenges. It’s time to educate ourselves and listen to our bodies.