The other day I was engaged in a conversation with someone who was quite proud of a recent grocery store run. They’d purchased organic tortilla chips, organic cookies, soda made with organic fair trade cane syrup juice and on and on. This got me to thinking about the word “organic”. It has now become that overused word. Now for sure, the corn chips, the wheat and the sugar are all organically grown, pesticide free and genetically modified free. But you must keep in mind the organic tortilla chips are deep fried and all of the goodness removed, the organic cookies are likely loaded with preservatives and sugar and the soda likely has the same number of grams of sugar as any other soda. Marketers and manufacturers are using “organic” in a way to promote and sell unhealthy foods under the guise of being healthy. Make no mistake about it; junk food labeled organic is not healthy.
I know this can be confusing, after all choosing organic seems like the right thing to do. But keep in mind when we buy organic it should be real food not processed. Opting for organic whole foods is the better option.
To be organic, at minimal, vegetables and meats must be produced without fertilizer, pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics and genetic engineering. According to www.helpguide.org, “how your food is grown or raised can have a major impact on your mental and emotional health as well as the environment. Organic foods often have more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, than their conventionally-grown counterparts and people with allergies to foods, chemicals, or preservatives may find their symptoms lessen or go away when they eat only organic foods. Organic produce contains fewer pesticides. Organic food is often fresher because it doesn’t contain preservatives that make it last longer. Organic farming tends to be better for the environment. Organically raised animals are NOT given antibiotics, growth hormones, or fed animal byproducts. Organic meat and milk can be richer in certain nutrients. And lastly, organic food is GMO-free. “
Organic vegetables tend to be more costly than conventionally grown vegetables. Luckily for us, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted a test on the concentration of pesticides in vegetables. The result is a list of fruits and vegetables that should be purchased organic and which ones are okay even if they’re not organic. The lists are the clean 15 and the dirty dozen .
In conclusion, buy organic whole foods when you can and keep the processed organic junks foods to a minimal. Remember that not all organic foods are created equal.