Top 6 Reasons to Eat Organic
Food Label Claims: What the heck are GMO’s and why should I eat organic?
I want to set the record straight, because I admit it – I was skeptical too. I thought it was a marketing gimmick. I thought it was a brilliant advertising scheme. Truth be told, I simply didn’t understand it. So I have studied it and researched it and now I want to educate about it. Because you, your partner, your parents, and for some; your children – are all on a need to know basis.
Let me break it down. Originally all foods were what we now call “organic”. It’s what we have always known. It’s the food our grandparents ate. They went to the market or to their farmer (who supplied the market) and bought direct. There was no question that there was anything harmful or being manipulated in the food they were buying. Fruits and vegetables were grown and prepared without pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers. Food was unrefined, whole and minimally processed. By today’s definition, “organic” refers to the way a food was grown, raised or produced and is certified by government defined standards. So what happened?
A series of world events happened: The Great Depression, The Agricultural Revolution, and World War II. The culmination of all those things left this country with the heavy task of needing to feed troops and a much larger population. The larger the crops, the more pests and weeds try to infest the crops. This is where the use of pesticides (herbicides and fertilizers) really started. And herein lays the problem.
Every year the U.S. uses over 2 billion pounds of pesticides on our fruits, nuts and vegetables. Not only do the pesticides not always reach their desired target (unwanted insects and weeds), they contaminate our food, water and air. Here are the health risks associated with pesticides in the environment:
Cancer Birth defects Skin, eye and lung irritation Blood disorders Nerve damage Reproduction issues Hormone disruption – which can lead to early onset puberty as well as other health concerns Brain and nervous system toxicity (effecting mood and sleep)*
The other thing we’ve seen increasingly over the last decade is the acronym “GMO” or genetically modified organisms. GMOs are plants or animals that have had their DNA modified in a laboratory setting in an attempt to withstand pesticides. Plants that are genetically modified to be resistant to disease, pesticides, and insecticides could diminish the need to use these strong chemicals. Conversely, they may build up a resistance and therefore require even larger amounts of chemicals than before. GMOs have not been proven safe and some studies show GMOs may decrease immunity to diseases in plants as well as humans. They also cause resistance to antibiotics and could have a negative impact on genetic function.* What the? Exactly. In laymen’s terms, GMO’s are not natural and should be avoided.
In the U.S., the majority of the corn, soybean, cotton, and canola crops are now genetically modified. And it’s not surprising that one or more of these can be found in nearly every processed food. So what the f*#k do I eat? The answer is organic.
Top 6 Reasons to Buy and Eat Organic Produce
1. Chemicals – Plain and simple, pesticides are linked to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is a way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into our air, water and food supply. 2. Our Water – Pesticides pollute over half of the U.S.’ drinking water. 3. Your children and Future Generations – Children are four times more sensitive to cancer-causing pesticides in foods than adults (hence the rise of ADD, ADHD, Autism, etc….) 4. Our ecosystem – Organic agriculture respects the earth’s natural ecosystem. Farming practices that utilize pesticides (aka “conventional” farming) ignore the health of the soil. 5. Save energy – Unnecessary energy is consumed to produce synthetic pesticides. 6. Your Local Economy – Support your local farmer! Most organic farmers are small, local and independently owned and operated, boosting your local economy by keeping your dollars local!*
So where do I start? Make the switch to these IMMEDIATELY as the following have the MOST pesticides:
Strawberries Spinach Kale Nectarines Apples Grapes Peaches Cherries Pears Tomatoes Celery Potatoes
These are called the Dirty Dozen by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and should be always consumed organic. For budget conscious consumers, frozen organic is a great option too! Eating organic produce is simply the best way to eliminate the harmful effects of pesticides on your health. Food that is grown the way our grandparents grew it: without chemicals, without GMO’s, without antibiotics or hormones - is the healthiest diet you can feed your body, and doing so nourishes your health and mind.
I am a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. If you’d like more healthy living tips, please sign up for my newsletter at https://melissatrivera.com/ or a free Health Consultation please email email@example.com
*Sources: www.EWG.org. GMO Facts http://www.nongmoproject.org/gmo-facts/ Pesticides: Health and Safety http://geti.in/1mEgwhf Pesticides in Drinking Water http://geti.in/UrJjPY Organic Farming Yields Far Better Crop Resistance and Resiliance Land News Newspaper http://geti.in/1aaftVj Why Organic? http://geti.in/1aEMurg More Farmers Going Organic to Improve Soil, Save Energy, and Produce Better Food | http://geti.in/1h5PAax