Eating organic food has gained a lot of attention in recent years. What was once just a small subsection of our food supply has grown into a multi-million dollar business that offers a product most consumers just can’t seem to get enough of. Organic food is everywhere, and most people are willing to pay the extra bit of cash that comes with the price tag of most organic products.
The general idea is that eating organic food is a lot better for you than eating non-organic food. Is this true? Does eating organic really matter? Yes, for the most part this is true. Eating organic food is better for your health. As for if it matters or not, well that all depends on what you’re eating and what you want to put in your body. That being said, does organic matter?
What Makes Food Organic
Knowing what makes food organic will help you decide if it really matters or not to you. The Organic Food Production Act (OFPA) defines “organic” in the following way. It states that any fruit or vegetable that is labeled and sold as organic must be grown without using fertilizers or pesticides that are made with synthetic ingredients. They cannot undergo irradiation or oxidation treatments. Fertilizer must be completely natural (Miracle Grow is not natural), and seeds and clones must be free from chemicals.
Dairy and other animal products that are labeled and sold as organic cannot be given any antibiotics or growth hormones and can only be fed with organic feed. There are no medications given aside from vaccinations.
Why Choose Organic?
Aside from being a bit on the trendy side, most people choose to eat organic food because it’s grown without the use of harmful pesticides that are used to keep plants “healthy” or growth hormones that make animals “bigger.” The production of non-organic foods uses toxic chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides that all have potential to damage our system and compromise our health. Some of the health risks associated with pesticides are;
- Increased Risk of Cancer
- Developmental Delays in Infants and Children
- Delayed Effects of the Nervous System
- Early Commencement of Menses in Young Women (associated with growth hormones given to cows to produce more milk)
- Build-up of Toxins in the Body
Not all fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of harmful pesticides, and are considerably safer to eat that those that are saturated with these dangerous pesticides. There is a rule among those that are in the know about organic foods and eating as clean as possible. It’s known as the “dirty dozen” and the “clean fifteen,” The dirty dozen are the fruits and vegetables that contain known amounts of more pesticides. The clean fifteen are those that are considered safer to eat as they don’t “require” the use of so many heavy chemicals to keep them free of disease and insects. Knowing what to buy organic and what is safe to buy conventionally makes all the difference.
- Sweet bell peppers
- Nectarines – imported
- Cherry tomatoes
- Snap peas – imported
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas – frozen
- Sweet potatoes
Does Eating Organic Matter to You?
When you know the reasons why so many people are switching to a more organic based diet, it’s easier for you to ask yourself is eating organic really matters to you. If eating healthy is important to you, it would make sense that you would want to introduce organic items into your diet.
Eating organic doesn’t have to be hard, and everything you eat doesn’t have to be organic in order for you to stay healthy. You can pick and choose what you buy that is organically grown and adhering to the dirty dozen and the clean fifteen is a great place to start. It’s always wise to avoid animal products like milk, meat, cheese, and eggs that aren’t organically produced.
If you want to keep your system as clean as possible, then you’ll want to avoid eating foods that are loaded with toxic chemicals. Eating organic can become expensive, but just by replacing a few non-organic items with their organic cousins, you will be taking the steps necessary to take the best care of your health. Remember, eating organic doesn’t always mean eating healthy. Choose wisely and take charge of your good health.