When talking to people about the fuel that runs their bodies, the topic of organic v.s. non-organic often comes up. While adding an extra serving of veggies to your diet is going to be beneficial most of the time, modifying that serving to be organic is just another step up the ladder of great health.
While there are more than a handful of different organic certifications with different standards, buying organic generally means the product:
-doesn’t use human sewage sludge as fertilizer for crops or feed of animals (ew!)
-doesn’t contain any chemical fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, food additives, genetically modified organisms or irradiated ingredients.
-is grown or raised on land that has been free from the above mentioned nasties for at least three years.
There are also strict regulations for organic growers, requiring documentation of everything and including on-site inspections. Did I mention that the certification itself is expensive, aside from the potential cost of converting the operation to those standards? So why all the hassle?
The demand for organic foods is growing worldwide and while any benefits of choosing organic foods over conventional is regularly hotly debated. The reality is that conventional food is killing our species, and we’re finally waking up to realize it. So what can you do about it?
Spending grocery dollars carefully is a challenge in just about any household, and it’s no secret that organic versions of most products tend to cost more. Pesticides used in conventional, or non-organic foods are generally stored in the fat cells and thus foods that have a higher fat content are generally the better ones to choose to buy organic. Think oils, eggs, dairy products, meats, nuts and seeds & nut and seed butters.
The Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list can be used as a guide to help you decide which products to buy organic while grocery shopping. As they are a US based company, it’s important to remember that these guidelines only apply to produce imported from the United States.
When faced with the topic of organic vs not I am always reminded of a quote from my favourite farmer Joel Salatin:
“If you think the price of organic food is expensive, have you priced cancer lately?”
Coupled with Jim Rohn:
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”