Discover what organic foods are and why you need them
In today’s ‘green’ culture, you hear about organic food almost daily – enough to make you think about eating organically. If you’re wondering…
What exactly determines whether a food is organic or not?
Can eating organic foods improve your health?
Can eating organic foods help protect you from diseases?
Can eating organic foods extend your life?
What are organic foods?
Now that you hear about organic foods all the time, you may be wondering what’s so special about them. What’s the difference between the regular produce and foods you buy from the grocery store and the supposed organic foods?
The term organic means food grown in a way that is earth-friendly and health supporting. It applies to both plant-based and animal foods. According to the Organic Foods Production Act, it is food grown on land free of pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers for three years prior to harvest.
Organically raised animals eat only organic feed. This means feed with no growth promoters, hormones, or plastic pellets used as filler. Farmers cannot use antibiotics, wormers, or other medications routinely for prevention of diseases.
You can buy organic foods at organic food stores or in most large chain grocery stores. Organic foods have stickers noting the fact they are organic. The food must pass the USDA standards to have an organic sticker.
Why should you eat organic food?
Foods that aren’t organically grown have a wide range of processing chemicals. Chemical food additives cannot only cause allergic reactions but are identified as being potentially able to damage your genetic material. Some of these additives include:
— Benzoyl peroxide
— Sodium bisulfate
— Butylated hydrotoluene (HBT)
— Butylated hydroanisole (BHA)
Some food additives allowed in your food are on the U.S. Government’s GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list. However, there is research showing these additives can compromise the body’s structure and function and relate to skin, pulmonary and psycho-behavorial conditions. (1)
has shown that your genetic inheritance holds a variety of options – not just one. This means that just because you were born with a specific gene that predisposes you to a certain disease or disorder, you won’t necessarily get that disease or disorder unless you trigger it with bad food, lifestyle, or environmental choices.
Can eating organically help you live a longer and healthier life? Yes.
Is going organic worth the time and expense?
For this question, you get another yes. First, you’ve seen what eating organic foods can do for your health. So when you question whether or not eating organically is worth it, you must ask yourself the question, “Is my health and my family’s health worth it?” I think you’ll answer yes.
Second, organic foods are becoming easier to find. Once, you had to search out hopefully local organic farmers and go directly to the farm to get your food. Now you have the choice of going to locally organic food stores or buying organic produce directly from your grocer. If you buy from your grocer, just be sure the produce has the FDA organic sticker that certifies them as organic.
Organic foods aren’t nearly as expensive as in the past. As the demand for organic foods increases the price will continue to decrease – the law of supply and demand is working for you.
Take the next step
Now that you understand of organic foods and what they can do for you, take the next step toward health for yourself and your family. Begin searching for organic food choices in your area. Also arm yourself with cookbooks that teach you healthy cooking methods and begin using recipes with organic foods that promote health.
(1) Slavin JL, Jacobs and, Marquart L. Grain processing and nutrition. Crit Rev Biotechnol 2001;21(1):49-66 2001.
Quattrucci E, Masci V. Nutritional aspects of food preservatives. Food Addit Contam 1992 Sep-1992 Oct 31;9(5):515-25 1992. PMID:18830.