I choose to buy organic because my family’s health is priority. I prefer natural food that is better for us and for the environment. Buying organic food can be costly, but might end up saving you money in the long run, here is why.
Unlike conventional produce, organic produce must be free of artificial additives, synthetic pesticides and chemical/artificial fertilizers. They are not processed using irradiation (a form of radiation used to kill bacteria), industrial solvents or biotechnology. Animals on organic farms are fed organically and are raised without antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones. Conventional produce on the other hand, is grown with fertilizers and pesticides and animals are injected with antibiotics and growth hormones, although cheaper, this come with health consequences such as elevated risk for certain forms of cancer, autism, neurological defects, reproductive problem and respiratory diseases.
Organic products are non-GMO (genetically modified organism). GMO food is another concern in itself! GMO’s are organisms that have been modified in a laboratory through genetic engineering, a tomato injected with cold water fish genes so the tomato can survive better in cold temperatures, don’t tell a vegetarian! Sounds clever and efficient, but due to modifications such as this, the outcome creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. In North America, over 80% of conventional processed food contain GMOs. Corn is another highly genetically modified crop to enhance growth. Think about all the foods that are made with corn syrup as a sweetener, children are being exposed to genetically modified peanuts at an early age.
“Wheat, the primary grain used by Americans, had been so drastically altered by crossbreeding in recent decades that its current form may cause unwanted allergic and metabolic reactions in many people.” – The Allergy Book by Dr. Bob and Dr. Bill Sears
There are those who say GMOs are safe, but yet more than 60 countries around the world, including Japan, Russia and all of the countries in the European Union have either banned the production and sale of GMOs or have significant restrictions. Sure makes you wonder! More research is now being done about GMOs and they are showing evidence connecting GMOs with health problems such as increased cancer risks, immune reactions and allergies, accelerated aging and immune system dysfunction to mention a few.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, more than 600 active chemicals are registered for agricultural use in the U.S., and many of these chemicals have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before extensive human testing. According to the National Academy of Sciences, 90% of the chemicals in food have not been tested for long-term health effects before being deemed “safe”.
Needless to say, despite the lack of testing the long term effects of chemical, pesticides, GMOs, antibiotics and growth hormones, the implications of the studies done thus far are frightening.
If you are feeding your family cereals, crackers, cookies, conventional produce, microwave dinners, dairy, fast food, pop corn and sugar to mention a few, you are likely feeding them chemicals, growth hormones, pesticides and GMOs without knowing it, affecting their mind, body and spirit.
Related article: Are you feeding your children poison?
Not only buying organic is better for your health as mentioned above, but organic food gives you more nutrients and taste better due to the nourished, well balanced soil and sustainable practices by responsible standards. “The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine conducted a review of 41 published studies comparing the nutritional value of organically grown and conventionally grown fruits, vegetables, and grains and concluded that there are significantly more of several nutrients in organic foods crops”
Organic, non-gmo food can become expensive, but compared to the money you spend on medicine, doctor’s visit, time off work because you and/or your kids are sick, what about the stress and the time all of this comes with?! When you consciously pay attention to what you and your family eat, you feel better, your family has less sick days and recover quicker, even the mood and attitude improves.
FACT: In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor of cardiovascular disease. Read more here
If your budget is limited, focus on buying the most contaminated food organic, and minimize or eliminate refined sugar, high fat and processed foods. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the following items are the most contaminated fruit and vegetables.
The “Dirty Dozen Plus”
8. Sweet bell peppers
10. Cherry tomatoes
11. Snap peas-imported
+ Kale and collard greens
+ Hot Peppers
Kale and collard greens were added to the “avoid” list because they were contaminated with organophosphates—pesticides that pose a particularly high risk to children’s IQ and brain development even at low doses—and organochlorines, pesticides linked to stunted growth in kids.
If buying organic is definitely out of the question, still buy local fruits and vegetables for you and your family, a lifestyle rich in nutrients from fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure. Avoid foods high in sugar, processed products, food from a box, dairy. Read Food additives & Toxins changing our children
Keep in mind though, that we vote by spending our dollars, the more you spent on organic produce, the louder the vote for a sustainable future, not just for your children but for their children as well.
Organic food vs Conventional Food: what happens to the human body when you switch to organic