The way that your food is grown or raised can have a major impact on your mental and physical health as well as the environment. The Department for Agriculture and Rural Affairs (DERFA) states, “Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives.” Organic produce contains fewer pesticides. Chemicals such as herbicides and insecticides are widely used in conventional agriculture and residues remain in and on the food consumed. Organic food is often fresher because it does not contain preservatives that make it last longer. Organics have more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, than their conventionally-grown counterparts. Below I have listed 5 important foods that you should ALWAYS buy organic.
If you consume meat regularly, it is important to be aware of the harmful additives that conventional meat contains. Hormones, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics and pesticides are found in cows, chicken, turkey and pork. Hormones, antibiotics and additives can have negative impacts on your body which makes organic meat worth the extra money.
Organically-raised animals are given more space to move around and have access to the outdoors, which help to keep them healthy. These animals are NOT given antibiotics, growth hormones, or fed animal byproducts. To avoid consumption of harmful additives, always make sure to buy organic meat products.
Popcorn hardly seems harmful as it is a whole grain, high fiber and low calorie snack, but think again. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 92% of corn grown in the U.S. is genetically engineered. Almost all corn is genetically modified to contain insecticides. Chemicals in the lining of microwave popcorn bags and artificial butter flavoring have been linked to lung and Alzheimer’s disease.
My advice: go organic and use an air-popper or the stovetop, then add your own flavor. There are plain, organic options to purchase that offer a decent amount of fiber and manganese within this low calorie snack – just a tip, do not cover it in sugar or pasteurized butter. Instead use coconut oil or organic butter.
In the most basic form bread is flour, water, yeast and a few pinches of salt. Most bread contains added sugars, artificial colors, GMOs and malathion. Malathion is an ingredient that can be found in shampoo which is designed to kill head lice in humans and fleas in pets. It is hard to find bread at the store that does not contain dough conditioners like the yoga mat chemical, azodicarbonamide (also found in fast food chains such as Subway, Burger King, Wendy’s, etc.). This chemical compound is banned for use as a food additive in the UK, Europe and Australia. US manufacturers use this dough conditioners as a flour bleaching agent. Does this sound appetizing to you?
The chemical used to make plastics foamy does not belong in our food. Instead, stick to organic, sprouted gain breads or gluten free options that are primarily comprised of seeds and healthy grains such as quinoa and millet. Organic breads use organic ingredients and will not contain azodicarbonamide or other questionable food additives.
Are you a coffee addict? Conventional coffee is among the most heavily chemically treated foods in the world. It is grown using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and planted in full, direct sunlight. This allows the beans to grow quicker and produce more bean per plant. Not only does the environment suffer from this chemical overload, but so do the people who live in it. These highly toxic chemicals are detrimental to human health.
Organic coffee is far more environmentally sustainable and leaves a smaller carbon footprint. An organic coffee bean prefers the shade to the sun, meaning less coffee can be made. However, it does not contain synthetic fertilizers or chemicals used in growing or production which means cleaner beans, air, land and water. Organic coffee beans are often richer in healthy antioxidants and often taste better.
Low in calories and high in vitamins, spinach remains one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. The USDA’s samples showed more pesticides by weight on conventional spinach than any other crop. This superfood tested positive for 48 pesticide residues and 16 different pesticide and breakdowns products on a single sample. One of them being Permethrin which is linked to ADHD in children. Conventionally grown spinach has up to four times more nitrates than organically grown varieties.
Organic spinach has more vitamin C and health-promoting properties. To assure your spinach has no pesticides, purchase organic spinach. Organic produce prohibits the use of super-toxic chemicals, such as the ones found in conventional foods. If you love eating vegetables as much as I do, I recommend to ALWAYS purchase organic no matter what veggie it is.
Organic foods are often more expensive, but they are worth the extra money spent when it comes to our health. Organics offer more beneficial properties such as packed nutrients and antioxidants, rather than their conventionally-grown counterparts. I hope this post inspires you to choose organic whenever possible as an investment to your health.