Why Organic?

The average American consumes nearly 150 lbs, (the average human body weight), yearly in mostly unnecessary, possibly harmful ingredients to support a multi-billion dollar food processing industry.”

-Elson Haas

You Are What You Eat?

Do you believe that everything has energy? That means the food we eat has a certain energy to it that is incorporated into our body. The energy potential of any given food can range from very positive to more on the negative side, to somewhere in between. The more processed a food item is, the less life-giving energy it provides. This concept brings new meaning to the phrase “you are what you eat.” If you buy into this, then you’ll want to be sure you are eating the best quality food possible to maximize your energy potential.  For starters, it is important for the consumer to understand that not all food is equal.  Food to the body is like gasoline to a car – it is essential to run smoothly and efficiently.  Put the wrong type of gasoline in your car and it won’t run properly.  Drive with the gas light on for too long, eventually your car will break down.  Put the wrong foods in your body, or ignore your hunger signals for long enough and eventually your body may experience undesirable side effects in the form of discomfort and disease.

What About Organic   

One way to be sure your food is of the best quality is to eat fresh and organic as much as possible. The importance of eating organic is to avoid assimilating the harmful chemicals often used in conventional farming and processed foods. These chemicals range over 12,000 in number (2) and consist of insults on our food such as: chemical sprays used to fertilize fields, colored dyes to improve appearance, preservatives to increase shelf life, hormones and steroids to quickly fatten up live-stock,  antibiotics injected into animal feed,  genetically modified (GMO) cells to “enhance” certain qualities, and finally, irradiation (drastic alterations to our food), for our “protection.”  Luckily, you do have a choice. You can avoid all of this by making more informed decisions and some simple changes in your shopping habits.

Do natural and organic mean the same thing?

The terms “natural” and “organic” are not one and the same. Terms such as “all natural,” “natural,” “free range,” “farm fresh,” or “hormone free” are required to be “honest terms,” but they do not equal the term “Organic.”  Only foods that are produced in accordance to the USDA guidelines may be labeled organic.  Keep your eye out for products that use earthy, natural slogans to lure in the consumer. Always check for the organic symbol on the packaging. Any product containing between 95%-100% organic ingredients will carry the USDA Organic Seal on their packaging.

What am I getting when I purchase organic food items? Is it really worth the extra money?

By purchasing organic products, you will avoid much of the modifications made to our food and instead consume a product that was produced in its natural state without the assistance of fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, additives, food colorings, hormones, steroids, dyes, GMO’s… phew, I lost my breathe…synthetic flavors, artificial sweeteners, softeners, sulfites, nitrites, preservatives, isolates, tenderizers, emulsifiers….and thousands more, to enhance the appeal and financial return of this so-called food item.  Is it worth the extra money?  That’s for you to decide.  A lot of the additives that are put into our food sources daily are known carcinogens (cancer causing agents).  We each face a daily battle to reduce the toxic load we are exposed to in our environment. The more toxins we consume from our food, the more stress we put on our bodies and internal organs to protect our cells from damage. For an in-depth list of dangerous chemicals to watch out for check out “Food Additives, A shopper’s Guide To What’s Safe & What’s Not,” by Christine Hoza Farlow.  This is a quick and easy to read pocket reference guide that any lay person should own.

An even easier way to avoid chemicals in your food is to shop as fresh as possible. Anything in a box with a shelf-life is suspect.  If the label is super long on a packaged item, with a lot of words you cannot pronounce, then chances are, you’re eating a chemical cocktail, not a food.  A general rule of thumb is “if you can’t read it, don’t eat it.”

For a quick reference regarding some of the potential differences when you’re shopping conventional vs. organic, please refer to the following table:  Remember, If a food bears a USDA organic label, it means it is processed according to the USDA standards.

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