I buy organic food whenever possible. However, it’s not always an easy or straight forward choice to make, particularly for folks with budgetary concerns. Organic foods are undeniably more expensive than their conventional counterparts. When it comes to investing in health, however, I recommend biting the bullet if possible.
Conventional foods differ from organics in several ways, including the use of chemical versus natural fertilizers, e.g., compost, to feed soil and plants. Conventional farmers also use synthetic herbicides to manage weeds, while organic farmers use environmentally generated plant-killing compounds. Traditional produce with porous skins or outer portions that are eaten contain significantly higher levels of pesticide and herbicide residues. Buyers of conventional apples, beware.
From Prevention Magazine:
The National Academy of Sciences reports that 90% of the chemicals applied to foods have not been tested for long-term health effects before being deemed “safe.” Further, the FDA tests only 1% of foods for pesticide residue. The most dangerous and toxic pesticides require special testing methods, which are rarely if ever employed by the FDA.
For more processed products, the choice is even simpler. Next time you’re at the store, compare a jar of Jif peanut butter to its natural, organic counterpart. Peanut butter only needs peanuts and salt (if you like it salty), not the laundry list of added sugars, stabilizers, emulsifiers and preservatives. When I read an ingredient list I can’t immediately comprehend, I move right along.
Organic practices have a major impact on foods derived from animals. Traditional methods often employ massive doses of antibiotics in animal feed and stimulating rapid growth via artificial hormones. Not only is meat from these animals less healthy, it is also a major public health risk. This practice increases antibiotic resistant bacteria which, according to the CDC, causes upwards of 23,000 deaths per year. I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in eating an animal that needs antibiotics for any reason.
I’m not trying to use scare tactics here; my only interest in you heeding my counsel is you being proud of your choices. How much is feeling good worth? There isn’t an area of life that has a greater impact on happiness than health.