Is Organic Food Worth the Price?$?
I used to be on the pro side of chemicals, after all my degree is in Chemical Engineering. What is so bad about a few sprays here and there to help our crops grow better? The problem was I didn't really understand the true harm on the body when spraying our foods with chemicals and mass producing food with the cheapest filler "material". Once I started doing some research and really digging into it all - it was shocking, disgusting, and down right harmful what many food corporations, industrial farms, and governmental agency allow. It is a like mass murder but in a slow painful way where those without access to the knowledge and in some cases the money have limited choices. This is the sole reason for my blog - to educate people - cut through the bull shit marketing propaganda, lobbying, big money, and give people some information to make their lives a little better one day at a time. So if you haven't guessed by now, organic food is 100% worth every damn penny. As the saying goes, "you can pay for healthy food now or doctor bills later." I choose good food now!
But why buy organic?
Buying organic assures the food is produced without synthetic pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, genetic engineering or irradiation. VICTORY!!!
What is GMO? Food that has been genetically modified (organisms). This alters the genetic code. Why? This increases the foods shelf life dramatically which ensures the farmers make more money to having products that can be trucked and boated all around the globe to arrive at the store looking the same as it did 4+ weeks ago - that is just scary! Since GMO is not required to be labeled it is important to know which foods are commonly genetically modified (or just buy organic ;)). It is best to look for the nonGMO or organic labels on the following:
- grapeseed oil
These ingredients are used in thousands of products from chips, breads, cereals, frozen meals, etc. High fructose corn syrup is used in many products which is derived from corn and could be genetically modified unless labeled nonGMO. Also foods are commonly cooked in soybean and grapeseed oil. Animals are often feed GMO corn and so it is best to buy organic meat when available so you can rest assured the animals were not given genetically modified feed, antibiotics, or hormones.
Irradiated, Caged, and Hormonal
- What is irradiated? Foods that are flooded with radiation to lengthen shelf life. Ow don't worry, the FDA says it is "safe" haha! Harmless radiation - now that is just funny! There is so much radiation in our lives that I am not sure anyone is looking at the combined impact of microwaves, flying, food, etc.
- Cages and hormones allow industrial farms to keep animals in close quarters to increase weight and production quickly while pumping them full of antibiotics to prevent diseases due to overcrowding. The overuse of antibiotics in animals we eat can also cause us to have an antibiotic resistance (American Cancer Society, 2011).
- Speaking of growth hormones, you may have heard of rBGH and (r)BST which are used to increase a cow's milk production by up to 25%. These hormones are genetically grown in a lab. There appears to be a link between these hormones which increase the IGF-1 hormone which is linked to cancer (American Cancer Society, 2011). The FDA doesn't require dairy products to label the use of these hormones in their products but when buying organic you can rest assured that they are not used. Whew!!
There are over 2,000 food permitted additives....!!!!! About 700 of these have never even been tested by the FDA but are put on a "GRAS" list (generally assumed safe). Seriously - is this some sort of joke!! Of these additives nothing annoys me more than all of the dyes allowed to make food look a certain color. What do the food companies think we are? Three years old and can not accept a food unless it looks a certain color? What erks me even more is that I always find the full gamete of dyes in kid's food. Nothing makes me more frustrated than looking at the ingredient list on a kid's product and seeing red and blue dyes. Makes me crazy!
- Blue dyes 1 and 2 are thought to be carcinogenic as well as damaging to chromosomes (Bosch, 2013)
- Red Dye #3 may interfere with brain neurotransmitters
I also avoid anything containing aspartame, it accounts for more adverse reactions than all other food additives combined (Bosch, 2013). It has been linked to short term memory, diabetes, MS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, and on and on....any one want a diet Coke?!? Btw, Diet Coke has one of the highest levels of all sodas. How is this stuff legal? Ow yeah, money talks...$$$
Why have we seen cancer, autoimmune disease, food allergies, all on the rise...it seems to correlate with the increase in questionable pesticides, growth hormones, additives, stabilizers, and antibiotics. Hhhhhmmmmm.....
We are all on a budget of some sort so what if you cant afford to buy everything organic, or maybe you just don't have access to organic produce all season long? Which are the most important to buy Organic?
- Bell Peppers
- Peaches/ Nectarines
- Strawberries/ Blueberries
- Spinach/ Lettuce/ Kale
- Green beans
Why these? They are most commonly sprayed with pesticides and have skin that we eat. Remember, you can also buy frozen organic produce which can be more affordable and available in most places and times of year.
Guess who is the largest retailer of organic products? Wholefoods, No. Amazon, no. Walmart, yep, that's right Walmart and there are a lot of Walmart's around the US so hopefully once you start looking high and low you will uncover more organic options at affordable prices. I have often found organic blueberries and other produce at times to be less expensive than conventionally grown when they are on sale! Also the best thing about being a consumer is that we can drive change with our wallet & purchases. When we stop buying these crap filled products we send a message to the big corporations that we don't want it any more and they are forced to change. This is already taking place but we need more healthy, natural, organic food more widely available at an affordable cost for all.
It is more important than ever to understand and be educated on the food choices we make to ensure our best opportunity at good health for ourselves and loved ones.
Much much LOVE!