We all know at least one person who devotedly buys and eats organic produce and grass-fed, free-roaming chicken and beef. Have you ever thought about why they do it? Generally it’s not because they think they’re better than you or because it’s trendy. There are some solid reasons why organic (and local) food is better.
Personally I have flirted with the idea of going organic, buying an organic apple or two or some organic beef once in awhile. When I go visit my parents in the Annapolis Valley I am overwhelmed by their huge garden full of delicious, fresh, natural produce. I usually leave promising myself that I will only buy organic local food when I get back to Ontario. Shockingly (not really) the food in their garden grows really well without any nasty pesticides or herbicides now used in most commercial farming. It also tastes better.
With the better taste and health benefits of eating higher quality food with more nutrients and no cancer-causing chemicals, why aren’t more people eating organic?
1. Because it is more expensive than non-organic food. Just hold on a second! Are you actually getting the same thing for the same price? Absolutely not! The regular slab of beef may seem like a better deal, but consider that grocery stores often inject their meat with dyes and salt water to make the meat look more appealing and weigh more. Then there’s the low-quality (and unnatural) food the cows ate, the tight living quarters, and buckets of hormones. Um…no thanks. I would much rather support the farmer who cares for his animals properly and produces a quality product – especially if he’s my neighbor.
2. We think more is better. Generally, when it comes to food, we have come to accept that bigger is better. Everyone wants to find the best deal and there is nothing wrong with that, but you might want to think twice before buying that case of Kraft Dinner on sale. While processed foods may taste good and keep your tummy full, it does little to give your body the nutrients that it needs to function optimally. By cutting out prepared foods in boxes and cartons, you will reduce the amount of waste you toss out in the trash, and have some extra to put toward some prime produce.
3. We forget the big picture. If you had control over the world’s food supply, you would have a tremendous amount of power, no? Why on earth should we let giant chemical companies like Monsanto and Dow be in charge of our food? The same companies that endorsed the widespread use of DDT and created Agent Orange are now genetically modifying our produce. Why is it okay for them to screw with our food and not even tell us about it? On the other hand, why should we have to go out of our way to buy real food? After all, man didn’t invent fruits and vegetables – they are gifts from nature. Photosynthesis is astonishing when you think about it – plants turn sunshine, air, and soil nutrients into something delicious and edible – THAT IS AWESOME! Now get out of my kitchen Monsanto!
4. We crave junk. Compared to artificial sweeteners which are 200% sweeter than sugar, an apple or banana doesn’t taste nearly as sweet. The combinations of salt, sugar, and MSG (among other things you don’t want to know about) in junk foods are designed to make you addicted. The fast food/processed food industry and the diet/fitness industry have been playing off each other for decades at your expense. As you cut out processed foods and replace them with natural ones, your taste buds will adjust and soon a fresh orange will taste like it’s supposed to – sweet and delicious! The less junk you eat, the less you’ll want to eat! You’ll probably also drop a few pounds – how’s that for a free diet?
At first glance it may seem like eating natural organic food is for hippies and rich people, but I think everyone could benefit from reducing (and eventually eliminating) the amount of processed “stuff” they are eating. Maybe you can’t afford to buy everything organic and that’s okay. Start a little garden, participate in community supported agriculture (CSE), or head out to the local market instead. Support your local farmers and our precious, beautiful Earth with your choices.