Is Buying Organic Worth It?
- Friday, 11 May 2012
“Is buying organic food worth it?” This is a major debate I hear amongst new moms. “I didn’t eat organic and I’m fine.” Maybe you are fine today, right now. But foods you ate when you were growing up weren’t treated as heavily with chemicals, nor was the soil. These chemicals and toxins cause and create stress in the body, which eventually leads to disease. Maybe your health is OK now – but do you know how to evaluate if it really is OK? Ask yourself the following questions:
1. How many times have I had a cold in the past year? (more than once or twice is a problem)
2. Have I had any serious health issues in the past year? (kidney stones, broken bones, more than the cold or flu, consistent ear infections or colds, rashes, diarrhea, constipation, lost or gained a significant amount of weight, chronic cough, chronic fatigue, cancer, diabetes...)
3. Do I take medications regularly? Antibiotics?
4. Am I around smokers or exposed to chemicals?
5. Do I exercise?
Getting one or more colds per year is a sign that you should re-think your diet and environmental surroundings. Being sick often is an indication that your immune system is working overtime and is unable to keep up with keeping you protected.
The food industry has changed drastically in the past 10 years. The consumer wanted to be skinny, so the industry made fat-free foods loaded with sugar which made us fat and diabetic. The consumer wants sugar-free foods, and the industry responded by creating foods using chemical sugar substitutes, and people are still fat and diabetic.
There is no short-cut or magic pill to make you healthy. The pharmaceutical industry is trying to correct what processed junk food has done to you and drugs often only mask your symptoms.
It doesn’t need to be this way! Start buying organic, fresh, unprocessed food.
Why Buying Organic Is Worth It
Eating organic foods will naturally detoxify your body of the chemicals and toxins that have been building up. Organic whole foods have a higher nutrient content and contain more antioxidants than conventional, which lessens the toxic load in your body. By eating organic foods that are toxic and chemical-free, your body has less to process and this lowers the health burden. Simply switching to organic, whole foods decreases your exposure to pesticides and toxins, while nourishing your cells with the nutrients they need. To learn more about the nutrient content of organic foods and soil, visit any of the links at the bottom of this article.
While many make the argument that organic foods are too expensive, it is often the processed foods (food in a bag or box) that you pay a premium for – it is much easier on the wallet to stick to whole foods. By eating healthier, you can become healthier and reduce your visits to the doctor’s office, saving even more money in the long run. You can either find a way to afford to be healthy now, or be really sick later. Buying organic food IS worth it.
There are things you can do to help decrease the amount of toxic chemicals you consume, even without buying everything organic.
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), eating 5 of the 12 most contaminated foods means you are consuming an average of 14 different pesticides a day. On the other hand, if you eat 5 of the 15 least contaminated fruits & veggies, you will consume fewer than 2 pesticides per day. If you choose to eat all veggies from the Clean 15 list, instead of the Dirty Dozen list, you will lower your pesticide intake by 92 percent!
When choosing which fruits and veggies to buy organic, choose from the Dirty Dozen list. While it is a great goal to make everything organic, it may not always be available, convenient, or affordable for everyone.
You may still be saying to yourself that you are healthy and so are your kids, but I strongly urge you to think long term. Think about your parents or grandparents who have had health issues later in life. Genetics only play a small part - nutrition and lifestyle are the driving factors in what the future of your health looks like.
Do you think buying organic food is worth it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
More resources on organic vs conventional nutrient content and the benefits of organic whole foods:
Nutritional Superiority of Plant-based Organic Foods (The Organic Center)
Tara Hantske has been a health advocate & wellness maven most of her life. Her love for health and education lead her to found Tara Hantske Wellness.