Choosing Organic For Better Health

By Michelle Newport Published 11/5/2006 | Nutrition

A tip that I've been hearing over and over again lately is - "When grocery shopping stay on the outside aisles of the store because this is where you will find the whole foods like meat, vegetables, fruits, dairy and bread."

Ideally we should only have whole foods. Not foods that have been processed like any food that is in a can or box. God intended for us to have fresh, "living" food, full of nutrients because this is what our bodies need in order to stay healthy.

I would love to be able to go back to a simpler time when families grew their own food and prepared it. Everyone wasn't living such a fast-paced life that demanded fast-food.

Over the years my family has been adding more and more organically grown foods to our diet. Today the largest part of our diet is organic. The food just looks so much healthier and tastes delicious! I am so used to having organically grown fruits and vegetables now that I can actually smell the pesticides in produce that was not grown organically. I think our taste buds and our sense of smell becomes desensitized after years of eating the wrong kind of food that you don't even notice a strawberry doesn't really smell like a strawberry should.

Some of the benefits of choosing organic are:

  • Organic food is healthy as it contains many more nutrients than food that is not organically grown.
  • There are no artificial ingredients or harmful additives.
  • You avoid exposure to pesticides. There are many different chemical pesticides that are routinely used in conventional farming and the residue is often found in non-organic food.
  • Organic crops are never genetically modified (GM). GM is a technology that alters the genetic makeup of such living organisms as animals, plants, or bacteria. God is all-knowing and He created everything He did for a specific purpose. Unfortunately man still hasn't learned that he can't "improve" on what God created.
  • Antibiotics and hormones are not used on foods that are certified organic.
  • High standard of farming practice. Any farm or company that is certified organic has to follow a set of strict guidelines in order to maintain their certification and are routinely inspected to make sure they are adhering to those guidelines.
  • Humane to animals. Instead of being housed in very cramped quarters with no exercise or fresh air - animals who are raised on organic farms are raised naturally with plenty of room to roam free and also have access to grass and fresh air. This produces a healthy animal which in turns produces healthy meat for humans.
  • Organic farming is good for the environment.
  • Organic food just tastes better!

Some tips for converting over to an organic diet

  • If you're just getting into eating a healthier diet it is best to make gradual changes instead of doing a complete overhaul of your diet all at once. You are more likely to stick to a healthy diet when it becomes habit.
  • Give your taste buds time to adjust to foods without all the additives and preservatives. Many foods that are organically-made may not have the same taste as their counterparts since they don't contain all the inorganic ingredients. Again, making gradual changes can make the switch easier.
  • If you are on a tight budget, then try just switching to organic on a few items that you eat a lot of.
  • Try visiting your local farmer's market. Many times you can find organic farmers who have produce that is reasonably priced.
  • When you are on a tight budget or just can't find organic fruits and vegetables, it is always a good idea to thoroughly wash produce with water and a natural vegetable wash.
Organic food may cost a little more than the alternatives, but I figure the money I spend on the food that I give to my family is kind of like health insurance. I would much rather pay the money for delicious, fresh, healthy food than spend the money at the doctor's office for my co-pay and the prescriptions. I also like knowing that I am helping to support those organic farmers who go the extra mile to grow healthy, nutritious food.