Buying organic means that you’re ensuring that no synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers or genetically modified ingredients are in your food. It also means that ingredients are grown in harmony with nature through farming methods that maintain and replenish the fertility of the soil. High quality soil provides optimal nutrition, and similarly, our water system is protected from polluting chemicals. It’s a positive choice for our health, the environment, wildlife, farm workers and communities, which is helping us create a more sustainable future.
One could say that nature intended us to eat pure food and that consuming chemically “enhanced” food is unnatural. Earlier I mentioned the perspective that if you can’t pronounce something, don’t eat it, so why would you want to consume a concoction of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, preservatives and additives on and in your food that is grown in sewage sludge fertilizer, heavy metals and polluted soil? Um, no thanks. I’ll remind you again that you are what you eat, so why would you want to eat fake food grown in a dead ecosystem? Organic food is top of the line, and you deserve to consume it because you don’t have a discount body!
You’ll often hear or see the phrase, “Buy organic whenever possible.” What’s possible is relative to what’s available based on where you live and the time of year, as well as your budget. If it’s challenging for you to find organic foods that are convenient and affordable, here are some tips:
Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified certification. Genetically modified organisms (aka GMOs) are plants that contain genes from another living organism; one odd example is inserting fish genes into a tomato (I don’t know about you, but I find that quite creepy). GMOs are a very hot topic in the food industry, as well as within US politics, and people opposed to them typically have concerns about creating superweeds, killing beneficial insects and contaminating the food supply. I follow the precautionary principle in this case, because I’m not willing to take the risks associated with GMOs.
Opt for foods that are labeled Pesticide Free or No Pesticides. This means that there is an absence of, no significant amount or no detectable amount of synthetic pesticides in the food. This is especially important to know when shopping at the farmers market, because not all farms can afford the organic certification even though they’re not spraying chemicals on their crops ‒ simply ask them if they spray or not and they’ll let you know. Synthetic pesticides are a known danger at high exposures, so it’s best to avoid them whenever possible because they’re simply not meant to be in our bodies.
Know the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen. These lists highlight groups of foods based on their likelihood to contain high amounts of pesticides, and are updated annually by the Environmental Working Group. This will be covered further in the Shopping Tips section.
Buy Veganic. This terminology is growing in popularity, which means that food is grown without the use of toxic sprays or chemicals and is fertilized without animal remains. Specifically, this means the manure your food is grown in won’t contain blood, bone meal and fish emulsion that may carry dangerous diseases. Talk about a wake up call.
Wildcrafted or Wild Harvested. Sustainable harvesting of wild plants in their natural setting. Farmers pay careful attention so that the same botanical resources can be naturally harvested every year.