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Why eat organic

By Rima Mehta

When we think about consuming the freshest and healthiest food possible, it is important to consider two questions. One – what makes organic food natural? And the other – what impact do your shopping choices have on the environment?

In the rush to produce more and more crops to satisfy growing demand producers have had to resort to using a cocktail of pesticides to control disease and insect attack.This is perhaps good news for their bank balances but not so good news for your health; this is why you need to be informed of the advantages of organic food.

Did you know that if you consumed an average apple you would be eating over 30 pesticides, even after you have washed it?

Yes so, what does “Certified Organic” Mean?

The words “organic” and “certified organic” are sometimes used in a misleading manner to attract consumers, however, to assure that you are indeed purchasing organic product, look for a seal on the package from the certifying agency, such as the Organic Crop Improvement Association, or ask the store for the organic certificate for the product. “Certified organic” refers to agricultural products that have been grown and processed according to uniform standards and verified by independent state or private organizations accredited by the USDA. All products sold as “organic” must be certified.

Benefits of eating organic

Prevent Mental health issues

In 2006, the BBC reported that pesticides found in fruits and vegetables, and the decreased nutrients in non-organic produce, can cause mental health issues like depression, and memory problems in children and adults.

Battle Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Many kids are suffering from Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD), a recurrent pattern of behavior characterized by short attention spans, impulsivity and sometimes hyperactivity. The possible food-related ADD risk factors are high-sugar consumption, eating processed foods and additives.

Healthy vs. Non Healthy organic food

Now that we know some of the benefits of organic foods for your children’s diet, it’s also important to remember that not all organic foods are beneficial for them. For instance, are organic Oreo cookies healthy? Certifying something organic is difficult to decipher. Just because something says it’s organic, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Cookies like Oreos are also loaded with unhealthy sugars and poor quality fats. Organic fruit, free of pesticides and chemicals from the farmer’s market would be a better option.

Impact on the Environment

Along with the awareness of wanting to eat healthy foods usually comes a concern for how we treat the environment. As we become more educated about how conventional farming methods destroy top soil and pollute our waters, etc., it is only natural to want to buy food that has been grown by sustainable agricultural methods that avoid the unnecessary pollution caused by chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Another great concern is that of Genetically Modified Organisms. Through scientific intervention to “improve” crops, mankind has potentially messed around with Mother Nature. The long-term damages caused by these biological experiments could be irreversible.

 

Although organic foods have not been proven to be healthier, proponents claim that they taste better and have more nutrients than conventionally- produced foods. And trust me, once you try some organic produce and taste an apple the way it should be, and perhaps how you recall it tasting in your youth, you will never go back to mass produced fruit again.

Sure there are issues with availability and cost but with a bit of research you should be able to find local stores or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) who stock organic produce. Also, do not forget about your local farmer, I’m sure you will be able to find that one farm shop that supplies to local residents. And when all else fails BYOF (Be your Own Farmer) your children will enjoy eating because they were involved in taking care and growing them.

However, if you are not sure on how begin an organic lifestyle here’s the list to help you get started; begin buying these foods organic and you can slowly incorporate the rest over time without breaking your budget.

1)   Apple

2)   Celery

3)   Strawberries

4)   Peaches

5)   Spinach

6)   Nectarines

7)   Grapes

8)   Sweet bell peppers

9)   Potatoes

10)   Blueberries

11)   Lettuce

12)   Kale

13)   Collard greens

14)   Fatty Meats

15)   Milk

16)   Coffee

17)   Wine

18)   Chocolate

 

Rima Mehta is a nutrition educator, registered yoga trainer and writes about health and nutrition. To contact Rima, call 480. 326.0138, or email her at rima@theeasynutrition.com To connect with her online go to http://www.facebook.com/natruallyhealthy    

Source: http://www.sheknows.com

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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