Healthy Living Today

Discussion of healthy habits, alternative therapies, foods, herbs and lifestyle that will help us live a happy, healthy life!

Organic Foods – Are they really necessary?

Posted by healthylivingtoday on February 1, 2008

fruit-stand-1.jpgSo you have changed your eating habits and instead of having a cheeseburger and fries, now you are having a salad with a reduced fat dressing and drinking water instead of Coke. You are doing the right thing, made some healthy choices – but your friend says it is not enough! She says you need to be eating organic fruits, veggies and even meat! And you question that – why spend the extra money, isn’t it much harder to find, and is it really necessary?
The answers may surprise you! Let’s address the “Why” first . . . Remember when you were young and strawberries and grapes were only available during the summer months? As a matter of fact, that first basket of strawberries came to symbolize the start of summer. But things have changed – I’ll bet that if you go into the grocery store today (in January – the dead of winter) you will find strawberries, raspberries and possibly even peaches!
What has changed? Why are these “summer” fruits ripe now? Sure there have been lots of agricultural advances but then there have also been lots of advances in the scientific world as well. Scientists have discovered how to use certain chemicals to keep food from spoiling and to keep it looking good (have you ever seen a red apple with a red stem? They don’t grow that way – they are sometimes sprayed with a red dye.).
What about that lettuce you are making a salad from? Run a sink full of cold water and put the lettuce leaves in to wash them – what happens to the water? Do you see bubbles? Does the water feel different? Maybe a little soapy? That is caused by the chemicals – pesticides, herbicides and others – that the grower has sprayed on so that the end product will be appealing to you!
Unfortunately, our bodies weren’t designed to deal with all of these chemicals. On the outside, we can see that our skin is looking a little sallow and maybe we are dealing with more breakouts (acne). Or maybe we constantly have bad breath and our body fluids are not pleasant-smelling. Inside our organs aren’t functioning as they should because they have been stressed trying to rid our bodies of the toxins from the chemicals. When our organs are over-stressed – disease can occur. Gallbladder removal, liver disease, diabetes (due to an improperly working pancreas), heartburn, IBS, these and many more are possible issues that we may be faced with. Eating organic eases the load our organs carry.
As more and more people are demanding organic foods, they have become much easier to find. Most grocery stores carry organic produce and some stores (e.g. Whole Foods, Jimbo’s, Henry’s, Trader Joe’s) specialize in organic foods. In addition, most farmer’s markets and some of your local farmers will offer organic produce as well. There are some foods that tend to contain more chemicals than others. The following link will tell you the 17 Most Important Foods to Eat Organic.
While the cost can be an issue, if you look around there are organic bargains everywhere! Costco carries a 5 lb bag of organic baby carrots for $4.49, while in the grocery store we are charged $5.00 for 5 lbs of non-organic carrots. Our local farmstand carries red leaf, green leaf and romaine lettuce for $0.75 per head while we are charged between $1.49 and $1.99 for non-organic lettuce in the grocery store! In-season organic items (currently: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and squash) are often to be found for cheaper than you pay for non-organic at the grocery store.
Not convinced? Try eating an organic apple and then compare it to non-organic apple! We think you will find the organic apple is crisper and has a better flavor (and you aren’t ingesting all of the wax that is coating the mass-produced apples!). Or take a leaf of organic lettuce and compare it to the non-organic. Not only will the water you wash it in not become soapy, but you will find that your salad is much crisper (we’ve talked to small children who have noticed the difference!). But don’t take our word for it – try it yourself!

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