Organic food has been around for a long time. In the days before the invention of chemical pesticides and the advent of mass produced food, all food was organic!
It was only during the late twentieth century that chemicals started to be used to grow foods; this happened because the industry became huge and profitable, and by spraying crops with chemicals they could be forced to grow faster and bigger.
Even right back in the beginning there were organic food advocates; the Green Revolution was a term coined for those who chose to avoid the addition of chemicals in their food.
Nowadays, the organic food industry is booming as more and more people choose organic foods for their better taste and health giving properties.
If you’re looking to make a change in your diet to improve the health of you and your family, organic food is the way forward! It can be confusing, however, to try to work out which foods are best to buy organic-because let’s face it, it IS hard to make the right choices and sometimes you can’t buy everything organically.
Even if you only swap a few of your regular shopping list items to organic alternatives, try to make sure that you bear these foods in mind:
When you nip out to grab a pint of milk for your cup of tea, go for organic milk instead of your usual brand.
Organic milk contains none of the pesticide residue that is found in non organic milk because the cows are kept in a natural way and fed no harmful chemicals, while non organic milk contains traces of pesticides from feed as well as even more worrying additives like growth hormones.
Non organic cows are fed growth hormones to increase their growth and milk yield. This is all very well, until you realize that some of these hormones have been linked to cancer in humans.
Non organic milk also contains antibiotics that are fed to the cows to keep them healthy… ever wondered why you get indigestion after a dairy based meal?
This could be because the antibiotics contained in the milk will play havoc with your stomach’s natural bacteria.
Dairy products include butter, cream, yoghurt and cheese. Go organic, for goodness sake!
Beef: A cow raised for non organic meat production will have similar levels of chemical residue as a dairy cow; filled with artificial chemicals to encourage growth and prevent diseases and fed a mixture of corn and soy that has been treated with pesticides and is not certified GMO free.
Any toxins in the meat will be found in the fatty tissues, meaning that you cannot avoid taking in pesticides-unless you buy organic meat. Not only will organic meat contain no pesticide residue, you can also be sure that the animal was raised in as natural a way as possible-allowed to graze freely and given a much more natural lifestyle, meaning that the meat will be leaner, tastier and better for you.
Chicken is another big one to buy organically as factory farmed chickens are considerably less healthy than free range chickens, and are routinely dosed with antibiotics which show up in the meat-not the sort of thing you want to put into your body!
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The answer is it doesn’t really matter as long as you’re getting both chickens and eggs from organic sources.
An organic egg will be bigger and taste better than a non organic caged egg and it’ll be better for you as it contains no chemicals. Free range chickens get the majority of their nutrients from natural sources like grasses, seeds and insects, and are far less prone to disease and poor health than their caged cousins.
Of course, organic eggs are best, but at the very least you should ensure that your breakfast egg is a free range one.
Green and leafy vegetables like salad, lettuce, kale and spinach are particularly important ones to switch to organic. Salad is good for you, being packed with nutrients and low in calories, but non organic versions are also packed with pesticides.
The large leaves absorb any chemicals they are treated with, and as it’s virtually impossible to scrub a salad, you are stuck with eating a high percentage of pesticides.
Root vegetables are also chemical culprits when bought non organically. Potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beetroot and many other root vegetables show traces of pesticides and are therefore a source of toxins. Always buy organic vegetables so that you know you’re getting the healthiest option possible.
Apples are the number one “dirty” fruit when it comes to pesticide residues; almost 100% of commercially produced apples show a shocking number of chemicals left over from applications of weedkiller, fungicides and pesticides. Unfortunately these chemicals pass straight into your body and cause all sorts of damage.
Organic fruit is allowed to grow naturally; no chemicals are used either during growth or harvest, so you’re left with great taste and more health benefits.
Berries deserve a mention because they are just so darn good for you… filled with antioxidants, phenols and fruit sugars, berries are considered a “superfood.”
However, non organic berries are heavily treated with many different chemicals, making them the far less healthy option. When not treated with any form of artificial chemicals, berries are shown to produce far more of their own natural antioxidants than the non organic varieties-and they taste so much better!
The list above is not the absolute be all and end all; have a look through it and try to find organic alternatives to your regular shopping list.
There will be some foods that you eat more regularly than others so even if you only buy these things organically then you will be making a step towards a more natural, healthy lifestyle.
Organic food is not only better for you and much tastier, it is also far kinder to the planet.
Food has been grown without chemical interference for thousands of years and so far it has worked out fine; the problems arise when toxins from factory food production are allowed to escape into waterways and fill soil with chemicals. Organic food is the way forward, not only for your health but the health of the world itself.
Have you tried organic food? How much of your diet is organic? What works for you? Share your thoughts with us!