Why Eat Organic Food?
Eating organic food is good for the planet. Moreover, what is good for the planet is ultimately good for you. Growing foods organically without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, and additives keep our planet’s soil healthy, packed with all the beneficial nutrients it needs to grow foods that we eat.
If you are on Instagram, I recently did a month focusing on regenerative and biodynamic farming. There is lots of great info, so be sure to check it out. A fabulous place to learn more is to watch the documentary, The Biggest Little Farm. And then travel over to the website, Kiss the ground. The bottom line to when organic farmers crop rotate their crops, and use animal manures to maintain soil productivity, we benefit!
(In addition, many of these regenerative farmers refrain from the use of exposure of hormones, antibiotics with their animals, and as a result, reducing potentially harmful food to you.)
Another upside when you eat organically grown food,
…..you support small, local farmers. In addition, organic beef, chicken, and poultry are raised on 100% organic feed and never given antibiotics or hormones; who wants those in our food!
(side note! free-range eggs come from hens that are allowed to roam, but they are not guaranteed to be organic. ask questions and read labels.)
This is great news! Organic foods seem more nourishing! The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reported one study showing that, on average, organic crops contain:
- 86% more chromium
- 29% more magnesium
- 27% more vitamin C
- 21% more iron
- 26% more calcium
- 42% more manganese
- 498% more iodine
- 372% more selenium
What foods are most important to eat organically?
Non-organic meats and dairy appear to be the most heavily contaminated with hormones, pesticides, and herbicides, therefore shop at your local butcher or Butcher Box. Produce can be pretty variable, so ask questions and read labels. If you are unable to eat organic produce, it is wise to be aware of those products that are the least contaminated with pesticides. The EWG publishes the lists below (Dirty Dozen and Clean 15); they are updated annually.
In the next post, I will talk about food labels and what to look for so you can avoid.
PS I teach this to my Human Body Detectives students: to determine if a product has been genetically modified, you can look at the PLU (product look-up) code on the sticker that is found on most produce. If the PLU code
- has four digits, the produce is conventionally grown, which means it is not genetically modified and not organic.
- is a five-digit code beginning with an “8”, the product has been genetically modified.
- is a five-digit code beginning with a “9”, the product is organic and, by definition, organic, not genetically modified.