So news outlets around the world are reporting that a study has found that organic produce is no more nutritious then conventional produce and has no more vitamins and minerals. Essentially they’re reporting that organic is a waste of money.
They are reporting though that children fed conventional produce have higher level of pesticides in their urine, and those eating conventional chicken products were exposing themselves to antibiotic resistant bacteria. But organic products are still, apparently, a waste of money.
Has anyone stopped to think that maybe vitamins and minerals aren’t the only reason why people buy organic?
Here are some articles about what I’m talking about
And let’s not forget that while this study has shown no difference in the levels of nutrients in organic produce, other studies have shown a significant difference, but nutrient levels aside, there are other reasons why people buy organic.
We buy organic and local wherever possible for a number of reasons.
It’s better for the environment
When we buy locally they don’t have to travel as far meaning lower emissions, and lower transport costs. When we buy organic produce they’re free of pesticides, which have dangerous consequences not just for the bugs and nasties that attack the crops but for the local ecosystem as a whole. They’re grown seasonally, crops rotated appropriately, they are grown the way food is supposed to be grown. “Conventional” farming with pesticides, artificial fertilizers and crops grown out of season is not normal, it is a relatively knew method of farming and we cannot yet know the long term consequences of these methods.
Now the study claims that the organic produce still contained chemicals. Of course they did. Everything contains chemicals. I mean think of it likes this, water is H2O, a chemical compound. Right now as I type this chemical impulses are travelling through my nervous system to trigger the muscles to move my fingers to type. There are natural occurring chemicals in plants, fruits and vegetables. And natural pesticides too that these plants use to protect themselves from, well, pests. Nature has a good system in place to make sure that pests don’t wipe out species of plants completely. It’s all part of the “circle.” But here’s something to remember, if something claims to be chemical free – then what the heck is in it? Not all chemicals are bad or toxic, but there is a big difference in man made chemicals like artificial pesticides and the ones naturally occurring in nature.
Too much of anything is not a good thing, remember the guy on Oprah who had too much colloidal silver and ended up looking like Papa Smurf? I once met a kid who ate so much carrot, pumpkin and sweet potato that he turned orange. Moderation.
It’s better for the animals
Yes we buy organic meat and eggs because cows aren’t suppose to be fed grain or live on a feed lot. They’re not suppose to be fed antibiotics. Chickens aren’t suppose to spend their whole lives in darkness. They’re not suppose to live in cages.
When we buy organic meat and eggs, and dairy products too for that matter, we can be sure that the animals lived a pretty good life. Were treated the way they were supposed to be and their death was handled in a humane and compassionate manner. Now be warned of clever marketing tricks, if you’re looking for organic or free range looked for the certification. A friend of mine bought a carton of eggs, it had a picture of a chicken backed with fresh grass and a farm, the word fresh about 8 times, it even said premium grain fed range. Clever marketing for cage eggs. Well played marketing department.
I don’t want to unnecessarily expose my children to toxins
Yeah, yeah the pesticides are “within the safe range” and there are naturally occurring pesticides. However, has the long term research been done about the build up of pesticides over an entire childhood, or lifetime? What about the other inclusions in non-organic foods like artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, the high fructose corn syrup – It’s just not real food any more.
When we eliminate toxins from our home we need to eliminate them from our food as well.
It’s about building community
We buy food from local people. They know my name, they know my children. It goes back to basics, the money I had over directly benefits the person I am giving it to. Simple. They know what they’re selling me, they eat it themselves. Yesterday I picked up my fruit and vege order and the woman I bought it off addressed me by name, and asked me how my son enjoyed the bananas last week, she remembered that he is particularly fond of them. Don’t get that at the supermarket. Every Saturday we stop at the same fruit stand by the road, he knows my daughters name and that we’re on our way to gymnastics. It’s lovely.
It’s about eating real food and not food like products
It is now entirely possible for someone to go from the cradle to the grave without eating a single whole food. From baby formula, to jarred baby food, packaged toddler snacks and juices, the Wiggles now do heat and serve meals, fruit bars, fruit straps, muesli bars, TV dinners, frozen vegetables, not to mention fast food and meal replacement bars and shakes. With just a microwave and a can opener you too can never prepare a single meal from scratch again.
We aren’t eating food any more, but food like products. We buy whole foods because I think it is important to eat real food. Just eat real food.
It’s a part of a whole lifestyle, healthy eating, healthy living, community, eating together as a family, engaging our children in conversations about food and our place in the “circle,” it’s about putting something in our bodies that isn’t toxic. It’s about tradition and making new traditions.
When I was a child we ate fast food sparingly, mum cooked dinner (or dad did, he’s a good cook too) and we ate at the table as a family. Over dinner we talked and enjoyed each other’s company. The TV went off. For our birthdays we chose what was for dinner, and it wasn’t always a meal out.
We don’t always buy organic, we can’t always afford it, we’re a one income family and sometimes it’s important to pay bills first so the roof stays over our head. But when we can we choose whole, organic, local foods because I believe it is important for our health, the environment and our future.