We see social media posts and professionals saying this all the time – ‘eat organic’. However we do not always act on it and at times we don’t delve deeper into how it can really impact us. Toxins in our system include environmental toxins as well. They can affect our metabolism, mitochondrial health that can lead to long term damages. Here are some key reasons we must start looking into organic produce.
1. Fewer pesticides and heavy metals: Fruits, vegetables and grains that are certified organic, are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or artificial fertilizers. While such chemicals have been deemed safe in the quantities used for conventional farming, health experts still warn about the potential harms of repeated exposure
2. More of healthy fats: When it comes to meat and milk, organic products can have about 50% more omega-3 fatty acids, a type of unsaturated healthy fat, than conventionally produced products. Organic milk tested in the study also had less saturated fat than non-organic.
These differences may come from the way organic livestock is raised, with a grass-fed diet and more time spent outdoors. They believe that switching from conventional to organic products would raise consumers’ omega-3 intake without increasing overall calories or saturated fat.
3. Often fresher: It doesn’t contain preservatives that make it last longer. Organic produce is often (but not always, so watch where it is from) produced on smaller farms near where it is sold.
4. Better for the environment: Organic farming practices reduce pollution, conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. Farming without pesticides is also better for nearby birds and animals as well as people who live close to farms.
5. GMO-free: Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) foods are plants whose DNA has been altered in ways that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding, most commonly in order to be resistant to pesticides or produce an insecticide.
6. More antioxidants, in some cases: In a recent six-year study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers found that organic onions had about a 20% higher antioxidant content than conventionally grown onions. However this isn’t always the case but it has been proved in some.
Some of the items we can start having organic for more benefits:
1. The Dirty Dozen: This is the list published by renowned authorities of the vegetables and fruits with highest pesticides. So it might be worthwhile to start with this if you can’t pay for everything organic. This includes strawberries, spinach, kale, peaches, apples, grapes, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery and potatoes.
2. Pulses: Another thing that I would recommend is our daily pulses. It is a big size of our consumption with loads of nutrients and if bought in bulk, this can be cost effective as well as highly beneficial.
3. Rework on the monthly budget: This I have observed as a common issue amongst my clients who are convinced organic is the way but wonder how to budget for it. We probably need to revisit all our expenses and make a commitment to ourselves to only go for quality stuff.
A huge part of consciously living as a society can begin with consciously eating. We all can have limitations here but it might be great to start somewhere and take the first baby step.
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