You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that switching to an organic diet is a good choice. There are certain drawbacks, like less selection and higher prices, but these are both becoming obsolete as more and more people embrace a toxin-free diet and suppliers rush to meet the increase in demand.
The benefits, on the other hand, are innumerable. For starters, produce that is grown with the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers pollutes both the Earth and your body. Chemicals that seep into the soil spread to water sources and continue to travel and affect other plants and animals over a widespread area. And no matter how well you wash your veggies, you’re going to ingest trace amount of toxins, which are mostly shed, but may be stored in fat cells. Then there are hormones and antibiotics found in meats, which can increase the risk of certain cancers and reduce immunity, respectively. In general, eating organic is just healthier. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine just how organic the foods you buy actually are.
There is one excellent way to ensure that everything you eat is organic, and it entails growing the food yourself. Of course, anyone who had a garden at your home before you (or wanted a weed-free lawn) probably put some chemicals into the soil, which means it will take a good 3-5 years of growing in the soil before you can truly call it toxin-free. But at that point you can virtually guarantee that your food is bereft of chemical additives. Of course, that could amount to a lot of work and most people simply can’t find the time to devote to a massive vegetable garden.
You can also look at attaining the items you desire from a co-op of local growers that cater to individuals in your area (you may be able to find them at the farmer’s market, but chances are good that you will have to seek out their services, especially if you want organic meats and other animal products like dairy and eggs). In some cases they even deliver directly to your home on a set schedule. And often you can verify whether or not they are growing organic simply by visiting their facilities (most local farms have visitor days). And the prices are usually comparable to what you would pay at the store for the same amount of product.
If, however, you find that it is simply easier to pick up organic products at a nearby grocery store, then you’ll need to know what’s really in them. You should certainly avoid any items that sport a “natural” or “all natural” label, since this phrase is totally open to interpretation and could mean just about anything (such as made without added dyes and flavors, or preservative free). Instead, look for the USDA Certified Organic label, which will tell you how much of the product is actually organic. The label will say “Made with Organic Ingredients” (at least 70% organic), “Organic” (at least 95% organic), or “100% Organic” (self-explanatory).
Kyle is a writer for Yard Sale Search. Check out the site to find garage sales in your neck of the woods.