If you have an interest in health and fitness, or you’re tuned in to any type of media outlet, then you have no doubt heard that switching to an organic diet is good for you. Of course, you may not have the faintest idea what an organic diet entails or why it is better for your health, but the catchphrase “organic living” has probably made its way across your radar and imprinted itself on your psyche with a slew of positive (if nebulous) connotations. And although you may be skeptical about foods that look exactly the same as what you already buy, but cost more, then you should know that there are a lot of good reasons to learn the facts about organic foods and make an informed decision when it comes to the state of your long-term health.
1. Non-toxic. The most basic thing you should know about organic foods is that producers strive to make them 100% non-toxic. Fruits, vegetables, and other produce are grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticide, herbicides or insecticides. Further, they are often raised on land that has eschewed the use of these toxic chemicals for at least several years (so that there are no residual elements in the soil). Animals that are used for meat or other products (dairy, eggs, etc.) are given no hormones or antibiotics and are fed only organic grains. This means that at every step of the process, these foods are in their natural state.
2. Better taste. Foods that mature naturally just taste better. Not only will you avoid the taste of trace chemicals that cannot be washed off your foods, but you may not be aware that most fruits and vegetables are picked early to avoid spoilage in shipment, and then treated with heat or chemicals to cause them to ripen rapidly for consumption. This not only ruins the taste in many cases, it can also be harmful to your health.
3. More nutritious. In many cases, organic foods have been shown to retain more vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids due to the fact that they have not undergone the same chemical alterations that “regular” foods are routinely exposed to.
4. It’s everywhere. Almost any food you can think of has an organic counterpart. Whether you’re interested in base ingredients like meats, vegetables, or whole grains, or if you want something already made like cereal, pizza, or ice cream, you can find an organic alternative. You may have to do a little research to locate brands at your local grocery store, or shop at specialty stores instead, but you can keep your favorite menu items even if you go fully organic.
5. Break the cycle. The chemical treatment of foods is a vicious cycle that affects the long- term health of not only people, but the planet. It starts with toxins used to treat crops. They seep into the soil and the groundwater, causing damage that is far-reaching and will continue even years after these additives are removed from usage. They infect not only the produce they treat, but any animals that eat them and the entire surrounding ecosystem. And they affect you, as well. When you put these toxins in your body, a portion may be expelled as waste, but some of them are stored in the fatty tissues of your body, causing who knows what kind of long-term damage. Eradicating these foods from your body will help you to become healthier, but choosing organic will also begin the long process of eradicating toxins from our planet, starting a chain of events that will lead to a healthier future for you and for generations to come.
Kyle Simpson is a writer for a culinary institute website where you can browse schools and the latest trends in the culinary arena.