Why Go Organic?

It wasn't that long ago that we were in a meeting with a company we were thinking about working with and incorprating into our clinic. Dr. Casey asked the rep if the products were organic. His response was "What is organic really? People don't really know." That struck a cord with us and I've decided to use this moment as a teachable one. We're going to explain to you what organic is and why it is actually imporant. At the clinic we're passionate about keeping you all well. This includes having integrity in the products we offer in the office. 

We know eating organic is easier said than done especially when you're living on a budget and it's tight. Trust me, we get it. We're all working on a budget, but as we've learned that doesn't have to be the case all the time if we can make more informated decisions. It is possible to eat healthy and on a budget... and we're always learning...and when it comes to organic stuff it's a work in progress. We wanted to show you a list of foods that you should try your best to buy organic and they are on the dirty dozen list. Those are the fruits and veggies that typically used the most pesticides and fertilizers. Those fruits and veggies are as follows:

Dirty Dozen:
1. Apples
2. Strawberries

3. Grapes
4. Celery
5. Peaches
6. Spinach
7. Sweet Bell Peppers
8. Nectarines (Imported)
9. Cucumbers
10. Cherry Tomatoes
11. Snap Peas (Imported)
12. Potatoes
+ Hot Peppers
+ Kale/Collard Greens

Also there is a list of the clean 15. These produce picks contained the lowest pesticide levels and aren't AS important to buy organic.

Clean Fifteen: 
1. Avocados
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Cabbage
5. Sweet Peas (Frozen)
6. Onions
7. Asparagus
8. Mangoes
9. Papayas
10. Kiwi
11. Eggplant
12. Grapefruit
13. Cantaloupe
14. Cauliflower
15. Sweet Potatoes

Here is a Cute infographic from EWG's Website to save to your phone so it's always in reach!

So the first natural question is…Why go organic?
Organic eating has a number of benefits and here are just a few of them:

1. Organic produce is free of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Even if you wash your produce, you cannot remove all these harmful chemicals that can affect your nervous system, cause cancer and more.  Also consider that conventional farming which uses harmful chemicals can contribute to the contamination of our water supply, so by supporting organic growers, you are also supporting a cleaner water supply for all.

2. While some people may not be quite as concerned, eating organic can help you avoid foods that have been irradiated. Government bodies tout the irradiation process as helpful in reducing harmful bacteria, preventing spoilage and increasing shelf life of foods. However, irradiation reduces the nutritional value of your foods and there is growing concern by researchers that the process may not be as safe as previously thought.

3. Avoidance of genetically modified foods or GMOs (genetically modified organisms). While huge biotechnology companies like Monstanto will have you believing that they are increasing the viability of crop growing, there are long-term dangers in GMOs that have caused them to be banned by much of Europe and Japan.

4. Organic livestock is fed its natural diet, rather than potentially contaminated grains, antibiotics and hormones. This is in contrast to conventionally-raised livestock that get hormones to help them grow faster and antibiotics are given en masse as a preventative measure to illness. The scary thing is that this preventative measure may be necessary given the poor hygienic conditions of the animals. Organically grown animals are raised more humanely and more naturally, eliminating the need for these potentially dangerous situations for both livestock and humans.

5. Organic growing contributes to improved soil quality. A lot of people don’t realize it, but our soils are so depleted that we no longer get the nutrients we did from our foods a few decades ago. In order to obtain the certified organic label from the USDA, soil must be free of prohibited chemicals for three years and the increased soil quality is a necessary goal for organic farmers. (To learn more about a variety of soil studies, check out http://www.ota.com/organic/benefits/soil.html )

6. Organic farming is more wildlife friendly. From animals to plant species, a more natural ecology is supported through organic methods. There are many studies supporting this including a study from the University of Oxford that found that there is increased biodiversity on organically farmed land.
There are so many reasons to go organic and this post touches on just a few of them. But here’s the most immediate one that just about everyone can really appreciate.

7. Buying organic allows you to support your local economy and farmers. This is good for you because you get fresher (and therefore more nutritious and tasty) foods, and it also reduces the pollution that results from food transport. (Here’s a short video on why to eat local.)

8. Organic foods simply taste better. This is real food, free of all unnecessary human interventions and inventions. It’s nature’s perfection and once you try it, you probably won’t want to go back to your other options. 

Try to incorporate a little organic into your life. It's really healthier for you and so many other reasons. Stay tuned for how the added chemicals and hormones in our food affects our bodies in a future post. 


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