Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Organic Food Versus Non-Organic Conventional Food


"Hah!" Alex exclaimed at breakfast. "This yogurt smoothie bottle says: all natural ingredients... It's funny, of course natural!"

Oh, duh!

...So then how did it happen that the food we nourish our bodies with became colored, washed with pesticides, injected with chemicals and hormones, and genetically altered? When did we lose common sense?

Even now, when there is so much awareness is raised about healthy food, we get confused from labels and fearful of being brainwashed and tricked into paying more. So many of my friends still believe that organic foods are just a way for companies to charge us more, and that organic foods and no better than conventional foods. Others simply resent the price.

Being an advocate of healthy lifestyle, I have always been mindful as to what I put on the table - I try to buy organic foods as much as I can, and eat more veggies and fruits than meats and breads, and I know I am not alone - I stopped by Whole Foods last Saturday and was impressed to see the long lines and  crowded isles.

Well, but who is right? Those who spend extra bucks on organic foods, or those who don't? Lets get to the bottom of it!

How different is Organic Food from Conventional?

Conventional foods - farmers apply chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth, spray synthetic insecticides to reduce pests and disease, use synthetic herbicides to manage weeds, give animal antibiotics, growth hormones and medications.

Organic foods - farmers use natural fertilizers like manure or compost, spray pesticides from natural sources, use environmentally generated plant killing compounds or hand weed, give animals organic feed and balance diet to help minimize disease.

Hmm, no wonder that organic foods are pricier. But then, that's how it was and should have been in the first place! Price of food became cheaper when the farmers started using chemical and synthetic sprays and hormone supplements. We fell for it, and, instead of eating good food, we just started eating more! I mean, it was cheaper, after all!

Now, obviously, there is no short term harm from consumption of these chemical fertilizers, synthetic insecticides, synthetic herbicides, antibiotics and hormones. But do they have a long term harmful effect on our bodies?

FDA believes that there is no harm from small portions of all of these chemicals or hormones. Hmm, but do they consider that nowadays we eat way more than we ever did? Are they influenced by big bucks and lobbyists? What about the skyrocketing rise of birth defects, cancerautism, or ADHD?

There are  studies done in regards to the difference between organic and conventional foods, and they found that that, first, there is not much nutritional difference between these foods; and, second, there are NO definitive answers if all the chemicals and antibiotics cause us harm. There is NO proof that the rise of birth defect, cancer, autism, or ADHD, is directly linked to all the chemicals we eat and breath. And for now, EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) reports that the majority of pesticides now in use are probable or possible cancer and other causes.

But wait! Having no proof proof of direct link, does not mean it is not true, right?! And it does not mean that tomorrow, the scientists will not find that link! Wasn't there time when we thought "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" was good for us?

Meanwhile, should we trust the FDA's decision to allow all the chemicals and hormones in our foods? Should we wait for more studies and more answers? Should we, potentially, continue harming ourselves while waiting?

I say, lets get ahead of the game, and... go back to the eating habits of pre-cheap-food times!

What are your thoughts? Please share!
xo, Zuma A.

Next: Are organic foods really pricier, and what are safe foods?
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