I bought organic but I never really stopped to ask why.
I'm from California, where I shopped locally at the farmer's markets on Wednesday nights and went to Sprouts other nights for veggies. I bought organic but I never really stopped to ask why. I had a vague understanding that it had something to do with pesticides but I never really understood the depth of the question.
Then I traveled to Thailand and stayed on a farm for a month where we grew our own fruits and veggies. The farmer said he was the only one in the area that didn't believe in the use of pesticides and he was trying to prove to the other farmers in his small village that if you just planted food the right way, everyone (the bugs, the animals, the earth, and us humans) would benefit. He really taught us the importance of growing our food naturally, in line with the way Mother Nature intended, and how much it universally benefits the planet and everything in it.
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Buying organic is about much more than non-use of chemicals.
Back on the blog today is my wonderful partner Matt, who is going to break down the history of food (briefly) and the importance of buying organic fruits and veggies.
Welcome back, Matt!
Hey everyone , I'm going to start with a story to help us understand the importance of organic! (I'll give you the cliff notes version to save on time)
- In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
- Unfortunately, when they made it to America, the settlers weren't very knowledgeable on surviving in the new environment.
- So the Natives decided to teach the settlers how to grow crops such as corn and gave them very explicit instructions:
- First, take the seed and put it in your mouth. Make sure to get saliva all around the seed.
- Second, put the seed inside the soil.
- Third, put fish bones inside the soil with the seed and water the soil often . Make sure to always plant different plants next to each other, dispersing them and avoid putting the same plants all in the same area.
- After spending some time with the Natives, the settlers noticed that the Natives we're very ritualistic people. They gave a prayer for the sun, and sang to the birds, and danced with the rain, and cried to the moon. The Natives seemed to worship everything and have a ritual for every step. So the settlers decided that putting the seed in their mouths was nonsense and didn't do that when they planted. They also thought that offering fish to the gods was unnecessary as well.
- After some time, the settlers decided it would be more efficient if they started planting the seeds of the same plant in rows to yield more crops.
- What the settlers failed to realize was that the Natives did everything for a reason , not just a spiritual one, but for a health benefit.
- Plants have the ability to use DNA found in saliva to grow specifically for a person and his/her family.
- The plant would eventually grow learning your body type and diseases and eventually be perfect for your child.
- What the settlers also failed to understand was that soil is just like a bank.
- Any nutrients you withdraw, must be deposited back to keep the balance.
- Plants (and animals) use nutrients, then put back any nutrients they don't need by excreting their "waste" (aka poop in animals). Also, when they die, they also put all their nutrients back into the ground.
- Not placing the fish bones in with the seeds was not a big deal. At first.
- After time, however, nutrients weren't deposited back into the soil, depleting it's "balance" or health.
- The settlers also ignored one more instruction and planted the same exact plant over and over in the same area.
- Where on Earth have you ever seen a non-human-influenced giant field of only one plant growing completely isolated by itself?
- You don't. Even if it's grass, there are different types of grass with weeds and flowers or shrubs around.
- All these plants fight for the same nutrients and the depleted soil makes the plants starve. They growbut there is something fundamentally wrong with them.
- This change brings in the bugs. Bugs are the "clean-up crew" of the plant world and eat dying plants.
- The bugs sense that the starving plants aren't healthy and begin to eat them, even though the plants weren't ready for human consumption.
- So this brings in more human interference.
- We bring in the pesticides and insecticides to keep the bugs from eating "our" plant foods. War has begun.
Consider this: if the pesticides/insecticides kill bugsthen it can kill you.
- Now, humans look at the crops and believe they aren't good enough or yielding enough. So what to do?
- Mix and match genes and add hormones. Welcome to the world, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's)!
- The settlers choosing not to put bones in the ground caused a giant spiral of ignorance and eventually changed our produce for the worstfor HUNDREDS of years!
- Now imagine, in America we have only made withdrawals and went without depositing nutrients back into the ground for FIVE HUNDRED years, growing the same plants in the same area; unlike what nature does.
- So we've literally been starving our plants!
So, What is Organic?
Simply put, organic is to grow produce with the least possible human influence and to grow in cohesion with nature.
- It's funny how we are poisoning ourselves as the solution for a problem we started.
By growing naturally, the use of pesticides/insecticides/hormones/GMO's/preservatives are just unnecessary.
The Organic Difference
What does this all mean?
It means that even if you are eating a mostly plant-based or "healthy" diet, you are still not getting most of the nutrients you need. Eating a salad, if not organic, doesn't mean you are eating"healthy.
When we measure the nutrient density in a commercially grown plant, such as broccoli, and compare it to organic, the difference becomes clear: the nutrient density of calcium in commercially grown broccoli is 2 while the organic registers at more than 18,000!!! That's the organic difference!
Ready for a Secret?
The USDA has just jumped on the band wagon of regulating Organic vs Natural vs Artificial. The USDA has no interest in Organic foods but made a system because of the demand for conscious living in the U.S. Unfortunately, the USDA uses a system that can be biased and very confusing so let's break it down.
They rate food using:
- 100% Organic
- Organic (95% organic or more)
- Made with Organic Ingredients (70% organic or more)
- Natural (no artificial ingredients such as chemicals, but not organic)
Be aware of these labels when shopping and also make sure there's a green USDA Certified Organic logo on the package. If there isn't one, it might not be organic.
Pay attention to labels!
In some instances, packaging and wording can really make the difference. Some companies "green wash" their product by making it appear that it's natural or organic when in fact, it isn't.
- 95% organic can mean anything from not using chemicals or hormones or that all the ingredients we're organic except for one (i.e. raisins) which could have been covered in insecticides.
Organic is a term that is not understood by many but is becoming more prevalent as demand increases. Eating organic foods ensures that your food is rich in nutrients and are free from all the toxins that are known to cause dis-eases such as cancer, diabetes, allergies and more. Although organic food can be more expensive upfront, studies show that it saves money in the long run when you factor in medical costs.
Also, if you plan to make homemade baby food, buying organic is truly important for your little one's sake. Harmful pesticides and chemicals found in non-organic produce can have deleterious effects on their health.
"Let thy food by thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food."
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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 04/28/2017