Like I’ve mentioned in “My Story,” I try to make (as close as I can get to) 100% of my diet all-natural and/or organic. This post, and more importantly this entire blog, is not to tell you or anybody else what to eat or what to do. The way you eat and live your life is 100% up to YOU. My whole intent with this blog is to share with you my knowledge, discoveries, and the tools I use to make my life healthier. Whether you use them or not is 100% your decision. I just want to put it out there, because you never know when someone might learn something new or useful that makes their life a little better and healthier.
Additionally, I feel that a lot of people don’t know what makes organic food different from non-organic. So, if you are one of those people who wonder, “What’s the difference?” or even, “Is there a difference?” I hope to answer your questions! To backtrack slightly, I will always recommend (if asked, of course) to go REAL.
That means, eat real food. These are things such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish, and meats. When you see these types of food, you know exactly what it is and there are no ingredients-it is what it is and that’s it. However, this becomes complicated now-a-days because food is so often altered and processed. In comes the help from all-natural and organic labels. You should still read your nutrition labels, though. I have found things labeled “all-natural,” and then when I look at the ingredients I see “high fructose corn syrup” (which I choose to avoid). (Side-note: high fructose corn syrup is the most common added sweetener in processed foods. Studies and results have gone back and forth about it, but I, personally, choose to avoid high fructose corn syrup because it’s an additive sweetener (sweeteners and sugar should be consumed in moderation-less is always better), and I see it as a red flag of processed food. If my food is going to be sweetened with anything I want it to be REAL sugar, not processed sugar or some processed, artificial sweetener; or I like stevia-an all-natural sweetener that comes from stevia plant). A good rule of thumb is to always, always read your labels. If there are more than 5 ingredients or any ingredients that you cannot pronounce, it’s probably better for you to not eat it and choose something else (this advice is taken from Bethenny Frankel’s Naturally Thin, Chapter 9: Get Real). Now, let’s finally get to organics.
To relay this information to you as best I can, I am going to give you the words of Bethenny Frankel. Again, from her book, Naturally Thin-Chapter Nine: Get Real, pages 118-119:
“One of the first, relatively easy steps in nudging your diet toward the more real end of the spectrum is to go organic. . . . Organic foods have multiple benefits that more than make up for their higher cost, even if you only eat a bit of organic food:
- Organic foods don’t have pesticides or other chemical residues on them.
- Organic foods are grown in a more earth-friendly way, without chemical runoff.
- Organic foods are grown in a more humane way. Animals can’t be cruelly confined or mistreated, and must be fed an organic diet themselves.
- Organic foods may contain more nutrients. Without the aid of pesticides, organic plants have to fend for themselves and have been shown to generate more antioxidants and other natural substances that can benefit you when you eat them.
- Organic foods taste better.”
What’s the big deal about these “chemicals?” Well, “chemicals in food can have a big impact on our physical life as well as our emotional life, contributing to mood swings, sugar highs and lows, irritability, and depression (Naturally Thin page 113).
Another bonus to organic food? No GMOs. What are GMOs? “A genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically engineered organism (GEO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques” (Google Web Definitions). In plain and simple terms, GMOs/GEOs = NOT REAL FOOD. When foods and products have the USDA organic seal, you can trust there are no GMOs.
So once again, I will never tell another person, “you must eat organic foods.” I choose to opt for them as often as I can (which isn’t 100% of the time, but I do my best) and if someone asks my advice, then I will recommend organic and all-natural foods. If you have questions, seek out some answers and make a decision for yourself. I did. I chose my path; discover yours!