Okay, okay... This topic is very controversial and it something that I am incredibly passionate about. As a country, we are very mislead about what foods are healthy and what are not. I want to give my honest thoughts on organic food versus conventional. I am no expert. I have done a lot of research and I have learned a lot about the dangers of pesticides in our foods through my college nutrition courses. So here we go:
First of all let me start by clearing up some confusion about the term ALL NATURAL. Unlike the term ORGANIC, ALL NATURAL is not regulated by the FDA which means that food producers can label anything as all natural and it literally doesn't mean a thing! That makes me angry, but its just the way it is. If you really want to rest assured that your food is not full of preservatives and junk, then you have to buy organic.
What is "organic"?
Organic fruits and veggies and grown completely naturally with no pesticides whatsoever. Conventional fruits and veggies are not only given pesticides, they are also genetically modified and are sometimes grown in a laboratory. Gross!
Organic milk comes from cows that graze freely. The cows are never given antibiotics or growth hormones. The conventional milk at the grocery store that claims to be "rBST free" is a huge marketing scheme, they are using other growth hormones, so don't be fooled!!
Organic meat comes from animals that graze freely and are fed their natural diet rather than animal bi-products or corn. The animals are never injected with salt enhancers or growth hormones. Conventional meat cannot be trusted unless it is labeled ALL NATURAL and there is a pledge on the packaging that discloses the conditions of how the animals are treated and fed.
Why is organic better?
That's a great question. I thought you would never ask! Researchers believe that the pesticides* on our fruits and vegetables are so unnatural that overtime they can cause illness and even cancers such as colon or pancreas.This makes sense because these toxins have to pass directly through the pancreas and colon.
Research shows that the hormones in milk and meat alter our hormone levels A LOT! Ask your grandma when she developed breasts ( I bet she was a teenager) and then look around you and notice how many young girls have breasts. This is not a coincidence, its because these hormones are very present in our food. Fifty years ago, everything was organic, now everything is altered and unnatural, even more so than we realize. An excess of hormones in your body is dangerous no matter how old you are, but it is especially dangerous for a young child.
What do I feed my family?
Okay so this may shock you, but I don't eat all organic. I can't afford to! My daughter consumes only organic meat and dairy products and this is something that I want to uphold through her entire childhood. I endure a lot of criticism for this, but my husband and I decided that our family's health is one of our top priorities, so its worth it. Once in a while, she has non organic cheese, but this is very rare. My husband and I eat organic meat and milk at home, but if we go out to dinner, we will eat conventional meat. We try to limit eating out as much as possible, but sometimes its inevitable. Young children are much more at risk for exposure because their bodies are so premature compared to a grown adult. As for organic produce, I always buy organic when it comes to the dirty dozen. http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-214
Everything else I just wash very very thoroughly.
I hope this post will be informative to everyone. If you are still a skeptic, do your research and make an informed decision for the well being of your family. Please leave your comments too. I want to hear your thoughts!
*Unlike with dairy and meat, you can wash off the pesticides from your produce. Water alone is not enough. Make a solution with 2 parts water, 1 part vinegar, a squeeze of lemon and several tablespoons of baking soda. You will be amazed by how much dirt and gunk you see in the water!