Why Eating Organic & Local is Important
Did you know that organic foods have more beneficial nutrients than their conventionally-grown ‘twins’? It’s hard to believe, because an organic peach – from the outside – truly doesn’t look too much different from a conventionally-grown one, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts…
The difference between organic and conventional produce is actually quite huge.
Conventional produce is farmed using techniques that include synthetic chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones or genetically modified organisms (all of these things negatively affect the environment AND take away nutrients from the produce!). Additionally, food additives can be used in conventional farming to preserve food, enhance color, add sweetener, etc. This is not a natural way of farming considering the produce is not harvested at its organic, natural state. It is, instead, affected by the additives and chemicals that come into contact with it; and these chemicals and additives make their way to the consumer’s mouth and body.
Organic farming prohibits the use of synthetic pesticides, chemicals, fertilizers, genetically-modified organisms, waxes and other preservatives. Organic farming also uses crop rotation strategies that help maintain healthy soil and nutrient content in plants. It is a farming technique that helps to sustain a healthy environment for plants, animals and human beings.
When you’re walking through the farmer’s market or grocery store and you decide to grab the organic celery and organic container of strawberries instead of the conventional ones, you are doing your body a huge favor. When you ingest conventional produce, you are also ingesting the toxins (anything artificial and toxic that was used during farming) that come with it; and sometimes these toxins linger in the body, resulting in illness or disease. However, when you ingest organic produce, you are getting all of the nutritious benefits of the fruit or vegetable without any of the toxicity.
Eating organic also supports your local, organic farmers because much of the organic produce in your grocery stores comes from local farms! And when you make the choice to eat local food, you are getting the freshest produce possible – whereas other produce has to make its way across the United States or other countries with different food standards to get to you. The more we support local farmers and their communities, the more organic and local produce that will be available, and the more your community will begin to see and understand the importance of eating this way.
Purchasing organic food is not only helpful to the environment, but it’s also incredibly important for your health. If you are passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle, or one that incorporates practices and eating habits that enhance your overall well-being, then eating organic is a MUST!
Of course, eating organically can be expensive, and it would be naïve to not consider this when advocating for eating an organic diet. This is where the “Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen” lists come in handy. These lists provide you with the 12 fruits and vegetables that are highest in pesticide residue and must be purchased organically, and the 15 that are more pure and okay to consume at the conventional state. Do what is financially best for you and your family, and take these lists into consideration if you would rather only purchase what absolutely needs to be organic!
See below for the 2018 breakdown.
The “DIRTY DOZEN” - Items with the most pesticide residue.
Sweet Bell Peppers
The “CLEAN FIFTEEN” - Items with the least amount of pesticide residue
It seems daunting to try and eat 100% organic all the time, but this isn’t the purpose of this blog post. The purpose of this information is to inspire you to support your local, organic farmers and to make decisions that benefit your body and health! By reducing toxins in our lives and supporting practices that positively impact our planet and our bodies, we can live happier, healthier and more vibrantly!