Why should you eat organic foods?
Ever wondered how things have changed in the past 20 years on the organic food front? In years past, one of the biggest reasons people switched to organic foods to avoid consuming pesticides with their foods. Is that still the same today, or have the reasons changed for deciding to make organic foods the mainstay of your diet?
Erin Barnett, Director of LocalHarvest.org, wondered this in her most recent newsletter. She decided to ask Jim Riddle, Organic Outreach Coordinator, University of MN – Southwest Research and Outreach Center, to give her an update on how he felt things have changed on the organic food issue.
“Riddle’s overview of the last two decades falls into three areas: a new hazard, greater structure, and more data. The new danger, of course, is being wrought by genetically modified organisms (GMOs), just under development in the 1990s, but now estimated to be found in 70% of food on grocery store shelves.”
There is greater documentation now on the ways organic foods are better, including how using organic farming helps protect groundwater and increases the nutritional value of food.
Many people are buying organic foods, but most people do not use organic products exclusively. This may be because some foods are not easily available in organic form, so choices are limited. And of course, some people are still used to many of the convenience foods and not ready to give up on them.
So if you have to pick and choose which food to buy in organic form, what would it be? Here is what Riddle had to say:
“Asked how he spends a limited budget for organic, Riddle said that he prioritizes organic dairy, which he calls a “gateway organic product.” Dairy gets the top spot for a few reasons: cows on organic farms eat fresh grass, so their milk is higher in healthy amino acids. Eating organic milk and dairy products also allows us – and our children – to avoid pesticide residues which make their way from the cows’ grain to the milk, and dodges the infamous rBGH (bovine growth hormone). If organic dairy is outside your budget, you would do well to look for products labeled “rBGH free.”
After dairy, Riddle recommends making sure that fruits and vegetables that are consumed raw and not peeled are organic.”
Here’s a cute video talking about this very thing…
Lots of people are also looking into growing gardens to supplement their food choices. You have complete control over what is used, and know for certain if the food was grown organically or not! You can have anything from a few pots of herbs to a large garden for all your vegetable needs.
Whether you buy your food at a grocery store, from the local farmer, or grow it yourself, it is becoming increasingly clear that eating organic food has added benefits!
~ Looking for a good source of organic food online? Try Beyond Organic for great grass fed beef, cheeses and other products delivered right to your door!
~ If you’d like to find a local farmer, CSA or farmer’s market, check out LocalHarvest.org to see what’s in your area.