Updated: Oct 28, 2019
Eating clean is important to prevent adding toxins to your body. Here are some tips to making "organic" affordable
When we feel symptoms of any illness or disease we finally realize that our immune system has been compromised and we are losing the defensive fight against the crap that is attacking us.
We are often a result of what we eat. If our health is a reflection of our diet and we are in control of what's on the end of our fork, how do you choose to make yourself feel?
The statistics say that 1 out of 3 women and 1 out of every 2 men will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetime. There are a ridiculous amount of reasons and causes for this, some of which are genetic and some are frankly influenced by man.
Our brains over time have developed so much faster than our digestive system. What we can produce in the lab and how we can manipulate nature has become so complex yet once we consider it food and smash it when we are hungry, our body become so confused as to how to turn this manufactured meal into fuel. Instead, we internally react with inflammation, our pants get too tight and we start hording fat cells like it's our job.
Without understanding what has been approved as a food additive, the produce section at the grocery store gets divided into two sections. The first is the more affordable "conventional" produce. Looks bright and shiny and nice and clean...harmless even. Most of which has been picked unripe and green then treated with ethylene gas to give it a ripe like appearance. The second half or maybe it's the smaller of a 60/40 split, is the "Organic" aka to most people as the "overpriced section" with vegetables that look the same as the cheap section. However, this section has been grown with more natural processes.
So what's the difference?
A few years ago I was living in Quad City, Illinois along the Mississippi River and working at one of the three casinos out there. I would often travel outside of the area and through farm country. Farmers would rotate between corn and soy beans so the landscape was pretty consistent for miles and miles. Occasionally I would see small planes cruising over the fields dipping out of the sky and skimming across the crops dusting them with a delicious blanket of chemicals made of who knows what. Once they hit the crops, they go seemingly undetected by eye. Especially in the grocery store.
If you'd like to try this experiment for yourself, here is a suggestion. Start out with a salad of organic vegetables. That way, your dish starts out with vegetables, grown the way nature intended them to be treated. Then, before you sit down to eat it, reach under the kitchen sink and find that can of insect repellent. One that kills bugs on contact for you know, 30 or 60 days, whatever they promise. Then spray your food and consider if you'd really eat that knowing that you just saw it sprayed with chemicals that kills living things. Don't eat it! But, that's what is happening in a similar process, not exact, to our food. The goal is to grow more crops, faster, for less money and generate a higher profit.
The FDA has approved well over 350 food additives that are mostly chemicals for various reasons. Farmers who choose not to use these harsh chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides have to follow a strict Organic protocol and pay expensive fees to be certified that they don't use what the government has approved to use. Kind of crazy if you think about it, but not only do farmers lose some yield to some hungry pests, but they also have to pay high expenses to be proud of being organic as well.
The Nasty Dirty Dozen
Lucky for us we can reference the EPA's Dirty Dozen list. This list is published every year and updated with the top 12 produce items that contain the highest amounts of toxins. The strategy is this, if you are going to buy one of the items on this list, the suggestion is to buy these in the organic section as they will have a big impact on your health over time or in high consumption if you don't. If you are going to buy an item not on this list, then it is not so imperative to buy it organic. My suggestion though, is if you are battling a disease or know you have a compromised immune system, shop as much organic as possible.
So, what items are we talking about??
You may think that washing, soaking or peeling these items will make a difference. All those were considered when this list was created. If you're a wine drinker, consider your favorite varietal, let's say Chardonnay, mostly because I can spell it. If you're familiar with this wine, then you'll know that a Chardonnay grown in California, Oregon, Spain or France, all taste a little different. The term in wine making is because of the terroir or the environment in which the grapes are grown. That consists of the sun light, the rain, humidity, the soil. Everything that surrounds that vine influences the flavor of the wine. Same goes for any produce. It is a product of it's environment. If chemicals have been added to the process, they aren't going away. They are absorbed in the cells.
So next time you go shopping, consider this list and ask yourself this; If you wouldn't spray your food after you cook it, why should anyone spray it before?