I cannot count the times I’ve been given grief over eating organic, or the times someone has turned their nose up at me because I refused to purchase, eat, or look at a product that didn’t have an organic label.
I guess it’s only fair. My idea of fun is hitting up a grocery store the day before a big storm (that ultimately never happens) to gawk at the shopping carts full of survival necessities like cinnamon rolls, Mt. Dew, t.v. dinners, Lucky Charms, and brownies (because we can’t survive without brownies). Despite the fact that I know what’s coming, it gets me every time. I still cannot figure out how the human body can survive on nothing but hot dogs (which is closer to dog than pork if we’re being honest).
When I’m feeling really adventurous, I hang around one of the inner isles waiting for someone to ask me why my cart is filled with green leaves and #9 PLU codes. They know I don’t belong there (I’m like the lone box of Kraft Mac n’ Cheese someone discarded secretly in the produce section.), and they’re all too eager to educate me on the stupidity of organics.
I usually listen intently as they educate me on the benefits of a good hot dog and some Captain Crunch, but I eventually learned to hold my own. Sure, eating organic is cool but it goes far beyond that.
#1. I eat organic because I only eat real food.
Just because you can eat it doesn’t mean it’s food. Food sustains, heals, and nourishes. When you eat food (the real kind), you don’t have to worry about getting a chronic disease, breaking out in a rash, pesticides, preservatives, or developing some sort of catastrophic food allergy.
If it’s genetically modified, sprayed with chemicals, drowned in preservatives, or contains only sugar, sugar, or sugar, it’s not food. It’s death…slowly waiting to eat you.
#2. I eat organic because it’s better.
It’s better for me. It’s better for you. It’s better in nutrition and if we’re being completely honest, it’s better in price. Do you know the going price of diabetes, obesity, or irritable bowel disease these days? Keep eating non-organic and you’ll eventually find out.
I know … you read an article on NPR about how organic food may not be healthier for you and you’ve been poisoned with the faulty belief that GMO foods are equal or better in nutrients, but it isn’t and they’re not. Organic produce is significantly higher in all essential nutrients (according to a review of 343 studies) like iron, chromium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, molybdenum, potassium, zinc, flavonoids, polyphenols, phenolic acids, and anthocyanins, antioxidants, and protein; are lower in (or void of) pesticides, herbicides, and Bt toxin; and are higher in enzymes (the little workers who help digest your food).
This might not seem like a big deal, until you think about the fact that a deficiency in any one of these nutrients could lead to medical conditions like, infertility, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, skin problems, baldness, neurological issues, thyroid conditions, depression, and crohn’s disease and could trigger gene expression.
#3. I eat organic because I’m not down with pesticides and herbicides.
Think about it. A pesticide is a chemical used to destroy insects that harm plants and herbicides are used to kill unwanted plants. It all sounds very charming in theory until you see the picture of the guy in a hazmat suit spraying it on and the studies that show pesticides and herbicides don’t just evaporate when they’re done fighting crime. They stick to your food and they stick to your gut. They leach into your ground water, sink into your skin, and find their way into your lungs every time you breathe the air near a conventional field. Don’t believe me? Get your pesticide levels checked and see for yourself.
Studies done by the Neurotoxicology and Teratoxicology and Environmental Health Perspectives showed that women exposed to pesticides in early pregnancy were more likely to have children with neurodevelopment issues and sons with impaired fertility. A review done by the International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health suggests that pesticide exposure could cause female infertility, stillbirth, congenital malformations, and musculoskeletal and nervous system defects. The Annals of Environmental and Agricultural Medicine stated that pesticides are carcinogenic and can cause skin diseases, and a senior research scientist at MIT believes that glyphosate (from round-up) is partly responsible for the unprecedented numbers of autism and neurological disorders.
Numerous studies have detected both pesticides and glyphosate in the cord blood of infants and even the World Health Organization has developed the surprising where-with-all to acknowledge that glyophosate is probably carcinogenic to humans. (For more super awesome facts and studies, stalk this website.)
Sure, you’ll find some “studies” that compare the safety of glyphosate to puppy kisses but they’re on Monsanto’s website and remember, this is the same company that told us Agent Orange, PCBs, and DDT were safe. Their “safety assessments” are about as accurate as that rumor you heard from your best friend’s sister’s neighbor’s mother’s 10th cousin from Siberia.
#4. I eat organic because I don’t trust the biotech or chemical industries with the health of myself or my children.
Any company that isn’t confident enough in the safety of their products to label them and sinks millions of dollars into preventing it can’t be trusted. At least sixty-four countries require labeling of GM food and the land of the free isn’t one of them. It’s not hard to see why, if it were labeled, fewer people would choose it.
The New Scientist reported that GM peas caused allergic lung damage in mice. GM potatoes may cause cancer in rats. Bacteria in your gut can take up DNA from GM food. GM foods can cause infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, bowel disease, cancer, and diabetes in both animals and humans. Bt crops cause skin, respiratory, and intestinal disease. Animals fed round-up ready anything develop liver, pancreas, and testicular problems … if they were lucky enough to not be one of the many animals who keeled over dead.
I have to admit I was suspect, until I developed Crohn’s disease and broke out in hives whenever I ate genetically modified corn or anything sprayed with a pesticide. Even though what you eat “supposedly” has nothing to do with your health condition, going organic healed mine.
#5. I eat organic because it is the only form of agricultural that can sustain the world.
Don’t you know, we need genetically modified foods because it’s the only way to feed our growing population (said the industry who made that line up to create a market for their products)? Actually, our world population is on the decline and even it is wasn’t, I’m not interested in just “keeping people alive.” I’m concerned with the quality of the lives they’ll live, the quality and sustainability of our soil, our animals (who are biologically designed to consume grass … not GMO grains), biodiversity of crops, bees, the environment, and the rising cost of healthcare.
#6. I support “Big Organic” and am happy to give them my money.
What? That’s blasphemous. You can’t support anything “Big” these days. Actually you can. There are no downsides to eating organic and the bigger this movement gets, the better it is for all of us. More people eating organic, means more companies making organic, more stores selling organic, more choices, and better prices. “Big Organic” may be bad for Big Pharma, Big Biotech, and Big Government, but what’s bad for them is good for us, at least in this case.
It all comes down to this…
I want to eat an apple that has the ability to turn brown, grains without Bt toxin, produce without pesticides or herbicides, tomatoes and strawberries without fish genes, salmon without growth hormone, and goat’s milk from goats without spider genes. Is that too much to ask?
I don’t just eat organic because it’s cool. I eat organic because it’s healthier, more sustainable, cheaper, better, and smarter than loading up and chowing down on chemically doused, genetically modified, whatever it is they’re trying to pass off as “natural” food these days.