Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Importance of Organic Foods

This is probably one of the easiest things you can do for your health.  The only thing many people know about organic foods is that they are expensive.  You can't directly see the benefit they have on your body, but yet you are paying more for them.  So the question is... Why should I buy organic foods?  

Foods that are not organic contain pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and other harmful chemicals that we may not even know about.  Farmers use these chemicals because they increase the farmers production and productivity.  The farmer does less work and more crops live because the chemicals are doing the work for the farmers.  Farmers have incentives to use chemicals to produce as much as possible because they receive government subsidies for the quantity produced.  So the farmer with the most output gets the most money.  As a result, these farmers are able to charge us lower prices; even though, it actually costs more to produce non-organic goods because the farmers have to pay for all of those chemicals they use.  

Organic farmers, on the other hand, do not use these harmful chemicals, and, as a result, they produce less because the chemicals aren't there to keep their entire crop alive.  So since they are producing less, than they receive less money from the government, and, as a result, have to charge us higher prices.  Surprisingly, organic goods are actually cheaper to produce!  They farmers don't have to pay for all those chemicals. 
The question comes down to... why do we want to avoid these chemicals that are in non-organic foods, especially fruits and produce?  The United States Environmental Protection Agency states, "Laboratory studies show that pesticides can cause health problems, such as birth defects, nerve damage, cancer, and other effects that might occur over a long period of time."  Personally, I find it odd that a governmental agency is reporting this, and yet, the government still subsidizes conventional farmers when they should be subsidizing the organic farmers....right?!?! 

One other big reason for me is that organic foods actually taste better!  If you buy the organic Heinz ketchup and compare it to the regular Heinz ketchup, you will taste a huge difference!  Also, organic foods have so much more nutrients because they weren't exposed to the chemicals that kill off a lot of nutrients.  They have more antioxidants and powerful cancer-fighting nutrients.  Organic foods also have higher levels of serotonin, and low levels of serotonin are tied to depression.  So organic foods = more serotonin = happiness!  And the last good reason to buy organic that I will tell you (although the list is endless), and everyone is going to love this, they increase your metabolism!  Research has shown that the chemicals found in pesticides actually slows your metabolism, so the less chemicals you consume, the more you amp up the calories you burn! 

I'm not saying everything you consume has to be organic, but when you have the option to buy organic, I think it is a good idea.  It is more expensive, but you are paying for your health, so that could mean less doctors visits down the road.  And we all know doctors visits and anything that might come with them are definitely more expensive than the extra dollar or two for organic foods.  Check out these videos below for how to shop for organic foods on a budget, how to know if packaged foods are organic, and just another funny perspective on why you should eat organic foods when you can.

With Love, Health, and Happiness,



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