Organic Food – Non-Organic vs. Organic

Category: Articles, Blog • Feb 9 2015

Organic Food – It has it’s own section in most every grocery store.  Headlines take over the importance to eat organic more so now than ever before.  And what’s more, it appears that some people are unclear on what it is.  I wanted to take a moment to clear that up.
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Organic Food – Non-Organic vs. Organic

The Veggies

Organic food must be produced in a method that meets the requirements set forth in the Organic Foods Production Act.  Organic foods are produced in such as way as to be friendly to the earth and more beneficial to the health of the people eating the food.  Organic foods are grown without pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers.  The soil they are grown on must be free of these toxic chemicals for at least 3 years before crops can be planted.  In addition, the crops are often rotated year to year.  Rotating crops means the farmer is changing the location of the crops on the farm from year to year.  The reason for this is, certain crops deplete the soil of certain vitamins and minerals and other crops can actually add certain vitamins and minerals to the soil.  By rotating crops, you are creating a more nutrient-rich soil.  Plants and fruits get most of their nutrients from the soil.  The better the soil the more nutritious the plant, fruit or animal.

Organic Livestock

Organic live stock (animals) must eat organic feed to be called “organic”  They must also not be fed, growth promoters, hormones and plastic pellets for roughage.  Did I say, “plastic pellets” are fed to animals for roughage?  Yes I did!  When I read that, it literally blew my mind.  I would never want to eat plastic.   However, if I’m eating an animal that just ate plastic, I’m eating plastic.  “Hey Rob, would you like the plastic or whole grain bun with that burger?”

So how does this differ from traditional store-bought food?

Ultimately, organic farming produces nutrient-rich soil.  Store-bought crops can be sprayed with a variety of toxic pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers.  These toxins can get into your body and wreak havoc.  Some of these toxins have been associated with weight gain, hormonal imbalances, fatigue and cancer.  In addition, there are preservatives in “regular” food to help extend shelf-life.  Extended shelf-life means more product sold, which of course means, greater profits.  It also means we get to consume lots of preservatives.  The point is, food by definition is supposed to sustain your life.  It’s supposed to provide you with energy.  And I don’t understand how us eating pesticides and other chemicals is supposed to accomplish that.

Now what about, “natural?”

Well, natural means coming from nature.  There are a lot of things that are found in nature that I don’t want to necessarily put in my mouth.
The question I get most often from patients is, “Do I have to eat 100% organic?”  The answer to this question is “no.”  Basically, we are all busy and we all run around throughout the day.  I try to eat as much organic as possible, but come on, we have to be practical.  I think if you are eating 50% of your meals as organic you are doing very well for yourself.  If you can do more that’s great, but 50% is a good number.

The List

Below is a list of foods that you should try to eat organic.  I’ve also provided another list where it’s okay to eat non-organic.  If money is tight, then focus on eating only the approved non-organic foods.

Foods Okay To Eat Non-Organic

Avocados
Sweet corn
Pineapples
Cabbage
Sweet peas (frozen)
Onions
Asparagus
Mangoes
Papayas
Kiwi
Eggplant
Grapefruit
Cantaloupe (domestic)
Cauliflower
Sweet potatoes

Foods That You Should Really Try to Eat Organic

Apples
Strawberries
Grapes
Celery
Peaches
Spinach
Sweet bell peppers
Nectarines (imported)
Cucumbers
Cherry tomatoes
Snap peas (imported)
Potatoes

The following contain organophosphate insecticides, which EWG characterizes as “highly toxic” and of special concern.  I would only eat the below two foods in the organic form:

Hot peppers
Blueberries (domestic)

Well, I hope this helped clear things up on organic food.  I wish you all lots of the health and happiness.
Much love,
Dr. Rob

 

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