I feel like that’s a question so many of us have had or do have, amongst a lot of other “versus” out there and it’s hard to decifer your way through all of them. Plus, a lot of the news you hear is coming at you from both sides, so doing the research can be hard to understand and time consuming when we already live in a crazy, not-enough-time world.
Honestly, I didn’t really go the whole organic route because, frankly I couldn’t afford it. But now that my focus really is all about food and nutrition, I’ve taken some time to understand many things and my tune has changed. I’m actually finding that going organic really isn’t much more expensive than what I’ve been buying already. Fortunately, Colorado in general has amazing produce, much of it local and other locally sourced products that are at our finger tips, which makes it really easy to shop. I’ve found that shopping between Natural Grocers, Sprouts, Trader Joes and Vitamin Cottage, I can find most of the food I need to by at relatively the same price as if I were to purchase non-organic. I will say that I spend a little more time than I’d like in the store comparing prices, but honestly by doing this I know that what I’m spending is relatively equal and my mind’s at ease knowing I’m feeding myself and husband quality food.
One of my classmates posted this short video about a family who transitioned from non-organic foods to all organic for two weeks and the outcomes were truly astonishing. I know for me, it makes a big difference to see numbers, graphs, testimonies and living proof as to why I should make a change and this video gives just that.
Even if you can’t afford to go ALL organic (which I totally can not), you can follow the Clean Fifteen-Dirty Dozen rule when shopping for produce. This is a handy sheet to bring with you shopping to help guide you in the pesticide-free direction. This is the most up-to-date list from the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Their site also has other great insight into current health and environmental issues, new research, consumer guides, and much more. Be sure to check it out; it’s a great resource to stay on top of what’s going on around us.
That brings us to the other hot topic of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). They’re organisms whose genetic material is artificially altered in a lab in order to be resistant to direct administration of herbicides and/or to produce insecticides. It’s not natural, normal or safe, to say the least, and they are extremely limited if not banned in 60 other countries. Unfortunately, the U.S. has not yet jumped on that band wagon, because the studies that are being conducted are those funded by corporations that created them and profit off them (Shocker!).
More and more studies are coming out about the adverse effects of GMOs on human health. Some of them include, infertility, food allergies, DNA transfers, birth defects, and cancer. Monsanto, the leading company of GMOs, continues to further poison innocent people with their “RoundUp Ready” crops that are continually sprayed with herbicides containing a dangerous ingredient called Glyphosate. And just when we thought we were safe, even some non-GMO products such as sugar, wheat, garbanzo beans, lentils, flax, and potatoes are given a “special” dose of glyphosate as a “ripening” agent. The key here is to buy these products organic to avoid this toxic herbicide.
The Non-GMO Project are retailers that have taken it upon themselves to label foods that have gone through rigourous testing under standards set forth by European Union. They believe that we have the right to know whether or not our foods contain GMOs and so they are doing just that! Their website also has a great resource page to help you identify non-GMO choices from baby foods to non-dairy alternatives to body care products to oils/condiments, and etc.
The most common GMOs are soy (a vegans best-friend), cotton, canola (don’t buy anyways!!!), corn, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, alfalfa, and squash (zucchini and yellow). Make sure that when you are buying these items and the other items listed above you’re going organic and looking for the stamp of approval from the Non-GMO Project —————–>
I know, I know. It was a lot for me in the beginning too. Although much of this information is an overload, it’s important to be educated on because ultimately it’s effecting all of us. Even if you make a small change, you’re doing yourself and your family a service in the long run.