My head spins just thinking about all of the choices out there these days. We have to educate ourselves and read labels. Labels do matter and some are regulated and others are not. Let’s dig in…….
Organic, according to the USDA, is defined as:
“Organic agriculture produces products using methods that preserve the environment and avoid most synthetic materials, such as pesticides and antibiotics. USDA organic standards describe how farmers grow crops and raise livestock and which materials they may use.
Organic farmers, ranchers, and food processors follow a defined set of standards to produce organic food and fiber. Congress described general organic principles in the Organic Foods Production Act, and the USDA defines specific organic standards. These standards cover the product from farm to table, including soil and water quality, pest control, livestock practices, and rules for food additives.
Organic farms and processors:
- Preserve natural resources and biodiversity
- Support animal health and welfare
- Provide access to the outdoors so that animals can exercise their natural behaviors
- Only use approved materials
- Do not use genetically modified ingredients
- Receive annual onsite inspections
- Separate organic food from non-organic food”
(http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=organic-agriculture.html, retrieved 2015)
Is it important to get organic everything and break the bank? The short answer is no. Thankfully, the Environmental Working Group has put together and nice list of produce that has the most pesticide residue. This list is helpful when trying to make decisions that will help your wallet while shopping. They also have a handy dandy app that is convenient as well (found here: Dirty Dozen App).
Now lets talk Genetically Modified Organism (GMO’s)! Is it bad or good? It depends on your perspective…I have a watched a few documentaries that have shed light on the negative consequences of GMO’s when it comes to big business driving out small business. Since my background is science, I can see the benefits of trying to produce a super fruit or rice that can be more nutritious to benefit developing countries. On the other hand, I’ve witnessed firsthand the negative affects when man tries to make the next best thing. Medications are just one example of such wonderful discoveries… All you have to do is watch TV long enough to see some Miracle Drug that will promise to cure what ails you until you get to the end of the commercial and in small print is a long list of a hundred different side affects! No thank you!
Medications do save lives, don’t get me wrong. I understand that we need some, if not most, of them. Sometimes I wonder if we put just as much effort, if not more, into our nutrition, could we eliminate some of these medications? After all, these medications were created out of a need to help keep our own diseases in check.
I personally think that we should eat as close to how God created our food source as possible. I do love my cake and cookies and my latte’s from time to time. Im not saying that we have to eat vegan diets (which are great by the way). Rather, God created the animals and the fruit and veggies just fine thank you and I for one will relish in that. I do not want some big business to tell me what to eat to make a buck, only to find 20 years later that…Oh, that GMO rice may cause unwanted facial hair, or you start growing an extra digit, or whatever the side affect may be..Let….. it…… Be. 🙂
Here are a few resources and you can decide for yourself:
I would love to hear your thoughts on the Great GMO debate!