Monday, March 23, 2009

The importance of eating organic

In my last post I talked a bit about organic and local food. Everyone probably knows by now the importance of eating organic, but I thought it might be helpful to be a tad more specific. Not only is your food going to be better for you as organic fruits and vegetables retain more nutrients, but it's healthier because you're NOT ingesting all the pesticides and nasties that non-organic food is sprayed, grown, or produced with. PLUS, you're helping the environment as you're supporting organic farming methods that do not pollute the soil and wildlife. Further, you're NOT supporting or contributing to the negative health effects that farmers, their families, and workers can experience by breathing in all of the pesticides and chemicals that conventional farms use.

So, the benefits of eating organic go beyond you and your family's health, which is something really important to remember! It's especially important for anything babies and children eat to be organic because they are more sensitive to pesticides and their developing organs are less able to get rid of the toxins and chemicals. This very much applies to pregnant women or anyone with a decreased immune system as well, but we strongly believe it's best for everyone! Plus, it just tastes better! :)

Now in regard to local, I LOVE grocery stores like Central Market and Whole Foods that list where the produce is from as it's something very important to also consider. Do your local stores do this? There are alot of opinions out there about organic vs. locally grown in regards to the environment. Many say, and I would have to agree, that locally grown is better for the EARTH than organic produce shipped to the U.S. all the way from South America, because your carbon footprint is MUCH less. BUT, organic is better for YOU and your health, so it's a toss-up. Organic AND locally-grown would be IDEAL, but that's not always available, but certainly check places like your local farmer's market for this perfect combination.

Ok and obviously, if you can just walk out your door and pick your organic vegetables from your own garden then that is the absolute healthiest and most green option! We do this with herbs and arugula currently and it's such a joy. We have plans for some more vegetables this season and then big plans for the future, which we'll share with you along the way whenever we're able to make it happen. With the pictured arugula gathered recently from our yard my Love made a delicious pesto - YUM!

Also, keep in mind, it is ideal for all of this to apply to non-produce food as's always best to buy organic beans, meat, dairy, nuts, grains, breads, oils, condiments, and so on and on. By buying organic everything, you're ensuring to the best of your ability that you and your family's bodies are not ingesting chemicals, hormones, preservatives, dyes, and so forth, not to mention the positive environmental effects.

If you're not able to make your diet 100% organic just yet, then I would urge you to try to buy at least all of these things organic, which is a great list I ran across awhile back. These are especially important to buy organic because they retain more of the pesticides and whatnot than other food. If you can't buy them organic, I would suggest not buying them at all and getting something else. I felt it was going to be too long and overwhelming to include HOW we do 100% organic within this post as well, so I'll save that for next time...Until then! Have a great Monday.

UPDATE: Michelle Obama broke ground last Friday on a White House kitchen garden!!!! YEA!!! What a dream. The garden is going to have greens, vegetables, fruit, and herbs...and two beehives as well! Pretty cool. Mrs. Obama talks about how her family has had plans for such a garden since they first moved in and notes that her girls are more likely to try something if they have been involved in the planting, caring, and picking of it. Alice Waters is quoted a little bit at the end of the article and I'm sure she is just am I!! According to this article, the organic seedlings to be planted are from the Executive Mansion greenhouses and the raised beds will be fertilized with White House compost, crab meal, lime, and green sand! The total cost of the seeds, mulch, and everything was just $200. I really look forward to seeing more on this, the impact it has, and the importance of organic and local food from the Obama's. Thank you Heather Jane for sharing the first article!


Anonymous said...

Great post! I am so excited about the WH garden... will be fun to watch!

Maria Rose said...

Great post. I have been even more aware of what I eat, now that I am growing a little baby.

PS~Erin said...

I needed to read this today (and your previous post)... We are struggling with our budget and I needed to read this again this very moment to justify some of our choices. Thanks for the extra umph and motivation!

Erin said...

i'm so bummed that my alaska town, juneau, only has a small market that's similar to my much loved whole foods and trader jo's. But yeah to safeway and other major chains for providing their own organic line of goods and produce. although sometimes not as 'organic' as a farmer's market or whole's better than nothing. in alaska it's allllmost garden time, still have a month or two yet. take care down there!

heather jane said...

Isn't it just the coolest? real blog is here:

Just in case you're wondering why I have a blank blog listed. Sort of strange, I know.

I need to get that sewhappyjane blog linked up.

Jessica said...

I just had a long convo at work during lunch about eating organic. I could have saved my breath and printed out your post. I completely agree!