I wanted to get a little knowledge under my belt before discussing the topic, organic foods. I wrote about GMO’s last week and I felt that organic foods and GMO’s go hand in hand. So why do we prefer organic products over regular products? Because research has shown that foods treated with synthetic pesticides can be carcinogenic – which cause cancer. In my research I stumbled across an interesting article written for the Elephant Journal website, Eating Organic may be Harmful—The Truth Behind Organic Produce by Doug Smith http://www.elephantjournal.com/ If you can get past the title there is some very good information to be found. I’ve always been a little skeptical seeing the “organic” label in all grocery stores now. At first it was exciting to see my local grocery stores toting “organic” products. Then I started seeing “organic” labels on a lot of products mostly produce in all stores in their own organic section. This isn’t a bad thing; it means there is a need.
I am getting smarter about asking questions and doing my research. Especially if it’s something I’m interested in. I don’t think organic has a specific definition. I’m beginning to find out that it just depends who’s calling it organic. For example, I really believe the produce is different when you purchase it from your local health food store, like the La Montanita Co-op in Albuquerque vs. the “organic” section at Wal-Mart. According to Smith’s article, just because it says organic doesn’t mean it hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides. Organic farms are able to use “natural” pesticides. And from Smith’s research, the FDA and USDA are finding that these natural pesticides can be as carcinogenic as synthetic pesticides. So how do you know what is truly an organic product? Or where can you buy the best organic foods? Check out La Montanita’s Produce Mission Statement, at least their being honest. And just below that is their take on “What Does “Organically Grown” Really Mean?
So again, I’m here to share information and do a little research for you but it is up to you to ask the questions and find out more. I understand buying organic can be expensive and that in itself can be a challenge. Obviously the best produce to eat is the stuff we grow ourselves. More reason to find out if there is a community garden in your neighborhood. If you live in a city, chances are there is. And yes, not everyone is fortunate enough to have time to garden or even want to but we all want to be healthy – so shop at your local farmers market and ask questions. Or next time you buy organically grown produce at the grocery store, look at the label and see where it came from.