As we grow older, we become more and more conscious about our health. Health and ageing become two of our major concerns.
To go organic or not – that was the concern raised in my last get-together with my friends. True, going organic has numerous health benefits but it is also more expensive. I guess the question should be – is it really worth the expense?
Organic pertains to the way the food was grown. Each country has specific regulations on how organic food is to be produced. Organic products refer to the food produced without the use of synthetic fertilisers, harmful pesticides or bioengineered genes (GMOs). Organic farming uses natural pesticides.
Organic livestock production takes into consideration the animal welfare. The animals are given organic food and they have access to the outdoors. In addition these animals are not given antibiotics nor growth hormones.
While the use of chemicals increase the yields produced, they are also harmful not just to the environment but to the body as well. Numerous studies have linked the use of these chemicals to allergies, birth defects, infertility, liver and kidney damage and cancer. By eating organic foods, you will have a stronger and healthier body because you are freeing yourself from harmful chemicals. It also more nutritious and tastes better.
Organic products are different from locally-produced or home grown products. Organic food follows certain standards while locally-produced simply means it is produced in your country, province, or area. It may or may not be organic.
So, is it worth it? If you have the money to spare, by all means buy organic food especially meats and dairy products.
Organic is still the best choice because it is not only good for the environment, it is good for your body too.
However, for those who are on a budget, here are a few tips on how you can lessen your exposure on harmful chemicals on food:
1. Familiarize Yourself on the Pesticide Levels on Food
Not all food have the same pesticide levels. Some have higher pesticides than others. Buy organic only on those that use more pesticide.
2. Shop at Farmers or Organic Markets
Almost all cities host small or weekend markets that sell organic produced. They are the best places to buy organic produce at discounted prices.
3. Buy in Season
Buying fruits and vegetables in season is not only good for you but for your wallet as well. This means the food is harvested at the correct time when the quality is up. You get the best tasting and the most nutritious food and it is cheap too because there are more supplies in the market.
4. Wash the Food Thoroughly Before Eating
Although washing will not completely eliminate the pesticides, it will succeed in reducing it. Some argued that it is better to peel off the skin. While peeling the skin may remove the chemicals, unfortunately, it will also remove the vitamins, minerals, fibres and antioxidants found on the peels. That is why is best to eat your fruits and vegetables unpeeled.
5. Plant your Own
The best way to make sure that you are eating organic produce is to plant your own. Turn your backyard into your own organic garden.