I remind my clients all the time, that eating organic doesn’t only ensure you are avoiding pesticides/herbicides/fungicides damaging to your health and environment, but you are voting with your dollars and supporting organic farming every time you go food shopping.
But there is so much more to the equation. How and where your food is grown deeply matters in terms of the nutrient value it provides to your body. The notion of “a tomato is a tomato” and “an orange is an orange” could’t be further from the truth.
While our fruits and veggies may (large scale) offer similar nutrient profiles, there are several factors that determine the specific nutrient density for any given food. Qualities like:
- geographic location
- seed health
- organic vs. conventional (sprays etc.)
- transportation methods
- and so much more
Manufacturers of chemical sprays and GMO seeds want us to believe that conventional farming methods which dominate today’s farming norm are feeding the world and producing more crop yields. They want us to think that the nutritional value is the same as it always was (same as the organic competitor) and that these seeds, sprays and farming methods pose no risk whatsoever to our health.
Yet, today we are facing widespread fertility and endocrine issues (namely thyroid imbalances) ever increasing allergies and immune malfunctions along with super bugs and skin eating bacterias. While I am not making the tie direct to these farming methods, or to the degradation of our food supply via these farming practices …there has been numerous studies linking GMO foods and chemical sprays to a variety of health conditions.
Nonetheless, it remains scary to me that according to the US Department of Agriculture, more than 90% of ALL soybeans and about 80% of ALL corn comes from seeds genetically altered and heavily sprayed. Scarier, is these two foods are in just about every packaged food found in today’s supermarket. Scariest, is the remaining farmers of our nation are slowly being economically forced into accepting government subsidies to grow these crops – despite the mass surplus.
P.S. – Soy grown in this fashion is extremely damaging to the endocrine system, and in my opinion a root cause of the rampant increase of thyroid imbalances in America.
Bottom line: there is an illusion of cheap that has happened to our modern day supermarket. We think the cheap tomato is the same as the expensive tomato and that paying a few dollars more for organic produce “isn’t worth it”.
Today we can buy a fast food MEAL for less than an organic head of kale and many people don’t know how to escape that food trap. What ends up happening is a cycle of poor food choices based on economics – and that is simply not fair. In America we have a false conception that “more, bigger and faster – is better.” We have this tremendous excess of corn and soy that has become quite the efficient process for farming practices, yet the entire process proves inefficient to our health and environment: fossil fuels, chemical sprays, pesticides, herbicides that DEPLETE the quality of our soil.
And when it comes to nutrients in our food, it’s all about the soil.
So when I found this video circulating around the web, I was reminded not only about the few points I mention in this article, but the deep need to rediscover the value and quality of our food. We take things for granted, we take nature for granted.
It is true, conventionally grown produce is often times cheaper…and as with most things, you get what you pay for.
Many conventionally grown produce is sprayed with multiple chemicals (like Bud Nip, mentioned in the video above) which inhibit a crops natural ability to do what it can and should do as a living organsim.In the case of Bud Nip, it completely disables a potato from sprouting. As a not so cool side note, below is a little ditty on Bud Nip extracted from a pesticide information profile from Cornell University:
“Bud Nip (Chlorpropham) is a plant growth regulator used for preemergence control of grass weeds in alfalfa, lima and snap beans, blueberries, cane berries, carrots, cranberries, ladino clover, garlic, seed grass, onions, spinach, sugar beets, tomatoes, safflower, soybeans, gladioli and woody nursery stock. It is also used to inhibit potato sprouting and for sucker control in tobacco (1). Chlorpropham may cause irritation of the eyes or skin (2). Symptoms of poisoning in laboratory animals have included listlessness, incoordination, nose bleeds, protruding eyes, bloody tears, difficulty in breathing, prostration, inability to urinate, high fevers, and death. Autopsies of animals have shown inflammation of the stomach and intestinal lining, congestion of the brain, lungs and other organs, and degenerative changes in the kidneys and liver (2) Chronic exposure of laboratory animals has caused retarded growth, increased liver, kidney and spleen weights, congestion of the spleen and death (2). (4). Long-term exposure to chlorpropham may cause adverse reproductive effects (2). Chlorpropham may cross the placenta (2)” (source)
So, does organic matter? You decide. Keep in mind this is just ONE of many sprays used in farming.
To get more informed about the pesticides on YOUR produce and to stay educated about which conventionally grown products you should avoid (and which are the cleanest) make certain to check out the Environmental Working Group’s FREE Shoppers Guide HERE.
Most importantly, to source the best organic food grown closest to YOU, as well as local farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area to buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies – check out LocalHarvest.org