Eating Organic and Local
Based on my experience and personal observation, it’s my true belief that in order to attain and maintain good health, we need to start with good food prepared with fresh and seasonal organic ingredients. It’s essential to eat a balanced diet made of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and some kind of protein either vegetable (tofu, seitan, tempeh, beans) or animal (meat, fish and dairies) based, but what is as important nowadays [with GMOs, pesticides, intensive agriculture techniques, added ingredients such as fillers, stabilizers, preservatives, etc.] is to keep your eyes wide open on the quality of what you eat, and where it was produced. Reading labels, and knowing where your food is coming from – as much as possible – is a good habit to start eating healthier.
Here’s an article about “what, how and why” from the Website (http://www.eattasteheal.com/WhyOrganic/ETH_organic.htm) of an amazing Ayurvedic cooking book that I highly recommend “Eat Taste Heal”, and that goes beyond simple recipes:
3 Reasons to Buy Organically
1.) Organic Foods are Better for You
Organic foods are grown in bio-diverse soil that is rich in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients. Recent studies suggest that the nutrient levels in conventionally grown foods, by contrast, have declined over the past twenty-five years as fertile topsoil has eroded.
Currently, little long-term research has been conducted comparing the nutritional contents of organic versus conventionally grown foods. A study in the Journal of Applied Nutrition, however, suggests that organic foods are higher in several essential nutrients. In comparing conventionally grown apples, potatoes, pears, wheat, and sweet corn over a two-year period, the study found that organically grown foods averaged 63 percent higher in calcium, 73 percent higher in iron, 118 percent higher in magnesium, 60 percent higher in zinc and 29 percent lower in mercury than the conventionally raised foods.
According to Ayurveda, organic foods also contain a higher concentration of energy orprana, thus nourishing both mind and body on deeper levels. In eating organic food, you can also feel safe knowing you’re eating clean, vibrant food.
2.) You Support a Healthier Environment
Organic farming is a reciprocal process: We take care of the land and the land takes care of us. This arrangement is in harmony with an understanding of the interconnectedness of all life.
Conventional farming treats land as a commodity. Vegetables are likened to money springing up from the soil. Thousands of consecutive acres are typically planted with the same crop, without giving the soil a chance to regenerate between harvests. This type of mono-crop farming has resulted in depleted topsoil and a consequential deficiency of vital nutrients in our food supply.
When we choose to eat organic foods, on the other hand, we celebrate a natural cycle of life that has taken place for millennia. We also support a sustainable farming method that will allow this cycle to continue for millennia to come.
3.) You Support the Small Farmer
Farming has traditionally been a great art form—women and men living in accordance with nature, getting to know the ins and outs of every plant and season. Over the last three decades, however, multinational corporations have virtually wiped out this ancient tradition. Today, for example, five companies account for 90 percent of the food consumed in the United States.
Organic farming has given rise to a new era of small farmers. A common misconception about these farmers is that the higher retail prices of organic foods bring them great wealth. In reality, most organic farmers work at much smaller, less cost-effective scales and therefore don’t enjoy the same profit margins as larger companies.
Another common misconception holds that organic foods cost significantly more than conventionally grown foods. Some people claim they’d love to buy organic foods, but they can’t afford to double their grocery bills. In reality, prices for organics are closer to 15 to 25 percent higher on average than their conventionally produced counterparts. Fresh produce and dairy products, however, may be higher, depending on the store and season.
One way you can verify this for yourself is to price five regular items in your supermarket against comparable items in the health food aisle of the store (or in your local health food store). You may find that you can only afford select organic items. This is fine. Even buying one organic staple each week represents a conscious decision to improve the quality of the food you eat. One way to cut prices dramatically is to buy directly from your local farmers. Often, you will end up paying less than you would for conventionally grown items. As organic farming becomes more widespread, the prices of these foods should also drop, making them available to a broader spectrum of society.
Through buying organic foods, you directly support the small farmer. Even if you buy items from a larger organic food company, you still support organic farming as a movement. This, in turn, helps small organic farmers, since larger companies frequently will also buy their raw materials from a number of smaller producers. As organic foods have grown in popularity, however, huge conglomerates have begun to create subsidiaries dedicated to tapping into this profitable market. If you prefer not to support such conglomerates, do a little research to determine what companies are behind the products you’re buying.