How Much Do You Value Your Health?

Welcome back to Green Leaf Organics!

It has become very apparent that many people thinking about making the transition to organic products have stopped themselves due a lack of convenience, an overpricing of products, and a confusion as to what is really organic. Which leads me to this weeks question: How much do you value your health?

guyshopping

Yes, organic foods have become very popular over the last few years, but the navigation of various food labels, benefits and claims from different companies can be mind-boggling. It is important to be in the know and be able to determine what really is organic, from what a company is “claiming” to be organic.

“100% Organic” – Can only contain organically produced ingredients, and will contain either the USDA Organic Seal or the Canadian Organic Seal.

“Organic” – Must contain a minimum of 95% organically produced ingredients. They are also permitted to display the organic seals, and must list the non-organic products on the backing of the packages.

“Made with Organic XXXX” – Must contain a minimum of 70% organically produced ingredients. They are NOT permitted to display the organic seals.

Any products containing less than 70% organically produced ingredients cannot display the organic seals and may NOT use the term “organic” on the front label.

The Benefits of Organic Food:

Those of you with severe allergies: don’t you want to experience your allergies lessening? Studies have shown that people with allergies to foods, chemicals or preservatives find their symptoms lessen or completely disappear when eating only organic foods. Organic foods have more beneficial nutrients than their conventionally-grown competitors. How our food products are grown has a major impact on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

As I discussed in my previous blog post, organic food production contains fewer pesticides, and is better for our environment, water quality, soil health, and air. In addition to this, organically raised animals are NOT given any antibiotics, growth hormones, or fed any byproducts. According to the National Institute of Medicine, 80% of all antibiotics sold in Canada and the US are used in livestock feed. The use of antibiotics in animal feed has lead to humans being antibiotic-resistant, causing a decrease in recovery from certain human diseases and illnesses. But it doesn’t stop there. The use of antibiotics and growth hormones has shown to lead to:

  • early puberty development in young girls
  • increased risk of breast cancer
  • increased risk of prostate cancer

Experts at Cornell University suggest increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, as they contain many important antioxidants. They also suggest limiting your meat intake and switching to lean meat, as these cuts will contain lower percentages of byproducts and hormones (if you are not going to switch to organic). If you are going to transition to organic meat products, limiting the amount of meat you eat will help save money.

Now, not all conventionally-grown food products are dangerous. There are some non-organic products that are relatively safe. “The Environmental Working Group”, a non-profit organization that I have found extremely useful, updates their list on a regular basis after analyzing government pesticide testing. They list the most important products to buy organic, along with the products that are safe to be purchased non-organic.

Find these lists here: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/organic-foods.htm

Here are a few tips to keep the cost of buying organic products low:

organic-lunch-salad-farmers-market-lake-tahoe

  • Shop at a Farmer’s market
  • Join a co-op (low priced organic foods are offered to members, who pay an annual fee)
  • Buy in seasons (fruits & veggies are cheapest when they are in season)
  • Lower your meat intake (organic or not, meat does not need to be consumed on a daily basis)
  • Shop around!!!! Take a look at the same products at a few different places before making your purchases.

Farmer’s Markets Ontario provide information about all of the farmer’s markets throughout Ontario, including their locations. (http://www.farmersmarketsontario.com/)

With my busy schedule, food has become such an important staple in my life. With the proper nutrition and nutrient based products, I can be fueled and feeling full of energy throughout my long days. The products I consume are not an area of my life that I am willing to cheap out on. If you value your health, begin your transition!

Thanks for reading,

Katie 🙂

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3 thoughts on “How Much Do You Value Your Health?

  1. Katie,
    I remember when my son was young, I use to feed him only organic foods. I soon realized that the food that I was purchasing was only 70-80% organic. I was so confused by it because the product label said organic. It turned me off completely and made me feel as though nothing is 100% organic. It is now good to know that there are companies out there that are 100% organic. Thanks for your very informative post.

    Like

  2. Katie,

    I am loving your blog posts! I’ve never been overly interested in eating organic foods simply because of the price (which I said in my last comment, and you noted in your post), however, I am highly considering making it part of my lifestyle because of your posts. I appreciate the informative tone that you reproduce throughout your blog, and find that I am learning so much just in a few paragraphs. “How much do you value your health?” really stuck out to me, because everybody wants to be healthy. Everybody wants to eat well, be in shape and be happy, but not everybody acts on those desires for whatever reason. I think that eating organically may be one step in the right direction to improving my overall health, and further encourage me to think about what I’m eating before I consume it. Great post!

    Like

  3. Katie,

    I really appreciated hearing about your tips for eating organically. I think supporting Ontario’s farmers markets is a great way for achieving an organic and overall healthier diet. Also, I think its time I start listening to my mom more… considering the study made by Cornell University confirms what my mom has been telling me my entire life: that we should eat more fruit and vegetables as they contain important antioxidants. Although I should consume more organic produce, I’m glad that at least my limited diet of meat correlates with Cornell Universitys’ suggestion.

    Great Post!

    Like

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