Friday, July 30, 2010

fitness friday: organics

my approach to a lot of things is that the natural way is better
(although the jury is still out on childbirth. we'll see how i feel about that when i'm in labor one of these days!)

food is my main soapbox on the natural, non-processed way though.

don't get me wrong. i'll eat (organic, all-beef or turkey) hot dogs with the kids on occasion. sometimes to save time i'll eat processed food, although i DO try to make it natural or organic to at least feel better about the processing :)

but as far as my fruits and vegetables, dairy products and meats...
unless i'm eating out or at someone else's house
it's at least 90% organic
(allowing a 10% margin for those rare occasions that i can't find an organic product that i need for a recipe)

here's a couple of reasons why:

for me, i look at it with a spiritual context. if my body is a temple, do i really want to be shoveling crap in it all day long? do i want to put pesticides, preservatives, and other MAN-made chemicals in my body when on the flip side i could pay a few extra dollars to eat food the way God made it?

when i first started buying organic fruits, vegetables and milk, i balked a bit at the price tag. then i gave myself the "my body is a temple and this temple is going to try it for a few weeks and see what happens" talk. and a few amazing things happened.

-- my energy level went up
-- my body just FELT better
-- food tasted better
-- and my grocery bill remained about the same as it had been
(because i began craving the GOOD food and stopped buying the processed and boxed food...and the price tag of those boxes and cans is actually higher in most cases than buying fresh and natural ingredients. oh, and trader joe's helped :)

for a long time i stuck with the fruits, veggies and milk
then i snuck cheese into the equation
and finally meat. meat was my hold-out because, really IS expensive to get organic meat.
(thank you again, trader joe. it's not THAT expensive there)

sometimes i don't have time to get to trader joe's and will buy conventional meat at the grocery. honestly, that probably stops after i write this post. there are organic options at publix and kroger...or i can suck it up and eat something that doesn't require meat for the meal i'm buying for!

do i say all this to change your mind?
but with all sincerity, i think we all have to make our own decisions about this stuff
i just want everyone to make an informed decision
mostly, i just want to help you think.

i know some feel it's not worth the extra money
some think it's just plain stupid or unnecessary
some are on the fence
and some buy into the organics idea but haven't really gotten started

i would encourage you to do what i did if you're considering it at ALL
set a goal (3 weeks, for example) and a specific food group (vegetables, fruits, or dairy are good places to start)
buy 75% organics in that category for 3 weeks

if you can't tell much of a difference in the way your body feels
make a decision based on that (likely to go back to conventional)
if you can't tell much of a difference in your wallet
make a decision based on that (likely to stick with it a little longer and perhaps introduce more organics into your regular shopping)
but if you CAN tell a huge difference
you probably have your answer one way or the other.

don't take my word for it though. check it out for yourself!

※ here's an interesting article on whether organics is "worth it". it's written from a non-biased perspective from what i can tell. (and i'm definitely biased!)

※ here's a good list to help you decide which fruits and vegetables should be bought in organic form, and which are probably not necessary to purchase organically
(you can download a printable version OR an iphone app from that link!)
(more in depth article and more user friendly article both about the dirty dozen)



Brooke said...

as much as i'm into healthy living, this is one area i haven't gotten into. not sure if its my cheap nature of the fact that i grew up knowing that my dad sprayed the veggies in the garden and the fruit trees.

Mattie said...

Great post, Lora! A CSA is a great way to get organic fruit, veggies, meat, eggs, etc. at a savings-since you "buy in" you basically share the bounty if there is a good year for the farm! I use Avalon Acres and you are so right about the difference in taste/quality-their meats are awesome.