Wednesday, December 14, 2016
WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Why Organic Matters
"We eat every day, and if we do it in a way that doesn't recognize value, it's contributing to the destruction of our culture and agriculture. But if it's done with a focus and care, it can be a wonderful thing. It changes the quality of your life."
While walking on the farm at Osceola Organics recently, the kids and I asked the scientist working with owner Kevin O'Dare what “organic” means. His answer was simple: “Eating food as God made it. Nothing added that was made in a laboratory.”
This explanation was understood by all the children training in our latest class of Nutrition Scientists. Having this clarity makes it easy to make good choices and what questions to ask when purchasing fresh vegetables and fruits. When we discussed the lessons we learned at the farm, all the kids remembered what the scientist had taught them.
According to organic.org, the definition of organic is this: “Simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.”
Organically grown food often has a higher nutritional value than food grown with chemicals and it just tastes better! People will often complain that it is expensive to eat organic. My favorite response is, "Chemotherapy for cancer is more expensive than eating organically."
When you buy foods grown by local farmers or ranchers, it is easy to learn how your food is grown: just ask them! To find the farmers near you, check out www.localharvest.org or click here.
Eating real, organic food changes the quality of your life. Enjoy!
Nancy L. Heinrich, MPH
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.