Here I am again, backtracking a bit. Before we start diving into topics surrounding living an organic lifestyle, we should probably do an overview of why I think “going organic” is important enough to write about. There are several steps you can take to decide if you think eating organic is going to be right for you.
I think the first thing someone should do to find out if they want to eat organic foods or not, is to learn a bit more about where their food comes from. While consumers are becoming more aware and concerned of what is actually in their food, the average individual usually has little or no idea what they are truly eating. Quick, go take a look at the list of ingredients on some food you have lying around the house! If you find things that you cannot pronounce, that is your first clue that it is probably not going to be good for your body. Kinda makes sense, right!
If you find any of the following ten ingredients in your food you should just toss it. Seriously folks, chuck the junk! Or as they say in Texas, chunk it! Below is a list of the top ten worst ingredients out there and should be avoided at all costs.
|Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)||May stimulate appetite & cause headaches, nausea, weakness, wheezing, edema, change in heart rate, burning sensations and difficulty in breathing|
|Artificial Sweeteners||Can negatively impact metabolism. Linked to cancer, headaches, dizziness, & hallucinations.|
|High Fructose Corn Syrup||May predispose the body to turn fructose into fat. Increases risk for type-2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer. Isn’t easily metabolized by the liver.|
|Artificial Food Coloring||Linked to allergic reactions, fatigue, asthma, skin rashes, hyperactivity, and headaches.|
|Benzoate Preservatives (BHT, BHA, TBHQ)||May result in hyperactivity, angiodema, asthma, rhinitis, dermatitis, tumors, and urticaria. Can affect estrogen balance and levels.|
|Sodium Nitrite and Nitrate||Can combine with chemicals in stomach to form nitrosamines – a carcinogen.|
|Refined Vegetable Oil||Increases triglycerides and cholesterol. Can damage liver, testicles, thyroid, heart and kidneys.|
|Artificial Flavorings||Linked to allergic reactions, dermatitis, eczema, hyperactivity and asthma. Can affect enzymes, RNA, and thyroid.|
|Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH)||“rBGH milk” contains high levels of insulin – like growth factor (IGF-1), excess levels of which have been implicated as a major cause of breast, colon , and prostate cancers. Giving cows rBGH has been shown to increase the incidence of mastitis. When a cow has mastitis, pus and blood are secreted into the milk.|
|Potassium Bromate||Has been shown to cause cancer in animals, is banned in EU, Canada and several other countries. Bromide is considered to be an endocrine disruptor.|
Now that you know what to avoid, you should also be aware of the living conditions of the animals that you consume. Some of the conditions are downright horrifying, and we can no longer be ignorant of this situation. The pictures below give me the shudders and I cannot actually believe we are treating animals in this way. Imagine being penned in an enclosure just barely bigger than the size of your body for your whole life. This is not only unsanitary, but simply unacceptable.
If you purchase free range USDA Organic Meat you can be assured that you are not supporting the pictures above. Free Range Organic Meat means the producer of an organic livestock operation must establish and maintain year-round livestock living conditions which accommodate the health and natural behavior of animals.(2) The requirements are extremely strict, and they should be. If we, as consumers, stop supporting factory farms, then they will be forced to either go out of business or adopt the Free Range principles. Please consider paying a few extra dollars to ensure that this type of treatment comes to an end.
To wrap up this post on a lighter note please check out the video below. You can also find it on Chipotle’s website, but I feel like it sums up this blog post rather well.
Happy Label Reading!