When you head to the grocery store, shopping for products like eggs, meat, fish, milk, and produce can be very tricky. Signs are posted everywhere labeling food as natural, organic, and a number of other things—but what’s the difference, really? Learning what specific names mean can help you decide if you should shell out extra money on a product, whether the nutrition value is better or if it is simply a marketing ploy.
Natural is a term associated with a number of fruit and vegetable product. Typically, this is simple a marketing ploy to convince you to buy the product. After all, all fruits and vegetables are natural, right? Unless it’s a new kind of food that has been developed and processed, the product is natural. Probably what you’re really looking for is organic. Organic foods are grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers. There are two main benefits to organic foods. Firstly, you are helping the environment as chemicals are not being introduced into nature. Secondly, you are avoiding ingesting chemicals and are therefore benefitting by using a healthier food. However, organic products are usually more expensive while nutrition is the same (I mean a good apple is a good apple). If you’re on a budget, skip over organic fruits and vegetables that you can peel, like oranges and bananas. After all, once you’ve discarded the peel, you’ve also discarded the chemicals. Instead, opt for organic items like apples, where you eat the peel. No matter what you buy, however, make sure that you rinse off the food when you get home.
Another tricky label you will see is “no hormones.” This is usually in regards to milk or meat products and is false, since all animals naturally produce hormones. Hormones are what helps an animal (even a human) regulate body organs, have young, and otherwise function. All meat products have hormones. What the labels really mean is that no hormones were unnaturally given to the animal, which is sometimes done to increase milk production. Regardless of hormones, however, the milk and meat is safe for a person and not a violation of an animal’s rights.
Lastly, a label on eggs and meat can indicate if the animal was caged or penned. This does not make a difference in the quality or nutritional value of the meat, but is simply a matter of animal rights. These products may be a bit more expensive, but if you want to make human decisions, that is the way to go. Reading the label and making healthy choices can sometimes be difficult, but learning how to do so can help you make the best choices for you diet.
Contrary to popular belief, granola is not the only organically grown health food that people have access to. There are many farmers that are committed to growing organic food for families all over the world to enjoy and people do not have to search for these items any longer in a grocery store. These items are available through many organic growers who have set up their shops on the internet and are quite willing to ship organically grown food stuffs to anywhere you like.
Some of the most recognized forms of organically grown health foods are nuts, vegetables and dates and olives. The selections that shoppers have for organically grown health foods is much large today than ever before. The nutritional content in organically grown health foods is being studied very carefully and people might be surprised to find that they are experiencing greater health benefits because they have changed their mode of eating to include organically grown foods in their diets.
Many of the health foods today that are organically grown can be used to create healthy snacks for friends and family. There are organically grown health foods like flour and grains that can turn out some amazing muffins using your favorite recipes. The pantry at home might take on a whole new look with organically grown health foods on the shelf but taste wise, be rest assured that rave reviews will be provided.
The organically grown health food choices can extend to family members that might not even notice. There are many choice pet foods that are created using organically grown food by-products and the nutritional value is outstanding. Pets will flourish under a new diet that is even supplemented with organic pet food selections.
Many homemakers in kitchens throughout the world are transforming the way cooking is accomplished. Some organic foods cook faster and save cooks a lot of time that could be spent enjoying family activities. There are organic health food choices in seasonings too that will certainly improve the way that all food tastes when it is served to the family at dinnertime.
There are health food choices that are routinely used to wake up in the morning. Organic health food choices such as coffee and tea are full of nutritious values and will still give people the caffeine they need to get one eye open faster than the other on a busy morning. Sweeteners are other health food items that families use for all sorts of enjoyments and pre-packaged drink mixes will become a thing of the past.
Although some people would like to go organic and lead a healthier lifestyle, they find themselves stopped by a few things. Among these little stumbling blocks in their paths to going organic, are things like the cost of organic foods, the ready unavailability of organic foods, as well as the little fact that they will also need to find organic food recipes to go with their new lifestyle.
This is in fact a major stumbling block for many people who balk at the thought of not only changing their eating and dietary lifestyles, but of also having to change a lifetime’s worth of cooking experience to accommodate their new healthy lifestyle.
The fact of the matter is that people will go to the trouble of finding organic food suppliers, and of buying their costlier organic meats, dairy and produce, but when they have to actually sit down and find organic food recipes to go along with everything they’ve done thus far, their enthusiasm starts to wane.
This is where people actually tend to go wrong and miss the point. There is no such thing as special organic food recipes just as there is no special method of preparing the foods you buy which are organic.
The whole point is not to have to slog away looking for organic food recipes, replacing the ones you already have and know how to cook well, but to make your entire lifestyle healthier, of which the use of the use of organic foods in your cooking endeavors being a large part.
The trick then to going organic and finding yourself cooking organic food recipes, is to use the same old recipes which you’ve been using thus far and transform them into something other than artery clogging, waistline expanding, sugar level increasing foods.
In other words, now that you’ve gone organic and are using organic foods in your life, you also need to make your cooking style a healthier one as well. This means that if you’re using what amounts to a gallon of fat or oil per day, you might want to cut down on it to almost nothing!
Of course any dietary changes that you make, if they are going to be extensive should be discussed with your physician as you will then be able to get a better picture of what proper changes you need to make. The same advice applies if you have an underlying medical condition which requires you to have a special diet.
Replacing your normal foods with organic foods is fine, but you will need to make sure that when you turn your normal everyday recipes into organic food recipes, that you don’t change your dietary habits in such a radical manner as to be harmful to you. If you’re careful and follow a sensible dietary plan, you won’t really have to make too many food-sacrifices if at all to offset your newly acquired organic food habits.
It’s not everyday that a person has the chance to change the way that they eat. You might try to do so, become healthier and eat healthier but in a great many ways you will be thwarted in this desire. This is why the benefits of organic food can have a far reaching effect on you, more so than you might have thought.
Why do I say this? Because even though you might try to become healthy and change your way of living, it is extremely difficult to do so in many circumstances. With the advent of more and more organic foods onto the scene however, it becomes easier to hold to your desire to live a healthier lifestyle. Why? For the simple reason that your healthy eating habits become even healthier when they come in the guise of organic foods.
As you can see, the benefits of organic foods are many and you need only to scratch the surface to start finding them. As you dig deeper you will find there are more and more benefits of organic foods, some of which you might not even have thought about.
So what are the benefits of organic foods? Well, to begin with, organic foods are produced in such a way that there are no chemicals in the growing process or in the case of animals, the rearing process.
No chemicals are introduced into the mix and only natural fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides are used. In the case of farm animals, only organic feed is given to them, so you can be assured that when you get organic meats or milks and things that the animals too are reared according to organic standards.
There are also other benefits to organic food which includes the exclusion of genetically modified organisms (GMO). GMO’s to put it succinctly are foods which have had their genetic structure modified in some way or other.
While this might seem to yield many benefits in the field of agriculture by providing farmers with larger amounts of useable crops, no one still fully knows what the disadvantages are of modifying the genetic structure of living organisms. You need to look no further to find further such glaring deficits that science only found out about years after their regular and widespread usage, than to look at Lead and how bad we consider that to be.
To that extent, the benefits of organic food far outweigh the dubious goodness of non-organic foods, at least until the jury comes back in on that question. The only problem is the high cost of organic foods – the medical costs that you might incur upon seeing your monthly food bill after going organic might put you off the many benefits of organic food until such time as they become less expensive!
Organic food is food that is free from all genetically modified organisms, produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and derived from an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs. Once only available in small stores or farmers’ markets, organic foods are becoming much more widely available.
Organic foods have been shown to improve your immune system, help you sleep better, shed the excess weight more easily, and improve your blood work just to name a few. Organic food can boast intense, realistic flavors, and a higher vitamin and mineral content.
And though logically it makes sense to consume a diet based on organic foods, some worry about the cost. But with careful planning and preparation, going organic is actually quite affordable. And, the peace of mind knowing you and your family are consuming foods that haven’t been treated with pesticides or genetically altered is worth the extra money spent.
The pesticides used by conventional farmers can have many negative influences on your health, including neurotoxicity, disruption of your endocrine system, carcinogenicity and immune system suppression. Pesticide exposure may also affect male reproductive function and has been linked to miscarriages in women. Additionally, conventional produce tends to have fewer nutrients than organic produce. On average, conventional produce has only 83 percent of the nutrients of organic produce. Studies have found significantly higher levels of nutrients such as vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, and significantly less nitrates (a toxin) in organic crops.
So it’s a smart idea to buy and eat organic produce and free-range organic foods as much as possible for maximum health benefits. In addition, the knowledge that you’re supporting the organic foods industry that is dedicated to protecting the environment by steering clear of harmful pesticides and chemicals that can result in the loss of topsoil, toxic runoff and resulting water pollution, soil contamination and poisoning and the death of insects, birds, critters and beneficial soil organisms should help you feel even better.