When I first went organic about 9 years ago, I caught flack from several of my friends. It didn’t seem to make sense to them. Perhaps they thought I was just on the yuppie band-wagon. You know, keeping up with the Jones’ and all that. Buying organic definitely had seemed more fad than fact to some- but to me it was important and relevant to my family’s health.
There were several reasons for this change in our diet, starting with my migraines that were primarily induced by MSG’s, hydrogenated and hydrolyzed oils, which seem to be found in everything. This led me to stop purchasing and consuming pre-packaged meals (which I did little of anyway) but also cookies, crackers, etc. Just about any convenience food that comes out of a box has some type of hydrogenated oil in it.
FYI: hydrogenated oil is only one molecule away from being plastic.
My health issues went beyond headaches and I had to look at the way I was eating and how it affected my body from many different points of view. In the end, I found these health issues to be a blessing. How many of us can say that their bodies actually tell them within minutes that what they’ve just eaten is bad for them?
Think about it this way: there are millions of people out there eating donuts, diet sodas, nitrate lunch meats and hotdogs, pork products, white burger buns and sandwich bread, candy, never-ending pasta bowls, french fries, breaded and fried foods, honeybuns, etc. They are eating like this everyday- by the pounds. Perhaps you eat some of this stuff, too. When was the last time you ate a pack of nabs and you got a headache from it? Never? Do you think it means that your body likes it? Just because your body isn’t screaming at you the way mine did to me, doesn’t mean it likes that junk food. But all those millions of people are suffering for their eating habits in other, small ways. Maybe you do, too. In ways such as fatigue, occasional headaches, indigestion, heartburn, constipation, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Hydrogenated oils are a freshness preservative, nothing more.
So not only is it bad, it’s not even added as a “nutrient fortified” gimmick. It’s purely used as a preservative. Hmm….just one more fantastic reason to eat all-natural and fresh ingredients.
It took quite some time to figure out that not everything needed to be organic. Truth is it’s best to make everything yourself using wholesome and all-natural ingredients. I say that knowing that while I have some great recipes for homemade crackers, I’ve yet to make them, and instead I buy the occasional box of Ritz. We are not big cracker people in this house, but if we were I’d definitely be making them (or so I say). I realize that many people just don’t have time to make these “convenience” foods from scratch, and it’s definitely easier for me to say to just cut those foods out of your diet because they are no benefit for you anyway.
Making many of the things that come in boxes from scratch eliminates the consumption of about 6000 chemicals and toxins that are found in packaged foods. That’s a lot of chemicals! But what about the things you’re just not going to make- or can’t? My mother gave me a yogurt maker once. I don’t know how many products like this are on the market or the different levels of difficulty, but this particular one seemed way more trouble than it was worth. With the availability of organic and all-natural yogurt out there now, this contraption seemed pointless. There were so many steps involved, ingredients that I’d never heard of and didn’t know where to find, it seemed way easier to go to the store and pick some off the shelf.
Or what about produce? If you can’t grow your own (and I can’t!) then buying it at inflated prices can break your bank. Here’s a list of the dirty dozen. 12 fruits and vegetables that should be eaten organic at all times due to the levels of pesticides:
3. Sweet Bell Peppers
6. Nectarines – imported
11. Blueberries – domestic
Makes sense, right? These all have thin skin, or none at all, and you eat the whole thing. The next list is called the Clean 15. These foods are the lowest in pesticides and therefore do not have to be organic. You can go a little easier on your wallet with these items.
2. Sweet Corn
6. Sweet Peas
12. Sweet Potatoes
So there you have it. Organic vs. non-organic. Here’s an image I found of the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 that have a few different items on the lists. Considering the huge number of fruit and vegetable varieties, it would make sense that others would make these lists.