Because of the pandemic, people realized how important health is. Aside from exercise, getting enough sleep and drinking lots of water; an integral part of a healthy lifestyle is eating the right kinds of food. Good nutrition means that your body is getting the right amount of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that the body needs. Then, there is another consideration – to go organic or not? True, going organic has numerous health benefits but it is also more expensive. So, is organic food really worth the expense?
Organic pertains to the way the food was grown. Each country sets standards and regulations on organic farming. Organic farming uses natural pesticides. Organic products refer to the food produced without the use of synthetic fertilisers, harmful pesticides or bioengineered genes (GMOs).
While the use of chemicals increase the yields produced, they are also harmful not just to the environment but to the body as well. Numerous studies have linked the use of these chemicals to allergies, birth defects, infertility, liver and kidney damage and cancer. By eating organic foods, you will have a stronger and healthier body because you are freeing yourself from harmful chemicals. It also more nutritious and tastes better.
Organic products are different from locally-produced or home grown products. Organic food follows certain standards while locally-produced simply means it is produced in your country, province, or area. It may or may not be organic.
In the same way, organic livestock production takes into consideration the animal welfare. Organic animals are free to roam. They are not just confined in a cage but rather they have access to the outdoors. They eat organic food. In addition, they are free from antibiotics and other growth hormones.
Is it Worth It?
If you have money to spare, yes, it is worth it. Health is wealth. So, invest in your health by buying organic produce. Organic is still the best choice. It is good for your body and the environment as well.
Tips for Those Who are On a Budget
However, for those who are on a budget, going all organic might be far-fetched. But, there are still some things that you can to to lessen your exposure on harmful chemicals on food. Here are some tips for those who are on a budget:
1. Familiarize Yourself on the Pesticide Levels on Food
Not all food have the same pesticide levels. Some have higher pesticides than others. Buy organic only on those that use more pesticide.
2. Shop at Farmers or Organic Markets
Almost all cities host small or weekend markets that sell organic produced. They are the best places to buy organic produce at discounted prices.
3. Buy in Season
Buying fruits and vegetables in season is not only good for you but for your wallet as well. This means the food is harvested at the correct time when the quality is up. You get the best tasting and the most nutritious food and it is cheap too because there are more supplies in the market.
4. Wash the Food Thoroughly Before Eating
Although washing will not completely eliminate the pesticides, it will succeed in reducing it. Some argued that it is better to peel off the skin. While peeling the skin may remove the chemicals, unfortunately, it will also remove the vitamins, minerals, fibres and antioxidants found on the peels. That is why is best to eat your fruits and vegetables unpeeled.
5. Plant your Own
The best way to make sure that you are eating organic produce is to plant your own. Turn your backyard into your own organic garden.
Updated version. First published in Pinoy Smart Living on 11.11.2018.