Have you noticed the word “organic” is growing rapidly in many areas associated with food. What does this term mean and you may be wondering what is in organic food? Perhaps an equal question would be what is not in organic food? I walked into a large grocery store the other day and the first thing that caught my eye was all the banners with the “organic” label on them. This wasn’t anything new it is just that I hadn’t payed much attention to this before. Not only did I see so many organic banners I saw a clear division as from the entrance to the store I saw the right side of the first isle (mostly produce) labeled organic and the left side was the conventional items. It was the same in the meat section as well. You can really start to see that there is a clear movement in the food arena as the organic name takes hold. It’s not just a small area of the store anymore.
Is there any difference?
You really have to ask if there is a benefit to shopping the organic side of the store. In most cases the items don’t look any different than the non organic varieties. Most people just notice the higher price tag. So is the higher price worth it or is the organic name just a marketing tool to persuade folks to buy a more expensive product to fatten the company’s bottom line. What about the organic certifications on some of the labels? Are they really a higher standard that the producers are following? These are great questions to ask and it often takes some deep research behind the scenes to find the answers and I will share with you what I have found but don’t take my word for this as you need to do some digging yourselves and I can show you a few places to start.
What is driving the organic movement?
If you are taking an interest in the organic food world there may be numerous factors persuading you.
- For some it is health issues for them or loved ones.
- News reports
- documentary films released about the food industry
- rising cost of healthcare
- concern about what is in our processed food
You may have many other reasons for looking into the organic food realm but the fact is more and more people are taking an interest in this. So how do we sort out all the information and find the truth about what we should be eating. Lets look at a few “notions” that go along with organic food to get you thinking.
The notion that it is more nutritious.
The common idea is that organic food is more nutritious and this may carry some truth however the question that needs asked is how nutrient dense is the food and is it as nutrient dense as it needs to be to support vibrant health? When you look at organic certification requirements there really isn’t anything about making the food more nutritious. Granted that organic production practices help improve nutrient value it doesn’t guarantee the highest nutrient value possible. You can still grow food that is nutrient deficient in organic approved facilities because the soil is nutrient deficient. To understand what nutrient rich food is you have to see the real thing to be able to compare it with inferior food. The best way to see and understand truly nutrient dense food is to take a look at Paul Gautschi and the video at backtoedenfilm.com as he has got the best examples I have seen to grow nutrient dense food. It is a real eye opener and will make more sense as to why organic certified food may not have all the quality we need it to have. Keep in mind that only nutrient rich food can come from nutrient rich soil.
The Federal stamp of approval.
There is a notion that if a food product has a USDA certified organic label on it that it must be safe. Once again there may be some truth to this however is our government the best place to put our total food trust in? One thing to consider is that the same government that puts organic labels on food is the same government that is approving all the pesticides, herbicides, and Genetically modified organisms (GMO’S) that we are trying to avoid by purchasing organic food. Kind of like Budweiser sponsoring an alcoholic rehabilitation clinic isn’t it? I don’t disagree that the USDA has some good regulations to reduce chemical and engineering issues but I caution putting our food safety in their hands without questioning their tactics.
Organic doesn’t mean it is good for you.
One thing to take note of is the USDA approves soy that is grown to their organic standards to be in food products that they label as organic. The problems with this is that large amounts of research shows that soy is not a healthy food ingredient whether it is organic or not. Soy contains phytic acid that actually disrupts our digestive system and blocks our body from getting nutrients from food. We should avoid soy (unless it’s fermented) no matter how it is grown and especially for babies and kids. See the Weston Price website to get the whole soy story if you want more information.
Chose your food wisely.
I want to make it clear that I am not against organic food and I recommend you buy organic food as it is less susceptible to chemicals and genetical engineering. However what we need to understand is that it is important to know how the food is grown and this is more than looking for organic labels. The very best way to get the best food possible is to know what nutrient dense food is from someone like Paul Gautschi or the Weston Price foundation and grow your own or buy local from someone that understands what nutrient rich, chemical free, and sustainable means. If you can’t do this then by all means go for the organic whole unprocessed food at the store but be sure to know what ingredients are good for you so you can avoid items like soy and other health damaging ingredients.
Places to help get quality food.
There are a few other organizations that help connect people with good food and I will show you just a few of the best ones.
- Certified Naturally Grown This organization is an independant group with no ties to government or corporate food producers and they have standards above and beyond that of the USDA. They also help connect people with local producers.
- Eat Wild They are a great website that is about educating and connecting farmers and consumers.
See how we grow food.
You are more than welcome to check out how we grow quality food such as beef and chicken at our place. We are not USDA certified organic and we don’t care to be since we would rather be customer certified because we feel we uphold a higher standard knowing that the customer is watching and seeing what we do. The food we raise is also our food as well and we are fussy so if it isn’t something we would eat we don’t do it.
Seek and find
I hope this information helps and doesn’t cause any confusion. If you have a desire for good food then keep searching and you will find it. I would like to hear your thoughts and questions about organic food and please leave them below. Thank you and God bless!