I have had a few people ask me "Is organic better", "should I shop all organic", "what does organic mean", and "organic that much more healthier than eating non organic foods?" Normally I just tell them nothing is 100 percent perfect.  I believe if you eat a balanced meal and eat in moderation and eat a variety of things in the different food groups, you will do fine.  Maybe, I am not taking this serious enough, because I know many bloggers who swear by organic foods and promote it like a sales marketing job, and will do everything they can to make sure you are eating organic foods; then I have to stop and wonder, am I leading people astray?  I will be honest, I don't always buy in organic and when I do, it isn't necessarily on purpose, Why? because it never crosses my mind, like seriously.. when I see organic veggies versus non organic veggies, I choose whatever I feel like choosing and sometimes it depends on my budget and other times, I just don't think about it. I find that as soon as I tell people this, some people go crazy like "DO YOU KNOW WHAT IS YOUR FOOD?" "PESTISIDES!!!!" "CHEMICALS!!!" and I am all like "Uh, yeah I know what I am eating, because I am fitness professional and I do pay attention to this kind of stuff, but I don't live my life worried about every little thing that goes into my food. Yes, I said it, I am a fitness professional who doesn't worry about every little detail.  I read the labels, and compare food labels, I take the time to choose the better options for ME and I don't look back with regret.  This seriously surprises people when I say this, because in my world/industry, organic foods is like programmed in our heads, and some people don't understand you can eat non organic foods and still reap the benefits I get when I eat my non-organic tomato. BUT, there is some differences that organic foods have from our traditional non-organic foods and that is why I choose organic meats (more than not) if I do buy organic food, because meat is important to me (how it was raised and where it is from matters to me a bit more than the tomato).  So, here is my apology for giving you an almost heart attack because I may be the ONE fitness person who isn't spreading organic love everywhere I go, I hope no one takes offense to this, because hey, I have nothing against organic foods or lifestyle, I think it is great! I support you 100 percent but not all of us are in a rush to eat organic everything all the time. 

 

Organic - refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products (i.e fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and meat).  The farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution. - Good idea. 

Farmers might use natural fertilizers to feed the soil & plants, and using crop rotation or mulch to manage weeds. - Good idea

 

 

  • If a food has an USDA label, it means it is produced and processed according to the USDA standards (the seal is voluntary) 
  • Products that are completely organic are labeled 100 percent organic & can carry the USDA label.
  • Food with more than one ingredient (i.e breakfast cereal) can use the USDA label plus say "organic" (must be 95 percent organic) or "100 percent organic."
  • Products that are at least 70 percent organic may say "made with organic ingredients" but may not use the seal. 
  • Foods containing less than 70 percent cannot use the seal or the word "organic." but can include the organic items in their ingredient list.
  • organically raised animals are not given antibiotics, growth hormones or fed animal by-products. (this is important to me)
  • meat and milk are richer in certain nutrients. 
  • Natural and Organic do NOT mean the same thing- Just a heads up.
  • Studies have shown organic foods are not significantly more different in their nutrient content (besides meat and milk)
  • Organic food is GMO-free. 
  • Some people choose organic for the taste and others because of :
  1. Pesticides- non-organic foods sometimes have  residue leftover from the synthetic pesticides they use to keep insects, mold and disease.  Organic foods normally carry significantly lower pesticide residues 
  2. Food additives- Organic regulations bans or severely restricts the use of food additives (preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colorings, flavorings, and monosodium glutamate.
  3. Environmental- Organic farming is designed to reduce pollution, and conserving water and soil quality.
Are there any downsides to buying organically? 
  • Typically the cost is more- this means something for me, since I am a college student on a budget.. and I eat healthy without breaking my bank account. 
  • Organic foods have a chance at spoiling faster because they aren't treated with waxes or preservatives. 
Tips I live by where I buy organic or conventional:
  1. Select a variety of foods from a variety of sources
  2. Buy fruits and vegetables in season when possible or local farmers market - freshest
  3. Read food labels carefully
  4. wash your fresh fruits and vegetables under running water
Organic foods where the word organic means the most- The following fruits and veggies have the highest pesticide levels, so are best bought in organic. 
  • Apples
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • cucumbers
  • celery
  • potatoes
  • grapes
  • cherry tomatoes
  • kale/collard greens
  • summer squash
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches spinach
  • Strawberries 
  • hot peppers
Non-organic fruits and veggies found with the lowest levels of pesticides:
  • Asparagus 
  • Avocados
  • Mushrooms
  • cabbage
  • Sweet corn
  • eggplant
  • kiwi
  • mango
  • onion
  • papaya
  • pineapple
  • sweet peas (frozen)
  • sweet potatoes
  • grapefruit
  • cantaloupe
Not everything organic is healthy for you, you have to be smarter than the seal. In a nutshell, whether you choose to eat organically or not, is up to you! It is not a bad thing if you do or don't and neither sides should be feel pressured to do so, unless they want to do it. To talk about it and be aware of it, is awesome! Knowledge is power, to understand something, you have to research it and ask questions, don't take everything at face value and follow the bandwagon. Stay informed about what you are eating and read labels so that you may understand what ingredients are going into your body.  I stand by being healthy smart and that means "being your own kind of healthy with the knowledge you have, and taking steps to understand what you don't know; not relying on society to make your choices for you".  My saying is "not all cool kids are popular" - something to think about.
 
Hope you enjoyed the read, please share your thoughts and opinions!  
 
Your fitness blogger,

 

 

Shay-lon xoxo