Lately, there are many people who really want to eliminate the threat of poisonous ☠️pesticides, fertilizers, and drugs💊 that are used to produce most food these days from their diet.
This is a great thing.
There are many people who just look at food as just that…food.
An apple🍏 is just an apple 🍎and meat🍗 is just meat.🥩
Food is meant to be fuel for the body and it is also considered ‘thy medicine’.
It is really hard for something that is supposed to be fuel for your body or medicine to heal you when you are sick if it has all of these chemicals and toxins in it…right?
Even if it is “okay” for humans to ingest, how “okay” is it really?
None of us ACTUALLY knows(unless you are a farmer🚜/rancher👩🏾🌾) what truly goes behind the scenes when it comes to the growing and cultivating of our food.
Do you truly understand the difference between traditional/conventional ways of farming and organic farming?
Do you know what eating organic really means and how to live an organic lifestyle?
Trying to navigate the world of organic food labels, benefits, and claims can not only be confusing, but it can also be challenging.
Are organic foods really better for your mental and physical health?
Are GMOs and pesticides really as harmful as everyone makes them out to be?
What do ALL the labels mean?
Those are just some of the questions I have heard from other people who are looking to have a more organic lifestyle.
I hope this quick guide can help shed some light on how to eat organic and make better choices when shopping for organic produce as well as how to make this lifestyle affordable.
What Does Organic Mean?
There are many differences between organically produced foods and traditionally produced foods.
In traditional food production, many chemicals 💀are used which you may not be aware of.
Before seeds are planted,🌱 the soil is made more fertile with the use of chemical fertilizers.
As the plants begin to grow,🌱 and in order to keep pests from eating them, the farmer sprays them with toxic pesticides and herbicides.☠️
When the plant bears fruit 🍇or a vegetable, 🥒that fruit or vegetable has some of the chemicals from the fertilizer inside it and some leftover pesticide residue on top of it.
You can wash🚿 them as many times as you want, but there are still toxins there and when you eat those fruits 🍓🍒and vegetables,🍅🥦 you are ingesting some of the chemicals that were used to produce them.
Unfortunately, this same concept is true of meat production.
The only exception is that animals are fed antibiotics 💊to reduce the incidence of disease.
They are also given growth hormones to make them grow faster.
Even though you wash🚿 (some people do…I do) and cook your meat, you are still ingesting some of those chemicals when you eat it.
Now on the flip side…
In organic food production, nothing that is used in the traditional production of food is used.
This means there are no artificial pest controls, drugs, 💊pesticides, food additives, preservatives, bio-engineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, MSGs, flavor enhancers, dyes, artificial ingredients, sewage sludge-based fertilizers (I know gross right! 🤢), or chemical fertilizers used.
For those who eat meat🥩🍗🍖 and use dairy products,🧀🥚🥛 for these products to be considered organic, the livestock MUST have access to the outdoors along with not being fed antibiotics, growth hormones or drugs of any kind.
This includes poultry.
All animals have to be given organic feed too.
From WholeFoods Market who specialize in having the best organic products around states that,
Organic feed cannot contain animal by-products, antibiotics or genetically engineered grains. It also cannot be grown using pesticides or any chemical fertilizers.
When you eat organic, you are truly eating the best way possible with the least amount of human alteration to your food.
Organic Vs. Locally Grown
Locally grown fruits and vegetables and organic fruits and vegetables are not the same things.
When you buy locally, the food you are purchasing is fresher and was not transported to a grocery store.🏪
You literally picked it up from a farmers’ market or from a farm.👩🏾🌾🚜🐮🐥
Buying locally is a good option if you do not have access to organic foods.
Just know that some farmers may not use organic methods of food production even though their food is “fresh”.
Farms that grow their food organically are committed to following the government standard for organic food production.
So make sure you ask questions about how the food you are purchasing was produced.
Difference Between Natural, Non-Organic and Organic
Many people get these terms a little mixed up so let’s take a second to learn what each of these terms means specifically.
For starters, ‘natural’ is different from organic in the sense that…
Something exists in nature as opposed to being artificial or man-made.
This does not mean that natural is organic.
Natural foods or products are minimally processed and do not contain hormones, antibiotics💊 or artificial flavors, however, the FDA nor the USDA have rules or regulations for products labeled ‘natural’.
Because of this, many manufacturers often place the label ‘natural’ on their foods or other products that could contain heavily processed ingredients or other ingredients that you normally would not ingest.
Due to this, it is wise to look up ANYTHING that you are not sure of on Google.💻
If you don’t understand what you are reading on the back of the food label or skin/hair care product…
I recommend NOT buying it and looking for something else.
The definition of non-organic is pretty simple.
It means (based off of the dictionary definition…
Not consisting of or deriving from living matter.
This also means that it does not come from an animal,🐮 plant, 🌱or anything organic…naturally created from the earth.
We already know the meaning of organic, but here is the dictionary definition of this word…
It means noting or pertaining to a class of chemical compounds that formerly comprised only those existing in or derived from plants or animals, but that now includes all other compounds of carbon.’
When you see the word ‘organic’ it is something that comes from the earth🌎 and is NOT altered in any way.
What Do Other Organic Labels Mean?
There are more ‘organic’ labels out there that are used by many companies.
Again, be aware that if you see the label ‘organic’, that product or food item you are looking at may not be 100% organic.
Only part of it maybe organic…(look at the section titled Does Organic Mean Pesticide Free or Herbicide Free?)
Have you ever seen the label ‘Made With Organic Ingredients’?
What this label means is that only about 70% of the ingredients in that product or food item are organic.
So what does the other 30% consist of?
Have you ever seen the food label ‘Contains Organic Ingredients’?
Well, this label means that the product or food item contains less than 70% organic ingredients.
That is crazy!!!
It is good to keep these food labels in mind so that you know EXACTLY how much of the product or food item you are purchasing actually contains organic ingredients.
If the price of the product is high and you are only getting a small amount of organic ingredients, you should buy a different product.
How To Be Certified Organic?
There are many different companies out there that say that their products are organic, the thing is even though they have the label ‘organic’ on them, they may not be USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) certified.
The meaning behind the USDA organic label is that it indicates that the food or agricultural product has been produced through very stringent methods set by the USDA or an USDA-accredited certifying agent.
To be able to have this label, at least 95% of the ingredients used in the making of that product has to be organic.
There is one more thing you need to be aware of when it comes to this ‘USDA Organic’ label…
The USDA allows about 5% of non-organic ingredients to be present in organic foods.🥒🍇🍋🥗🥘
This includes herbicides and pesticides.
These substances are poisonous☠️ to weeds and bugs but supposedly safe for people.
Here is an article that goes into more details about this and a list of substances as well.
The other 95% could be following the USDA-approved biological or botanical pest controls rules and regulations.
If you are unable to find a product with the USDA Organic label on it(see below)…try to find a product that says ‘Certified Organic’ and LOOK THEM UP on Google to confirm that they really are certified.
*** To learn more about the USDA and their organic regulations click HERE***
You can be sure that if you see a “Certified Organic” label your produce is fresh and your meats do not contain any antibiotics💊 or growth hormones, pesticide residue or leftover chemicals from fertilizers or any antibiotics.💊
For a company to be USDA certified they have to go through a rigorous process.
This process could take a few weeks up to a few months.
But once a company or farmer👩🏾🌾 is certified organic they can be it indefinite if there are no problems and they continue to abide by the regulations.
To learn more about the actual process of becoming certified organic, check out this article HERE.
Nutritional Value of Organic Foods
According to the statistics issued by the Government of the United States, the levels of trace MINERALS in fruits🍍🍏🍓 and vegetables🍅🥒🥕 started falling in 1940 and have declined steadily ever since.
There is also evidence that there are more of these trace minerals in organically grown produce than in produce grown with the pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.
During a systematic review by the Soil Association in the UK, the statistics gathered comparing the vitamin and mineral content of organic to conventionally grown foods, indicated that the organic foods contained higher levels of vitamin C and essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and chromium, than the conventionally grown foods.
An independent review of the evidence found during the Soil Association study concurred that organic crops had much higher levels of all 21 nutrients that were analyzed compared with conventional produce.
There was an independent review of the evidence that found that organic crops had much higher levels of all 21 nutrients that were analyzed compared with conventional produce.
There was 29% more vitamin C, 29% more magnesium, 21% more iron, and 14% more phosphorous.
Organically grown spinach,🥬 lettuce, 🥬cabbage, and potatoes 🥔showed the highest degree of mineral contrast.
Researchers also found that organic crops contain 10% to 50% more antioxidants than crops grown using conventional methods.
Remember, even though pesticides are used to keep off pests and in a way ‘protect’ the produce, it can also damage it too.
Depending on the toughness of the skin of the fruit🍒🍊🍇🥭 or vegetable🍆🥦🌶 that was sprayed with pesticides or any other chemical, a good amount of it can be absorbed by the produce.
To learn which fruits and vegetables you should ALWAYS buy organic because of this…check out my chart under the title “15 Fruits and Vegetables To Always Buy Organic”.
We all know that eating foods high in antioxidants can help your body ward off various diseases like heart disease.
Vegetables🥒🥦🥕🌽 have what are known as phenolics which are the backbone of most antioxidants in plants.
Plants🌱 produce phenolics as a defense mechanism when they are attacked by insects.
What this means is that, if a plant is NOT being attacked by an insect, they will not produce this substance that could be beneficial for us humans.
What Are Pesticides? ☠️
Pesticides are a chemical substance used by many farmers, 👩🏾🌾groundskeepers, and gardeners to repel, kill or protect their crops or flowers from bugs, 🐛🐜🐞pests of any kind and other animals who may want to eat or destroy them.
Many people use pesticides ☠️to also kill weeds, rodents, and mildew that may form on the plants as well.
As you can see, there are many “good” reasons why pesticides were used and are still used today.
Now, you need to know that even if your fruit 🥭🍏🍓🍑and or vegetable 🥒🥕🥬only has a small amount of pesticide used on them, the residue can still linger and it is crucial to get most if not all of that off before ingesting.
Yes, there are “safe” and “indigestible” pesticides out there, but is it really worth the risk to take?
If you see that your product is ‘certified organic’ then you should be in the clear none the less be sure you THOROUGH clean your fruits and vegetables.
Try using an organic veggie wash to get as much of the residue off before eating.
Anyways, I am going to talk quickly about some of the pros and cons of using pesticides.
Pros of Using Pesticides👍🏾
- Kills harmful bacteria, potential viruses, and fungi from produce
- Wards off animals
- Destroys unwanted vegetation
- Stops the spread of mold and mildew
- Ensures a higher quantity and quality of produce
Now do these pros really out weight the cons?
Cons of Using Pesticides👎🏾
- Harmful to the environment, you, and animals
- Damages the body from the inside out
- Imbalances the body so it could cause parts of the body to develop before it should (little girls having their menstrual cycles very early)
- Could cause illnesses
- Can be a hazard to unborn babies, infants, and children
- Could cause neurological damage
- Can become airborne and then everyone is breathing in those pesticides and chemicals
- Food does not taste as good
- Can be washed away and runoff into our drinking water
- Many other health issues that you may not even realize
- Food not as fresh
- Pesticide residue stays on food if not thoroughly washed and even then some are still present
- Destroys some of the nutrients in the food
For more reasons why you should get rid of as many pesticides from your lifestyle as possible click HERE!
GMOs can be a little bit complicated especially if you are not in the sciences like chemistry and botany.🌱🌷🌺
We all know that GMOs can be detrimental to our health, but do you really understand the ins and outs of what this is and how it affects you?
Here is a quick and simple little guide to GMOs that can help you better understand them.
Does Organic Mean Pesticide Free or Herbicide Free?
Unfortunately, the ‘organic’ label on your food does not mean zero pesticides or herbicides.
If the label does not say ‘100% organic’ then that product may only be about 70%-80% organic.
This is still better than conventional foods.
When the food label says, ‘100% organic’ though, it means the foods you buy like meat, eggs, 🥚and dairy products 🥛are ALL FREE of antibiotics 💊and growth hormones.
Your fruits and vegetables will be grown using fertilizers FREE of anything synthetic or that was exposed to any sewage components.
This also means that there are no GMOs of any kind in your product.
Unfortunately, it is very hard to tell the difference if a fruit, 🍊🍓🍇vegetable,🥕🌽🥬 meat, 🥩🍗🍖or dairy product 🥛🥚is organic by just looking at it, but if you want to be completely safe, look for the ‘USDA Organic’ label.
Keep in mind that even though your fruit or vegetable is labeled ‘certified organic’ by the USDA, it may not be completely organic…
There are some factors you need consider:
- What was in the water💦 used to irrigate your crops?
- Was there any harmful smoke💨 or chemicals being spread over the farmer’s field from a nearby energy plant or factory?
- What other GMO produce where near the organic ones possibly polluting that field?
- Where there any pesticides ☠️from an adjacent traditional farm that drifted on to the organic ones?
As you can see, there are many other factors that can play a part in how organic your food is so I recommend washing🚿 your produce THOROUGHLY with an organic vegetable cleaner.
The Benefits of Eating Organic 👍🏾
Now there are a ton of benefits to living an organic lifestyle.
Here are some of the main ones listed below:
- Contains fewer pesticides.
- They are often fresher.
- Organic farming is better for the environment.
- STAYS FRESHER LONGER!
- NO harmful chemicals or hormones added to the food.
- Organically raised animals are NOT given antibiotics, growth hormones, or fed animal byproducts.
- Organic meat and milk are richer in certain nutrients.
- Healthier for you.
- No hidden damages will arise in the long-term.
It is KEY🔑 to read the food labels and know what you and your family are eating!
For more reasons why you should start eating organic, check out this even bigger list of benefits HERE.
The Downside of Eating Organic 👎🏾
I know this is truly hard to believe, but there are some cons when it comes to eating organic.
Here is a quick list of them…
- Can be expensive.💰💰💸💸
- Can be hard to find organic foods.
- Organic foods go bad quicker than conventional methods of producing food.
As you can see the benefits of eating organic definitely out weight the cons which is good.
The best way to know if this is the best lifestyle for you is to try it out for yourself for about a month.
Once that month is over, you should be able to better determine if this is the lifestyle for you and your family.
15 Fruits and Vegetables To Always Buy Organic
Below👇🏾 is a list of fruits and vegetables that you should try to buy organic all the time.
These crops have a soft outer skin and pesticides can easily be absorbed into the crop.
Because of this, the Environmental Working Group,
a nonprofit organization that analyzes the results of government pesticide testing in the U.S.
compiled a list of fruits and vegetables that have the highest pesticide levels.
In a study conducted back in 2015, by the Environmental Working Group, 99% of all apples tested positive for pesticides.
Raspberries were dusted with 39 chemicals and 58% of tested fruits were registered positive for contamination in some way.
Cherries 🍒 had about 25 pesticides on them per fruit.
One grape🍇 had about 15 pesticides and 35 different pesticides are usually used in vineyards.
The FDA found that 36 different chemicals on their apple samples of which neurotoxins were present in a 2012 study.
Now, these numbers are subject to change, so to keep up with their most recent studies click HERE.
Here is a quick list of the main fruits🥝🥭🍑🥥 and vegetables 🥕🌽🥦🥬you should always buy organic if you can.
For a more extensive list click HERE.
Again, it is best to buy these items organic if possible!
Fruits and Vegetables You Do Not Have Buy Organic
Known as the “Clean 15”, these conventionally grown fruits and veggies are generally low in pesticides.
But once again, if you can get them organically grown, I recommend doing so:
Again, there are MANY health risks when it comes to ingesting pesticides and hormones.
I recommend knowing what goes inside of YOU!
This means reading the food labels, understanding and knowing what each ingredient is.
Just because it says ‘organic’ or ‘all natural’ does not mean it is safe for you.
Do you know what xylitol is?
If you DID NOT have to click the link…Go You!
You know what this substance is.
For those who had to click the link to figure out what in the world that is, it is imperative to know what each ingredient is on the back of food labels.
Again, if you want to have a healthy lifestyle, you NEED TO KNOW what is going into your body and if it is harmful or not.
Okay…enough of my rant now let’s talk about how organic foods taste!
How Does Organic Food Taste?
Now… what I am about to share with you is based on my own experience.
For you to truly know if organic food tastes better, you will need to try it for yourself.
For this example, I am going to share with you the time I ate a normal conventional honey crisp apple🍯🍎 (by the way this is my favorite😍 kind of apple to eat) and an organic honey crisp apple.🍯🍎
Both of these apples 🍎were bought from Costco.
The normal conventional honey crisp apple 🍯🍎was HUGE and very colorful.
It took me a while to finish it since it was so big.
Now, when I bit into this apple…🍎there was literally NO FLAVOR.
I felt like I was eating water.💦
Side note…when I first buy my fruit, I usually do not eat them that same day.
I usually wait about a day or 2 before eating them.
I am not sure why I do this…there is no scientific logic to this decision.
Okay back to the example…
Now, the organic honey crisp apple 🍯🍎was a lot smaller in size.
But when I bit into this apple, the surge of flavor was EXPONENTIAL!
I could literally taste the honey🍯 in it (over exaggerated!)
It tasted really, really good even though it was half the size of the normal, conventional honey crisp apple.🍯🍎
When I compared eating regular meat to organic meat,🥩🍗🍖 I felt like the organic meat kept it’s flavor better than the regular meat.
Again, this is my experience and the only way for you to know if organic foods taste better or not is by TRYING it yourself.
Your taste buds are different than mine…
Also, if something doesn’t taste the way you want (food in general) you can always spice it up with some organic herbs!🌱🌿
Are Organic Foods Worth The Money?💰💸
The only person who can truly answer this question is…YOU!
In my opinion, I believe that spending the money💰 to have wholesome, un-tampered with food in my diet is worth the money.
I think organic foods ultimately taste better and I have peace of mind that I am not filling my body with chemicals and toxins without my knowledge.
I feel like I have control as to what goes into my body instead of relying on a food manufacturer to keep me healthy.
In addition to that, you have to live in your body.
If you feel comfortable with what you are placing in it, then continue.
I want to be as healthy as I can be for MANY, MANY years to come, so I have made the decision to buy as much as my food organic as possible.
(Also, I just don’t trust people when it comes to my health…if I have the means to make healthy decisions I will.)
How To Make Eating Organic Affordable?💵
Living an organic lifestyle can be a little pricey.💰💰
The main reason organic foods are more expensive is due to the way the food is grown and raised.
It is a little bit more labor intensive and farmers have to follow strict regulations.
If something crazy happens where the market was suddenly flooded with “certified organic” foods, the price would drop DRAMATICALLY!
Since this has not happened yet…
Here are some different ways you can shop organic even if you have a tight budget:
- Shop at a farmers’ market.👩🏾🌾🍓
- Join a local food co-op.
- Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm.👩🏾🌾🚜
- Buy in bulk at Costco, BJ’s, Sam’s Club, etc.
- Shop on Amazon Pantry(This is one of the best places to buy organic foods online)
If there are local organic farms where you live, definitely check them out.
This would not only be a GREAT way to buy your produce on the low, low,😏 but you can also see EXACTLY how and where your food is being grown and raised.
You can also build a bond with your local farmers and that is just another added bonus in and of itself.
For more ways to eat organically on a budget check out my blog post on this HERE.
What Are CSAs and How Do I Join One?👩🏾🌾🚜🌾
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a program in which many farmers 👩🏾🌾offer subscriptions.
Under this program, subscribers receive a weekly or monthly basket of locally grown, in-season fruits,🍏🍓🥭🍑 vegetables, 🌶🥕🥦🥬flowers, eggs, 🥚and milk.🥛
Sometimes other products like coffee ☕️or tea 🍵are included as well.
Most of the products given to subscribers are products that are produced on the farm, but some are from other locations.
Be sure to ask where all of your products are coming from.
Being apart of a CSA program is a great way to build a relationship with the farmer.👩🏾🌾
You will be able to know EXACTLY where your food is coming from.
To become a member of a CSA program, you will need to apply to their membership program.
Your membership will allow you to receive produce from that specific farm on a regular basis through the growing season.
Memberships are usually paid for annually, but some farmers will accept weekly or monthly payments.
Make sure to ask if they provide this service.
There are some CSAs 👩🏾🌾🚜🌾that require members to work a few hours on the farm each week during the growing season.
I don’t know about you, but I think this is such a great way to see EXACTLY what your local farmers have to do on a daily basis to grow and or raise the food you eat.
It is a lot of work, and by helping out on the farm it gives you a better appreciation for the food you receive.
Not all of the farms in a CSA program are organic farms… although many are.
Each farm has its own rules and regulations so make sure you know what your farm requires.
Unfortunately, not many people know about the Community Supported Agriculture program, 👩🏾🌾🚜🌾which stinks.
If you are interested in joining a CSA, click HERE to see if there are any in your location.
Best Organic Brands To Look Into
Let’s quickly talk about some great, affordable organic brands you can begin to look into that provide high-quality products.
Here is a quick list of brands that I use or have used in the past:
- The Honest Company
- Nature’s Promise(one of my favorite brands that I use right now. Super affordable prices on pretty much EVERYTHING organic!)
- Trader Joe’s
- Honest Tea
- Yogi Teas
- Stew Leonard’s
- Apple Gates Farm
- Naked Juice
- Food Should Taste Good
- EarthBound Farms
- Bear Naked
- StonyField Farm
- Bolthouse Farms
- Horizon Organic
- Green & Black’s
The best part about purchasing from these brands is that they are a fraction of the cost.
You can even look on Amazon.com for more organic products that get delivered straight to your door!
Best Places That Sell Organic Products
Now that you know what organic brands to look into, here are some physical store locations you can check out that have a wide range of organic products you can purchase.
- Trader Joe’s
- Sam’s Club
- Stop & Shop
- The Fresh Market
- Whole Foods
To Wrap Things Up…
I hope this quick guide was helpful in understanding what eating organic is and how you can afford this lifestyle.
Getting those harmful☠️ chemicals out of your body is key if you want to live a healthy lifestyle.
Pesticides, growth hormones, steroids, and other harmful substances that many farmers 👩🏾🌾🚜🌾and crop growers use may not harm you right away but can be detrimental to your health in the long run.
It is always a good idea to know what is going into your body and the best way to do this is by reading the back of food labels.
If you do not know what an ingredient is…
You can also create a notepad list of all those harmful ingredients and have a mini-glossary on your phone so that you can take it with you everywhere you go.
I have one for different names that refer to having an animal-by-product🐮 in that food item.
At the time I created this list, I did not want to have any animal products in the foods I was eating.
As you can see…this list is pretty long.
I also added in the definition of what each item is so that I didn’t have to keep looking up the meaning of that word.
Anyways, there are many ways for you to be in control of what goes into your body.
You can always grow your own produce which will give you the BEST peace of mind when it comes to what you are eating.
I know you have heard me say this before, but I’m gonna say it again, you only get one body to live in so treat it right!
To eating more organic foods,
P.S. – If you enjoyed this post on Why Eat Organic (Foods That Are Chemically Free), remember to like, share, and comment below.
P.S.S- Want more ways to eat organic? Check out my FREE ebook on living an organic lifestyle!
P.S.S.S-After you download my FREE ebook, check out this 7 Day Total Body Reboot System to cleanse your body of those chemicals and toxins and jumpstart your healthy living journey!