by Craig Ruvere
When my wife first told me of her interest in learning more about organic foods, I didn’t really give it much thought. An environmentalist at heart, she’s always been curious to learn about new products and services which promote a healthy lifestyle and improve the sustainability of our planet.
But when I noticed a gallon of organic milk sitting on the top shelf of the refrigerator, I immediately blurted out, “That’s gonna taste weird!” I never did master the art of thinking before speaking, because if I did I would’ve understood how idiotic what I was saying truly sounded.
In my defense, I don’t think I’m alone in my misconception of what it truly means to be “organic”. I think many of us simply don’t understand this popular new classification.
In short, the term “organic” simply refers to the way in which agricultural products are grown or processed, and what substances they must not be produced with. Some of these include:
- Antibiotics and growth hormones
- Chemical pesticides and fertilizers
- High fructose corn syrup
- Artificial dyes and sweeteners made from chemicals
- Genetically engineered proteins
What’s alarming is that it’s perfectly legal for non-organic foods to be produced with these harmful substances – though good luck finding them on the ingredient labels at the local supermarket. But that makes sense I suppose. I mean would you really buy a can of soup if it said that it may contain growth hormones or anything genetically engineered?
Organic products are not missing any of the flavor people like me first believed – they taste just as good if not better in fact. But what they are definitely missing are the harmful chemicals which have been linked to a variety of health issues and diseases over the last few years.
Yes, the cost of many organically produced foods is quite a bit higher than non-organic. But you saw the list above - can you really put a price on your health?
Now I’m not saying you should run home and throw out everything in your refrigerator and pantries. But I am suggesting that you make one change here and there based on the more popular food items your family consumes. Remember, even a small change can make a difference, but you have to start somewhere.
So the next time you’re staring down at your glass of milk or what’s hanging on the end of your fork, think about what would be missing from your foods if you had chosen to buy organic – and believe me it’s not flavor.