One route is to ditch big businesses. Buy local from reputable, pesticide-free farms. When buying direct from farmers and gardeners, you can develop relationships and know exactly what is going into your food, from fruits and vegetables to eggs and meat. Surprisingly, many small, local growers end up using more pesticides than larger operations due to a lack of proper training.
Also, don’t buy organic food from boxes – there’s an excellent chance the boxed variety is “processed” organic. Unfortunately for some families – mine included – spending twice the price on organic groceries is simply out of a normal budget. In this instance, watch for sales on organic groceries and stock up when you can afford it. Get out and garden when the weather’s suitable. Make as much food from scratch as you can. Avoid processed foods.
An important fact to remember is that even though organic food standards are lowered, organic food, in general, is much healthier. Certified organic foods haven’t been produced with synthetic growth hormones, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).1
GMO … genetically modified organisms or gross me out?
Eating organic is the only way to avoid food manufactured with genetically modified organisms. GMOs are found in the majority of American foods – and in the U.S., there’s no required labeling to identify their presence in a product.
A GMO includes genes from different organisms that are scientifically combined. In plain English, it means a cucumber could include poultry genes – or a chicken could have cucumber genes.
Currently, food, medicines, vaccines, and fibers include GMOs – yet no testing has been done to investigate the health or environmental impacts of this cross-species gene splicing.
Despite the enormous problems that come with the ethics and health of genetic modification, laboratories are standing behind their products. These Frankenstein varieties have better yields. Plus, the crops and animals are more resistant to pests.2
Just because scientists have found a way to tinker with food doesn’t mean the food is better – or healthier.
1. “Seven Ways to Foster Health.” Roon Frost. “Buy Organic!” September 2009, page 6. “Time to Detox?” Elisabeth Hsu-LeBlanc. “Buy Organic!” September 2009, page 10.
2. “Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms.” U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. Human Genome Project Information.
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