NOURISH: Chalk One Up for Common Sense: Eat Organic

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” - Buckminster Fuller

I just saw an ad that shows a plant in one photo, a child in another. The plant is being watered. The child is being given a soda, chips and a cookie. The caption says: You give your plant water to grow. So why would you give your children this?  

Me: standing at a hostess table at a golf tournament (on grass I am pretty sure has been sprayed with toxic pesticides) and offering one particular golfer a tasty organic health bar as a snack while others around us gobble them up and ask for extras to take with them...
Golfer: “No thanks, I won’t eat organic, by choice.”  
Me: “You won’t eat organic by choice?  Why?”
Golfer: “We will never feed the starving children of the world with organic food. So I refuse to eat it.” Then he smirks at me and says “bet you didn’t expect me to say that, did ya?”
Me: (dumbfounded, yet politely)  “Quite frankly, No I did not, and I’m not sure I follow your logic as we all have children and eating organic seems like common sense to me, but, well, Ok. Have a nice day.”
Golfer: laughs and climbs back in his cart.  

All afternoon I think of what I would say to him, if I had another chance, in a room filled with his loved ones and grandchildren. I imagine it  would go something like this....

What does “organic” mean?

(According to the USDA) Simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.

So essentially, organic simply means real food grown without poisons or poisonous practices, right?

Our diet is thought to be partly responsible for between 30%-40% of all cancers, not to mention a plethora of diseases that we won’t focus on here. Considering breast cancer alone, in approximately 10-15 years all of our baby girls (and perhaps our baby boys, as men get breast cancer too) will be young women/men who will face similar if not worse odds for contracting this disease, at potentially younger ages, and we have known for years that what they eat matters. Even if we don’t understand all of the why’s, we definitely know there is a connection. For example, as of October, 2015, processed meats are no longer a question mark but are now officially on the do not eat list. We know estrogen is linked to breast cancers, and we have known this for a while now. Meanwhile we also know that conventionally grown foods are laden with petroleum-based pesticides, which act as estrogen mimickers and these chemical estrogens may sit in receptor sites.

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It’s time for some ‘good old common sense’:  
Think for yourself: Do your research. Know what you are eating, where it came from and how it is processed.     

Eat local. It has been shown that populations that eat locally have lower risks of cancer and other diseases. Eating locally not only puts less petroleum into your food but local foods have more enzymes as they do not need to be pulled from the vine as early so they are better for you.

Pay attention to the meat you eat. Meat can also contain antibiotics and pesticides from the food it consumes, so look for more sustainable and less toxic resources. Non-organically processed cattle are fed bioengineered corn (it’s not REAL food!) rather than grass. This creates e.coli and other resistant bacteria which is harmful for humans and the environment.

A strong immune system is the result of eating foods that energize your body such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. A healthy immune system helps keep your risk for breast cancer as low as possible… again, this is common sense.

Eating food grown WITHOUT pesticides may protect against unhealthy cell changes associated with pesticide use in animal studies, so why not require organic, pesticide free fruits, vegetables, and dairy products for you and your family?

Sharyn Vross of White Picket Produce in Sarasota, Florida has done just that. She is one in a growing number of organic, whole food purveyors who are making farm to table a reality in everyday lives across our country and not just in expensive high-end restaurants.

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Health issues led Sharyn to seek out organic, pesticide-free foods in search of a way to feel better. It changed her life. “People are clamoring for good, organic food for their young, growing families and to reclaim their health,” explains Sharyn, “You would be surprised at the people who order from us regularly. Many have a lot of financial resources, but many do not. They just want REAL food grown in healthy environments and they make it a priority as a way of life.”

It’s pretty simple. Do your research. Learn about your food and make the change. Create a new model and live your best life. It really is just common sense.  

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