“Organic” is one of the most popular words used nowadays. When you watch TV, read a newspaper or magazine, and browse through your favorite websites you always see this word “organic”. Organic food, organic cosmetics, organic clothes and even organic rugs. Is there anything that cannot be organic? The question that I have about all this organic stuff is “Is it just a fad? Am I being fooled into paying more for regular things? Is it just a way for somebody to make good money on me?”
Let’s look at organic food in particular. Is organic food an essential part of a balanced diet or not? I’ve been asking myself this question for a while now. When I go to the grocery store I want to save as much money as possible without compromising my family’s health. I am often faced with a choice to buy the old-fashioned groceries or pay a few more dollars and buy something organic. A few dollars do not seem like much at first but once you’ve got all your essentials like milk, cereal, meat and produce your bill goes up $50 or more. My question is “Is it really worth it?” I can’t be throwing away money just to follow some fad. Can you?
I was very skeptical about everything organic at first and that is why I decided to conduct my own research about this craze. I have written down cons and pros of organic products to help you make the choice. Here they are:
- Organic products do not contain pesticides (here is an interesting research Health benefits of organic food for children).
- Organic meat has less fat.
- Grass-fed (organic) beef is higher in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and linoleic acid, or CLA (Health Benefits of Grass-Fed Products, Don’t Eat Dirty Meat!).
- Goods made of organic ingredients do not contain partially hydrogenated oil (trans fats), high fructose corn syrup and other artificial ingredients.
- Organic food tastes better.
- Organic foods have a higher nutrient concentration (you have to eat less to get your daily amount of vitamins and minerals) (you can read more about it in Study supports benefits of organic food and Organic really is better).
- Organic foods are rich sources of antioxidants – cancer-fighting chemicals (Report Confirms More Health Benefits of Organic food).
- Organic farming is environmentally friendly.
- Animals are treated more humanely.
- Organic food is expensive.
- There are a few studies that claim to have not found any difference in nutritional value of organic and non-organic produce.
- Organic juices and cereals have fewer vitamins than non-organic ones. Manufacturers of non-organic goods add vital minerals and vitamins to their products.
- Organic food does not mean fewer in calories or diet-friendly (that’s by far the biggest myth).
- A lot of times organic produce travels half way around the world to get to your supermarket. It’s not environmentally friendly driving, floating or flying that far and I have to doubt the quality of these veggies and fruits that have spent weeks just to get to your fridge.
- A lot of organic products come from third world countries that do not have high farming standards.
Organic foods have more pros than cons though I realize that some of the benefits are vague and unsupported. I think that it’s important to find a balance between value for your pocket and value for your stomach. I truly believe that every piece of food that you put in your mouth must bring you as many benefits as possible. I do not want to regret that I have eaten something that is not good for me. I do not want to give my babies anything that is not 100% safe for them.
When it comes to organic food it’s important to find that golden balance between prudence and foolishness. I am not going to pay extra money just to say that I buy only organic groceries. I do not believe in only organic living nowadays. Some foods are organic by nature and they won’t get any better if you put an organic stamp on them. Some of the examples are bread, canned beans and tomatoes, rice, pasta, bananas, onions, sweet potatoes and many others.
I think that organic eating is an essential part of a balanced nutrition nowadays and I have made it part of my family’s diet. I do not go crazy about organic foods and I practice, what I call, frugal organic eating (read my tips on frugal organic eating). I take the best of both worlds, organic and non-organic, without wasting extra money at the grocery store. If you want to eat healthy without going bankrupt then I am sure that half-organic is the way to go. Be smart about what you put in your shopping cart and in your mouth and
Keep it balanced!