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Food For Thought: Is Going Organic Really Better For Your Health?

According to the stereotype, there are two kinds of people who eat organic food - hippies, and rich people who can afford it. With so many news reports and scare stories in the newspapers about pesticides, GM crops, and medication routinely being administered to the animals that produce our food, isn't it time we ALL started to educate ourselves about how what we eat is produced, and what exactly we are putting into our bodies?

Organic food is for EVERYONE.

The term "organic" refers to the way agricultural products are grown and produced. By law, organic products must adhere to a strict set of standards which prohibit the use of the following:

Antibiotics, artificial growth hormones, artificial sweeteners, artificial dyes, chemical pesticides and fertilisers, genetically modified ingredients, and irradiation.

The fact is that none of these ingredients are ever listed on the label, but commercially produced packaged foods and ready meals routinely add them to food to prolong shelf life, add colour, and bulk out produce in order to make a profit.

What we now call organic food would have simply been "food" a few generations ago. Many of these "ingredients" have only been introduced into the our diets in the last few decades with the advent of new technology.

Did you know:

1.    Non-organic dairy cows are routinely injected with growth hormones in order to produce more milk. Overproduction of milk can cause the animal to be at greater risk of developing udder infections, which can contaminate the milk. For this reason, non-organic dairy cows are routinely fed antibiotics. Traces of these chemicals have been found in non-organic milk and meat produced from these herds.

2.    Chemicals such as organochlorines and organophosphates are routinely sprayed on non-organic fruit and vegetables to make the crop less vulnerable to pests and disease, and increase the yield. Studies have shown that some of these chemicals could pose a danger to public health if consumed regularly and in large amounts.

3.    Tests have revealed that organic fruit and vegetables provide significantly higher levels of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus than non-organic varieties of the same foods. Intensive farming of the land saps nutrients from the soil, meaning that increasing amounts of fertilisers must be used year on year in order to produce a profitable yield.

4.    Non-organic produce can be sourced from genetically modified crops. The lack of long term studies mean that the potential dangers of eating these foods are not yet fully understood.

5.    Hydrogenated fats and controversial additives like aspartame, tartrazine and MSG are all banned under organic standards.

Our health depends on much more than the absence of disease. Our natural environment also has a deep impact on our general sense of wellbeing and vitality. Organic farms are a haven for butterflies, bees and wild flowers. The animals on the farm are happy and their welfare is a priority. The continuous over farming of our precious resources does not bode well for the future of the planet or the quality of our food. If your local store doesn't stock organic food, ask for it. The more demand there is for high quality, natural and nutritious food, the more likely we are to create a better future for both the health of the planet, and for ourselves.

Our lifestyle and nutritional consultants are currently receiving new clients, so if you are looking to improve your diet or learn more about nutrition, call the clinic today on 07 55625 211 to see how we can help.

31 October 2013