By Annmarie Rodriguez |
The average person's supermarket experience has evolved into quite the quest. After a day filled with endless choices, the idea of having to make yet another one can seem daunting. I often find myself standing in front of a wide array of colorful cans trying to decide whether to buy the $2.89 can of tomatoes or the $2.99 one. I'm then posed with the simple but equally daunting question: organic or conventional?
By the time we reach adulthood, we've heard countless facts and myths about nutrition that make figuring out the best option exhausting. But, there's hope. Here are some helpful insights for venturing back through those supermarket doors.
Choosing to purchase an organic product is more than simply buying a particular fruit or vegetable. By buying organic, you are supporting a particular process, which affects farmers, land and nutrition.
Land used to grow organic produce is held to higher USDA [United States Department of Agriculture] standards than conventional farms. Organic farms meet standards that provide benefits to both future generations and wildlife. The production of organic foods reduces the use of pesticides and eliminates the use of GMOs [genetically modified organisms] in and on foods.
These details may feel far removed or disconnected from our everyday lives. It's hard to fully grasp the importance of this choice when many of us are far from farm life. It's the classic 'out of sight, out of mind' idea. We at deliberateLIFE are trying to bring it back into view. We believe it's something worth talking about.
Pause for a moment and try to visualize the actual farms. You can even go visit one! Take your family, a friend, a nephew or niece and check out what an organic farm looks like and why it's valuable to both our personal health and environmental sustainability.
Many people (USDA included) refer to buying organic produce as a 'gateway' into other healthy habits. Research has begun to persuade people that organic foods contain higher levels of nutrients than conventional foods. Researchers at UC Davis discovered that organic tomatoes produced more flavonoids, Vitamin C, and phytochemicals than conventional tomatoes did.
Phytochemicals exist in a variety of foods, and are considered to help with disease protection. Within the umbrella group of phytochemicals, flavonoids are the most diverse sub-group. Flavonoids are thought to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cardiovascular benefits, to name a few.
Because buying organic produce supports better land maintenance, animal treatment, and pesticide reduction, We the Deliberate believe that it is a choice worth making. Buying organic transforms the mundane and potentially tedious task of grocery shopping into a do-good opportunity.
So next time you walk through those oh-so-familiar doors, take a deep breath. Don't sweat the small stuff. Enjoy being informed and living well.