No More Excuses! 4 Ways to Make Buying Organic Easier
Years ago, the rules for good nutrition were simple: eat your fruits and veggies. It was as easy as that. But with recent discoveries about the dangers of food chemicals, what it means to eat healthfully is no longer quite as simple.
For a few years, there has been ongoing debate among consumers about whether paying extra for organic food is worth it. According to naturopathic physician, Dr. Kevin Passero, buying organic is in fact worth the additional monetary cost. He says that organic produce and other food items offer increased nutrient content, reduced exposure to dangerous chemicals, and are the only foods that are guaranteed to be GMO-free — all significant benefits in my eyes.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out why many people (myself included) don’t put the extra effort into purchasing organic foods every time they hit the grocery store. Science is proving that the benefits of choosing organic stretch beyond the obvious — so why the resistance?
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes, buying organic is frustrating. I’m a busy woman who is often on-the-go, and I need things to be both in my budget and easy-peezy in order for them to work as part of my lifestyle. As with any decision that affects my health, I find it helps to weigh the pros and the cons, and then seek the practical solution. Luckily for you, I’ve come up with some everyday solutions for you to consider as part of this balancing act.
I’ve concluded that there are four main excuses that people give as reasons to opt out of buying organic, and I’ve come up with four practical solutions to make it easy.
1. Organic produce spoils faster.
This is true. But if you think about it, do you really want something in or on your fruit that makes it last longer? Probably not.
The Solution: Go European with this one. Most Americans make one large grocery trip every 1-2 weeks, instead of every few days like people Europe and many other parts of the world typically do. When you hit the grocery store for a big trip, buy the non-perishable items for your household and maybe some produce for just a few days. Come the weekend or a quiet weekday evening, head to the store or a farmers’ market to replenish your fruit and veggie supply. Sure it’s an extra trip, but it’s better than rotten bananas!
- Need to find a farmers’ market in your area? Local Harvest is a great resource. Buying local reduces the transit time of foods, which means it will last longer in your kitchen.
- Not close enough to a store for this to be convenient? Start a garden! It’s a great weekend hobby that provides exercise, personal satisfaction and fresh produce. My parents started one three years ago and it’s been fabulous.
2. Organic foods are expensive!
The average American family is on a budget that makes buying organic a luxury expense. I say, if you can afford to do it across the board, fantastic. But if that’s not practical for you, there are ways around it.
The Solution: Be organically choosey. There are some fruits and vegetables that present a greater need for organic purchase than others. Some fruits and vegetables come with natural protection such as avocados, bananas or corn. Since they have an outer layer of protection, they’re a little less threatening than blueberries or strawberries, which for all we know, are sprayed with and directly absorb hundreds of chemicals just days or weeks before we consume them. The Environmental Working Group just released a report that outlines which produce items are best purchased organic (known as the “Dirty Dozen”), and which items tend to be safer because they’re less heavily contaminated.
3. There’s no immediate gratification associated with buying organic.
Some people don’t really care to invest much thought (or money) into organic purchases because the foods don’t make them feel any ”healthier.” They feel just the same after consuming organic strawberries as they do after consuming chemical-ridden strawberries. Let’s be honest — the negative effects of eating pesticide-coated produce items that are possibly poisoning our bodies aren’t something we necessarily feel right away either.
The Solution: Get the facts on the dangers of pesticide exposure. A recent study revealed that pesticides may be linked to ADHD in children. And that’s just the most recent tip of the iceberg. A CNN special on this matter called Toxic America highlights and explores the dangers we face by not taking the threat of chemicals in our food and environment seriously. Despite the fact that you may feel no different physically after consuming organic produce, you should feel a sense of relief knowing you just did something to protect yourself (or your loved ones) from future harm. And, by many accounts, organic food actually does taste better overall.
4. Exposure to environmental toxins is inevitable anyway.
No one is interested in pumping themselves or their children full of chemicals, but many think that in today’s world, it is, to a degree, inevitable. Between UVB, BPA and CO2, it’s easy to get caught up in the jargon and think there’s just no way around the pollution. I would gamble that this excuse is only presented when trying to rationalize the other reasons for not choosing organic. But let’s explore the solution.
The Solution: Understand that this is a fallacy. Minimizing your exposure to toxins is absolutely possible. At the very least, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to try. The President’s Cancer Panel recently released a report regarding the effects of chemicals in the environment on health, According to the report, many cancers and other illnesses could be prevented by reducing the amount of toxic chemicals that Americans are exposed to. It’s scarier than we would have predicted 15 years ago. While we can’t (personally) stop oil spills and CO2 emissions by 16-wheelers, we can certainly limit the chemicals allowed to enter our bodies by avoiding pesticides and other chemicals — and that starts in your home. Rather, that starts in your grocery store.