Not a Tues Psych Post ~ How to Eat “Organic”
Eating Organic is “Too Expensive”
Often times the excuse I hear against eating organic is that it’s too “expensive.” I agree.
The key is to know why you’re eating organic. In this article I will list a couple of different, but vitally important reasons to eat organic and leave you with the Top 4 foods you should spend the extra money on.
So what’s the point of eating organic? There’s a number of reasons that people like to cite, such as it’s better for the environment (which it is) or it has more vitamins and minerals (which hasn’t really been shown to be true).
Although these sound like good reasons for eating organic, the bottom line for most people is, “What’s in it for me?”
Two Reasons to Eat Organic
1 – You don’t eat organic for what’s in it (added vitamins and minerals), but for what’s not on/in the food. In other words, you want to avoid the pesticides, the organophasphates and other non-sense that comes along with the food. These added substances have been proven to disrupt normal hormonal signaling, contribute to obesity and disrupt neuronal development in children.
2 – A second reason to avoid non-organic foods is because of the fatty acid profiles of the different foods. Cows fed corn and other grains that they don’t have the ability to digest, will alter the fatty acid profile of the meat. In other words, there will be more Omega 6 fatty acids and a higher concentration of the pesiticides and hormones (fat is where toxins are stored). Grass fed beef will have a better fatty acid profile, with more Omega 3 fatty acids and CLA, along with less of the pesticides and toxins. A better fatty acid profile will help to reduce inflammation throughout the body.
At this point, you might be wondering what the hell inflammation has anything to do with anything you might be concerned with like, losing weight, your health or gaining muscle?
The bottom line is that the amount of “inflammation” experienced by your individual cells will send off signals to your immune system, endocrine system and brain. These signals then regulate how much stress hormones are released (impacts fat loss and can cause you to gain fat faster) and since muscle is regulated by how much inflammation there is, the harder it will be to build muscle. On top of that, mood disorders will start to occur, from moodiness to schizophrenia. Disruptions in your mood will then effect will power and your ability to stick to a diet and your motivation to actually go to the gym or simply be spontaneously active.
Therefore, the less inflammation you have throughout your body’s cells, the more motivated you’ll be, the easier it will be for you to lose fat and gain muscle. In addition to that, the less toxins your body is exposed to, the less your body will spend time detoxifying substances from outside sources and the better your body will be at breaking down the fat in your body and using it for energy.
With all of that said, what are the foods you eat that should be organic?
Top 4 Foods to Purchase as Organic
1 – Beef ~ I think this is the most important food to purchase organic. The reason why beef is my number one thing to purchase organic is because it encompasses everything that’s wrong with conventional foods (regular beef) and everything that’s right with organic foods.
A – Conventional beef has added hormones and pesticides in it.
B – Conventional beef has a bad fatty acid profile.
C – Conventional beef is horrible for the environment.
So when you’re buying organic beef, it should be 100% grass fed or grass-finished. Sometimes organic cows will be fed corn and wheat that’s organic (which is better than non-organic), but since that’s not their natural foods, will cause them their fatty acid profiles to be altered.
2 – Apples ~ Apples have been shown to be one of the most highly sprayed crops. Organic apples won’t have any pesticides on them and from a fruit stand-point is one of the easiest, low fructose/low sugar fruits there are, which also provides a ton of fiber. In other words, you should be eating organic apples.
3 – Berries ~ This includes blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or any other kind of berry you can imagine. This is the hardest of the three because they’re not as common as organic apples. If you can’t find organic berries, buy frozen berries. As TC wrote in his article Bad Fruits, Evil Veggies, “The washing and blanching that prepares fruits and vegetables for freezing or canning supposedly removes between 80 and 90% of pesticides.” Since this is true of most fruits and veggies, it’s a good thing to keep in mind if you can’t “afford” to eat organic.
4 – Milk ~ Milk suffers from the same issues as beef, except milk also has the added goody of having estrogen in the milk. This estrogen passes to humans and can disrupt a number of hormonal systems in both males and females. Therefore, drink organic milk.
If you were to start with these four recommendations, you would be better of than those that say they “can’t afford” to eat organic. In addition to that, here are a couple of more tips.
1 – Any meat that you eat, that’s not organic (besides bison) should be low in fat or extra lean. This isn’t because Ithink the fat in the meat is bad, but instead that’s where the toxins are stored. Therefore, eat turkey, pork or chicken that’s lean (very low fat).
2 – There’s no need to buy organic eggs, which can normally be double the price of regular eggs, especially if all you do is eat the egg whites. If you eat the whole egg, then buy omega 3 eggs. The better fatty acid profile will help to keep inflammation at bay while also keeping more money in your wallet.
3 – Coffee and potatoes are really two other things that should be purchased organic. These things are almost impossible to find organic though and therefore, should be minimized. If you’re going to drink non-organic coffee though, what you should do is at least purchase a stainless steel mug as the cups that hot coffee come in are ones that l,each chemicals and can act to disrupt normal hormonal signaling.
With all of that said, some people might look at this list and say that I know such and such that has not needed to eat organic and they’re healthy. Although this is true, the bottom line is that it’s like playing Russian Roulette. Just because someone else might not have gotten the chamber with the loaded bullet, doesn’t mean that you won’t.
Here are a couple of other resources for further reading (besides the links above):
1 – Inflammation Theory
2 – The Effects of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Weight Loss and how to Mitigate Them.
If you have any questions, please feel free to let me know.