The Organic Truth
To eat, or not to eat organic… that is the question.
You’re faced with a dilemma in the produce aisle. In one hand, you hold a conventionally grown piece of fruit. In the other, you hold one that’s organic. Though similar in appearance, nutrients and fiber, one is grown with chemical toxins. Does it matter?
Our cells are the foundation of our health. Chemicals cause cells (and organs) to malfunction and can cause irreversible damage and disease. It’s no wonder that chemical toxins are a leading cause of cancer.
Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides and chemical fertilizers. Even after rinsing, many of the chemicals are deeply absorbed by the produce and eventually absorbed by our bodies where it is stored in body fat to keep it from circulation. Our bodies may even produce additional body fat, if necessary, for this purpose.
Because food manufacturers are not required to tell us which chemicals were used on foods in the produce aisle, we have no way of knowing they’re safe unless we buy certified organic. The USDA has rigid requirements for farmers who use the USDA’s certified organic emblem. Soils are thoroughly tested and must be free of chemical exposure for at least a three-year time period. Also, the foods themselves must be free of chemicals or genetically engineered ingredients.
Regarding animal products, buying certified organic ensures the animals were raised humanely and not fed any chemicals, drugs or hormones. When we eat non-organic animal products, including milk, eggs, cheese and butter, we are ingesting those same chemicals, drugs and hormones given to the animals.
If it’s certified by any other agency than the USDA, be wary. And keep in mind that products labeled “natural,” “free-range” or “hormone-free” are not the same as certified organic. In fact, there are no regulations for these labels at all.
In this economy, it’s difficult for most of us to buy only certified organic foods. And though occasional consumption of non-organic food is unlikely to do excessive harm, eating it every day at every meal invites a tremendous amount of contaminates into our bodies. When these toxins accumulate over the years, disease is often the consequence.
So what are some economical ways we can reduce the risks of chemicals?
Don’t try to change everything at once. Whatever your family members (especially your kids) eat the most of is the place to start.
Animal products like milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt and butter should be an organic top priority, if nothing else. These have more probability of antibiotics and hormones in addition to chemicals than fruits and vegetables have.
Produce we peel before consumption have a much lower level of chemical toxins than foods whose peels we eat. To save money, stick with conventionally grown bananas, avocados, citrus fruits, pineapples, etc. However, try to buy organic apples, berries, celery, peaches, pears, peppers, spinach and strawberries.
Choose vegetables and fruits seasonally. They’re less expensive when they’re in abundance. Grow your own organic veggies, herbs and fruits.Wash veggies and fruits in peroxide. It’s cheaper than and just as effective at removing most toxins as store-bought rinses. Many bargain stores like Wal-Mart and Target sell organic pantry products at low prices. Budget money for organic foods while cutting back on meat. It’s easy to enjoy meatless meals at least one to three nights a week. Bean burritos, spaghetti with marinara or alfredo sauce, chili with beans, salads, omelets, veggie plates or stir-fry are a few options that can help us re-allocate our grocery expenses.Shop the house brands. If “USDA organic” is on the label, it must go through the same certification process as the more expensive brands.
Families with young children can make their own organic baby food. Splurge on organic dairy products for their growing bodies.
There is no question that organically grown or raised foods are a better option for our health. Though we may not have the option when dining out or picking up a fast-food meal, these inexpensive choices allow for healthy changes in our kitchen. And small changes now can amount for large dividends later in life. Part of our spiritual service to God is to honor Him with our bodies, externally and internally. It may be a stretch to say that eating organic foods is one way to honor God with our bodiesÉor is it?
Eat well, my friends.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Rachel Lee Carter
is a conference speaker, Bible teacher, author and international
professional model. As a modesty conscious model of more than 20 years,
Carter has worked for clients such as Cover Girl, Tommy Hilfiger, Reebok, Jones New York, Perry Ellis, Chico’s, DKNY, and many others.
She is a graduate of the Word of Life Bible Institute
in Schroon Lake, NY, where she studied systematic theology and Bible
survey. After hearing God’s on her life as a professional Christian
model, she re-entered the fashion industry.
Rachel is the President of Modeling Christ;
an organization addressing the issues and needs of both participants in
the modeling industry, and the world it influences. She has become a
popular women’s and youth conference speaker addressing issues like
modesty, purity, evangelism and embracing one’s past. She is also a
former contestant of the Miss Teen USA and Mrs. United States pageants.
Her book, Fashioned by Faith
— an international model uncovers the truth about modesty and style
(Thomas Nelson, May 2011) is available at bookstores everywhere.