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Eating Organic, What’s the Draw?

by Bethaney Wallace on Jun 07, 2012

Summer is arguably the easiest time of year to eat well. Gardens are in full bloom, farmers’ markets offer homegrown veggies at a fraction of the price of grocery stores’ (whose products were shipped in), and the heat reduces the amount of calories we take in. No one wants to sit down to a huge plate of lasagna or pot roast and mashed potatoes when the thermostat is topping out. High temperatures naturally regulate our meal portions.

But what about the rest of the year? When that comfort food is calling and pre-made mashed potatoes are so much easier than cooking up the real thing. Are there really differences between natural and pre-packaged?

Absolutely, and despite what some portray, the benefits to organic foods are astronomical.  In essence, any and all packaged foods or beverages should be considered with a skeptical eye.

First of all, it’s hard to argue with the logic that not putting preservatives in one’s body is healthy. Eliminating these ingredients, as well as artificial flavorings, colorings, and sweeteners, up front, is a quick and simple way to add value to an everyday diet.

What’s Natural?

Next, it is important to understand the difference between natural and organic. “Natural” is often thrown on labels in the interest of piquing the consumer’s interest, however, there is no definition for the word. In theory, almost every single package in the grocery store could read “natural,” and both the FDA and USDA would digress. Neither entity has defined the term. However meat labeled “natural” is minimally processed, and required to be dye- and artificial ingredient-free.

As for organic, this is a term with specific guidelines by food providers. The “organic” label is only to be placed on items that are grown without toxic pesticides, genetically modified organisms, artificial ingredients, hormones, or petroleum-based fertilizers. Basically it’s a label for foods in their most basic and purest forms.

Available Benefits

Through eating organic and all-natural foods (actual natural foods), many nutritional and healthy effects can be obtained. Weight loss is one such effect, as unnecessary calories and artificial ingredients are removed from the diet, allowing the digestive system to work more efficiently and extra pounds to be shed. More nutrients can also be obtained from organic foods, upping consumer’s vitamin intake.

Those with certain food or chemical allergies also benefit from eating healthier foods. By removing unhealthy additives, allergic reactions can often be eliminated without the need for medical treatment. Certain substances cause even a higher risk factor, showing the ability to cause cancer or proving to be potentially toxic. Eliminating these substances completely takes out the guesswork and provides peace of mind that our foods are not only healthy, but also safe to consume.

Finally, removing pesticides, hormones, and fertilizers from our diets can be beneficial toward the environment. Without these items exposed to nature, our soil, air, atmosphere, and plants can remain chemical free.

There are multiple health benefits to eating organic (not to mention fresh food is just tastier than the frozen or boxed stuff). To find out more about healthy food options or to learn how to naturally incorporate flavor into your drinking water, head to Zing