As a body make-over specialist, I not only help clients achieve ownership in a vibrant active body through exercise but also through nutritional consultation. This was meant to be a quick reference guide for my clients.
We proudly shop organic foods. In order to help understand why, here's a short definitions list:
Pesticide- A product designed to kill "pests." Pests can be classified as beetles, worms, flying insects, creepy crawly things, bugs, as well as cuddly furry friends such as mice, rats, rabbits. A poison is sprayed onto the growing foods to either kill or at least deter the pests from eating a farmer's bountiful crop.
Herbicide- A products designed to kill "weeds." Weeds can classified as any plant growing that was not intended to be.
GMO- Genetically Modified Organism- This is a tricky definition. Humans are technically genetically modified organisms- a discussion for a later date. And technically many different kinds of produce are genetically modified in the sense of cross-pollination. The big stink comes from plant seed companies and their Frankenstein plants. Here's what happened. Innocently, genetic scientists took the theory of cross-pollination and took it a step further through applied genetic manipulation. Most commonly known from the beginnings was the big, juicy seedless tomatoes and watermelons. Which in and of itself seems pretty harmless to consumers and the environment and sustainability of crops.
The Ugly GMO conflict enters when money becomes the bottom line. A few issues needed to be addressed by seed companies to make a killing in the industry (pun intended).
- Cross-Pollination is a slow tedious process that can take up to four seasons for a desired outcome in producing certain types of seeds. Time is money. Genetically modify plants to produce seed/ seedless crops.
- Herbicides and Pesticides are messy and culturally unfavorable. Who wants an apple that's been sprayed by poisons a dozen time in a season? So the next idea that takes science and genetics even farther into the "I'm not sure if we should be doing that" realm, was to genetically modify the plants to produce and release its own herbicides and pesticides from within the plant itself. And hey if we keep it a secret, farmers can say they aren't spraying their crops and everybody is happy. Except, the reality of rotating crops has become an issue with GMO's contaminating fields. Result is not cross-pollination, now it's cross contamination! A GMO crop field takes 16 years to restore back to original conditions.
- "We want to monopolize the seed biz" mantra seems to be overtaking companies' egos. You thought pharmaceuticals were bad? Seed companies have coerced our government to make it illegal for farmers to keep the seeds from their crops to use for next season in many states. Forcing farmers to buy from seed companies. Wonder why food is becoming expensive? Monsanto has become the major monopoly player- therefore when we get sick from foods traced back to GMO consumption, you can rest assured Monsanto will be the falling giant involved in the mess.
- Good news. GMO foods are holding less presence among the American soils. Bad news is that it's not necessarily less on our plates or clothes. Countries emerging from third world status, such as India are using GMO technology and very harsh pesticides and herbicides because a) they don't know any better, b) their government and society does not impose limitations, c) MONEY TALKS. Cottonseed oil from India should be avoided at all costs as it is a waste product of cotton production and therefore not consider a true food source. In addition, Indian cottons may cause skin irritations because of the harsh chemicals used as pesticides. Check your clothes labels!
Crap! This is getting long; I got sidetracked with that damn GMO stuff.
The USDA certified organic label- Ensures that the foods are free of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic chemicals, hormones, antibiotics and genetic modifications.
Conventional farming- involves the use of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic chemicals, hormones, antibiotics and/ or genetic modification.
Principle of Supply and Demand- Says that if we don't demand or create the need for conventional farming and the slow poisoning of you and your kids then conventional farming methods will not be supplied, eventually. A return to more organic farming and foods will revive if we increase the demand.
VEGETABLES TO BUY ORGANIC
Beets- thin skinned root that absorbs heavy metals
Bell peppers (all colors)
Carrots- so good at absorbing heavy metals that they are at times grown as a throw away crop to rid a field of arsenic contamination.
Collard greens, salad greens, Swiss chard-
Spinach- Often grown in less-than-ideal conditions. Add fungicides to the list.
Winter Squash- Coated with oily wax, making skin inedible.
*Vegetables without a comment are covered in pesticide residues.
VEGETABLES OK TO BUY NON-ORGANIC
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage-
Eggplant (all varieties)
Onions (all varieties)
Rhubarb- Leaves are already highly toxic to many creatures (including humans).
Sweet corn- Buy Local
Tomatoes- Buy Local
Zucchini- Buy Local
NUTS, SEEDS & LEGUMES TO BUY ORGANIC
Peanuts (and peanut butter)- Grow underground and absorb toxins from soil.
Pecans- Add miticides to list.
NUTS, SEEDS & LEGUMES OK TO BUY NON-ORGANIC
Dried beans- Usually washed, soaked, rinsed and boiled Buy Local