Organic vs. Industry

I know this is a touchy subject to write about.  But I’m going for it anyways.

Many people wonder what the big deal is about all this “organic stuff.”  I know I used to.  I grabbed whatever was cheapest, threw it in my grocery cart, and never gave a second thought to how that food would affect my body over the long term of my life.

Enter on the scene Eosinophilic Esophagitis.

After lots of blood, sweat, and tears, I’ve now realized how important this area of our lives is. In fact, I believe that it’s so vital to our well-being that I created an entire blog devoted to helping people understand.

I don’t think that people would knowingly put toxins and chemicals (and more) in their bodies if they truly knew what all of those things as a whole were doing to them. At least I hope people care enough about these bodies God has given us to take a look!

I know for  a lot of people, “not knowing” is bliss.  If they don’t know about it, then they can act like it doesn’t exist.  Well, that’s just not how it works.  Ignoring it only makes it worse, and their health will pay the price in one fashion or another.

As I’ve said before, I won’t give you a magic formula.  My goal is to teach the basics, ignite a passion in you to do more research on your own, and then cause you to make informed decisions that will work for your life.

I know most people want all the answers.  Trust me–it was my biggest struggle as a teacher.  My students just wanted a multiple choice test and a study guide that matched that perfectly.  I was “that teacher” that made my students write short answers and a five paragraph essay response on every test.  I firmly believe in the power of hard work. Hopefully I made some impact, right?!

I won’t make you write, (unless you want to!) but I hope to make you think.

In this case, I believe knowledge really is power.  If you don’t know the why behind the choices you have, you’ll never stick with it.  Educating yourself is invigorating and allows you to feel some control of your life in this crazy world!

So we’re about to get down to it.

What does the word ORGANIC actually mean?

The word is thrown around, misused, spit on, loved on, and much more.  But there actually is a definition!

From everything I’ve learned about Organic Farming, here are the most important points:

Organic Farming

When I typed those words, all I could think about was God.  He literally gave us everything we needed to sustain…certain animals and insects, grass for feed, fertility….It’s just a beautiful picture of creation and a reminder of how perfectly detailed our Creator is!

For most of time, organic farming was just called farming.  There was no special term for it because that’s just how the world “made” food.

The Return

That all changed mainly in the 20th century in order to produce mass amounts of food, keep cost down, accommodate lifestyles, etc.

This “new” farming method became known as Industrialized Agriculture.

Here’s what I know about that:

Industrial Farming

When I read those words, I don’t think CREATION.  I think control and advancement and money.

While they were initially beneficial (back in the 1940s), the long term effects of these chemicals have serious environmental and personal consequences, such as soil compaction, erosion, decline in soil fertility and a myriad of health problems because of the toxins in our food supply.

Genetically Modified Organisms (or GMOs):

The last thing that we need to define & discuss on this week’s post is GMOs, or genetically modified organisms.  I must say that this is where it gets tricky…there’s so much to know!

I will give you the basics, but feel free to research some more.  I like 100 Days of Real Food’s article and if you are interested in the political side of it, Food Babe’s site is wonderful for that!  You can check out the Non-GMO project as well.

GMOs

To learn more about why you should avoid GMOs, click here.

To get some tips on how to avoid eating GMOs, click here.

To see a list of “hidden” forms of GMOs (or ingredients made with GM crops) click here.

So now you have the information….but what do you do now?

I know it’s all VERY overwhelming. The number one thing to remember is that you don’t want to put these chemicals in your body because there can be devastating effects from it…We are virtually walking science experiments, and the state of America’s “health” is proving there’s something majorly wrong.

So this is what I suggest:

Where to start:

The only way to ensure that you are getting the least amount of pesticide and GMO exposure as possible is to buy organic foods. I know it’s expensive and difficult to make the change–mainly because you’ll be switching from processed foods to real foods, but focus your thoughts on long term health for you and your children, not temporary satisfaction.  And that’s difficult in today’s world!  To help you on that journey, 100 Days of Real Food has all you need!

While you are working on that, here are a few practical things you can do:

~Pray!  And I promise this isn’t some “Christian-y” answer.  Remember our verse from last week, “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me”?  That means God will help and HE will direct your path.  Commit this to Him–tell Him you need direction and help understanding.  He will show the way!

~Make SMALL changes.  The first two things I would recommend are:

  1. Immediately switch to organic dairy and organic meat.  You can research it further or just trust me that these are SO important.  (You don’t want to continue to pump your body full of GMOs, hormones {goodness knows I don’t need help in that area}, antibiotics, utter puss, etc).  Yes, it’s more expensive.  But it’s that crucial.  Drink filtered water instead, and eat less meat to help offset the cost! Make a crockpot full of our Savory Southwest Chili, and you won’t even miss the meat!
  2. Buy anything listed on the Dirty Dozen list ORGANIC & that’s it.  You can lower your pesticide intake just by doing this! I suggest eventually buying as much organic foods as possible, but this is a great place to start,especially if the budget is tight!

What is the Dirty Dozen list?  It’s simply a list of fruits and vegetables that are typically sprayed with the most amounts of pesticides.

Dirty Dozen

If you need to save some money, you can buy these “Clean Fifteen” foods conventionally.  They WILL still have pesticides/chemicals on them, but they are considered the “cleanest.” At the beginning of my journey, I actually kept this list in my purse!  Don’t be afraid to use a cheat sheet 🙂

Clean Fifteen

 

If any of this interested you, and you’d like to watch some documentaries, I recommend (as of today, you can watch them all FREE on Netflix!):

Food, Inc

Forks Over Knives

Hungry for Change

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

How does this connect to Pure Living?

Pure Living is a movement concentrated on simplifying life and eliminating any form of toxin–toxic relationships, unconfessed sin or addiction, and yes, even toxins from food and environment.

Understanding and eventually consuming organic foods helps purify your body from harmful toxins so that we can live longer, fuller, healthier lives that seek to glorify God in ALL we do.

Thoughts for the Week:

  1. What kind of social impact and environmental damage do you think has resulted from Industrialized Agriculture and its practices?
  2. After reading all of this information, what has been the biggest “eye-opener”? How does this change how you view food?
  3. How can you implement the “small changes” I listed in a realistic, practical way?

Bible Verses for the week:

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.  –Proverbs 16:3

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

–1 Corinthians 10:31

 

 

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