Organic Foods are foods that are labeled with the USDA Organic stickers. These ingredients are generally more expensive than conventional foods that are grown with conventional farming methods. The misconception is that herbicides and pesticides cause cancer and other health problems. Additionally there is a belief that organic foods are somehow better tasting, or more nutritious than conventionally farmed foods. Which is simply preposterous.
Organic ingredients tend to be 3-4 times as expensive as their average everyday counterparts. “Going organic” is not what improves your health or well being. What improves your health or well being is the conscious decision to eat healthier and more complete meals. Adding fruits and veggies to your meals, and omitting pre-packaged and prepared foods will do more for you than switching to organic snack chips.
“But it’s Organic.”
The best story I’ve ever heard about the misunderstanding around organic ingredients came from a friend of mine who is a dietitian. One of her patients kept eating cookies after being told not to eat them. My friend confronted the patient about why they continued to eat so many cookies. The patient justified themselves by explaining that the cookies were organic and therefore healthy for them.
We both laughed for a good long while about that story. But, I am using it today to explain that an organic cookie has the same calories and nutritional benefits of a regular cookie. They are in no way actually different.
“Purchasing organic” arose out of a fear of the unknown. The fear of the unknown was about herbicides and pesticides and how they are being used in the modern production of food. Simply make better and healthier decisions like choosing an orange for a snack instead of a cookie. And, you will be just fine.
Armed with this new knowledge, I am very confident that you will all be able to make better decisions, save money, plan meals, and adjust your calories as appropriate. Remember, cooking is an art that you develop and so are the skills that surround meal planning.