Further to my last post on organics, I’ve been weighing up a few issues of my own I’ve been having in regards to putting the organics ‘pledge’ into practice.
In short, yes, I believe that we have a ‘duty of care’, so to speak, to promote state of health through a diet filled with clean, organic foods and as little toxins as possible. There is no doubt in my mind that generations of poor food and lifestyle choices have compromised our overall well-being today, and that our choices in our own lifetime will affect the health of future generations. What’s more, there are huge ethical ramifications spurred by our approach to organic agricultural practices and sustainability. I want to commit to as ‘clean’ and natural a lifestyle as possible, commit to dietary choices that benefit both me, our race and our planet. Yet, when it comes to buying organic foods, I find I’m still torn at the checkout between my intentions, beliefs and… my ever-thinning wallet. Expensive? Well, yes. Even when doing my best to stock up on farmers’ market produce each weekend. On a day-to-day basis, buying mostly or exclusively organic is tough on the purse-strings!
Today, I stumbled upon the following article by Brendan Brazier on Kris Carr’s fabulous blog, Crazy Sexy Life. If you’re not already familiar with this site, get acquainted! These words were just what I needed to hear, faced with my student-budget-versus-organic-nutrition dilemma. I know that these words do not directly pertain to organics per se, more to natural foods in general vs. “cheaper” processed food products (which is the giant first step!!). However, for where I’m at, Brendan’s advice can really be applied to heightening the nutritional value of a whole foods diet by placing emphasis on the selection of clean, toxin-free, organic produce. Thank-you Brendan Brazier, for putting the perceived immediate price of health in perspective for me. Hopefully this can help me keep the long-term and big picture benefits in mind when making daily choices at the checkout.
For the full article, click on the link below, it’s well worth a read.
Solid Nutrition: The Base for Economic Recovery
“As you might expect, low-quality diet is one of the main reasons for the increase in obesity among the poor. Many processed and highly refined foods (or what, in some cases, are more properly referred to as edible food-like substances) are cheaper than whole, fresh, and natural options. People with less money are more likely to buy the cheaper foods.
This is problematic for two reasons. First: highly-processed and refined foods generally have little to no nutritional value. As a result, you will have to consume considerably more food to satisfy the body’s need for nutrients. Only when the body has the nutrients it requires does it switch off its hunger signal. The negative short-term effect is that more food will be consumed, which leads quickly to weight gain. In addition, the digestion of this, low-nutrient food robs the body of energy without providing much energy in return. The result is that the person feels less full and has to spend more money to buy additional food to stay satiated. If that person were to gradually switch over to a diet comprised of more expensive whole foods, he or she would no longer be in a constant state of hunger and therefore would naturally choose to consume less. The financial saving gained from buying cheap processed foods quickly evaporates.
Second, the consumption of these processed foods contributes to long-term health risks. If a person has relied on processed foods to reconstruct the body day in and day out for decades, that body will falter later in life. Disease of some form will almost certainly be the result. Type II diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, and the many offshoots of cardiovascular disease are the most common to develop. The drugs needed to treat these ailments commonly cost several thousand dollars per month. And that’s just to alleviate the symptoms; the underlying disease continues to progress. Admittedly, there are rare cases when drugs can eradicate the disease; however, what caused the disease in the first place has not been addressed, therefore it may return.
To put it simply, replacing refined, processed foods with natural, whole foods is a form of health insurance. You will stack the odds in your favor and save money in the long run. In the short term, you will have more energy and greater mental clarity, both of which can significantly improve productivity. Some people may choose to put a dollar value on that.”
Hope you enjoy the article as much as I did, it was just what I needed to hear. While you’re browsing, check out Nutrition: The Future of Medicine by Dr T. Colin Campbell (author of The China Study), for a commentary on the real value of nutrition and the arrogance which surround personal food choice.
It might seem like I’ve got organics on the brain at the moment, but I’ve been doing some reading up on the Australian official ‘Certified Organic’ guidelines – I’ll be sure to do a post soon on some of the things I’ve discovered. For the meat, poultry, fish, dairy and egg eaters amongst us, it’s information highly worthwhile taking note of, especially when it comes to food choices that organic in spirit, not just in letter. In the meantime, have a fabulous weekend!