Organic means to come from its original source. Organic foods are grown without the use of genetically modified organisms, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, farmed in clean soil, and animals grown without the use of antibiotics and hormones.
Why Buy Organic?
“Nearly two-thirds of the 3,015 produce samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2013 contained pesticide residues – a surprising finding in the face of soaring consumer demand for food without agricultural chemical.”
-Environmental Working Group (EWG)
Organic food may be more nutritious than conventional food. There is no definitive research to back this claim, but research continues to expand and grow in this area. Peer-reviewed journals have been published with research showing organic produce to have higher amounts of nutritional value than the conventional produce.
What are pesticides?
Pesticides are toxic chemicals used intentionally to kill living things. These toxic chemicals include and kill: herbicides (weeds), insecticides (insects), fungicides (fungi), and rodenticides (rodents). These chemicals are found in our air, on and in our food, and in the water we drink. Many farmers use them to protect their crops from instances such as weathering, diseases, and pests.
Exposure to pesticides may cause quite a few health effects.
- Memory loss
- Loss of coordination
- Reduced visual ability
- Reduced motor skills
- Hypersensitivity and Hyperactivity (ADHD)
- Genetic damage
- Endocrine (hormone) disruption
- Problems with reproduction and fetal development
When food shopping, read the ingredients and labels on food products and look out for the PLU stickers on fresh produce to ensure you are purchasing organic. Organic, in terms of labeling, can be tricky. Be patient and take your time when reading labels. You may be surprised!
- PLU stickers of fresh produce have five numbers and begin with a 9. (i.e. 94554)
- 100% Organic means the food product is made with 100% organic ingredients and their product can be labeled with the USDA Organic Seal.
- Organic, labeled as is, means the food product contains 95-99% organic ingredients and the rest of the ingredients are not approved organic. These food products can label their product with the USDA Organic Seal.
- Made with Organic Ingredients labeled on food products means it is made up of 70-94% organic ingredients and cannot use the USDA Organic Seal on their product. They can, however, list up to three of their organic ingredients on the front of their product.
- Food products with less than 70% organic ingredients can list all of their organic ingredients, but cannot use the USDA Organic Seal.
*Information provided by the EWG
Even though organic farms use organic soil and are strict against the use of toxins and chemicals, they are, however, permitted by the USDA to use certain pesticides on their organic produce that are generally regarded as safe. Always wash your vegetables and fruits with produce wash.
Superfoods Veggie Egg Muffins (makes 12 muffins)
- 1 cup shredded organic kale
- 1/2 cup grated organic carrots
- 4 large organic mushrooms
- 1/2 cup organic red bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 5 whole organic grass-fed eggs
- 5 organic grass-fed egg whites
- 1 Tablespoon oil (avocado, almond, walnut, sesame, sunflower, coconut, etc.)
- Finely chop kale, mushrooms, and peppers.
- Mix and whip all ingredients together in a large bowl, except hemp seeds.
- Pour ingredients in muffin tin and fill 3/4 of the way.
- Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a little brown on edges and cooked.
- Allow to cool.
- Sprinkle hemp seeds.