Understanding what ‘organic’ means

What are Organic foods?

Organic foods are what we used to eat before the mid 1990s, and are vegetables and fruits that are grown without chemical fertilizers and excessive use of pesticides and neither do they contain any genetically modified organisms (GMO) in them. GMOs are incorporated into almost of our foods today without much news or information on it and most definitely without our knowing consent. Read about the controversy in the article I wrote here. Organic vegetables and fruits are also not planted on soil that is depleted of minerals due to planting excessively and continuously that is known as monoculture. Organic meat are derived from animals that are not treated with anti-biotics and growth hormones injected into them.

Meat, fruits and vegetables that are organic usually have a higher nutrient level. Organic processed or packed food has no artificial food additives and no genetically modified ingredients (GMO) in them. All these can usually be seen by reading the ingredient labels on food packings, or checking the source of the vegetables and meat to see if they are from organic farms. Packaged food that are organic usually has one or more organic certification on it next to the ingredient list.

Why are Organic foods good?

Organic foods are known to be free from chemicals that are so widely used on foods nowadays. Not only do they have a higher nutrient level, these foods are usually digested by the human body easily, and there will be no accumulation of toxins compared to ingesting vegetables and fruits that are grown with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Meat that are not pumped with growth hormones and antibiotics are also definitely healthier as these anti-biotics and growth hormones are in turn absorbed by us when we eat them.
The human body is known to accumulate toxins when exposed to such chemicals in our food, and believe it or not, we will never adapt or ‘evolve’ to rid of such toxins. This is why there are so many diseases on the rise as we become more and more technologically advanced.

How do I benefit from eating Organic food?

You have EVERYTHING to benefit from eating organic food! First of all, I cannot emphasize enough on how much more nutrients you will be getting from organic food. Especially the vegetables and fruits. Not only do they taste better, you will be able to fully utilize all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs from these foods. You will definitely have more energy, you will be healthier and maybe even not fall sick. Your body will be able to handle infections and common colds and recover faster.

This is from me speaking from my very own personal experience. I believe that most of the illnesses and diseases that are on the rise is due to a lack of nutrients from our food and diet. You do not just get an illness one fine day. It is definitely a build up of toxins by your body over a long period of time. This is why I urge people to eat organic NOW! Even if you can’t eat organic, eat with a healthier diet.

Do all foods have Organic choices or just specific kinds?

Most foods have Organic choices because that is how we all ate before the governments have decided to legalize genetically modified organisms in our foods. We haven’t always been eating these junk. While it is best to eat your Organic fruits, vegetables and meat, there are also Organic options in the packaged food range.

Where to get Organic foods?

You will have to get hardworking and do some google research on Organic grocers in your country or region. I am based in Singapore, so most of the recommendations on where to get Organic foods will be mainly in Singapore. Just to name a few local places to get Organic food is Supernature and certain Cold Storage outlets that have a more extensive Organic selection. Drop me an email if you are in Singapore and would like some help locating organic supermarkets or farms.

How to know if my food is Organic?

If your food is packaged, check the ingredient label for organic certification. There will be at least one organization that will certify that food is organic if it is. If your food is a fruit, vegetable or meat, you will have to find out the farm it is from and determine if the farm is organic or not. It can be misleading as some packaged food will appear to be organic by having the word ‘organic’ on the front, or next to the name. You will have to check the ingredient label for an organic certification to be sure if the food is really organic.

Are Organic foods safe for people with special diets?

I would say yes as long as you are sticking to the diet you are told by your physician to follow. You may even see a faster improvement or recovery in your condition if you stick to Organic foods.

What’s wrong with non-organic food?

Non-organic foods nowadays are either harvested from crops that have been heavily sprayed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, or are meat that are taken from animals that have been injected with anti-biotics and growth hormones. These chemicals used are legalized by governments, to ensure we have a constant and definite supply of food that can be sold to commercial supermarkets.

What is neglected is the fact that these chemicals can be and are absorbed into our bodies when we eat them, thus accumulating and making us ill. Apart from non-organic vegetables, fruits and meat, processed food that are sold widely in supermarkets and fast food chains, do have genetically modified chemicals in them. In other words, the meat patty on your fast food burger is not 100% real meat that originated from a healthy cow or chicken.

If non-organic food is ‘unsafe’, then why is it sold everywhere?

Foods that are chosen to be sold in different countries have passed the basic food regulations within that country. Using these chemicals in foods are not only legalized by governments, but they deem it to be safe and therefore passing the mark of their food regulations. I am not disclaiming the government’s efforts in providing edible foods for us. It’s just that based on these facts on how organic and non-organic foods are derived, and also my personal experience with both kinds of food, I am saying the organic one works for me, and I believe will work on you too.

Why are Organic foods more expensive?

This is a vicious cycle when it comes to this question. There are a few reasons as to why organic food produce are generally more expensive. First of all, because most organic farms are self-sustained and do not resort to the chemicals when it comes to farming, they are unable to control external factors that reduces their crops or livestocks. This will overall affect the quantity that they will be able to deliver.

Secondly, as you already know, not every supermarkets and shops sell organic food. These farms will need to find grocers that are willing to stock their products. The reason why supermarkets and shops don’t like to store their products is because there is not a high demand from consumers, and are afraid these products will not sell. Organic foods also have shorter shelf lives as most of them do not contain any preservatives or chemicals that will lengthen it. When consumers don’t pick them off the shelf fast enough, they will go bad. And this, to most businesses, means a loss in profit for them.

So when consumers don’t see organic food sold everywhere, they tend to not pick it up. When consumers do not buy it, organic farms are unable to put their stocks there. This is a vicious cycle. The third reason why organic food is more expensive is also due to the quality of it. Have you ever tried using just real oranges to make orange juice? How many oranges do you need just for one cup of pure, natural and healthy orange juice?

What can I do if I do not have time to cook or prepare meals?

This is a very understandable situation for most working people. My best suggestion for people who are too busy to cook, is to stock up on organic vegetables and fruits in their fridge. Fruits will be good to eat on the go, while you can make salads for yourself with the raw vegetables that don’t take up as much time as cooking. If all these is impossible to do everyday, it is best to choose salads as appetizers and eat fat and oil free main courses. I highly recommend a diet that is high in vegetables and fruits, than counting calories and not getting enough nutrients.

Is it okay if I don’t eat organic but use organic skincare/makeup?

It all boils down to personal preferences. There is no right or wrong in your choices. However, I feel that how you look externally is a reflection of your internal health. It is good that your skincare/makeup choices are organic, but it would be ideal if you are working on looking good and healthy on your insides too.

Why is organic skincare/makeup good?

Organic skincare/makeup is good because just like the organic food, it contains all natural ingredients that are safe for the skin. It does not contain any genetically modified ingredients, and most of it are natural ingredients derived from organic farming. Organic makeup is not supposed to contain any chemical ingredients that are known or even suspected to be harmful to our skin from long term exposure. I talk about chemical ingredients to avoid here.

How does organic skincare/makeup benefit me?

Most of the organic makeups are non-comedogenic and will not clog pores. And because of their natural ingredients that are not suffocating to the skin, it allows the skin to breathe and some may even improve the condition of your skin. If some of you have seen ladies who are frequent users of makeup without makeup, you will notice a yellowish tinge to their dull, sallow skin. These are signs of the skin being suffocated by their non-organic makeup. It’s the same as nail polish. Try putting on nail polish for 2 weeks and then remove it. You will see a yellowish tinge on your nails after you remove it. Organic makeup will  not have that effect on you. Of course it is best to not use much or any makeup at all if you can afford to.

Organic skincare will definitely benefit your skin in the long run as it is made of natural ingredients from organic farming and contains no genetically modified chemicals. Non-organic skincare ranges usually contains skin irritants and even ingredients that will be harmful for your skin in the long run. While it may seem that your non-organic skincare is more effective and you are able to see results quicker, these are either short term, or just a placebo effect. I dare you to read the ingredient labels on both your non-organic skincare and makeup and google the effects of just the top 5 ingredients in the list.

Environmental Working Group has a cosmetic data base that allows you to type in ingredients to find out the effects of it. It is a website that is non-profitable and aims to raise awareness on all the harmful ingredients that most skincare and makeup contains. I explain and talk more about harmful effects of non-organic skincare/makeup here.

If non-organic makeup is ‘unsafe’, why are they sold everywhere?

Again, like what I explained above regarding non-organic food sold everywhere, the legal standards for skincare and makeup in most countries (not including most European countries) are not rigidly strict in their regulations. They believe that the use of these chemicals in small amounts is safe. However, your skin is also an organ and it absorbs what is put on top of it. This includes the chemicals that the ‘scientists’ behind these non-organic skincare and makeup companies claim to be safe in small amounts. Most women especially, put on these skin care and makeup on a daily basis. Can you imagine all the chemicals you are absorbing daily? Problems in your skin and body do not just occur suddenly. It is always because of an accumulation of toxins over a period of time and you are fully in control of the things that you allow your body to ingest and absorb.

If you have a question that I did not address anywhere on this site, or would like to get my opinion on something, drop me an email at green.holistic.living@gmail.com and I will do my best to answer it as soon as possible.

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