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Are All Organic Foods Good For You?

This is a subject that really gets me going. I’ve long said that the whole idea of ALL “organic” foods being good for you is completely hogwash!

It depends on what the food is to begin with. Yeah sure, an organic strawberry that was grown without pesticides and harmful chemicals is a very good thing.

In today’s world there are certain foods that health conscious individuals should look to only buy organic as it’s just a fact of reality that agricultural techniques and food production aint what it used to be.

I’ll share with you what foods I look to choose organic, but before I do I want to share with you an interesting article I found in Nutrition Action Newsletter.

It covered some interesting research on how many people have skewed thinking when it comes to thinking organic means healthy. Let’s pick up the story here.

Recently, University of Michigan researchers showed 114 students a label from either ordinary Oreos or fictitious Oreos made from organic flour and sugar. Then the researchers asked…”Compared to other cookie brands, do you think that 1 serving of these Oreo cookies contains fewer or more calories?”

Sure enough, the students were more likely to think the organic Oreos had fewer calories.

In a second experiment, students were asked about Susie, a hypothetical 20 year old sorority member who was trying to lose weight. “Would it be ok for her to skip her usual three mile run after dinner to spend more time on schoolwork?” the students were asked.

The participants were more likely to say “yes” when told that Susie’s dinner (roasted vegetables over brown rice) had finished with a small bowl of organic ice cream or an organic cookie than if the desserts were not described organic.

How many people buy Organic Newman O’s when they’d never buy Oreos, Whole Foods 365 Organic Cheese Crackers instead of Cheez-Its, or Nature’s Path Organic Frosted Toaster Pastries but no Pop Tarts?

An organic food (or it’s ingredients) is grown without pesticides, antibiotics, or growth hormones. That’s admirable, but it doesn’t automatically make it a health food.

(Ref: Nutrition Action Newsletter- April 2011, pg 11)

I couldn’t agree more!

Far too often I think people jump onto a belief system without much thought. This sort of backs the idea up. I mean let’s call it like it is, beliefs will often run together simply out of association. 

I know many people who won’t use a plastic bag to carry their groceries, insisting it’s hurting the environment, but at the same time they don’t have much of an answer on why they believe this to be true.

If they did a little homework they might be surprised to find out these little plastic bags actually leave less of carbon footprint than paper bags.

I guess what I’m getting at is I feel we should examine our belief systems and view them independently of other beliefs.

For example, I certainly believe that choosing only organic for some foods is a good idea, but at the same time I don’t think that I’m somehow contributing to killing “mother earth” if I eat meat, use a plastic bag, or elect not to drive an electric car.

I bring this up because I often get emails and comments from people who seem irritated about how I can be for X but not for Y.

We’ll if that means I’m not part of the crowd or click, then so be it. I’ll choose to be an independent thinker and be tagged as whatever. 

Alright, enough said on that, I think you get my point and I hope I didn’t offend anyone. This was definitely not my intention. I’m certainly one who believes to each his own and I don’t think anyone has the right to tell another person what they should or shouldn’t do.

Ok, let’s wrap this up…here’s the foods I like to choose organic.

Most all vegetables!

Fruits without a hard skin or protective covering – this means I don’t find it essential to buy organic grapefruits, oranges, and the like but certainly try to for grapes, strawberries, etc.

Meat and fish

Nuts and seeds

Fish oil and flax oil

Other than that it won’t be a staple of my diet anyways so I’m not going to split hairs. If the couple slices of pizza I had on Saturday night weren’t made from completely organic ingredients I think I’ll be ok with that. I’m not eating enough of it to make a big difference anyways.

I know this one thing for sure, I won’t be picking up organic candies, cookies, or anything else of the such anytime soon.

Junk food is junk food, no matter how you try to spin it.

Eat Primal, exercise with Purpose, live with Passion.

God bless- Shane

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. You can receive a FREE no-obligations trial of his Charleston personal training programs and experience the Shaping Concepts difference for yourself.

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Category: Shane's Commentary.