Monday, December 13, 2010

Avoiding Toxins by Eating Organic

Food that is grown or raised without chemical pesticides or chemical fertilizers is called “organic.” We’ve become so accustomed to getting by with foods that have been grown with fertilizers and that contain harmful toxins, that we’ve forgotten what it’s like to feel truly “well.” (Most of us don’t know how good we could really feel.)

Organic food melaImage by Hari Prasad Nadig via FlickrWhat are some other good reasons to eat organic food? You might be surprised to find out how much we pay in terms of flavor and nutrition to eat perfect-looking food. Yes, organic food might have an occasional blemish or flaw. Organic foods, though, are generally fresher and more flavorful. Many times, they’re grown locally, so they haven’t been stored or refrigerated. (Check out a local CSA to make sure you are getting the freshest food around, as well as supporting your local community and environment.) Consider the difference in flavor between a vine-ripened tomato and a "regular" (store-bought) tomato. There’s just no comparison.

The body has to process everything you put into it and eliminate what it cannot digest. If your food contains toxins in the form of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, your body has to figure out a way to get rid of the toxins. When the body cannot get rid of toxins fast enough, it stores them until it is able to eliminate them. This can lead to many health problems. Many of the pesticides used in farming have been found to be carcinogenic. Reducing your exposure to these toxins can improve your health. 

True, some people eliminate toxins well. Still, the body needs to expend energy to eliminate toxins when it could be doing other things such as healing damaged cells, fighting off viruses and bacteria, or patrolling the body for cancer cells. Even people who can tolerate or eliminate toxins could feel substantially better without putting these poisons into their bodies. And if your system is sensitive to toxins, you’ll be much better off eliminating them from your diet as much as possible. 

Organic vegetables at a farmers' market in Arg...Image via WikipediaFortunately, it’s easier and easier to do this because there’s a greater selection and variety of organic produce in our grocery stores. However, this can be expensive, and you're still not getting the freshest food if your organic produce is being shipped from California to New York (not to mention, think of all the environmental impact of the long-distance transit). For the freshest organic foods, visit your local farmer's market, or join a CSA - the benefits can be much greater, both in terms of your health, and the world around you.
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