Confession time! I haven't always eaten organic foods. In fact, I only started making the transition this year. While I have to say other members of my family made the move to organics years ago and encouraged me to do the same. I didn't think that switching to organic foods would make that much of a difference in my health. Nor did I understand that organic foods, which are higher in nutrients, would help me manage my weight naturally as I grow older. And I definitely didn't realize that what I ate affects my moods and reactions throughout the day.
This is a lot to take in so I am going to break it down for you in three main areas that compare and contrast conventionally grown foods versus organic. First, why conventionally grown foods are not the foods your body wants. Second, the toxins that are in conventionally grown foods and how they interrupt processes in your body. Finally, how your mood and mental state are affected when you eat conventionally grown foods.
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WHY YOUR BODY DOESN'T WANT CONVENTIONALLY GROWN FOODS
I used to think that since I've been eating conventionally grown foods my entire life that there isn't a reason why I should switch. After all, they must be safe since the government allows certain chemicals in our foods. My body is used to the chemicals found in meat and fish, which are used to keep them fresh and looking good in the supermarket. My body is already used to eating genetically modified foods and I haven't gotten sick yet. In fact, I'm a pretty healthy individual since I eat vegetarian 3 to 4 days a week. This is better than most people I know who don't focus on eating fruits and veggies. At least, so I thought.
When foods are grown conventionally, the crops are genetically modified and treated with pesticides. Thinking about vegetables, this means farmers use seeds that are purchased every year that have something modified in them to make the plant grow bigger and produce more vegetables. You may be thinking that is good for the farmer. After all, if they grow more, they sell more. The problem is the seeds cannot be reused which is what organic farming can do. Why? Since the seed has been modified, it actually won't reproduce vegetables or fruit after one year.
If you think about our bodies, our cells are constantly reproducing. If we eat a vegetable that has been modified and cannot reproduce, wouldn't that affect how our bodies use it? There are a lot of opposing view points on this topic. Companies who benefit from the purchasing of the modified seeds say they are perfectly safe and benefit the farmers by allowing them to grow more. However, those companies do admit that these seeds can become immune to pesticides and have to be treated with stronger pesticides. This creates an never-ending cycle of having to develop stronger chemicals to keep the plants producing. Stronger chemicals that wind up in our bodies.
There are various studies on lab animals that show damage to the animal bodies when eating foods treated with herbicides. A study released in 2012, showed significant damage to the liver and kidneys in rats, as well as hormonal damage. While the study was thoroughly reviewed before it was released, the Journal that published it was told to take it out of publication it from commercial companies. Eventually, the study was published by a different journal. It makes you wonder why. If the companies that sell GMO seeds and pesticides say their products are safe for the human body, why they wouldn't want to see evidence that is contrary to their studies. Wouldn't that help them make a better product? You can read more about the study by clicking here.
TOXINS IN CONVENTIONALLY GROWN FOODS
What if I told you a substance called Meat Glue, is used in conventionally grown meat that is in your supermarket and you've probably eaten it? Meat Glue is a substance that is used to keep meat fresh so supermarkets can sell it longer. Meat Glue is made from blood plasma of cows and pigs. Meat glue is in chicken nuggets, sausage and hot dogs. It makes steaks out of pieces of meat and creates reconstituted steaks and roasts. (Source: Delishably.com) Sounds yummy, right?
Think about what this meat glue could be doing to your body. Since meat glue is usually a mixture from a variety of animals in a variety of locations, if there is a bacteria contamination that causes people to get sick, it is harder to figure out where the meat glue came from. Also, the meat glue may cause disease if your body can't produce enzymes to help regulate the meat glue that is ingested. One study saw meat glue associated with plaque in the brain of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease patients. (Source: Delishably.com)
Ultimately, your body wants to be healthy. We put our bodies through a lot of abuse by eating high fat foods, too many sweets, not exercising and drinking alcohol. But your body is amazingly resilient and will fight to make you healthy. The body will eventually become so tired of fighting to be healthy that disease will occur. By taking small steps everyday to help the body fight for health, such as eating organic foods, you will be helping to keep your body be healthy.
HOW MOOD AND MENTAL STATE IS AFFECTED FROM CONVENTIONALLY GROWN FOODS
Would you believe me if I told you what you eat affects your mood? I'm sure this is a radical idea. We have a disconnect from our food and our mood or mental state. But when you eat foods that are laden with chemicals, it affects your mood. Nutrients are needed to keep your mood and mental state in a state of calm, peace and patience. Conventional foods have lower concentrations of nutrients leading to feelings of impatience, indecisiveness, anger, loneliness and mistrust of everything around you.
But when you eat organic foods, the higher nutrient contents lends itself to feelings of peace, calm, patience, satisfaction and trusting in the world. If this is too radical of a concept to wrap your mind around, that is OK. No one has ever told you that you may have a better mood or be in a better mental state simply by eating organic food. But if you are willing to try it, try for 2 weeks. Buy organic and try to make your meals at least 80% organic. At the same time, keep a food diary. Record your feelings, things that happened to you during the day and how you reacted. You may just see a difference in how you handle situations when eating organic versus when eating conventional foods.
The good news is no matter what your age, going organic will give your body significant health benefits. So if you are 20 or 70, start telling companies with your purchases how you value organic products. Aim for 80% organic every meal. Soon, you'll start to see the health benefits.