Organic food, whole/unrefined food. In some ways this seems like the “new” fad in the food industry, even though this (organic) is the NATURAL state of food (pause and think about it for a moment), and how it’s been since the beginning of time. Ironic, isn’t it? But I admit, for as much as I love food & cooking I’ve never really tried to understand the importance of organics. Instead, I would just look at the price and think to myself “why in the world would I want to pay more for that?? I’m on a budget here! That’s food for yuppies!” Haha, of course now I’m laughing (and scolding) myself for never trying to understand WHY organic foods have traditionally been more expensive (in my lifetime, as that wasn’t always the case).
ORGANIC FOOD : organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.
WHOLE/UNREFINED FOOD : Food that has been processed or refined as little as possible and is free from additives or other artificial substances.
Little did I know that often times, the more “affordable” option isn’t really food, well, not 100% anyways, as it’s full of lab chemicals (that’s why it’s cheaper). And I say “affordable” in quotations, as that’s a bit subjective. Yes, it’s more affordable (monetarily) in the immediate, but chemical-laden foods can have an adverse impact on your physical & mental health (many of us are extremely nutrient deficient), you end up eat more as it’s not as filling, your pocketbook takes a hit (as you pay for prescription meds, take sick leave, etc…), and it negatively affects your overall quality of life. Knowing all of THAT suddenly made me realize that the once “affordable” option may not be so great afterall.
Ok, so I’m not going to go into all of the medical studies or debate the validity or significance of organic vs. non-organic (there’s TONS of info out there on the internet if you want to research further), but I AM going to highlight the major points on why we made the decision to switch 2 months ago and what we have experienced as a result of it.
- It’s not *nearly* as expensive as I once thought. In fact, in some cases it’s actually CHEAPER then what I used to buy! In future posts I’ll show you how we transitioned and where we buy from.
- REAL food keeps you satisfied for longer, you don’t need to eat or “snack” as much. This is a VERY important point, as it goes towards food cost calculations. And frankly, I’ve been a “eat every 2-3 hours” type of person for as long as I can remember….and now I actually struggle with making too much food, as we just aren’t hungry enough to eat like we used to!
- Overall, we feel better. Way less digestive/gut issues, we’re shedding off the pounds (my husband hasn’t been this light for 10+ yrs and we’re both down a pant size), more stable energy level/blood sugar (so less “crashing”), and definitely less food cravings! So we’re no longer attacked by salt cravings or sweet cravings and just feel SATISFIED.
- We don’t feel deprived in any way and find taking it one step at a time is best. Do what you can, when you can, how you can. We are not overly strict, but are just more mindful of what we put into our bodies.
- Being nutrient deficient has very LITTLE to do with your weight! Meaning, skinny people aren’t necessarily healthy, and obese people can still be lacking the proper amount of vitamins and nutrients! Society focuses on our weight and outer appearance, but how well your body functions on a cellular level has very little to do with that!
- MANY of the minor ailments we have learned to “live with” are actually signals from our body that we are nutrient deficient. And this is what I mean about being healthy on a cellular level! For YEARS I’ve suffered from chronic headaches, come to find out, it was as simply a matter or getting more magnesium in my diet.
- Frankly, it just feels GOOD to take control of food, making it a conscious decision. Think about it…you eat multiple times a day. You NEED food to survive. For something this important, this life-affecting, shouldn’t you want to make it a conscious decision?? Think about how long you take to decide what to wear for a day, the time you put into planning a vacation that only lasts a week, or the effort you put into staying on a monthly budget. So why are we unwilling to put this type of effort into something that affects our well-being for a lifetime? The information is readily available, no excuses!
- The food taste better! It’s clean, uncomplicated, wholesome, and bursting with flavor. Good food doesn’t require a lot of ingredients; it doesn’t need to be over fancy or fussed with, and I love that!
- There is no need to “diet” to be healthy, hallelujah! We eat everything. Fruits, vegetables, meats, pasta, grains, bread, oils & fats, sugar, etc… We simply choose either organic or UNREFINED/WHOLE FOOD alternatives, as best as we can, within our budget. I will go into our specific food choices in future posts.
- It builds community and supports local farmers and businesses. Being a small business owner myself, I know how much it means to be supported by loyal customers, to not have a big corporation backing me or my paycheck. Many organic farmers are small homesteads, run by single families, who literally depend on our support to make ends meet. They don’t get the same tax breaks from the government as corporate or non-organic farms do, plus you build great, lasting relationships and friendships! I love knowing *exactly* where my food is coming from.
**This series is basically a log of our personal journey with food and trying to eat better. I know that many will not make the same choices as we have for our family, and we respect that. Yet hopefully our experience and transparency in our journey will be helpful for those that are looking to make the change.