We've Been Duped: Are All Foods Healthy Foods? Understanding The Foods You Eat

We've Been Duped: Are All Foods Healthy Foods? Understanding The Foods You Eat

You would have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard the terms “organic”, “non-organic”, “GMO,” and “non-GMO” lately. These terms have been in the news, plastered all over the internet, and there have even been documentaries made and books written about them. 

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get information overload and get really confused as to what are considered healthy foods anymore. Shouldn’t eating healthy be pretty simple and straightforward? It’s food, not rocket science, right? 

Today we’re going to look at the differences between these foods and see if we can’t determine which option is best for healthy eating. 

Being Mindful—Understanding What These Labels Mean  

Being mindful of the options available will help us make better decisions when it comes to food choices. 

  • Organic vs. Non-Organic Foods – Whether a food is labeled “organic” or “non-organic” is determined by how the food has been farmed – conventional or organic. Conventional farming utilizes chemical fertilizers and pesticides to prevent pests and weeds. Money spent on the pesticides is less than the amount they would lose if rodents or bugs devoured the crop. 

Organic farmers avoid using chemicals, both in fertilizing and crop protection. They feel that the chemicals enter the foods and contribute to many of the health problems we see: cancers, allergies and sensitivities. After all, the purpose of the pesticides is to kill, so how could we think there wouldn’t be an adverse effect on humans, too?

One thing we do as a family is we make sure we buy organic produce for all the food items that are listed on the Dirty Dozen List.  Items that are not on the Dirty Dozen List and are on the Clean Fifteen List, we buy non-organic.  This will help save some money if you do this.

Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen

  • GMO vs. Non-GMO Foods – GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, altering the genetics in a laboratory to ensure a bigger crop yield, reduced pest problems, and grow bigger fruits and vegetables. In one case, the genetic material of shellfish has been made into a coating to keep bananas from ripening too quickly. The molecules from the spray not only affect the peel, they can affect the fruit as well. In other words, some bananas aren’t considered vegetarian. 

There is no long-term evidence showing that there are no side-effects of GMO foods. Many countries around the world are concerned about the health repercussions so much so that they ban or restrict these foods. At the very least, they require GMO labels on food. 

Another thing we do as a family is we make sure we avoid all processed food.  If we do buy something like granola bars, we make sure they are organic.  Doing this secures that the ingredients will not be GMO'd.

This is a preference of ours, but we try to avoid common genetically engineered foods like corn, soy, canola, sugar beets, cottonseed, papaya, zucchini, and squash.

If you want to dive deeper into GMO's, check out the documentary GMO OMG.  GMO OMG is a film about a concerned father Jeremy Seifert who is in search of answers. 

How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice? And perhaps the ultimate question, which Seifert tests himself: is it even possible to reject the food system currently in place, or have we lost something we can’t gain back?

Our #1 Priority—Healthy Eating

There are a lot of people out there who treat food and healthy eating almost like a religion. They are devout and adamant that their way is the right way and there are no other options. 

I say good for them for being so passionate and doing all they can to be healthiest version of themselves. As for me, I’m just as passionate about healthy eating, but my passion is based on balance

I believe going from one dietary extreme to another is too difficult for most people to achieve successfully. That’s why I encourage you to take a balanced approach. 

If your goal is to be a vegan—great. But you don’t have to do it over night. Try to make a healthy choice at every meal. Add more greens, try green smoothies, switch up your white rice for brown rice, the possibilities are endless. The #1 priority: balanced, healthy eating. 

Questions For Today

Do you eat organic or non-organic foods or a combo? How do you feel about GMOs?  If you want to eat healthy foods, including more organic foods, what holds you back? Is it the price, or possibly the availability? Comment below or join the conversation on Facebook.

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