Me: Grandma, let me fix you dinner when I come back home to visit.
Grandma: Oh, no. That’s okay.
Me: Grams, you keep telling me you need a break from the kitchen.
Grandma: I don’t eat the food you cook though.
Me: Grandma, I cook normal food: fish, spinach, and mac & cheese.
Grandma: But you eat that organic crap. I’m too old to try new food.
A lot of my friends poke fun and joke at the fact that I prefer to eat organic foods when I can (can meaning actually finding the time to go grocery shopping). I’ve been called everything from uppity to bougie to yuppie, but choosing to eat healthier options of foods is what distinguishes me from my friends. The other day, a buddy of mine text me he had read an article that said only some fruits grown organically are beneficial to the body and that organic beer for example has neither an adverse or advantageous affect on the body.
From my studies (Google and conversations with others), the studies don’t prove that there is a positive or negative outcome of eating organic products, but the idea of eating genetically modified organisms is quite scary. Luckily, I don’t have children because they would be fed an organic diet especially with the mass production of high risk foods nowadays. My grandma says I was raised on these foods and should be able to live a long life, but I want to be on the safer side of this situation.
Organic and What Does it Mean?
- If you see the above USDA organic sticker, then at least 95% of the given product is organic.
- If it says 100% Organic, it is 100% OG.
- Meats: animals were fed a 100% organic diet with no hormones or antibodies added.
- Soil food is grown in has no harmful or added pesticides, substances, or fertilizer.
- Renewable energy and great for farmers.
- Non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms)
- More farm labor intensive.
What Others are Saying
“These strawberries are sweeter than usual. Not sour like the ones I’m used to.”
“Well, I’m not going to eat organic because I don’t know what it is.”
“It costs too much.”
Amanda, a buddy of mine who runs the Vegan Cibo site, shared a few words about eating organically and some of her favorite brands. Vegan Cibo is dedicated to vegan and gluten free cuisine that are Italian inspired plant-based recipes. I suggest visiting her site to check out some cool meals for a meat and dairy alternative solution. Her organic overview is below:
I’m a fan of Bob’s Red Mill organic polenta (corn grits), chickpea flour, and quinoa. Ancient Harvest organic quinoa pasta has nice consistency, but also contains corn flour which many people have allergies to and is also a low nutrient food. (She is currently trying to find another gluten-free organic pasta at the moment).
Whenever possible it is best to buy organic produce from local farmers. Fruits and vegetables lose nutrients in transport – so your healthiest option is to get them close. You also have the opportunity to meet the farmers and ask them about their growing practices. Most urban settings hold farmers markets weekly now too, so it’s becoming easier to get local produce even when living in a city. Obviously, buying locally is not always the most convenient option – so when I need something quick, I look for California grown produce at Whole Foods. California has high standards for their food to get the organic certification – so although it’s grown far from where I live, I find comfort in the fact that it has met their standards.
My favorite brands
- Uncle Matts: Great for 100% juice beverages. Flash pastuerized and not from concentrate. I like to mix the grapefruit juice with Hennessy. It takes out the kick and makes it a little more delicious.
- Horizon Organic: The first time I drank any milk that wasn’t whole milk. The DHA-OMEGA 3 in the organic Reduced fat milk is great brain-food (literally). Cheese sticks are delicious for the road and on the go 🙂
- Applegate: I tried the organic turkey hot dogs. It is an acquired taste; nonetheless, their other meat products are sure to surprise the taste buds.
- Wolaver’s Organics: I began drinking Peaks Organic beers, but once I wet my throat with Wolaver’s, I was a convert. This is the beer I prefer. Make sure to try the Wildflower Wheat flavor.
- Driscoll’s Berries: Yum! I love the organic raspberries when I can find them. The blueberries are always a fantastic fine, but the strawberries are the sweetest I’ve ever tasted. No sugar drizzle needed.
- Olivia’s Organic: Any salad or spinach or greens for that matter, I suggest this above all others.
- Amy’s Kitchen: Great pre-packaged organic foods.
- Fiji Water: There’s no organic water, but this is the most crisp tasting water of them all.
- Nudie Jeans: Although not a food, they make 100% organic denim. Best jeans #EVER!
If you’re looking to begin an organic diet, don’t forget to take the following into account:
- Start Slow/Find What You Like: Some organic products may require an acquired taste; however, most organic foods taste better and are much fresher.
- Budget: Can be expensive. Quit smoking for a week or try doing the coinstar thing. It helps.
- Enjoy: You are now on your way to eating fresher and healthier. Try mixing with some exercise and the release of endorphins and good food will make you genuinely feel like a much better person.
Enjoy your organic adventures. Be sure to exercise 🙂 and here’s a running list of some of the best and top brands for organic companies on Twitter. Let me know if there are some I should add.