By Monica Perry
It’s the newest trend. Whole foods was the first store to start the organic food trend. Organic became the new “it” word in the food industry. Counteracting words like pesticides and GMO. It is so popular now that most grocery stores now have a organic food section. In fact, Whole Foods is facing its worst sales slump in more than a decade.
Companies are now using marketing tactic’s to throw the word organic on its products in hopes of drawing customers to buy them. Does that mean it is a better product to eat for your health or weight loss?
What is organic?
The USDA sets guidelines for products in order to get the name organic on its label. The product in all stages of production must restrict the use of pesticides, fertilizers, growth hormones, antibiotics and genetically modified organisms(GMO). Pesticides alone causes are are birth defects, neurological conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), chronic illnesses like diabetes, and degenerative diseases like cancer. It’s no wonder we are wanting our food to be more pure for our bodies
Organic junk food?
Stores are now increasing their inventory of organic junk food, such as, organic jelly’s, cookies, potato chips even vodka. While its great that these products never had chemicals in the productions, there is another side that suggest that processed foods are still not the greatest for your body.
Processed foods are usually loaded with extra sugar (or sugar substitutes) and/or fat to add flavors to the product. There is usually additives that prolong self life. Now the typical mentality is that if you are eating organic you will also lose weight, just like the gluten free trend. That is simply not the case.
Take organic cookies for example. On the label it states ingredients like wheat, sugar, chocolate and butter are made organically. It does not mean that the nutrition profile of calories, fat, sugar and sodium are any better than the regular chocolate chip cookies.
Andrea Giancoli M.P.H., R.D. dietitian and spokes person for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietics states,”Many organic foods are made of highly processed ingredients such as flour, sugar, salts and oils, offering you a great deal of calories and sodium with little nutrition.”
Ironically processed foods, organic or not, are the complete opposite to the whole point of creating organic foods, lessening the carbon foot print. Highly processed foods require more resources to process, manufacture and distribute, compared to simple foods like lettuce or apples.
How to eat true organic food with out the nutritional blow back?
It simple, just shop the perimeter of the store. You will find all the non processed foods like fruits, vegetables and meats, while the inner isles will contain mostly processed foods. Stick to simple ingredients and make meals that you know what food is in it.
Read the labels not the marketing words. Low fat, low sugar and organic can convince you to buy the item for health reasons. If those words are in the label, there is something hidden, in the product, that you do not want to put in your body.
If organic food is important to you here are some food swaps you can use to fit a healthy lifestyle.
Try out this clean eating organic recipe I found on cooking light
Broiled Flat Iron Steak with Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes
Palmer, Sharon. “Beware of Organic Junk Food.” Environmental Nutrition, vol. 35, no. 8, Aug. 2012, p. 2. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.jocolibrary.org/form?qurl=http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.jocolibrary.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=hch&AN=78168020&site=ehost-live.