To be honest, the idea of organic food was not always that appealing to me. I associated it with higher prices and a shorter shelf life than conventional food. When you’re raised with lots of processed foods and junk foods it can prove difficult to give organic food a fair shot. Growing up in the South did not make it any easier. Food was food. There was no significance given to how it was grown or where it came from. Several years ago, I decided to stop buying into hearsay and all the health food stereotypes and do a little research of my own.
First and foremost, there is a lot of information out there on organic food, and its practices and certifications, and it can appear overwhelming at first. So let me share with you the things that I’ve learned over the last several years.
- The people who grow my food care about me and my health. I appreciate the fact that the people who are growing and cultivating my food could choose an easier and more industrial path for growing their produce. They choose not to use synthetic pesticides or chemicals to help grow their food often at a higher cost to them. Chemicals that historically have been shown to have environmental consequences. If organic farmers are willing to invest a little more in my health and my food, then I can too.
- Growing organic food encourages other humane practices. I work in the coffee and juice department at Alfalfa’s Market and in that world we throw around terms like fair trade, direct trade, and organic when it comes to coffee. Typically a company that sells organic coffee is often treating the farmers who grow their coffee beans fairly with sustainable importing and wages.
- Eating organic makes you feel better. Your body is not taking in highly processed ingredients and preservatives that are difficult or dangerous for your body to process and break down. You can definitely distinguish between an organic food versus one that may be genetically modified or doused in pesticides. Additionally, it is encouraging to know that my dollars spent on organic food are supporting sustainable farming and environmental practices.
- Nothing beats fresh. Organic food is often the best tasting and freshest food you will find. There is an emphasis on getting the food to you in the best condition possible as well as from local farms if possible. That way you can enjoy your food the way it was meant to be enjoyed.
September is organic month here at Alfalfa’s Market so stop by our store and see what all you can learn about organic food!