The holidays are approaching, which means two things – the pace of life is quickening, and the typical procession of assorted desserts is marching in like a raid! We are now dancing along that terribly fine line between indulging, and maintaining healthy food choices. Please remember that Stillpoint Family Chiropractic will never recommend that you completely cut out sweets from your life, especially during celebratory times, or moments when these special foods are bringing people together. But we encourage everyone to make balanced choices.
One way you can do this, besides portion control, is to choose healthful ingredients for all your desserts and baked goods. For example, did you know that even something as sweet and delectable as cake can be made with organic ingredients? And yes, it can be just as delicious too. So what does it mean for something to be “organic” anyway? What is the difference between “Organic” and “All Natural”?
I’ll cut to the chase. “All Natural” means nothing whatsoever. “All Natural” is a phrase that the Food and Drug Administration has allowed food production companies to use as they see fit, as a means of marketing their product. Some companies use it appropriately, and some like to slap it on their label just to get a piece of the “organic pie”, so to speak. Therefore, there are no standards that have to be met
in order to use this labeling, which is very deceiving for the general public.
On the other hand, a product that is “Certified Organic” by the United States Department of Agriculture, or other food regulation companies like Oregon Tilth, means that it is regularly inspected to meet specific quality standards; the following is a list of standards held by the USDA.
- Organic crops must be grown without the use of Genetically Modified Organisms, Synthetic Pesticides, Synthetic Fertilizers, Sewage Sludge, or Irradiation.
- Organic Livestock must be raised with organic standards starting from the third gestation period, or the second day of life. These standards include allowing year-round access to the outdoors (on certified organic land with shade, shelter, fresh air, clean drinking water, direct sunlight, and space for exercise), be offered certified organic feed when grazing is not available, and follow all Animal Health and Welfare Standards (to include strictly prohibiting the regular use of antibiotics or growth hormones).
It’s hard to imagine that there are acceptable food standards that don’t meet the requirements outlined above. If you are currently a consumer of conventional food, it’s possible that you literally don’t want to see “how the sausage gets made”. But if you are considering making the change from conventional to organic food, here are a few tips to help you along the way.
1.) Allow yourself to make this transition over a period of time.
2.) In order to stay within your grocery budget, consider buying only organic produce for the fruits and vegetables that statistically retain the most toxins. A list of these food items is researched and published every year by the Environmental Working Group, known as the “Dirty Dozen”. The 2018 Dirty Dozen list can be found here!
3.) Take pride in knowing that your efforts truly will make a difference, not only for your own health, but for the health of our children, and for the health of commercial food systems. So sit back, relax, and know that you really can have your cake, and eat it too – because eating well doesn’t mean that you have to compulsively eat healthy. It means being informed, making balanced food choices, and enjoying life.
Yours in Health,
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