Monday, June 3, 2013

My Opinion about Organic Food

My first encounter with a “Whole Foods” store was in college.  My initial reaction was that the prices were way too expensive for an undergrad student.  I was also amazed that even things in a box were labeled “organic”.

Before I went to a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s type store, organic food, from my understanding, was straight from the garden or the farm.

I didn’t like Whole Foods, at first glance, because I am frugal.  However, because everyone else thought it was cool, I pretended to like it as well.

And then, after participating in the organic culture a few times, I became obsessed.  Every time I went into the store, the shopping experience and pressure to "eat right" fueled my eating disorder.

In college and during the few years after, I spent way too much money on "trying to eat healthy".  I thought I was doing the right thing.  But, in reality, I was causing myself needless anxiety.  It was exhausting trying to keep up with the latest nutrition news, going to the store every day, exercising at the gym, and preparing all my food while trying to do my best at my job.

I’ve been internally torn on the subject of organic food ever since it became more popular.  Part of me knows that eating good quality food is a really good thing, health wise.  But another part of me has some hesitation.

I couldn’t explain my thoughts about organic food until I had a conversation with a farmer.

Organic foods have to comply with certain standards before they are allowed to carry that label.  Basically, they are produced without chemicals, pesticides, or steroids.  It is a seemly logically decision to buy organic if that reason was the only defining factor.  However, there is more to it than meets the eye.

First, there are availability problems.  Right now, with the current world situation, there is not enough organic food to go around.  Not everyone can reap the benefits of local, whole, organic, pure, raw foods.  If we did not have the modern conventional ways of growing and producing food, not as many people could be fed.

Second, there is the price difference.  Sure you can say that you can’t put a price on health, and I whole-heartedly agree, no pun intended.  But I don’t agree with the phrase, “If you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything.”  If you are not healthy, you still have so much!  You have a soul, right?  If we didn’t have a soul than suffering from “unhealthiness”, or any suffering at all, wouldn’t make any sense.  But there is salvation in suffering.  Not having perfect food can be a cross if you let it.  I view this dilemma the same as not having the perfect clothes or the perfect house.  Life is not perfect, moving on…

Also, you do not have a moral obligation to eat pure organic food all the time.  However, you do have a moral obligation to provide for your family.  If you can’t make the mortgage payment because your grocery bill is too high, then, I think, there is a problem.  In my opinion, if you can’t afford organic food all the time, it’s OK.  It is not a sin to buy ALDI food.

For me, I love the fact that we have a garden in our back yard.  We are growing radishes, spinach, carrots, green beans, squash, tomatoes, peppers, sunflowers, and a variety of herbs (if they ever decide to sprout).

Gardening is good for my spirit.  I am going to try to make my own salsa.  And I am really excited about going to the garden to pick some fresh spinach for a salad.  Last year, I roasted sunflowers seeds, and, I have to say, that harvesting the seeds was one of the most fun garden projects I’ve ever done.

Someday, my husband and I would love to live in the country and become more self-sustainable.  Maybe a bigger garden, a few animals, and a bee hive.  But if it never happens, that’s OK too.

The most important thing in my life is that my husband and I get to Heaven.

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