With the extensive GMO debate in the recent months, deciding whether or not to buy organic is becoming a concerning reality for many people, myself included. Buying organic food and products is better for our bodies, better for our communities and better for the planet. An organic lifestyle allows you to build, explore, and support healthy living on a personal level and in the community as a whole. Providing high quality food and products for you and your family is important, but the price tag associated with it may seem cumbersome at time.
So here are some tips on where to invest in terms of essential organic products for your health and well-being:
Meat: Many of the animal protein choices, beer in particular, are subjected to heavy hormone and antibiotic doses. The hormones in cattle are used to artificially increase the weight gain, growth rate, and milk production. The hormones, especially the estrogen-like agents, have been linked to a disrupted endocrine function and an increased risk of cancers. Federal regulations allow hormones to be used on growing cattle and sheep, but not on poultry (chickens, turkeys, ducks) or hogs (pigs). So choosing certified organic meats allows you to avoid hormones and antibiotics.
Milk: The problem arises as the hormones rBST and rBGH, used for injection into the dairy cows for increased milk production, pass through the cows into their milk. These hormones have been banned in Europe and Canada as there is an associated risk with cancer. Look for milk that has not been treated with these hormones and is labeled rBGH-free, rBST-free, or is produced without artificial hormones. Also, explore alternatives to cow’s milk with goat’s milk, coconut milk, almond milk, rice milk, and others.
Photo Courtesy: EWG’s 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™
Strawberries: There are potential health risk in choosing conventional products, such as strawberries, peaches, apples, blueberries, cherries, nectarines, grapes, and pears, because they have been detected with up to 13 pesticides on these fruits, especially concerning since these are typically eaten with skin on. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) puts this produce on a list called the “Dirty Dozen.”
Strawberries carry additional risk as conventional strawberries have a large surface area with a large number of seeds that may trap chemicals and make them difficult to wash off, which would also mean that those chemicals will be ingested.
Celery: It joins the ranks of the “Dirty Dozen” group, with sweet bell peppers, spinach, potatoes, and lettuce. Celery is very porous, which means that it retains up to 13 of the pesticide chemicals that are spray on it.
Tomato sauce: Choosing a glass jar or a box is a wiser choice as a means of storage due to the plastic-coated lining inside of cans, which may contain BPA and is used for protection against corrosion and bacteria. The acidity of the cooked tomatoes allows for leaching of the chemicals in the plastic coating, which may contain BPA.
Become educated about natural and eco-friendly essential alternatives for improved health and well-being!
Water bottles: BPA (bisphenol-A) is often discussed in terms of hard plastic bottles that are reused for water carrying, as BPA can leach into the water inside of the bottle. BPA is a known endocrine disruptor and has been linked to increased risk of cancers in women and men as well as reduced sperm count in men. Alternatives are glass, unlined stainless steel, or BPA-free plastic bottles.
Food-storage containers: Again, BPA is the culprit, as many of the containers are made from hard, clear plastic, which may contain BPA, which can leach into the food inside of the containers. The leaching can occur in very cold and hot foods, which happens during freezing and heating of the plastic. The safest alternatives are glass containers with BPA-free plastic lids.
Cookware: It is important to consider what you are cooking your food in, as non-stick pots and pans start degrading and excreting toxic fumes when overheated. The fluorochemical, PTFE, becomes unstable within 2 to 5 minutes of heating and is released out of cookware, whose fumes can cause allergy-like symptoms in the airway of lungs. Choose a safe alternative with ceramic, stainless steel, or cast iron cookware.
Home cleaners: Common household cleaners may contain potentially harmful chemicals, such as ammonia, chlorine bleach, and phthalates, which can irritate skin, eyes, respiratory tract, and create endocrine and immune system disruption.
As an alternative, consider making homemade cleaners with baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Also looking for natural brands approved by Green Seal and EcoLogo.
Yard pesticides: These heavy-duty chemicals used in lawn care and gardening contain suspected carcinogens, which have been linked to issues in the brain and the nervous system. A serious problem comes from the fact that these chemicals can easily be carried from the outside into the house onto carpets and floors via shoes, which can significantly impact small children. There are natural and effective options available that are made from vinegar and lemon juice in brands, such as BurnOut and EcoClear. There are also local less-toxic lawn-care companies available.
It is essential to educate yourself on how to protect yourself and your family when choosing the right products, whether food or cleaning products. In addition, one of the approaches is to develop a network of small, independent, sustainable businesses in your community. So invest in yourself, your family, your local businesses, and your community by supporting small, local, independent vendors, such as local farmers markets, local lawn-care services, local cleaners, etc.
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Be healthy & happy, Dr. Tijana
If you do not already have a local chiropractor, call Dr. Tijana at 706.254.4579 to schedule your first appointment for YOU & YOUR FAMILY for a comprehensive health assessment TODAY!