There are many reasons why I choose to buy organic foods and products every day. For my small family of two (and our furry dog “child”), organic has always been a priority. I see organic as a no-brainer, it’s a direct vote for my immediate health, future generations, and the health of our environment.
As diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancers, dementia, and other illnesses continue to rise in our country; more scientists are looking at our diets as the underlying cause of chronic inflammation which can exacerbate these diseases. Eating products labeled as organic is not a silver bullet that will protect my family from every health concern, but I believe a diet rooted in organic food is a safer option. I also choose organic because I hope to continue pursuing my passion and love for the outdoors as I get older, which means I have less tolerance for toxic chemicals and drugs in my diet. I rely on USDA accredited certification programs (like the Vermont Organic Farmers) to help guide my purchasing decisions, because the USDA or VOF label indicates that the product I’m buying has been produced through approved methods.
Advertising by food corporations on products without a label haven’t been evaluated by a third party and can be misleading, which can make any food decision confusing. Every time I purchase an organic product I know that I’m avoiding GMOs, hormones, antibiotics, and drugs in animal products while also reducing pollution, protecting soil health, preserving farmland and biodiversity, and preserving our ecosystems. Because the organic standards are better for my health and wallet in the long-term, I don’t see the extra cost as being prohibitive when I compare them to the value of my well-being. Eating organic will help save my family money and time in the long term by having fewer doctor visits and lower prescription costs. The bottom line is my health and well-being are my most valuable assets. You can find me trail running in the morning with my dog, mountain biking with my husband after work, backpacking with friends on the weekends, and snowboarding in the winter months. All the things I enjoy would not be as enjoyable or even possible if my health declined. Therefore my approach to food is preventative and precautionary. When an activity (such as the simple act of shopping for my family) raises threats of harm to the environment or my health (such as buying industrial food products), I’d rather consume the safe option (in this case, organic), than expose myself to an unnecessary risk. My first line of defense is not a prescription, but a basket of organic vegetables and fruits from my local farmer and store. Along with all the things I’m trying to avoid, I am also protecting the things that are important to me; my family’s health and the health of my environment. Each day I am voting with my dollars, and no matter what I buy, the food purchases I make impact our world.
Organic food for me is an investment in my health, my community, and my planet. Instead of going to the doctor, I’ll get my prescription from my local, organic farmers who are doing their part to heal the soil, purify the air, and keep my family healthy.