by Chef Ivy Haaks
Ivy Haaks, a natural foods chef with degrees in health and gastronomy brings us the revealing truth about organic foods.
The start of a new year brings the inevitable New Year’s resolution and for many people that means an enforced ultimatum: this is the year I will lose weight and get healthy. Unfortunately this kind of mandatory sentence rarely lasts beyond the month of January. As this is my first contribution to this site, I wanted to give the readers a bit of a different perspective about how one might think about the concept of health and wellness in the New Year. My hope is that you can be inspired to consider health as a pleasurable pursuit rather than an eternal sacrifice.
We have all heard the same old advice, eat low fat (if you are not an Atkins fan of course), lots of salad, avoid the bread and drink 8 glasses of water a day. Certainly those tips are useful in the short term but it hardly gives one a broad perspective about what eating healthfully really means; everyday, week after week, year-round not just when one goes on a “diet”.
One of the most powerful ways we can take control of our life and the future of our environment is to make a commitment to choosing consciously everyday what kind of food we will put in our body. Eating organically grown foods is certainly one way in which we can contribute to our own health and at the same time support an eco-friendly approach to living in our modern world. Buying organic foods can seem like a simplistic idea that may or may not be worth the extra expense or effort.
In reality, there is a world of difference between choosing to buy organically grow foods and conventionally grown ones. Quite simply it is a way to provide yourself with foods that are free from chemical pesticides, herbicides and fungicides which over time can accumulate in the body. One way to begin is just to switch to buying only organic produce. There is usually a price premium on organic foods but one interesting thing to remember when you are at the supermarket is that organic fruits and vegetables have proven in data provided by the US Soil Association to be significantly higher in their vitamin and mineral content when compared with their conventionally grown counterparts. Also, they have shown to have considerably higher levels of cancer-fighting anti-oxidants. There is additionally much evidence to support the idea that organics simply taste better, this is perhaps due in part, to the fact that organic soils are more multi-layered, usually having a greater variety of substances and organisms from which the plants can draw from and consequently, the flavors can be more complex.
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