There is a really hot debate happening surrounding what is considered healthy food. People want to know if organically grown produce is really healthier than conventionally grown produce.
Some are claiming there is no difference, but I beg to differ.
Organic food benefits is in its most natural state, having been grown in the ground and consumed for thousands of years by billions of people! Organic produce comes from traditional seeds that have all of the nutrition that animal and human bodies need for maximum growth and nutrition.
However, science claims to have come to our “rescue” with their genetic modifications, chemical herbicides and pesticides, which make up an axis of evil poisoning us, our environment, and our food.
These so called “improvements,” whose genetic substance has been changed using genetic engineering methods, can lead to serious health problems like:
- Hormone disruption
- Birth defects
- Skin issues
So, why do I choose organic food benefits over conventionally grown foods?
- They are GMO-free
- Contain no harmful pesticides
- Boast more nutrients
- Have a much smaller chance of bacterial contamination
However, with having a large family, there is no way I can afford to buy all organic food. But, I still want to kept healthy and nutritious meals on the table.
So, I have 4 go-to tips I use in for my grocery shopping, a fool-proof way to keep everyone fed for optimal health and best nutrition possible — without turning to processed foods or a takeout meal.
By sticking to these 4 guidelines, I am still avoiding genetically modified foods and keeping pesticide and herbicide levels extremely low so I can proudly serve my family the world’s healthiest foods.
4 Keys to Healthy Shopping on a Budget
- Avoid The Dirty Dozen
- Purchase conventionally grown foods from The Clean 15
- Buy dairy products, eggs and meat that is organic, grass fed, or free range.
- Use a safe soaking method for conventionally grown foods.
The Dirty Dozen
The Dirty Dozen is a list of foods that tested highest in pesticide residues, published annually by The Environmental Working Group. The 2013 list will come out later this year. In the meantime, you can reduce your exposure to pesticides by 80% if you switch to organic when buying these 12 foods listed:
- Blueberries (domestic)
- Green beans
- Kale, collards, spinach, and leafy greens
- Nectarines (imported) and Peaches
- Sweet bell peppers
The Clean 15
The Clean 15, also published by the Environmental Working Group, is a list of the cleanest conventional produce that are quite low in pesticides. I rarely buy organic versions of the produce listed in The Clean 15, except corn. Over 90% of corn is GMO, so always buy organic corn and corn products. The following 15 foods are safe to consumer in a non-organic form:
- Cantaloupe (domestic)
- Sweet corn (most likely GMO, always buy organic)
- Sweet peas
- Sweet potatoes
Dairy, Meat, and Eggs
Unfortunately, most cows, whether dairy or beef, are fed a diet based on grains that are both genetically modified and covered in pesticides. Chickens are fed the same grain-based diet.
Believe it or not, but meat and butter actually contain more pesticides than apples — which are #1 on the Dirty Dozen!
Hormones are another danger to conventional (non-GMO) dairy and meat! Cows are pumped full of hormones to either make them produce more milk or to bulk up before being butchered. Chickens, as well, are often given growth hormones to accelerate weight gain.
And, let’s not forget the antibiotics! Many cows, and chickens, are even given feed that has antibiotics mixed in! This is to treat and prevent a plethora of infections they may encounter from being in such tight, unsanitary conditions. However, these antibiotics become part of the meat, dairy, and eggs we ingest — which only causes more and more antibiotic resistance!!
Plus, hormone residues in food can increase the risk of breast cancer and other reproductive system cancers among women and may promote development of prostate cancer in men.
Look for organic food benefits, grass fed, and free range labels on you meat, dairy, and eggs. We buy our meat in bulk from farmers who only grass feed their cattle. This saves us hundreds of dollars a year! You might have to invest in a deep freezer, but it is well worth it! We also get eggs from a neighbor who uses an organic grain mix to feed their chickens.
Shopping your local farmers market is a great way to find these foods — and support local farmers!!
Soaking Your Food Clean
Let’s be honest, it seems nearly impossible to follow these 3 tips 100% of the time.
- Sometimes, I break down and buy conventional strawberries or blueberries because organic versions aren’t available.
- Or, maybe the produce is priced so high, I just can’t justify the purchase.
However, there is a way to somewhat “cheat” the system — with a very powerful disinfecting solution that:
- Safely neutralizes toxins and poisonous bacteria.
- Slashes away pesticides.
And that’s not all folks! This solution rejuvenates produce! It can actually plump up wilting lettuce and pruning grapes with oxygen, making the produce fresh again.
Fruits and vegetables will be crispy, taste more flavorful and feel “alive” again!
This wash can also be used for soaking meat to eliminate pesky bacteria and parasites! The result will also be more tender meat!
What is this amazing solution I am talking about? Well, it is going to shock you coming from a natural health article…but it is a Clorox bath!
That’s right, I said Clorox! It may be totally unsettling to you, but Clorox, considered by many as a toxic chemical, is a safe cleansing soak for your foods — inside and out!
Let me explain.
First of all, I am referring specifically to Clorox because no other bleach will do. Clorox, specifically, is sodium hypochlorite.
Note, Clorox is not the same chemical as chlorine, which is added to pools or municipal water sources for drinking.
Sodium hypochlorite breaks down into 2 parts: salt and water. This precise proportion won’t leave any residue on your food or have any toxic side-effects. It is also an important part of the oxygen effect.
The controversial Clorox Bath was invented by a Dr. Hazel Parcells, head of Nutrition at the Sierra State University, back in the 1960s. A true pioneer of health and nutrition, she lived to be 106 years old! Ann Louise Gittleman highlights Dr. Parcells work in her book, The Fat Flush Plan.
If a natural health hero such as Gittleman recommends the Clorox bath, then we can be confident there is truth and validity to the claim.
Clorox Bath Formula
So, how does the Clorox bath work? The sodium hypochlorite acts like a magnet, creating a negative charge, which pulls positively charged toxins and molecules out of the food.
They key is using a very small amount of Clorox. Using too much can damage your food. More does not equal better when using the Clorox bath!
Making the Clorox Bath is very simple.
- 1 tsp Clorox brand regular bleach (no extra fragrance or other additives!)
- 1 gallon of purified or distilled water
Separate foods into the following groups and soak for the indicated time (make a fresh soak for each group):
- Meat: 5-10 minutes per pound
- Vegetables: 25-30 minutes
- Leafy vegetables: 12-15 minutes
- Thick-skinned fruits: 25-30 minutes
- Thin-skinned fruits: 12-15 minutes
- Eggs: 25-30 minutes
If the thought of using Clorox is still too difficult for you, there are a few alternatives for cleaning your produce:
- Add ½ cup to a gallon of purified or distilled water.
- Soak thin-skin produce for 20 minutes.
- Soak thick-skin produce for 30 minutes.
- Add 1 cup to a sink full of water and soak your produce for 10 minutes.
- Add 8 drops of GSE to a gallon of water and soak your produce for 15-20 minutes.
Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE)
When time, money, or convenience makes it difficult to buy organic, use these 4 tips to keep yourself and your family on track to healthy eating.
But for many of us, balancing our budgets with our need to eat healthy, nutritional foods takes a little juggling. Following The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15 guidelines for purchasing produce, along with eating seasonally and locally can help with that juggling act.
Invest in your health now by limiting the exposure to harmful pesticides, herbicides, toxins and antibiotics in food. By eating healthy, nutritional food you will reap positive results in the future. You will have less trips to the doctors office, less time off work due to illness, and less money spent on medications and prescriptions.
Give your body the best food you can possibly afford and watch your health transform from the organic food benefits. I promise — it’s worth it!!