Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Can You Afford Not to Eat Organic Foods?

When people talk about organic, the factor of expense almost always comes up. People have a perception that they can't possibly change their lifestyle and buying habits because organic food is too expensive.

It's true that on the surface, organic food is more expensive than conventional. But consider the "hidden" costs of eating conventional, industrial food. The food grown and raised by conventional means is procured in the cheapest way possible - that is, to minimize operating expenses and maximize profits. If those merchants didn't run their businesses that way, they'd fail to make a profit and probably would go out of business. So the food is produced as cheaply as possible, which means skimping on high quality ingredients and farming and production methods. When food is produced in such a way, quality suffers and nutritional content and integrity is compromised - plain and simple.

So the emphasis should be on real, organic foods because when you eat healthy, you are avoiding problems down the road - problems that will cost you more money than you realize. The idea should be that prevention up front will save you misery, disease, and cost later on. As an example, one of the most heavily consumed items in developed countries is carbonated soda pop, which has absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever. Soda pop is the number one source of calories in the United States! When consumed in such amounts, there is no one who can deny this definitely affects anyone's budget. So why not trade your dollars spent on soda pops, juices, Kool Aid, Crystal Light, Hawaiian Punch, Sunny Delight, or other processed sugary drinks for a wholesome, organic apple, pear, or banana.

Just stop to consider the large amounts of money we pay in taxes and other fees to support industrial agriculture - massive government subsidies to agribusiness (which drive smaller, sustainable farmers out of business), environmental damage as a result of toxins being dumped into the air, water, and land due to the operation methods of factory farms, the continual increase of health care costs, and untold damage to our health.

So what's going on here is that the health care companies are getting rich, the food industry is getting rich, but what's to become of the consumer? Are we destined to remain in the stranglehold of these corporations who have absolutely no concern for our health or well-being, or are we going to do something about it? We must take a stand, get proactive, support local and sustainable farming and food production, and stamp out these bloated, multi-billion dollar corporations who have taken for themselves all the power and profit.

Put the power, money, well-being, and health back in the hands of the people who can make a huge effect on our habits and future - the consumers! Do something ethical and moral, and healthy for yourself, your family, and the planet. Go organic and sustainable. Read labels. Be aware and educate yourself. Trade your junk food and industrial dollars for something more worthwhile and healthy - good, real, organic, sustainable food. Remember, each time you put food in your mouth, you are casting a vote for organic or not...and the consequences could be more serious than you think!

For more information about how the industrial food system is fleecing us, see the movie Food, Inc.