There are lots of scientific studies and tragic case histories that document the benefits of eating organically. I’m horrible at remembering the numbers and the details. I can’t even pronounce, let alone recall, the names of specific ingredients found in processed foods or the chemicals found in pesticides and preservatives that are killing us. All I know is that eating organically makes sense and I feel better and my kids are healthier for it. Many diseases and disorders are on the rise and much of the time we throw up our hands and feel pretty helpless. There are lots of factors at play here – how could we possibly figure it all out? We can’t. But we are not helpless and there are some things that we can change. What we eat and what we feed our kids is a biggie.
Most of us don’t think too much about what happens to our food once it gets past the taste buds. We don’t consider that our bodies are machines that require certain nutrients. They don’t need a lot of what we put in them. Just because something tastes good, doesn’t mean it’s good for us. We all know that – our mothers told us that when we were three and wanted to live on candy. We feed our body lots of things it doesn’t need and was never meant to process.
I’ve been around horses most of my life. Colic is the biggest killer of horses. Colic is really just a symptom – intestinal pain. The reason you can have intestinal pain and feel better in 24 hours yet it kills horses is simple. Horses’ systems only work in one direction. Horses can’t throw up. So if they eat something their body can’t process, it will kill them. Happens all the time.
Eating things that our bodies are not meant to process can’t possibly be good for us. And most likely it is hurting us. If you put the wrong gas or oil in a machine and try to run it, it may run, but not well. Do this long enough and the entire engine might seize up. When we make our body process things we are not meant to process it weakens our health and it can cause systems to break down.
That said, just because something is organic doesn’t mean it is good for us either. My kids were really excited to discover that there is such a thing as an organic cheese curl and an organic chocolate chip cookie. There’s even organic soda. If I must, I will buy these things to pacify my children and keep them on board with our organic life, but I try not to. I know that the food they need is whole and honest and recognizable. Be careful as you head down this organic path that you don’t assume that the green and white symbol is a green light. A general rule of thumb for me is to stick with unprocessed food and do the processing myself. That way if they're eating chocolate chip cookies at least I know what went in to them (including the extra ½ cups of ground flax seed and almond meal!).