The short answer is; for better nutritional value, to reduce toxin exposure, for better tasting foods and for the environment.
Is it really more nutritious?
In 2001 Virginia Worthington reviewed 41 published studies comparing nutritional values of convention to organic produce. An example of her findings; 5 servings of organic fruits and vegetables would your daily intake of vitamin c, while conventional produce did not. Further studies have had similar findings.
Do the pesticides really matter?
From the consumer health digest:
The most common class of pesticide in the US is organophosphates (OP’s). These are known as neurotoxins. An article published in 2002 examined the urine concentration of OP residues in 2-5 year olds. Researchers found, on average, that children eating conventionally grown food showed an 8.5 times higher amount of OP residue in their urine than those eating organic food. Studies have also shown harmful effects on fetal growth, as well.
Is it really better tasting?
Buy a conventional tomato and an organic one – do your own taste test. My experience is that it often does taste better. I recently bought some full size organic carrots after buying baby carrots for a long time – I was surprised how much better they tasted than baby carrots.
I don’t purchase everything organic all the time. There are certain foods that I buy organic most of the time it is a balance between what is available and how much of a premium the pricing is. I’m trying to get better about leaving foods and making other choices if they aren’t organic, but it’s a process that doesn’t happen over night.
One thing I know for sure – the more I know – the more I try to buy organic!
Some information for this post came from The www.ConsumerHealthDigest.com.
By Tania Reuben
When feeding my family I buy 100% whole grain and 100% whole wheat products almost exclusively.
White flours and breads act much like sugar when they enter your body. They cause your blood sugar to spike. One article I read said it like this - White Flour–The Other Sugar.
On occasion we eat white flour products, primarily at restaurants (most of them) that doesn’t offer alternatives. They are treat, for my calories, if I’m going to have a treat I would much rather have an actual sweet treat, rather than something my body interprets that way. I say skip the white bread and pass the ice cream.
It’s all about your glycemic index – keeping it low and steady. White flour products spike it, like sugar. Whole grain products break down slowly and release the sugar into your body in a slow and steady manner. Good.
It’s shocking to me that approximately 80% of Americans haven’t made the switch to Whole Grains. It’s so easy! Yes, some of the products will taste a little bit different at first, but if I can get my husband, my Jewish In-Laws, and two toddler’s to eat them, anyone can do it.
Things I do:
- 100% whole wheat or whole grain bread
- 100% whole grain cereals
- 100% whole wheat or whole grain bread
- 100% whole wheat or whole grain tortillas
- 100% whole wheat or whole grain pasta – BTW – these are $1.29 at trader joe’s.
If Whole Grain Pasta is new to you, consider, the Barilla Whole Grain – it’s not 100% whole grain, but it has a good amount and it’s a great transitional product. The elbows are good for pasta salads too.
- 100% whole wheat no boil lasagna noodles.
- 100% whole wheat stuffed pastas, tortellini, raviolis
- Whole Grain bread crumbs – I make my own – but you can buy them.
- Rice – we use brown basmati rice – organic when I can find it in bulk otherwise regular.
- Whole Grain Pancake Mix, I also like buckwheat pancakes, which are a great whole grain, their dark color and nutty flavor aren’t for everyone.
For baking & cooking I use 100% whole grain pastry flour – a lighter texture than wheat, with whole grain benefits. I don’t bake cakes, so I can’t speak to it’s effectiveness for a light and fluffy cake, but I bet it could be done!
Some of the items I regularly purchase are not available at every grocery store, like the lasagna and the ravioli’s, so I purchase quite a few when do find them. You can also find some of the products online.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE LABELS!
It can be tricky to decipher the whole grain market. Look for the 100% whole grain logo on products for simplification. Pay attention to how many grams of Whole Grain per serving – you’ll want to find a minimum of 8gm. If you are choosing whole wheat which can be considered a whole grain – only select %100 Whole Wheat. Read the ingredients – wheat flour is not whole wheat flour – it’s plain white flour (which is made from wheat – thus wheat flour)!
There are so many choices for Whole Grain products on the market – there really is something for everyone’s taste buds.
The whole grain item that was probably the most difficult to track down was Whole Wheat No Boil Lasagna. It’s listed here my amazon selections, so you know what to look for or can purchase from Amazon and support Diva in the process.