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From Farms to Forks: The Benefit of Going Green


By Paul Wenceslao / Leave a Comment

With the number of diet plans, workout routines, and fitness goals being advertised, some people start their healthy lifestyle journeys by choosing to skip the preservatives, and going all organic. But what does “organic” really mean? Does it connote skipping meat, and buying a basket of fruits, and vegetables in the Supermarket? If your answer is yes, then you have the wrong idea.

bigstock-green-and-red-healthy-foodThe USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as food produce and ingredients that are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. They also include animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones. A lot people say that organic food costs more than the conventional, but the truth is, those purchases makes a difference in our health in the long run. Here are some tips, and reasons why organic food is good, and is indeed a healthier choice not only for us, but also for the future generations.

Why Organic Food is good

1. Organic food just tastes better

Think about this for a second. Why do gourmet chefs usually source their ingredients from local farmers, and wet markets? Simple, organic food produce is fresher, and is usually grown in good soil. It doesn’t contain artificial additives, and flavorings. It has a shorter shelf life, and hence, the taste when cooked is more fresh.

2. Organic food promotes animal welfare

A lot of animal rights advocates choose to go organic because they believe that conventionally produced meat and dairy is against animal welfare. Choosing organic food products has a lot to do with ethical treatment of animals. A lot of conventional producers treat animals as their commodities, confining them in packed cages and forcing them to take in chemicals to produce more meat.

3. Organic food is healthier, and more nutritious

Imagine those harmful pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers. Farmers spray those chemicals, and in reality, leaves residue in the food produce that we eat. These are poisonous, and yet we imbibe them in our bodies whenever we ingest conventionally produced ingredients. Organic food carries significantly lower pesticide residue, thus, lowers the risk of heart diseases, and cancer.

4. Organic food boosts our energy, and immune system

Non-organic food sources, particularly livestock use antibiotics to feed their animals. Overdosing of antibiotics from these animals may actually be weakening our immune system eventually making us unable to defend certain illnesses. This kind of diet is insufficient in meeting our body’s needed nutrients. It explains why sometimes, after we eat fast food, we feel unpleasant, woozy, and sluggish. As a bonus, research claims that most people who eat organic food produce are more energetic, healthier and more vibrant.

5. Organic food supports the economy, and the local farmers

We are a country rich in agricultural products, and supporting locally produced organic food definitely helps our economy, and farmers earn. It creates a living not only for themselves, but also to their families. You help contribute to the well being of the local communities. Whenever you buy conventional food products in the supermarket, you actually make those multi-national companies richer.

What food products are best to buy organic?

1. Apples

Apples top the non-profit U.S.-based Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) “Dirty Dozen” guide to fruits and vegetables that contain the highest levels of pesticides. It’s one of the most commonly eaten fruits, and is considered a favorite of people from all age brackets.

2. Potatoes

Potatoes are root crops, hence it retains pesticides even though they are already washed and peeled. Most Filipinos usually use potatoes for cooking as a side dish.

3. Milk and other dairy products

Cows are being overdosed with injections, routinely fed hormones, antibiotics, and pesticide-covered grains, all of which can end up in our milk. And the higher the fat level of the milk; means the higher the level of pesticides.

4. Eggs and poultry products

Chickens receive large dosages of antibiotics, and injections as well. Some of them are even genetically modified in order to produce massive numbers of eggs, and poultry products; pesticides also pass from chickens to eggs, and from the food that we make from these ingredients. No wonder fast food chicken meals tastes, and looks really different.

5. Green leafy vegetables

Spinach, lettuce, celery, cabbage, kale, these are just some of the green leafy vegetables that we love eating raw, but these greens contains the highest pesticide content because of it’s surface area. To make it look fresh, conventional growers often apply it on the leaves so insects won’t bite it. Yikes.

Where to get Organic food products in Manila?

1. Legazpi Sunday Market – a weekend market for those living in the Metro, where a lot of organic producers sell their products in their own stalls, from fruits, vegetables, bread, and even meals. The prices are affordable, and you’ll enjoy going around since there are also a lot food concessionaires that offer their unique organic food finds.

2. The Green Grocer Manila – Manila’s first home delivery service of fresh produce, artisan bread, premium meats, deli items, and other grocery necessities. They post a complete Grocer’s List every weekend, and deliver the freshest harvest at your doorstep every Wednesday and Saturday at competitive grocery prices.

3. Satinka Naturals Café and Bistro – a small café along Kamagong, Makati that offers a GMO-free and organic menu, from pasta, sandwiches, full course meals, desserts, and drinks. This place knows what organic really means since the owners gets their products from the farmers in Benguet, and Cordillera. They also post a weekly stash of vegetables from local farmers in the mountains. You can message their Facebook page to order directly and pick it up pronto. As the organic food industry keeps growing, more and more people make a healthier choice. It’s not just a trend, it’s a lifestyle change, and the zest for good health, and energy, strength, should be contagious.

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