Going organic can make you happier and healthier. It not only benefits you, but also your family, your community and the planet. While the tremendous amount of information surrounding the differences between organic and conventional produce can make buying organic challenging and confusing for some, making the switch to buy organic can be easier than you think.
To be USDA-Certified Organic, food must be grown without toxic synthetic pesticides and herbicides, genetically modified or engineered ingredients (also called GMOs), and antibiotics or artificial growth hormones. In fact, this is the main reason why most people choose to buy organic. According to a consumer survey by Natural Grocers conducted in 2017, over 90 percent of their customers buy organic produce to avoid pesticides, and 70 percent buy organic to avoid GMOs.
Although researchers have found that organic foods are higher in antioxidants and less likely to contain harmful pesticides and heavy metals, only 40 percent of consumers in the Natural Grocers survey chose to buy organic for its perceived nutritional benefits. But the fact that organic foods are more likely to have higher nutritional content, in addition to protecting the environment, is precisely why people should be more encouraged to buy.
"When you’re eating organic foods, you’re keeping harmful chemicals and GMOs out of your body..."
-Arjan Stephens, Nature’s Path
“Simply put, organic is better for you and the environment. When you’re eating organic foods, you’re keeping harmful chemicals and GMOs out of your body and some studies have shown that organic farming produces more nutrient-dense crops,” says Arjan Stephens, executive vice president, sales and marketing at Nature’s Path. “Organic farming supports a healthier planet by not adding chemicals to the air, water and soil, as well as keeping them away from you and future generations.”
Going organic can actually be quite simple, you can start small and feel good knowing that every time you choose organic it benefits your health, your community and the environment. Here are three easy ways you can start to go organic right now:
• Look Inside Your Pantry: Fresh fruits and vegetables may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about organic, but don’t forget about your pantry. Staples such as flour, sugar, vegetable oil, peanut butter and more can be swapped out for organic options, and make it easier to have organic food as part of every meal.
• Start with What You Eat Everyday: A good place to start is with the foods you consume every day. If you and your family start each morning with a bowl of cereal, try eating organic cereal like Nature's Path, which has an extensive line of cereals (as well as waffles, granola, oatmeal and granola bars) that are all USDA-Certified Organic.
• Think Outside the Cart: Organic food can cost more, but you can find less expensive options by shopping at your local farmer’s market, comparing prices online, buying in bulk (which is also better for the environment) and even growing some of your own food.
For a quick breakfast, try this tasty, organic Oatmeal Latte recipe:
*Recipe courtesy of Nature's Path
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup vanilla soy milk
- 1/2 cup Nature’s Path Original Hot Oatmeal
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1-2 shots espresso, for topping
- 1/2 cup warm vanilla soy milk, for topping
- Nature’s Path Flax Plus Vanilla Almond Granola, for topping
- pinch of cinnamon, for topping
Cooking Directions: In small saucepan, bring water and soy milk to simmer over medium-high heat. Add oats and salt. Turn heat to medium and cook until oatmeal reaches desired consistency. Stir in brown sugar and transfer to bowl or mug.
Using steamer, milk frother or whisk, froth warm milk until foamy. Top oatmeal with espresso and frothed milk. Stir gently. Top with granola and cinnamon.
Top and middle photo credit: Getty Images
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