How to Go Organic and What it Means
I grew up with a mother very interested in healthy eating. She was a master herbalist after all. But because of that, I kinda took healthy eating for granted. My mother talked about healthy eating and canned or preserved most of our foods. After I got married, I kept it in mind by choosing organics at the grocery store (sometimes) and preserving some of my own foods. I heard people talking about "going organic". What did it really mean? This year, I made it a commitment to really delve into it.
Going organic means to make a conscious choice to choose foods that are grown and processed according to organic standards; no pesticides, fungicides and for today's world, GMO free. Standards vary worldwide but organic farming is really important in helping to keep an ecological balance and in conserving wildlife.
In 2014 organic food sales were $36 billion. In 2022, according to statistics, it increased to 61.7 billion U.S. dollars. Fruits and vegetables top the organic food sales. That is a lot of people going organic! Most choose the fresh produce and milk to concentrate on, but there is a wide variety of ways to be "organic". There are organic clothing choices, beds/bedding, cleaning products, flowers and pet food. It can be a bit overwhelming. But you don't have to jump in whole hog. Choose one thing to concentrate on until you get comfortable, then keep going until you have reached your organic goals.
First things first. Get to know your local farmers and ask them about their farming practices. Smaller farmers may adhere to organic practices but aren't organically certified because of the cost and time expenditures, but their food can be just as good if not better because it is grown near you. Next, get to know your organic list! This is called the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15. This list helps me keep in mind what vegetables I should grow myself, and what ones to find organic sources for. There are twelve on the list that typically have the most pesticides. And there are 15 that may be a safer bet to buy. Here's a list you can use as a guide: EWG's 2023 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce | Full List
By starting small, you can slowly grow your life into being totally healthy. It can be a slow transition, but you'll find it to be very rewarding in how you feel and how you create your world. Support local small businesses, reduce your carbon footprint and eat tasting nutritious foods. Commit to begin growing your own garden, no matter how big or small; plant some herbs, some salad greens and a few tomatoes at least. Prepare your soil organically and read up on how to naturally repel pests and insects. Begin to reduce your waste, read up on recipes. Here's a site that goes into detail on growing A Complete Guide to Organic Gardening for Beginners - The House & Homestead (thehouseandhomestead.com) and then for grass fed meats Eat Wild - Find Your State and last, finding local farmers markets near you National Farmers Market Directory (nfmd.org)
Have fun with your journey, let it be a fun adventure, and you'll soon find yourself organic. And you will never look back.