You’re making a heroic effort to eat better, but sometimes you need help navigating the sea of health and nutrition information that seems to be flooding in. One week, your go-to snack is the “it” health food, then the next week you hear that it’s not so good for you after all. Or maybe you’re trying to take control of a health issue through diet changes, but don’t know where to begin? Hi, I’m Mary, Door to Door Organics’ new nutrition coach, and I’m here to guide you through all your nutrition questions and steer you toward your goals and vibrant health.
I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science and Food Management from Oregon State University (the Beavers, not the Ducks) and have an insatiable curiosity about how our bodies work and how what we eat affects our physical and mental performance. My passion is helping people learn what works best for their bodies, so email me with your concerns and tell me about your unique situation. Your question may be one that I hear frequently and it could be the perfect topic for an upcoming column that will help even more folks.
When I tell people that I’m a nutrition coach, they immediately hit me with questions: How do I lose weight, boost energy, stay youthful, improve my mood, or feed my kids healthy. I’ll cover these topics in future posts, but let’s start with one of the most common questions I’m asked: Why should I pay more for organic and natural food? This is an important question as quality food is the basis for good health.
Beyond buying organic for environmental purposes, there are two primary reasons to invest in eating organic and natural foods: You’ll consume fewer chemicals and more nutrients. The pesticides and chemicals used to grow, process, and preserve non-organic and non-natural foods can be toxic. Many of these pesticides and additives are known carcinogens, hormone disruptors, or neurotoxins that may cause health problems like ADHD, autoimmune disorders and asthma. And children are more susceptible to these chemicals than adults since their bodies are not fully developed.
When you buy certified-organic food, you can trust that it was grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), irradiation, sewage sludge, antibiotics, or growth hormones. The “natural” label, however, is not currently regulated, so it can mean different things to different manufacturers. When you buy a product labeled “all-natural” at doortodoororganics.com, we scour every label to guarantee that this food was produced without artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colors or flavors; hormones; antibiotics; high-fructose corn syrup; trans fats; nitrates/nitrites; or bleached/bromated flour.
Not only does choosing organic and natural reduce your exposure to these chemicals, you actually get more out of what you eat. Researchers at the Organic Center found that organic food boasts more nutrients. Along with a higher vitamin and mineral content, organic produce and grass-fed meats contain elevated levels of phytonutrients and fatty acids, which regulate inflammation, keep cells strong, and protect you from pollution, UV rays, and more.
And finally, growing organic food is more expensive because the production is more labor intensive and approved fertilizers, pest management, and environmentally-friendly crop-rotation methods are pricier than chemical options. Food not grown with chemicals may be cheaper but paying more for Good Food now may save your health later.
Got health questions? Mary has answers! Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.