Mary James

Going Organic: What You Need To Know And Why

Maria Rodale

If you do just one thing - make one conscious choice - that can change the world, go organic. Buy organic food. Stop using chemicals and start supporting organic farmers. No other single choice you can make to improve the health of your family and the planet will have greater positive repercussions for our future.

Maria Rodale

During tough economic times, it's hard to stay on track and stick to a healthy lifestyle while our bank accounts get squeezed. Choosing to go organic can become increasingly difficult because of this, as the temptation for super cheap processed food becomes even more attractive.

People always ask how in the world is it possible to eat healthy without breaking the bank. Indeed, it’s a brilliant question and one I hope to answer below. Here are some healthy pointers that will empower you to stay healthy on a low budget.

Transitioning To Organic Food

While transitioning to organic, the food products that contain the most pesticides and toxins are the ones you want to focus on avoiding first. Beyond vegetable and fruit produce, the foods that contain the most toxins are conventionally raised meats.

FACT: Conventionally raised livestock are force-fed feed that contains pesticides, and they are also supplemented with antibiotics.

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Conventionally raised livestock are force-fed feed containing pesticides and supplemented with antibiotics. This is done to prevent disease in CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) or to make them gain weight faster. In addition, most conventionally raised animals are fed GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, which studies have conclusively linked to certain health problems.

The main problem with pesticides and antibiotics is that once the animals have ingested these pathogens, they are stored in the animal's fat and tissues. And when you eat the meat or produce, you're also eating chemical residues. It's doubly shameful because so much of the flavour of meat is in the fat!

On the other hand, eating organic/grass-fed meat is extra pleasurable because you don't have to worry about the toxic load in the fat. And that is a good thing, because there are tons of valuable nutrients in it.

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It's not about dieting or pushing to extremes; it's about sustainable health and loving your body.

Top Recommendations

Grass-fed, organically raised meats, milk, and pastured eggs would be my top initial recommendations. Usually, organic chicken is the least expensive meat available, so you may stick with that.

Grass-fed beef is very nutritious, containing high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and even more antioxidant vitamin E than conventionally raised cattle. It tastes better and is leaner than most other options, so every now and then I put some clean beef on the menu! Grass-fed beef, pastured chicken and pastured chicken eggs contain significantly higher levels of animal-based omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.

If you're going to buy conventional eggs, try to avoid the omega-3 enriched ones. These hens are usually fed rancid omega-3. So the real benefit to you is not as advertised. Choose eggs from pastured, grass-fed hens. You'll find they taste better and are the more nutritious option.

Rising Food Cost And Limited Budget

When you are on a budget, you need to get the most bang for your buck. Even though buying organic may cost more in the long run, these preventative measures are likely to save you a lot in healthcare costs down the road. For me, eating organic and eating as clean as possible is like taking medicine, the preventative kind, not the kind that masks symptoms after you're already sick...

To deal with the rising cost of food, which makes organic food even more expensive, I recommend using your money to buy only conventional produce that doesn't require a lot of pesticides to grow, and look for organic produce that would otherwise contain comparatively more toxins if grown conventionally.

Although organic produce may or may not have higher levels of nutrients, the biggest benefit is that organic produce does not expose you to potentially dangerous toxins. A simple vinegar rinse can help remove significant amounts of toxic residue and should be used on both organic and conventional produce.

If You Like Juicing...

It is particularly important to take effective measures if you are juicing most of your fruit and vegetables. This is because you're only consuming the juice and not much of the fibre, and the juice itself could end up being a concoction of toxins if you haven't taken steps to limit your exposure to these pesticides and other poisons. Not doing so would negate many of the benefits of juicing.

The Bottom Line

Whatever your dietary preferences, organic food should be an absolute priority. Choosing organic food is the right choice for personal and global planetary health. Buying and eating organically grown food - free of harmful chemicals, bursting with more nutrition, taste and sustainable nourishment - is a direct vote for immediate health and the hopeful future of generations to come.

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Going organic refers to choosing products, particularly food and clothing, that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilisers. Organic foods are also not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or synthetic food additives. The focus is on environmentally sustainable practices and animal welfare.


Organic food is often considered healthier because it contains fewer pesticides and chemicals. Studies have shown that organic produce can have more antioxidants and nutrients than conventionally grown food. The absence of harmful chemicals and the presence of more nutrients contribute to the perception and reality that organic food can be healthier for consumption.


No, 'organic' and 'natural' are not interchangeable terms. 'Organic' refers to the specific, regulated method of farming and production that minimises pollution and promotes sustainability. 'Natural' is a more general term that is not regulated and can refer to products that do not contain added colours, artificial flavours, or synthetic substances. However, 'natural' does not necessarily adhere to the strict standards that define organic products.


Yes, organic products are generally better for the environment. Organic farming practices are designed to reduce pollution and conserve water and soil quality. They also reduce the use of harmful pesticides and fertilisers that can contaminate water supplies and harm wildlife. By supporting biodiversity and using fewer non-renewable resources, organic farming contributes to environmental sustainability.


Whether it's worth the extra cost depends on personal priorities and circumstances. For those concerned about chemical exposure, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare, the higher cost of organic products may be justified. Additionally, some people prefer the taste of organic produce. Evaluating the importance of these factors can help determine if the extra cost is worth it for you.


True organic products can be identified by looking for official certification labels. In many countries, organic products must meet strict government standards to be certified as organic. These standards vary by country, but the product should display a certification logo or label from a recognised organic certification body, indicating that it meets the required organic production and processing standards.

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About the Author Mary James

I am passionate about fitness, a healthy lifestyle, cooking, and well-being. This blog is about some of my thoughts that are occupying my mind and spirit daily over the last 10 years and my grand passion – weight loss and fitness, healthy lifestyle and healthy food, mindfulness and self-improvement.

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