The term, “organic.”
In order to live an organic life, it’s important to first know what the word, “organic,” actually means. Therefore, “the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as follows:
“Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made from synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bio engineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.”
What does living organic mean?
If someone said to you, “wow, those people sure do live an organic life,”what would you assume they meant? Do you envision living somewhat of a “hippie” lifestyle to include living off the land exclusively? Not to mention, maybe organic individuals lack common amenities such as electricity, cell phones, internet, etc? Contrary to popular belief, living organic is simply about choosing many different products labeled as organic which are free of any harmful additives and are the most natural substances out there. So, what if there was a way that you didn’t have to take things to this primitive level in order to simply live an organic life?
The decision to go organic
First off, we, as consumers, are unaware of all the hidden dangers found in our environment, as well as in the foods we love to eat. For example, we rely heavily on our smart phones to function in our everyday lives by accessing our emails, checking the daily news, obtaining the weather forecast, etc, but can we be 100% sure that our health is not being compromised by all of today’s technology? Not to mention, we typically do not give a second thought to the clothing material we place next to our bare skin, the chemicals we use to clean our indoor surfaces, the foods we ingest into our bodies, and the air we breathe in our home. Obviously, we can’t all live in a “bubble” free of any harmful substances negatively affect our health, but we can eliminate the most detrimental ones from our lives.
Many people just go organic for the sake of the environment and how making the change can positively impact everyone’s health. While others make the choice simply because they are following someone else’s lead. Their thought process is that if it’s better for others; then it must be the best option for them. Either way, the lingering question is how do I convert to living an organic life without any additional anxiety in my life and destroying my carefully calculated budget?
Gradual change is better
As with any major change in your life, you are more likely to stick with the change long-term if you take it one small step at a time. To begin, I would advise to take inventory of any items in your home that have potentially harmful, health effects. These items would include anything you would put on your skin, close to your skin, and/or in your body.
For example, do you use all-natural cleaning products or disinfecting wipes made by Clorox to clean your countertops. If you happen to use the latter of the two, keep in mind that the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) has rated these wipes a ‘D’ for a high concern of respiratory effects stemming from its levels of ammonium chlorides. Personally, I’d prefer not to inhale harmful chemicals while attempting to sanitize my home.
In addition, do you invest in all-natural laundry detergents or do you use the cheapest laundry detergent you can find such as Purex Triple Action Liquid Laundry Detergent, After the Rain? With this laundry detergent, ewg.org gave it an ‘F’ for reasons such as “corrosive; may contain ingredients with potential for acute aquatic toxicity; bio degradation; respiratory effects.” Sounds frightening huh?
How about the dish washing liquid you use? A very common one is Ajax Triple Action Dish Liquid Hand Soap, Orange which has an appealing label and comes in a variety of scents. However, don’t be fooled by the look and smell of Ajax because according to ewg.org, it was rated an ‘F’ for its high concern of “ingredients with potential for acute aquatic toxicity, cancer, and respiratory effects.” Now have I got your attention?
Changing to organic food
If the thought of chemicals being used in your food production is concerning for you, organic food would be your best option. Not to mention, research has shown that organic food consumption has equated to receiving more nutritionally desired antioxidants, as well as decreasing the likelihood of being exposed to toxic heavy metals.
However, you may think that organic food is entirely too expensive. Fact is that going to your local farmer’s market to purchase your fruits and vegetables can be both cost-effective and healthier for you. The reason being is that these farmers are selling what’s currently in season and thus, offering it for a better price. Not to mention, if they claim they are certified by the USDA, all of their food is considered organic (free of pesticides).
Ultimately, converting to an organic lifestyle is a life-altering experience, but fortunately, can be obtained by taking baby steps. As with anything in life, it’s all about the choices you make and the vision you have for your life. Either way, here’s to living your best life ever! Feel free to leave me a comment or any additional insight you may have on living an organic life, as well as visit ewg.org for further research.
Ewg.org. (2017). Ajax Triple Action Dish Liquid Hand Soap, Orange Cleaner Rating. [online] Available at: https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/5464-AjaxTripleActionDishLiquidHandSoapOrange#.WkQ5Ft-nGyI [Accessed 28 Dec. 2017].
Ewg.org. (2017). Clorox Cleaner Ratings. [online] Available at: https://www.ewg.org/guides/brand/6441-Clorox#.WkQ3T9-nGyI [Accessed 28 Dec. 2017].
Ewg.org. (2017). Purex Triple Action Liquid Laundry Detergent, After The Rain Cleaner Rating. [online] Available at: https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/5670-PurexTripleActionLiquidLaundryDetergentAfterTheRain#.WkQ4b9-nGyI [Accessed 28 Dec. 2017].
Organic.org. (2017). Frequently Asked Questions – organic.org. [online] Available at: https://organic.org/faqs/ [Accessed 28 Dec. 2017].