Several years ago, my husband and I attended a seminar at our church featuring Jordan Rubin. He was a celiacs survivor who almost died early in his teen years due to his undiagnosed celiacs disease. His saving grace was learning to eat a daily regimen of high-quality organic foods, which led to him converting to a completely organic lifestyle. Now, I had heard people address diet and nutrition from a biblical perspective before, but this was the first time I truly received an explanation of the word "organic." Up until this point I thought organic was a trend for bougie people who shopped at specialty stores because they thought they were too good to shop at The Walmart (Forgive me. I was young).
After hearing his presentation, we purchased his book and went home empowered. I had no idea that reading this book would sow seeds in my heart that would stick with me for years to come. Now that I have children, I’m always considering the fact that their little bodies and developing brains are going to absorb whatever I expose them to. I want to make sure that whatever they put in their bodies (and on their bodies) is as healthy as possible.
Of course, I'm a stay at home mom, so we're living our best life on a budget, but we prioritize purchasing organic foods and products as much as possible. Not just for their health, but for ours as well. Here's a few reasons why:
1. Organic Products Contain Less Toxic Pesticides
Anything grown organically is not supposed to contain any pesticides that are not naturally derived (no synthetics). In addition, the land where the crops are planted cannot have been treated with synthetic pesticides for several years to avoid soil contamination. However, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I said “less pesticides” instead of “no pesticides,” because it is still very possible for some organic foods to have pesticides residues if they are grown near a conventional (non-organic) farm. I mean, if I plant an organic garden but my neighbor sprays theirs with RoundUp, (or God forbid that dang mosquito truck comes around) then there’s a chance that my innocent veggies may be exposed. Because, you know, wind. There’s even a chance for exposure via crop dusting airplanes. Oh, and I can’t leave out the sweet pollinating bees and insects who are really just trying to do their jobs. Those little guys can unknowingly spread the poisons, causing cross contamination. But no worries. If you’re looking to reduce your exposure to these pesticide chemicals, it’s still a better option to go the natural, organic route. Your exposure may not be nil, but it will be less than had you gone conventional.
2. Pesticides May Cause Cancer, Birth Defects, etc.
I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the main ingredient in the leading pesticide, RoundUp, has been labeled as a known carcinogen and may cause cancers like lymphoma, and birth defects in developing fetuses. There’s a few lawsuits currently pending against the manufacturer, and California has added them to their official list of chemicals known to cause cancer. It is documented that the manufacture has known about these risks since 1980 but did not release the information to the public. Whenever I purchase food or personal care products (lotion, shampoo, etc. ), I’m taking this into consideration. I just can’t trust a company that knows the harmful effects of their products but seems to prioritize profit over people. I am thankful, however, for The Environmental Working Group (EWG) and their “Dirty Dozen” list of the most heavily sprayed crops to help us dodge these substances. Afterall, absorption and ingestion are two major pathways toxins can use to enter my body, wreak havoc on my internal organs, and possibly jeopardize the health of my future children. So when it comes to pesticides and their side effects, the eloquent words of Ms. Sweet Brown come to mind, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
3. Genetic Modification (GMO)If you’ve been in grocery stores lately, you’ve probably seen products labeled “Non-GMO.” GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms and can mean the plant has been engineered to be resistant to pesticides, or to enhance or remove certain traits, like seedless watermelons and grapes, or extra firm tomatoes. While the establishment that supports the growth and sale of GMO’s insists that there’s nothing wrong with ingesting food that’s been grown in a lab, and has had its genetic code altered for the sake of mass production and/or desired traits, the studies that may link them to cancer have been “inconclusive.” We do our best to avoid these test tube products by choosing organic whenever possible, because (by definition) organic foods cannot be grown with genetically modified seeds. It is important to note that crops can be grown organically (without synthetic pesticides) but still originate from genetic seed. So be sure to look for that Organic and Non-GMO seal just to be safe.
As I’ve grown and studied over the years, I’ve learned that purchasing natural and organic whenever possible is a great way to reduce our exposure to harmful chemicals. After all, our bodies are temples so we don’t want to intentionally expose them to anything that can cause harm. One of the easiest ways that we’ve found to purchase affordable organic produce and products is by shopping locally at the farmers market or by purchasing handmade products from companies with integrity (Or in our case, making the products ourselves). By getting to know the people who grow your food, or make your products, you eliminate the middle man and receive some of the freshest, toxic chemical free products. Some will even deliver right to your door. Here’s a few of my local favorites: Lena Farms, Luckett Farms, Iverstine Farms, Old Paths Natural Market, and of course LiveFree Natural Home & Body Care 😉
Until next time, let’s continue to live healthy, and LiveFree 😉
Rochelle C. is a homeschool mom from Los Angeles. After teaching high school and college for 7 years, she traded in her red pen for a baby rattle and joyfully embarked upon a new career as a stay at home mom. When she’s not changing diapers, Rochelle works with her husband in the family business. Together they own LiveFree Natural Home & Body Care, a Health & Wellness company that specializes in formulating all natural home and body care products as well as teaching classes in the community on the dangers of harmful chemicals in everyday personal care products.