Going Organic: It’s easier than you think!

Posted by: | June 25, 2010

About a month ago, I made a very sudden and drastic change within my household. As I perused my kitchen one evening, opening the cupboard doors, the fridge and freezer, I began to see the environmental impact and physical blow my food had on both my body and my planet. I wanted to finally feel good about my meals and knew I was ready for a change. It was time to go organic!

This whole overturn was prompted by a documentary I watched recently that focused on the North American food industry, the untold secrets of food management and production and the typical ingredients in our feasts. The film challenged me to consider how I could eat both ethically and sustainably.

Choosing to go organic was an easy decision as I understood how profound the environmental impacts were, not to mention the health benefits (which certainly outweigh the alternative).

Before completely switching over to an organic lifestyle, I wanted to understand the impact of pesticides on my body to ensure the extra money I was going to dish out each week would truly be an investment in my health. It didn’t take much internet research to see the connections between pesticide ingestion and a whole slew of diseases. Granted, pesticides are not the sole cause of many of these ailments, but they do play a role. One quote in particular sealed the deal for me: “Pesticides…on our food, even after washing…stay in our bodies for years.” If I’m able to reduce my contact with these hazards in any capacity, I’m willing to do what it takes!

The next day, I visited my local organic and natural food store (with a little extra grocery cash in stow) and began browsing the aisles. Much to my surprise the selection was endless. There were a few conventionally grown items I had to leave out of my buggy, but I was more than satisfied with the variety of organics on offer. Plus, I only spent about $20 more than I normally would have (which is a small price to pay for the immeasurable benefits).

Shopping in organic stores is not the only way to go organic, especially for the UBC community. With our very own UBC Farm we have the option of eating fresh, locally grown produce grown in our own backyard. Every Saturday throughout the summer, the farm hosts a Farmers Market showcasing local vendors and produce grown on campus. Although the farm does not yet have their organic certification, they follow the COABC guidelines for both their livestock and crop management.

Looking for a new lunch spot? Agora Eats Café in the MacMillan building is a non-profit café that provides local, organic and sustainable food options for students, staff and faculty. In full operations between September and April, they serve affordable and accessible healthy food choices to UBC.

Whenever you can…eat organic, eat local and eat fresh!

Some food for thought (no pun intended):

•    What have you done to lead a more ethical and sustainable lifestyle?
•    What’s preventing you from going organic?
•    I’ve found dining out on an organic diet to be a little tricky; know of any local, organic restaurants?

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Oranges Every month, the Healthy UBC Blog highlights a locally available food, and gives you a recipe or two to try out.  This month, read all about mandarin oranges, rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, fibre and folate.

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