Commercial vs. organic food --
what it means to you


Is organic food really different? Yes!


It’s raised in harmony with Nature – no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or hormones, and no harmful consequences to us or the environment. Instead, fertilizers come from animal or vegetable matter, with biological controls and natural insecticides to deter pests.


Organic food must meet organic standards set by the USDA and other organizations. The USDA officially “makes no claims that it is superior to commercially grown food.” That’s a carefully stated legal phrase, and understandable, since one of their aims is to be a neutral agent, and not allot any “unfair” advantage to organic growers.


However, scientific studies are beginning to come up with conclusive proof that it IS superior:  A four-year organic food study by Professor Carlo Leifert of Newcastle University corroborates what many of us had always believed and experienced: organically produced food contains higher levels of specific antioxidants, and higher amounts of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, as well as lower amounts of dangerous heavy metals!


Edgar Cayce, the “father of holistic medicine,” also commented that the best way to grow food was by mixing grasses, leaves, animal wastes and other vegetable matter into the soil. That was over 63 years ago, when the concept of organic gardening was fairly young and few had heard about it.


Cayce also said something a little more unusual, even today -- that it was much better for people to eat food grown on the land where they lived, or in the near vicinity. He even went on to state that eating food from distant parts was why so many people had allergies!


When you think about it, an animal or plant has to take its food from the earth under its feet -- this is what acclimates it to the environment where it lives. It’s not natural for the animal to get food from another country or state.


Yet this means we still have to make choices – if you are trying to eat organic food nowadays, you’re lucky if you can get it at all, wherever it comes from!


So is it better to eat free-run local eggs that are not technically organic, or organic ones from elsewhere? No one can decide that for you -- just make sure those local chickens are really foraging for food, in addition to the mash the owner gives them – that way the chicken can balance its own diet instinctively. This might also apply to other local food, too, like grass-fed beef.


You can actually buy organically grown white flour, which is better than conventional white flour, because it doesn’t carry pesticide residues and didn’t harm the environment by its growth. But it still isn’t very nutritious. On the other hand, you can buy conventionally grown whole-wheat flour. It looks healthier, but was raised in a damaging way and contains pesticides and herbicides. Go for organic and natural, if you can, but take your best shot!

For more ideas about making advantageous compromises, see  Buying the Best Natural Food You Can.


One thing there’s no doubt about: Organic food raised in your own garden tastes better, is more nutritious, and keeps better than its conventional counterpart!


I was raised on organic food, and I remember my father putting 25 quarts of organically raised, ripe strawberries on the screened back porch. He would leave them there for several days before freezing or making jam, and on the third day, they were still firm, sweet and good, with no mold.


Today, conventionally raised strawberries, bought fresh from the grower, will hardly make it home. You have to rush them to the sink, scrape off the already-decaying material, and pop them in a dish. Now, out of breath, you realize you’ve only prepared the strawberries, and they’ll have to wait even longer for the shortcake!


If you’re wondering about the flavor of organic food from the store, try this test: Buy two half-gallons of reduced-fat milk, one organic, one conventional. After you taste the organic one, the ordinary one will taste like chalk-water!


Click here to find out where and how
to buy healthy organic food.



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Dr. Sheila Miles is a Naturopathic Physician whom we know in Kentucky. She is Board Certified by the National Board of Examiners in Integrated/ Alternative Medicine and Natural Health Science, with a Doctorate in Natural Health Science. She is also certified in Nutrition, Homeopathy, and Herbal Preparations.

We had the privilege of editing her new book, Healthy Choices in an Unhealthy World. It's an excellent basic grounding in nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, and we are pleased to endorse it here. --
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