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“I Can’t Afford To Buy Organic Food”

Those who have been reading these posts for awhile know that I talk a great deal about the importance of eating healthy, and encourage my patients to eat organic food whenever possible.  But a decent number of people claim they can’t afford to buy organic food, and so they may eat healthier, but due to their tight budget don’t buy anything organic.

I’m not going to criticize anyone who claims that they can’t afford organic food, as I personally know what it feels like when money is “tight”.  However, I know a lot of people who claim they can’t afford to buy organic food, yet have no problem spending money on large televisions, computers, upscale clothing, etc.  For these people, their health simply is not a priority.  On the other hand, there are people who don’t spend their money on “luxury” items yet have a tough time paying the bills, and seemingly have no choice but to buy non-organic food. 

For those who fall into this latter category, can they restore their health back to normal without eating an organic diet?  In my opinion it isn’t necessary to eat a 100% organic diet, which is a good thing, because most people don’t eat everything organic.  If you can afford to purchase everything organic then that’s great.  If you can’t afford to do this, but can afford to buy some organic foods, then you simply need to pick and choose certain organic foods.

The Difference Between Organic and “Natural” Foods

In the past I’ve mentioned  that one of my favorite places to shop for groceries  is Trader Joes.  They have a lot of different varieties of organic food, but they also have a lot of natural, non-organic food.  I know some people wonder if they can “get away” with buying natural foods that aren’t organic.  The difference is that organic foods need to meet certain standards and are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  So you can be pretty certain that something which is 100% organic doesn’t have any hormones, pesticides, artificial ingredients, and overall is the healthiest choice available when compared to similar foods that are non-organic.

On the other hand, a food that claims it’s 100% natural doesn’t need to meet the same standards as organic foods.  Many food products that claim they are natural consist of ingredients that would never be allowed in an organic food by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  A great deal of this really comes down to good marketing, as these food companies know that people want foods that are “natural”, but are also inexpensive.  And they also know what they can and cannot get away with.

How To Become An Expert At Reading Ingredients

I’m not suggesting that you should avoid all “natural” foods, but just that you need to be extremely cautious whenever you are thinking about buying anything that claims it’s “all natural”, or “100% natural”.  The key is to become an expert at reading labels, and understanding the different ingredients that are in these foods you regularly purchase.  Don’t ever assume that any natural product is healthy for you, and/or it doesn’t contain any pesticides, byproducts, or chemical additives.

Even if you can’t afford to buy everything organic, you really should consider buying certain organic foods.  For example, if you eat meat, then I would highly recommend buying organic chicken, turkey, beef, etc.  The same thing goes for eggs.  As for fruits and vegetables, while it would be great to purchase 100% organic, you can be a little bit more choosy here.  Certain fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries and spinach tend to be high in pesticides, and thus should be purchased organic.  On the other hand, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries typically aren’t as high in pesticides.

Of course there are factors to consider other than just avoiding pesticides, as there also is a difference in the soil that organic food is grown in.  As a result, non-organic fruits and vegetables will usually be more depleted in nutrients than their organic counterparts. 

The overall point I want to make here is that a person who has a thyroid condition and is looking to restore their health back to normal can do so without eating a 100% organic diet, or even one that is mostly organic.  The number one goal is to minimize the amount of refined and sugary foods that you consume.  The next step will be to eat foods that not only are whole, but don’t contain hormones, pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals.    Because all of these chemicals do have an impact on our bodies, and so the less exposure you have to these toxins, the better off you’ll be.