We’ve all been bombarded with the words clean eating. And it’s a pretty simple concept, cut out the processed stuff, and fuel your body with whole foods. But what about organic? Is it worth the extra cost? What does it mean? A quick perusal of my pantry and I see this word in blaring bold print across a majority of the items. Why organic?
Many people are understandably skeptical about the value of the organic label. (Myself included) Is it just marketing? We know in actuality, it’s not. When you buy food that is organic, it is guaranteed to be real, clean, and sustainably produced, meaning the food has been grown in safe and healthy soil using natural fertilizers and free of synthetic pesticides or additives. Research has also shown that organic produce contains more antioxidants than conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. So you’re not just getting cleaner food, you’re getting more nourishing food when you buy organic.
Organic foods are of course more expensive than conventionally produced ones. So when a choice has to be made, the suggested prioritizing for buying organic is as follows: dairy, eggs, poultry, beef, lamb, produce, corn and soy products, and coffee and tea. So as you can see in the grain department I’m doing a pretty good job (oats/quinoa/chia/crackers are all organic!) but I should actually be putting more of an emphasis on organic dairy and eggs at the top of the list.
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” A wise saying I was often told growing up! Organic is not the whole story. Some exceptionally nutrient dense foods are not labeled organic because they grow entirely outside of the food-production system, wild caught pacific salmon for example. Also, small local farmers may be using admirable methods but are not certified organic because it is too expensive for them to carry the label.
Organic is good, but it’s important to consider all the different factors when choosing the food that fits your needs. Focus on whole foods.
Have a great week,
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Spinach and Quinoa
20 brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
3 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp paprika
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 clove of garlic
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 cups packed baby spinach leaves
Preheat oven to 425 F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the Brussels sprouts with 2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil and season with salt/pepper and paprika. Roast the sprouts for approximately 25 minutes, until tender.
Meanwhile, bring 3/4 cup water and the quinoa to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and fluff with a fork.
Pulse the garlic, cashews, vinegar, and remaining Tbsp of coconut oil in a mini chopper or blender until smooth.
In a large bowl combine the spinach, quinoa, roasted sprouts, and dressing. Toss to combine.
Makes 3-4 servings.