I care about my health. Taking care of my body is one of my strongest values. One of the eight limbs of yoga (ancient guidelines) is ahimsa, which simply means non-harming. I am very conscious of the food choices that I make and whether or not they are benefiting or doing damage to my body. I know that choosing a dark, leafy green salad to eat will give me more energy and vitality than eating an ice cream cone. Don’t get me wrong, I have cravings for ice cream all the time, but I understand how my food choices affect my overall well-being, and I do my best to choose accordingly.
I also believe that there is energy in everything, and the more healthy a plant or vegetable is, the more it will increase my prana, or life force, with it’s energy. One of the farmers that Tina met emphasized that the health below ground in the soil will transfer to the health of everything above the ground. So the healing energy of organically grown plants transfers to those people that consume them. More healing energy? Yes, please!
We all know that foods sprayed and treated with pesticides can be toxic for our bodies. The FDA’s organic standards help us to determine which foods are safer to eat. But I can’t afford to buy everything that I eat organic, and not all foods that I eat are sold with an organic option. What’s a yogini to do? I was inspired by Tina’s informative posts re-capping her barnstorming adventures in Vermont to share one of the ways that I choose which foods that I buy organic and which I buy conventional.
Lucky for me (and you!), the US Department of Agriculture tests pesticides for us! Some of you may have heard of the list called “The Dirty Dozen” that tells us which fruits and vegetables are the most contaminated. I encourage you to purchase these completely organic, or to steer clear of them altogether (if you can’t afford or can’t find them organic):
- dormant blueberries
- imported grapes
- sweet bell peppers
- collard greens
I’m not going to lie and say that every single time that I purchase these foods, I buy organic, but that is absolutely my preference.
Another really helpful tool is the list of the “Clean 15”, which tells us which foods are the least likely to test positive for pesticides. Gobble up lots of these fresh foods with no guilt!
There’s a handy dandy iPhone app of the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 for all you Apple lovers out there (I just bought my 1st MacBook, so I can’t say I’m not one of them…just no iPhone yet!). You can also print out the guide. That way, next time you’re at the grocery store or your local farmer’s market, you won’t have to dig deep into the drudges of your memory to figure out which foods are on which list! It can be confusing! So what happens if I forget my list at home? You won’t be struck down by a lightning bolt (I hope), but one of the general guidelines that I like to go by is that the thicker the skin on the fruit or veggie, the less contaminated it will hopefully be. For example, it’s pretty obvious the difference in skin between a strawberry (those toxins can soak right in) and a grapefruit (thicker cell walls for the chemicals to soak through). So use your common sense here.
Another important thing to consider is that as consumers, we have the power to sway which businesses thrive by where we spend our money. That being said, if you put more of your pennies toward buying organic produce, you will be protecting the livelihood of all those awesome organic farmers that work so hard to give us food that nurtures and sustains! I know it may seem like spending a dollar here and a dollar there isn’t going to make much of a difference (http://www.starrbrite.com/starfish.html), but your contribution adds up with everyone else’s and ends up making a BIG difference after all!
I feel that I am respecting my body and respecting the Earth when I choose to eat organic and support organic farmers!
Be kind to your body. It’s the only one you’ve got!
Namaste- the divine light in me honors the divine light in all of you. And I honor the light in Tina that glows so brightly here on Carrots ‘N’ Cake. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my ideas in this creative, health-conscious space.