It struck me recently that I’ve come to view nutrition completely different from most people, even people who think along the same lines as me.
When most people think of starting to eat organically they think of vegetables, salads, and produce in general. I used to as well. Now, though, I’m becoming increasingly convinced the starting on the other side of your plate is a lot more important.
If we are going to make a gradual change in our diets, my opinion is that we need to start with the animal products. Pastured, organic meat, dairy, and eggs will go a lot further toward decreasing the bad things that you are putting into your body. Environmental toxins like pesticides, fertilizers, GMO’s and of course antibiotics are far more concentrated in the animal products that we eat than in the vegetables.
If increasing your nutritional awareness is something that you are interested in, I suggest starting with eggs or dairy, whichever you eat more of. When you eat eggs from the grocery store, you are giving your consent to treating animals in as inhumane a fashion as could be conceived. I won’t post photos here, but you could find them yourself if you wanted. Conventionally raised eggs come from chickens who never walk, let alone ever see sunlight. I simply will not eat 99¢ eggs from the grocery store.
The eggs that I buy cost four times that much. To me, the benefit to my body would be worth the cost, but knowing that the farmers treat the animals humanely is worth far more.
If you would rather begin with dairy, grass-fed organic is the way to go. If you can find a non-homogenized and lightly pasteurized version, that would be even better. Some people are advocating raw milk, but I don’t know enough about the subject to recommend something that drastic (and illegal).
Pasture raised cows, pigs, and chickens are much healthier. There are local farmers that are very scientific about rotating their pasture and keeping their herds rotating as long as they can during the warm months. They might have to supplement with hay or other feed in the dead of winter, but they do everything that they can to keep them in the fields.
What this means is that the cows themselves are much healthier. They are up and moving, living in the sunlight, being social, etc. For us, of course, it means that the meat and milk is much healthier too. And more costly. Pastured chicken, pork, beef, or bison will run easily twice as much as conventionally raised meat.
Again, to me, the cost is well worth paying just to know that the animals are well treated. Of course the flavor is better, the chemical profile of the fat and protein is better for us, vitamin and mineral profile is better, and toxic load is drastically reduced.
Certainly buying organic produce is important if you are concerned about your health. I don’t believe that it is the place to begin, however. If you eat meat or animal products, think of changing these first, then work on the produce.