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Why Eating Organic Food is Good for You, Nature and Aligns with Yoga & Ayurveda

Ayurvedic Diet: Why Eating Organically is Good for You, Nature and Aligns with Yoga & Ayurveda

Ayurvedic Diet: Why Eating Organic Food is Good for You, Nature and Aligns with Yoga & Ayurveda

Ayurvedic Diet: Why Eating Organic Food is Good for You, Nature and Aligns with Yoga & Ayurveda

So we’ve all heard of organic food, but it is not always clear whether organic food is actually better for us or not.

However, evidence is growing to demonstrate that organic food can not only be good for our health but also the environment.

To summarise organic food is food grown without the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives.

The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products produced from or by GMOs are generally prohibited by organic legislation.

So why does this matter for our health?

This is important from a health perspective as pesticide and fungicide residues in our food have been linked to an increased risk of various diseases.

Even without looking closely at the science it is intuitive that chemicals designed to kill other animals and organisms aren’t going to be great for us!

But isn’t organic food really expensive?

The fact that organic food does not have these chemicals applied means that it is generally grown less intensively and therefore can cost more than non-organic foods. This can be an issue for those of us on a tight budget…

However if you can’t afford to shop 100% organically then help is at hand to allow you to decide which fresh fruit and veg you should prioritise and those where you can be more confident that they are likely to contain fewer nasties.

The EWG (Environment Working Group) in the USA produces an annual report to help guide shoppers as to which are the worst affected fruit and vegetables (with the highest levels of pesticide residues) – their ‘Dirty Dozen’ and which non-organic have the lowest residues and can be bought with more confidence – their ‘Clean Fifteen’.

The report can be read here.

Their research has shown that…

“Nearly 70 percent of the non-organic fresh produce sold in the U.S. contains residues of potentially harmful chemical pesticides, according to EWG’s analysis of the latest test data from the federal Department of Agriculture.”

They go on to say…

“Most pesticide residues the USDA finds fall within government-mandated restrictions. But legal limits aren’t always safe.”

Ayurvedic Diet: Why Eating Organically is Good for You, Nature and Aligns with Yoga & Ayurveda

So are organic foods higher in nutrition?

This one is more tricky!

There is some evidence to suggest that organically grown food can be higher in nutritional values, however a fresh non-organic veggie will probably be higher in vitamins than a 2 week old organic one.

This also ties into the sustainability angle…

Most organic foods are grown in a more sustainable way, recycling and reusing waste products back into the system.

The methods used also focus on diversity and working with nature not against it, therefore you will find much more wildlife in and around organic farms.

Therefore buying organically can really help from an environmental perspective and is one of the key reasons I buy organic food.

That said if it is organic, but shipped from the other side of the world – I think you may be right to question the sustainability angle.

So I would recommend buying locally produced food wherever possible.

Organic Veg boxes are great for this!

So what does Yoga & Ayurveda philosophy say about eating organically?

This is important from a Yoga and Ayurveda perspective!

All foods were organic in the times where Yoga & Ayurveda philosophy were created, so this was not an explicit issue. Back then you couldn’t do anything but eat organically!

However in Yoga philosophy you have the ‘Yamas’. These are moral codes that we should aspire to live by.

The Yama, “Ahimsa” means ‘non-harming’ or not to do harm, injure or kill.

The careless use of pesticides & herbicides can clearly cause harm and therefore there is an obvious link between Ahimsa and organic farming practices.

In Ayurveda there is a strong philosophy of living in harmony with nature and reducing the toxins in our food.

By eating organically grown (and ideally locally produced) foods allow us to align with these principles.

Ayurvedic Diet: Why Eating Organically is Good for You, Nature and Aligns with Yoga & Ayurveda

So to sum up…

🌱 Organic food can be healthier for you – but you can shop smartly with the help of the EWG if cost is a concern.

🌱 Organic food can be more nutritious (and in my view often tastes much better), but the age of the product is probably more important to maintain peak nutritional value.

🌱 Organic food is better for the environment – but not if it has been flown half way round the world.

🌱 Eating organic food can help us align with the principles of Yoga and Ayurveda

🌱 Look out for these labels to help guide you on your organic journey!

Look out for organic labelling such as the USDA Organic Seal (in the US)

Ayurvedic Diet: Why Eating Organically is Good for You, Nature and Aligns with Yoga & Ayurveda

In Europe look out for the EU organic label

Ayurvedic Diet: Why Eating Organically is Good for You, Nature and Aligns with Yoga & Ayurveda

Or in the UK look out for the Soil Association Organic Standard labeling

Ayurvedic Diet: Why Eating Organically is Good for You, Nature and Aligns with Yoga & Ayurveda

So my advice is to do some simple research and if grown relatively closely (not 1,000’s of miles away) always go for organic if you can afford it! Your body will thank you as will nature!