Looking past the labels

I once met a lady who refused to eat anything that wasn’t organic. She was terrified of toxins. Because of this she refused to eat out, and brought lunch to work every single day. Following this restricted her to little more than brown rice, potatoes, spelt bread, eggs, along with a few veggies. That was about it for her. After all, most things simply are not sold as organic. Turnips? Pears? Not likely. She took it further, declaring all spices stimulants, even avoiding salt! To her, the organic certification meant something. It was safe. It had no toxins in it. But Have you ever wondered what it actually means?

While it’s true that organic produce is generally better than average, these labels can be quite misleading. Organic often merely means that synthetic pestecides are not used. “Natural” pesticides are fair game. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking these labels mean more than they really do. The guidelines in most places are not enforced, and Sometimes companies call their products organic when they are not even certified!

It always pays to be a little dilligent. I made that mistake once buying a shampoo with organic in the name. it made my hair fall out! In an ideal world every chicken on a free range farm would get to peck and wander, but the vast majority of them are cheating the system. Antibiotic free? Vegetarian diet? Ha! Not likely. (chickens are not vegetarians!)

I’m reminded of a time when I bought organic bannanas from the local organic shop. The signs were rustic and the produce were in wooden barrels. Mind you, those bannanas spoiled faster than anything I’ve ever seen! I’ve had the same experience with pumpkins from the Garden.

While some things are imperishable, they simply wouldn’t have survived being shipped halfway across the country without adulteration. I’ve come to the realisation that the best products often come from small scale farms, local butchers and artisans who do things the old-fashioned way. They don’t bother marketing their products as grass fed or paleo friendly- they’re just following tradition.

I had a bit if a chuckle when I noticed the both the organic and local artisan cheeses were sourced from the same cows. The produce at your local farmers market is much the same. Real people, real food. In many cases it’s simply not worth worrying about anyway! When it comes to things like pumpins, peas, avocados or sweet potatoes- the bugs hardly touch them anyway! Don’t be conned into paying extra for a tiny packet of organic sweet potatoes.

We use Labels to break up and make sense of the world. Sometimes, they can be misleading. Where something comes from usually matters more than what’s printed on the packet.

Be Well.

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