Ladies and Gents, for quite some time my Family and I have slowly been transitioning from generic, store bought, foods and goods to organic, and even purchasing more natural, holistic products, even local products. Its crazy to think and see the smaller things that are overlooked like local farmers, and local markets. I was one of those people. I went to my first farmers market in Arizona a few years back and have just been obsessed! I grew-up in an old town in Illinois where we were surrounded by small town shops. I adore the Mom and Pop shops, the fresh produce, grass-fed meats and poultry, farm fresh cage-free eggs, and fresh, organic dairy products! I’ve been personally educating myself via documentaries, reading materials from various websites in which educated me the benefits of shifting local!
But, I bet some of you are still skeptical, because I sure was! Why should I buy local? What are the benefits of organic, natural and NON-GMO produce and products? What are the differences? Is it all a money scheme?! I know when I first heard all this jibber-jabber, I just kept thinking how EXPENSIVE,and how time consuming to sit there and read labels! Food is food, money does not grow on trees, and why should I buy that if its cheaper non-organic?! Until, I realized the benefits of organic products, felt and saw the differences. Tasted and smelled the differences. Your eyes will purely be open to the things around you! Also, eating healthier and using the benefits of foods and their natural sources can better our health!
Here are my recommendations on documentaries/reading materials:
And, again these are only a mere few that I highly recommend! I’m not here to tell you to switch, I’m simply sharing my reason why I switched. =] #Myopinion
So, what is considered organic? What is organic?
Organic, to be grown or created without the use of perservatives or any un-natural substances.
Check-out this video (AUS)
“Products certified 95 percent or more organic may display this USDA seal.” (Mayo Clinic)
“Foods that have more than one ingredient, such as breakfast cereal, can use the USDA organic seal plus the following wording, depending on the number of organic ingredients:
- 100 percent organic. To use this phrase, products must be either completely organic or made of all organic ingredients.
- Organic. Products must be at least 95 percent organic to use this term.
Products that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients may say “made with organic ingredients” on the label, but may not use the seal. Foods containing less than 70 percent organic ingredients can’t use the seal or the word “organic” on their product labels. They can include the organic items in their ingredient list, however.” (Mayo Clinic)
What is natural foods?
Natural, food that has undergone a minimum of processing or treatment with preservatives.
The government does not regulate the use of the word natural on products, except for poultry and other meats. Natural meat and poultry cannot contain artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or sweeteners, and processing kept to a minimum. A label of natural on meat products must explain how the product classifies as natural. A label of natural does not indicate anything about the raising, feeding or care of the animals. On other products, the natural label ideally means minimal processing and no artificial additives. The lack of regulation, however, makes it difficult for consumers to determine if this is the case. So, buyer beware- learn about the consumers you are buying from, do your research and see how they handle their products! Don’t just trust every label you read.
What is GMO vs NON-GMO?
GMO, GMOs (or “genetically modified organisms”) are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, or GE. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.
NON-GMO’s, are non-genetically modified. More organic, more natural. No chemicals.
Buying local vs non-local
That’s tons of information, huh?! ;] But, its better to get it all in one blog oppose to reading 50 bajillion different ones! (hehehe).
So, today, I made the change! My Family and I will be joining the CSA or “Community Supported Agriculture”. Which is a program where the members of a community can support a farmer by offering to pay for weekly shares of the harvest in advance to help cover farming costs. You can purchase veggies, fruits, juicing materials, farm-fresh, cage-free eggs, cage-free hens, raw/local honey, local breads, etc. you can purchase such items weekly, for only 12 weeks or 32 weeks.
A lot, of people want to make the switch but, don’t know where to begin! And, thats exactly where I was! I didn’t know where to start, who to go to, and so on! Now, I’m here to help you! Lets help support our community =]
First, off, check out how much money you spend on an average, and how much you can really be spending to help towards your community, your city, your local businesses: Shift Arizona. Following, suit, I recommend checking-out your local Arizona’s Farmers Market , Momma’s Organic Market and even checking out Local First Arizona, as well!
You’ve been to the farmers market, but, you want to join the CSA and purchase from local farmers? No prob, check out some of these fine farms in Arizona!
- Blue Sky Organic Farms, Litchfield Park, Arizona
- Arizona Microgreens, Scottsdale, Arizona
- JH Grass Fed, Scottsdale, Arizona
These are just a few to name! Of course there are TONS more! Buying local, and supporting local not only helps you eat healthier, but, it also helps the families in our community!
I give props to our locals who go above and beyond to do what they do, especially with big manufacturing businesses! But, did you know you too can make a difference right from your own backyard! Yes, you read that right! Try planting and gardening vegetables, and plants! It sounds difficult, but, it isn’t all that hard! Check-out this website to help you get started: Plant-Something.Org Not only will it help you save money, you know its fresh, and is non-gmo!
Make the change, support local, spread the word!