Welcome to this very first blog of Organic Life Matters! ‘Why does an organic life matter?’ you may be thinking. Well, that’s exactly what I am about to share with you…
Let’s start with some basics. What is organic? Organic products are grown and processed without the use of synthetic chemicals, fertilizers, or Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). It is about the way the product ingredients have been grown, prepared, processed and packaged. The only way you can determine whether products are genuine organic is by choosing products that are certified by a third party such as the USDA (US Department of Agriculture). Alternatively, you can, of course, buy local from gardens or farms that you know and trust.
My organic food journey started in 2014 when I began researching real, whole foods. I was quite shocked when I found out that the supermarkets are full of products that claim to be healthy but turn out to be the opposite once you really start reading the ingredients labels. If you would like to know more about how you can seek out the real food in a processed food world, I can recommend ‘100 Days of Real Food’.
Research into which foods act as true fuel to your body and which do not, led me to organic foods. When you buy non-organic foods, you may be getting all the right nutrients your body needs, but with a lot of unwanted unhealthy or even harmful extras! Check out the dirty dozen list from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), to find out which veggies and fruits in the US are full of pesticides. Similarly, organic meat comes from animals fed 100% organic feed, not given antibiotics or hormones, and allowed to graze in open pastures similar to the animals’ natural living conditions. Consuming organic meat, fish, dairy, and eggs not only means you avoid unwanted antibiotics and hormones into your body, but also means you are contributing to better conditions for our animals!
Then there’s GMO. A Genetically Modified Organism is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. Outside of the US and Canada, most developed nations consider GMOs to be unsafe and have significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. When you buy organic, you are buying non-GMO. If you buy non-organic, the non-GMO Project Verified seal is North America’s most trusted seal for GMO avoidance. A good source on the web is the non-GMO shopping guide by the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT)
In the years that followed a couple of things happened that made me look beyond food into other products that we use on our bodies and in our homes. When we moved to a house without a dishwasher, I had to start doing dishes the old fashioned way (Do you have any idea how many dishes a family of 6 produces?!). After a couple of months, I noticed hand dermatitis developing and after a visit to the doctor’s I learned that this was being caused by contact with chemicals and other irritants (such as dishwashing liquid and cleaning products). Sure enough, as soon as I replaced my dishwashing liquid with a bio-degradable one without harsh chemicals, my condition disappeared. After another move (this time I made sure we had a dishwasher installed!), we had a washing machine which drained its water in our yard next to a beautiful papaya tree. After a number of months and many washing cycles completed, the tree died. This got me thinking about what must be inside those daily products that we are using and I reverted to my new hobby of reading ingredients labels!
I soon discovered, similar to my food journey, that there is much deception and greenwashing in the health and beauty industry. Many products claim to be ‘natural’, and ‘organic’ but are still full of ingredients and chemicals, that could harm you or your children. I started searching online and started creating my own beauty products using ingredients such as coconut oil, avocados, and aloe vera. I replaced my laundry detergent with a biodegradable one and also fabricated some of my own cleaning products (hint: vinegar and baking soda will get most jobs done!). After these fun experiments, I went back online to search for certified organic beauty products and that’s when I found Miessence, the world’s first extensive range of internationally certified organic products for skin, hair, body, cosmetic, oral and nutrition. When I started using their products, I knew I found the right products for me and I decided to join the company.
I am on my organic life journey and still have a long way to go. I have made some big steps forward in my journey to live an organic non-toxic healthy life for myself and my kids! That’s why organic life matters!