Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Organic Connection

By Brianna Farulla

As we know, Earth isn’t the safest place to live when it comes to our health. Humans don’t have much control over their daily intake of toxins. Take polluted air, for instance, that most likely has cancer particles floating around in it. There aren’t many immediate actions that can be done to purify the air that makes its way into our lungs. However, something that we can manage is the legitimacy of the food that we digest.

America is infamous for its astronomical obesity rates, which has led it to be the brunt of many fat jokes. Much of this has to do with all of the preservatives, artificial flavoring, etc. that our processed “food” is made with. Most things that manage to get approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are questionable. The problem is that not many people are questioning it. Instead, the majority of this country is eager to spend $5 on a 10 piece chicken nugget from McDonald’s rather than buy a container of unsalted, natural almonds for the same price.

Organic food hasn’t earned the reputation that it should have. Instead of giving it a chance and improving their lifestyles, people are quick to judge those who try it. Those who shop at places like Trader Joe’s, for example, are labeled as “hipsters” and “tree huggers” because they’re conscientious when it comes to the food that they’re eating. They’re willing to pay the so-called “overpriced” tag for what’s better not only for their own body, but for the planet that they call home, as well.

Stores that carry organic items are even beginning to be built in eco-friendly ways. According to the New York Post, a Whole Foods in Brooklyn that is ironically located next to a Superfund site, is pro Earth. The spot gets lighting from solar panels and wind turbines, locally sources its goods, uses recycled materials and even has a rooftop greenhouse. Unfortunately, most Americans would rather get their groceries from an overcrowded ShopRite where they can buy low quality food for a bargain.

Aside from being much healthier, organic food includes environmental benefits. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations states that these types of foods are sustainable, improve soil formation and water infiltration and reduce use of non-renewable energy. Those are just a few of the ways that paying a few extra bucks can positively influence the world.

Americans have a hard enough time figuring out what’s good for their bodies, let alone what’s good for Earth. However, by learning how to make a few slight sacrifices and to care for themselves, they can simultaneously help improve the world. That’s why everybody should make the switch and become the “hipster” or “tree hugger” that they once poked fun at.

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