My experience with a healthy lifestyle has been a process and a journey. There were so many times when I thought I was doing my body favor…and looking back, I really had no idea. I still consider it a journey right now, as I learn more about myself, food, and all the other elements of a healthy lifestyle. Just a few years ago, I thought that granola bars and breakfast cereals were good for me….since I bought the organic ones. I’ve since discovered…not so much. Which brings me to the topic of today’s post: Organic junk food.
This may seem a paradoxical term. After all, how could something be “junk food” if it’s organic? Isn’t organic good for you?
Organic isn’t necessarily GOOD for you. But it is BETTER for you. But here’s when it’s not a good idea…
There are so many products out there, labeled with a big fat “organic”. Boxed mac n’ cheese, canned soups, chips, breakfast cereal, granola bars, cookies, salad dressings, and more. Organic produce is certainly good for you, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m not even talking about organic whole foods, such as coconut oil, cocao powder, etc. I’m suggesting that we stop buying what I call “organic junk food”. Organic or not, its the processed, prepackaged, and sugary foods, that we need to cut back on.
If you’re not reading labels and taking everything into account, buying organic may not be doing you as much of a favor as you think.
We don’t all have time to make our own tomato sauce. And with the massive amounts of pumpkin we consume this time of year, roasting it all from fresh isn’t exactly feasible. Choosing organic tomato sauce and organic canned pumpkin is definitely better than buying the “conventional” ones. There are many harmful ingredients that we know will not be there, even without reading the rest of the label. But we still have to be aware of what we’re buying. I was just recently looking for a jar of “pasta” sauce (not for use on pasta, I might add ;)), and could hardly find any that didn’t have added sugar. What was worse, is that the organic brands ALL had added sugar. Added sugar is one of the many frustrations I have with most prepackaged foods, and buying all organic won’t remedy this.
Inflammatory grains, oils, and high-sugar snacks, are not the best option, organic though they may be.
For instance, organic granola bars are notorious for having high sugar content. And an organic high sugar diet will still have a negative impact in so many ways. Also, we know that high-fat AND high-starch/sugar is the formula for fat gain, so you may want to reconsider those organic potato chips if you’re trying to lose fat. We need to look at the nutritional content and how it will affect the many systems of our body; don’t give it a free pass because of the organic label.
The “organic” label may be tricking you into buying more packaged foods than you normally would.
There’s something about seeing the term “organic”, or even “all-natural” (boy, don’t even get me started there!) that makes us feel better about that food. Admittedly, you SHOULD feel better about an organic item, but that’s beside the point. Our goal should not be to buy as many organic packaged foods as possible, but rather to buy as LITTLE packaged food as possible, to begin with.
It frustrates me to see so many packaged, “healthy” desserts and snacks out there, that are really just junk. When I read the labels, I feel like the companies are simply capitalizing on the current trending “healthy” ingredients, diets, or labeling. And I used to be taken in by so much of this. I know marketing is marketing, and they’re trying to sell their product. We can’t control how someone makes and sells their product. But that doesn’t mean that we have to be naive about all this. Organic processed foods are still processed foods. Organic candy is still candy. Let’s consider the whole picture.
The organic label should be an afterthought. We all buy certain non-whole foods, whether that be for time’s sake, or a treat. When you do, first consider the food itself in terms of nutritional content, and how it will affect your cravings, body composition, energy, etc. If you’re okay with putting it in your body, then definitely choose the organic option. Remember, a frozen pizza won’t help you reach better health, just because it’s labeled “organic”.
Let’s all be aware…keep reading labels…and feed our bodies the whole foods we need to function optimally, and live life to the fullest.
I have been researching and thinking a lot about organic farming, and food labeling… a post will be coming soon, with (hopefully) everything you need to know about organic! Let me know if there are any specific topics or questions that you would like addressed, regarding this. And comment below, with your thoughts on organic junk food!