Man we are really late getting out our weekly shoot the shit topic. Shot Show took the wind right out of our sails and we apologize for that. We’ve prioritized getting out Show posts but we’re finally getting a handle on it.
So here we go, this week’s shoot the shit topic is an honest discussion of organic food.
The overwhelming majority of our readers are individuals focused on mental and physical fitness; a very important component of that interest is nutrition. So, what constitutes good nutrition?
In order to satisfy nutritional requirements, individuals need to intake all of the vitamins, proteins, fats and carbohydrates necessary to support the gamut of bodily processes. This is particularly important when you have an active life style. The healthy human body, male or female, is capable of synthesizing most of the lipids and proteins that it needs; however, some nutrients must be ingested directly from a food source. This is particularly true of proteins, and anyone suggesting that you avoid meats doesn’t know what they’re talking about. What you don’t need is a Sirloin steak twice a day everyday of the week. Vitamins too need to be ingested. The best way to do that is through direct intake from fruits, vegetables and leafy greens. You can supplement your vitamin requirements through orally administered supplements. But a good spinach salad will always taste better than a Centrum tablet and the salad also has a positive effect on your digestive system.
Over the last 10 years or so, we’ve been seeing increasing advertising and promotion to suggest that organically grown foods are much better for you. We take exception to that!
All life forms on this planet are defined at their lowest level by their molecular organization. Here’s what that means, a vitamin C molecule from an organically grown orange is no different than a vitamin C molecule synthesized in a laboratory or from a commercially grown orange. Were there to be a difference, they would no longer be vitamin C, an organic chemistry fact. The manufactured vitamin C is extremely pure and other than the satisfaction derived from eating an orange, the vitamin C content is the same. The orange has other positive benefits that includes fructose, minerals and roughage all of which are also good for you. So, we like eating oranges for their nutritional value but just what the hell is an organic orange and why should you pay two to three times more?
One of the challenges to feeding an increasing global population comes from the need to increase farm output from a limited amount of farmable land. To achieve that goal, industry has developed broad spectrum insecticides, like melathion, and concentrated nitrogenous fertilizers. Botanists, have also worked to improve plant varieties; engineering them to have shorter maturation cycles, greater fruit output, disease resilience, etc., etc. The “organically grown” concept does away with pesticides like melathion and substitutes concentrated chemical fertilizer with natural fertilizer like horse manure and vegetable based fertilizers. The end result is not a better nutritional product just less of it; hence the price differential. Melathion is an organophosphate (OP) insecticide that’s been in use for years. I’m not suggesting that you do this but you could drink a gallon of melathion and not die from it. Using animal based fertilizers gains you nothing; as they decompose they add nitrogen and acidity to the soil which is the same as a commercial fertilizer. Commercial fertilizers have the added advantage that they are free from pathogens, like e.coli, which are transmitted via the oral fecal route. Using human feces as a fertilizer is a practice that continuous in some parts of the world but opens the door to horrendous problems and should be avoided. The most serious threat from concentrated fertilizers is not carcinogenicity it’s runoff leading to eutrophication of nearby lakes and streams.
We are huge fans of the food pyramid as the basis for excellent nutrition, supplemented by vitamins and other dietary supplements when the food source is not available or impractical.
When considering supplements, keep in mind that your healthy body will absorb all of the vitamins and minerals, fats and proteins that it needs. Any excess is excreted in urine or feces. There’s a great misconception that taking concentrated vitamins adds to wellness. If you start down this path, you’ll find that your urine will change color and feces will have a different aroma and consistency.
If you want to keep fit? Eat foods from the pyramid, make sure that you can see half of your plate, eat slowly and regularly and find an exercise that you can incorporate in your life style so that engaging in it becomes habitual. Thirty minutes every other day is better than nothing but nowhere near enough! Get out there and sweat!