Dear Valued Customer,
We here at Goodwin’s Organic Foods & Drinks strive to provide you and your family the best in certified organic, ethical, and sustainable goods. We promote an organic lifestyle because organic practices assure consumers of foods that are pesticide-free and superior in taste and nutritional quality, preserve and rebuild the soil, enhance biodiversity, support local farmers, and conserve water resources. We believe that the future of organic agriculture is bright as more and more consumers like you become aware of these benefits. As you know, the relationship between diet, environment, and health is one of the most sizzling topics in America today. A sedentary lifestyle and a diet rich in refined carbohydrates and saturated fat are associated with heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic ailments. The converse also is true—an active lifestyle and a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and low in saturated fat and refined carbohydrates lower the risk for these diseases. There is no need to state which lifestyle prevails in our society. Heart disease remains America’s number 1 killer. In the United States, 2400 people die every day of heart disease, and a leading cause of this disturbing statistic is poor diet. Food retailers thus have a responsibility to educate the public on how dietary choices can impact health.
Unfortunately, many supermarkets seem more interested in making profits than in helping the consumer make better choices. Coupons and sales are used as bait to lure shoppers, larger portion sizes encourage overeating, and phrases like “made with natural ingredients” and “0 grams trans fat” are little more than vague mantras. The number of “low-fat,” “low-sodium,” and “low-calorie” items on the market today is staggering. Stores stock their shelves with items that claim to treat everything from arthritis to dementia. Many of these claims, however, are false or greatly exaggerated. Understandably, for the uninformed consumer, choosing between the right foods can be a challenging event, especially when the choice is between organic versus conventional produce. Sadly, the decision over whether to buy organic versus conventional foods is often based on misconceptions. Organic foods are generally perceived as overpriced luxury items having no significant benefits and completely out of touch with reality. Conventional foods, on the other hand, are typically viewed as affordable, necessary, and practical. So, this raises an important question. Why buy organic?
To answer this question, we must explore the farming practices of organically and conventionally grown foods. Simply put, “conventional farms may use whatever means necessary within basic safety laws to kill pests and maximize output—chemicals, synthetics, or genetically-modified organisms” (Progressive Gardening Trade Association, 2008). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services have determined that of the 25 most commonly used agricultural pesticides:
- 5 are toxic to the nervous system.
- 18 are harmful to the skin, eyes and lungs.
- About half are comprised of cancer-causing chemicals.
- 17 cause genetic damage.
- 10 are harmful to reproductive organs.
- 6 disrupt normal functions of hormones.
The twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), are apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, pears, spinach, and potatoes. According to the EWG, “eating the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables will expose a person to about 14 pesticides per day, on average.”
Organic produce, in contrast, is mandated to be grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizers, growth hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, ionizing radiation, or sewage sludge. Organic eggs, meat, and dairy products must come from animals that are fed only 100 percent organic feed. In most cases, animals must be given access to the outdoors, fresh air, water, sunshine, and pasture, and cannot be subject to the severe confinement conditions often used in nonorganic factory farms. Since 2002, organic certification in the U.S. is authorized by the USDA National Organic Program, which accredits organic certifying agencies and oversees the regulatory process. All foods being sold as “organic” must be certified and must bear the USDA organic seal. Eating organic produce eliminates the potential health and environmental hazards created by pesticides and other toxic chemicals. Organically-grown foods are tastier, are more nutrient-dense, and contain more cancer-fighting antioxidants than conventional produce. Thus, organic produce not only reduces the body’s toxic load, but is also life-sustaining and life-enriching, laying a solid foundation for people to achieve their fullest potential. This is our goal at Goodwin’s Organics—to bring you a lifestyle that will vitalize your living.