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Take Care With Your Food

January 3, 2011

From pasture to plate, our turkey in Guelph was well taken care of.

One of the the great things about living in Guelph is the access to good quality organic food (it’s ironic that I should have to qualify food as organic but that’s a topic for another post). And this past Christmas I wanted to take advantage of it.  The turkey was from Rowe Farms; the stuffing, made of bread from the Market Fresh bakery;  and much of the produce from the Guelph Farmer’s Market.

Often, when speaking with others about organic food there are always a few issues that come up:  cost, regulation, and benefit are three of the biggest.  For me, each of these issues comes down to what I choose to support.

Cost: Buying organic was not, in the case of our dinner, the cheapest way to go.  In fact most of the time, buying organic is noticeably more expensive than industrially produced foods and it’s usually the biggest concern that most people have.  My approach is that I want food with as little petrochemical residue and synthetic hormones in it as possible.  When I purchase organic food I’m showing, with my dollars, that I support it.  And the more people showing that they want it, the more the price can come down so that everyone can afford it.  Not everything in the basket needs to be organic all of the time.  But regularly including even one organic item on your grocery list sends a message to producers that your support is there.  When we all take small steps together, it sends a loud message and makes a big difference.

Regulation: Another concern with organic food is the disparity of regulations, standards and assurances that it is, in fact, organic.  This whole notion of organic and naturally produced food is fairly new within the current industrial complex.  There are always stories and rumours that the  only difference between these apples and those apples is the little “certified organic” sticker.  My support in buying organic goes not only to the food, but also  to supporting better regulation of that food.  Once again, it comes down to the demand for a product and what it stands for.  The system may not be perfect right now, but it will only get better if we continue to push it in that direction.

Benefit: The third concern is benefit.  Are organic foods actually healthier for you?  The scientific evidence to support or refute the claim of superior nutritional value is thin on either side.   But health by nutrition is only one field in the over all health landscape.  I don’t believe that conventional, industrial procedures add to the health of our food, our land or us.  I don’t think that petrochemical fertilizers, preservatives, flavour enhancers, dyes, and hormones are necessary or even healthy.  Although industry and governments  give their stamp of approval I prefer to follow the precautionary principle in this case and  support methods which require less artificial means of production.

Taking care with your food is more than just how much or how little you eat.  It’s about more than just what your food does for you.  It’s about knowing what’s in your food, where it’s from, how it’s produced, and how you support it.

For more information on healthy food, healthy eating, and feeling well you can contact Guelph Chiropractors at Clear Path Chiropractic Health Centre in Guelph, Ontario.  Also, when you get the chance, I would suggest reading Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma – he gives a much more eloquent overview of the choices we can make with our food.  I’d also suggest watching the documentary Food Inc.  Well worth your time.

For convenience in this post I have used the term “organic” in its broadest sense.  I have purposefully left out terms such as local, sustainable, sustainable organic, industrial organic, and others to be discussed at another time.  As well, this post is only one aspect of a much bigger picture and discussion in how to best produce and provide good, quality food for us all.  Let’s keep the conversation going.


From → Healthy Eating

  1. Great post! Isn’t it sad that we now have to specify when food is organic? I agree that the most important thing we can do is show our support with our cash, even if that means tightening up the budget in other ways. Organic food just tastes better to me, too — the flavors are more pronounced and our home-grown tomatoes are so much redder and juicier than those supermarket ones. So much more satisfying, however debatable.

    • Thanks for the comment Alexa. Yes, sometimes it means tightening up the budget to be able to eat and support what’s good for us.

      I look forward to the day that we can once again simply call food… food.

  2. Hi Mark,

    How are you? I found you via Darren @ Problogger. You mentioned something about health blogs. I fall into that category. But there is a Health Network, you may be already aware of it, Hive Health and there are other blogs in the network. It is a good place to connect with others in the health and fitness niche.

    Buying organic is a good thing. I find the food that I purchase tastes better than conventional foods. Food Inc, is a good documentary. Have you seen Food Matter’s? It’s good too.

    Well, it’s nice to meet you and I look forward to learning more from you.

    Take care,


  3. Hi Evelyn, it’s good to meet you too, and thanks for the comment. Thank you for the link to Hive Health Media – I’ll be sure to check it out.

    I’m glad to hear that you support organic food as well. I haven’t seen Food Matters yet, so it’s definitely going on my to-do list.

    Have a great and healthy day.

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