Is organic really the best choice?
As the main cook in my household, I want to make the best and most healthy food choices for my family. Do you agree that the food we put into our bodies either helps us or harms us? The way I see it, there isn’t much “in between” or “neutral” food.
Read to the end to get my recipe for delicious Mediterranean marinated vegetable skewers.
One topic I get asked about frequently is organic foods. Is organic produce really better? Is it worth the extra cost? I started researching the debate around organic versus non-organic produce a few years ago to get to the bottom of it all.
First of all, what does organic even mean? Here are a few of the official rules for organic certification with the USDA:
- Organic crops must be produced without conventional pesticides (including herbicides), synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation.
- Land must have had no prohibited substances applied to it for at least 3 years before the harvest of an organic crop.
- Organically raised animals must be given organic feed and kept free of growth hormones and antibiotics; vitamin and mineral supplements are allowed.
- Organic farm animals must have access to the outdoors year-round, including pastureland for grazing; however only 30% of their feed is required to come from the pasture.
- If a food has a “USDA organic” label, it contains at least 95 percent organic ingredients, and a government-approved expert has inspected the farm where it was produced to make sure the farmer follows USDA requirements.
- Products sold, labeled, or represented as “made with” organic must have at least 70 percent certified organic content. The USDA organic seal may not be used on these products.
What do those rules really mean and do they produce higher quality food? For some people, that’s debatable! The main topics around the organic vs non-organic debate are:
- Safety – is there evidence that chemical pesticides and herbicides harm the body
- Nutrition profile of the produce
- Flavor profile
- Health outcomes – is there evidence that people who eat organic have better health outcomes
- Is organic worth the cost; can I “do organic” on a budget?
We’re going to address all these topics in our next LIVE training over in The Hassle-Free Family.
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In the meantime, here is my recipe for Mediterranean marinated vegetable skewers… organic or not, these are delicious.
Mediterranean marinated vegetable skewers
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp raw honey
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 drop Lemon Vitality essential oil
1 drop Oregano Vitality essential oil
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
Vegetable skewer ingredients
10 skewers; if wooden/bamboo, soak in cold water for 30 minutes before adding vegetables to prevent burning on the grill
Large bell pepper, any color – cut into 1″ pieces
Large onion – cut into 1″ pieces
2 large carrot sticks – cut into 1/2″ thick circles
2 large zucchini or summer squash – cut into 1/2″ thick circles
1 pint mushrooms; any variety
1. Place wooden skewers in water to soak
2. Add marinade ingredients to a large bag or marinating container
3. Wash and cut all veggies; add to marinade and toss until coated
4. Load vegetables onto the skewers and grill immediately; 1-3 minutes per side depending on how crispy or soft you like the vegetables