I chose this post from the archives that was originally titled “I Make Milk. What’s Your Superpower?” I chose it because it goes a long with what Dr. Ellis Shipp and our prophets have told us about eating food that is as natural as possible for maximum health. It can seem overwhelming to do a complete overhaul of your food choices. I like to tell people to take baby steps. Make one healthy choice at a time. Changing our diet is easier and more sustainable when we do it in steps. I also tell people to start with what you eat a lot of and make sure it is as healthy as possible. Sometimes we have to sacrifice to afford making changes but our physical health is tied to our spiritual health so I believe it pleases the Lord when we nourish our bodies with natural sources of food. Keep in mind that you can only do what your budget allows. Two great documentaries on the subject are Food Inc. and the Future of Food. I am still learning and making changes to improve my families health. Best wishes as you make changes too. -Robyn
At a Halloween party, my friend saw a new mom wearing a shirt that said “I make milk. What’s your superpower?”
But this post is not about the awesomeness of breastfeeding or of breastmilk–another time. This post is about health changes, specifically eating organic foods. I’m going to make it short and sweet and easy for men to understand, since they are ones that I find are the biggest skeptics.
- Most people would agree that certain foods are superior to others (health and nutrition-wise). For example, a roasted carrot vs. a french fry.
- If you agree with that, then you agree that people who eat mostly superior foods are healthier than others.
- And if you understand that vitamins and nutrients as well as most chemicals and toxins are passed through breastmilk, then it makes sense that women (and other mammals) fed superior food will have healthier breastmilk.
I once heard a friend of a friend who is both a holistic doctor and an MD, say that “if you can make only one health change, switch to organic dairy.” This surprised me. He did not say exercise daily or any number of things I can think of that would seem like really important health changes. He said switch to organic dairy.
- Not only does milk from organic cows eliminate harmful antibiotics and hormones, it has also been shown to contain higher amounts of nutrients– omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, beta carotene and other antioxidants–than from conventional cows.
- Children are most vulnerable to the impact of synthetic chemicals. Think about it, if you accidentally eat a gram of poison, you might be okay, but a gram of poison is a lot more deadly if your body weight is 10 lbs.
I understand that organic foods have a reputation for being expensive. In reality, organic fruits and vegetables don’t cost much more, and sometimes less, if you buy them in season and from local growers at farmers markets, or if you are lucky enough to have one near you, at Trader Joe’s.
Organic dairy, however, is often twice the price of regular milk. There are a few reasons for this. The food that the cows eat has to be organic, pesticide and chemical free, and the cows themselves have to be free from growth hormones or antibiotics, so it is organic on two levels. It is also more expensive because organic dairy farmers don’t get subsidies from the government.* Therefore, it is doubly important that we support organic farmers with our dollars. I know that everyone can find a way for their budget to accommodate it, if they want to. As my friend James, the healthy chef, says, you can pay it now, or you can pay it later–to the health care system.
(*If you would like to know the political milk scandal, I highly recommend watching The Corporation. It is a very well researched documentary. There is also a great story in there about a high school for “bad” kids which was put on an organic lunch program and the kid’s behavior and grades improved markedly.)
If you want to make further health changes, try to eat as organic as possible, but if that isn’t practical for whatever reason, it is good to know which conventional fruits and vegetables are the safest and which ones you and your children should try to avoid or eat organic.
Highest in pesticides:
- bell peppers
- grapes (imported)
- red raspberries
Lowest in pesticides:
- corn (sweet)
- peas (sweet)
I am convinced that the increased use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers in conventional farming is one of many reasons that our prophets have counseled us to grow a garden. Of course, if you live in an apartment, this isn’t going to happen–at least not on a large scale. But no matter how urban your city, there are community gardens and farmer’s markets near you. If you have never been to a farmer’s market, they are great fun. There is usually some form of wholesome entertainment for kids and free samples of all the fresh food. The growers can also give you good cooking or recipe ideas.