If you haven’t already started on the journey towards an organic lifestyle yet, then I’ve got two things to say to you. First, thanks for finding Ground Cloud and taking the time to read this! Secondly, you’re probably thinking “OK Brett and Rani, I get it! You guys love the Organic life. But why should I pay for all of this overpriced stuff, when everything normal is so much cheaper or more convenient???” It’s an excellent question and one that will take a bit of time to answer…
OK, so it’s not really that hard to tell you why it’s so important to us. The short answer is that there are so many chemicals and additives in nearly everything we interact with on a daily basis. Each of these items can have some level of negative impact on your body depending on the particular chemical composition. To some degree, exposure to synthetic chemicals and processes in organic products are minimised or avoided. Simply put, less exposure to these chemicals is better for your health in the long run.
“OK, that actually makes a little sense. Is there anything else I should know?”
I’m glad you asked!
Let’s start with a little thought experiment. I want you to imagine being offered two apples. The first has just been taken out of a freezer labelled “2016.” A worker in a gas mask and protective clothing comes and sprays the apples with a mix of preservatives and pesticides. The second apple is picked directly from a tree and handed to you. If you were forced to eat one, which would you be more likely to choose? I’m hoping that you’d go for the second one too.
When you buy “normal” fruit and veg, this is exactly the situation you’re put in. The only difference is that you don’t see these chemicals being added to the produce. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that they’re not there.
We’re not trying to vilify farmers or producers who utilise chemicals in their production methods. The modern economy demands them to produce a certain quantity with consistent quality. Pesticides ensure that crops aren’t destroyed naturally while they grow. Preservatives ensure that everything looks pristine and won’t go off before it’s sold. We can’t blame them for doing what they need to, to provide the incomes they need. However, the health consequences of these productions methods are only just beginning to be understood.
This is also the reason why organic food is much more expensive. Things aren’t supposed to last for weeks and weeks! The shelf life of organic is so much shorter, and the yield is far smaller. This drives up the price through faster shipping to the point of sale and a higher expiry rate of the produce.
If you can’t afford to buy everything organic just yet, check out our dirty dozen and clean fifteen cards to help reduce your exposure to nasty chemicals.
Organic food is the easiest win to start wiping chemicals out of your lifestyle, and the one with the greatest impact. Higher prices can often be the reason not to buy organic produce, but we believe that the cost to your pocket is far less than the cost to your body.
We’re all familiar with the age-old adage “you are what you eat.” Turns out that you are what you put on yourself too! I was incredibly surprised when Rani started telling me that the chemicals that can affect you are not only hiding in your food, but also in so many of your household products too!
Think about all of the products we subject our bodies to around the house: soap, dish-washing and laundry detergents, toothpaste, makeup, and creams. Whilst so many of these products are not directly consumed, they are still absorbed into the bloodstream (think of toothpaste or makeup). Because these aren’t considered as consumables, the regulations around what ingredients can be used, and even sometimes what ingredients need to be listed are very loose.
Again, thanks to the age we live in, products that are free of any nasty chemicals are so readily accessible now. Just be aware of products that may be more bark than bite. Marketing can be really deceptive, so it’s always best to flip the product over and check for any harmful chemicals that may be present. If you can’t pronounce or identify something on the list, or if there’s a number next to an item, chances are it’s a synthetic substance that you should probably avoid. This is also true for food!
If you want to go next level, you can also look at all of the ancillary products around the house, and especially the kitchen and bathroom. We made sure to buy cooking pans that use toxin-free metals, buy BPA free food containers and bottles, organic cotton towels, etc. You can go as far down the rabbit hole as you choose to with this one!
Cutting chemicals out of your home is a great second step that you can take in the path to an organic lifestyle.
It’s already alluded to a few times, but being in an environment where you’re ingesting or subjected to a high level of chemicals can really impact your health. The hardest thing about this though is that there is seldom any immediate effect or reaction to the chemicals that we’re exposed to. The long term cumulative impact is what going organic helps to reduce.
Studies are emerging linking our modern, highly modified, processed foods such as wheat, sugar, dairy to auto-immune diseases, cancer, and behavioural issues. Now, this article isn’t meant to be a citable resource for academic papers, or a quotable reference for facts and figures. But thankfully there is overwhelming amount of scientific resources available, that can provide in-depth information on this topic.
This leads us to the third, and possibly the most important step in the path to an organic lifestyle. Stop listening to me, or anyone else who is telling you what you should or shouldn’t be doing when it comes to your health. Begin to adopt a proactive and critical attitude towards educating yourself about the health issues around organic and chemical products. It's good practice to question what it is you're reading, as information can be misleading or be distributed with hidden agendas. Try to source documents that argue for and against the issue you're looking into. A broad range of reputable, scientifically based articles will ensure that you get closer to the truth of the topic. The best thing that you can do to create an organic lifestyle is to formulate your own educated understanding about what is best for YOU.
We’re still on our own journey towards an organic lifestyle. We’re constantly learning more about what we want to achieve and changing our lifestyle choices based on what we’re learning. If you’re just starting on your own journey, we’d love to be your guide, and if you’re a seasoned pro, we’d love to hear from you. Either way, thanks for being here and we hope you enjoy the ride as much as we do!