You are what you eat. If you eat wholesome food, then you will get all the goodness of nature in every bite. That’s what eco-friendly food means.
Unfortunately we live in a world where convenience is king and nutrition is an afterthought. McDonald’s, Burger King and instant foods are the norm. This eating behavior is just one of the factors that harm human health.
Leading an inactive lifestyle, steady stress, overeating and breathing filthy city air, the ecological purity of food may affect you and your family’s health.
Antibiotic resistance is a terrifying effect of consuming poor quality products, caused by daily use of meat and milk of animals, in the treatment of which antibiotics were used. Simply put, you may be more prone to sickness that can’t be cured by prescribed medicine because your food has undergone too much artificial processing. The animals from which you eat meat could have been overdosed with antibiotics that affect the immune system of those who eat it.
What makes common foods dangerous?
Seeking to reap economic profit, the global food industry is least concerned about the health of its end consumer. Its main goal is to feed as many people as possible at the lowest price. To achieve it, food makers take a whole range of measures, starting with genetic engineering and ending with the use of completely useless, and even harmful for health chemicals.
The main methods used by modern manufacturers to achieve economic benefits:
- reduction in production costs;
- cheapen production processes;
- increase the shelf life of food;
- a decrease in the rate of damage and loss of resources by increasing their resistance to pests and negative external factors.
As a result, shelves of modern hypermarkets, grocery stores, markets and stalls in all cities of the world are filled with bright, beautiful, mouth-watering products that can be kept in the refrigerator for months. And few people think, plunging into all this illusory abundance, about the gigantic size of the chicken and the unnatural sparkle of bell pepper, about the village milk that has not been souring for weeks, and about the obviously distorted taste of many familiar products.
Consuming such modified foods, a person unknowingly does serious harm to body. This harmful effects include chronic diseases, decreased immunity, intoxication, metabolic disorders, allergies, fatigue, and disorders of various systems and internal organs. And until now, it is somehow unacceptable to connect all these problems with food. But many do not even realize how a healthy diet and environmentally friendly products can change one’s life for the better.
What can help to improve health conditions?
Healthy nutrition is the key to normal human life and even one of the surest ways to increase life expectancy. It is not easy to recover from long-term eating of poor-quality foods. This can only be done with a complete transition to environmentally friendly and natural food.
Replacing unhealthy foods with healthy products leads to a step-by-step improvement in well-being and mood, increased efficiency and the disappearance of a depressed state, a reduction in the manifestations of chronic ailments and life-enhancing in general. You could start by choosing to go organic or find local, eco-friendly options.
When choosing organic food, it is important to understand that a natural diet is not a panacea. Deviations from it are perfectly acceptable. You should not expect cardiac changes from the organic food and total recovery of the body, and even more so hope that they will help to heal any serious diseases.
All the more, you’ll make yourself worse if you don’t research or assess your food intake. Drinking concoctions or taking things too fast can cause an incorrect combination of products or attempts to over-saturate the body with useful substances due to the uncontrolled use of food unusual for the body.
Another way to consume healthy food is to buy fruits, vegetables, meat and other food products from reputable local sources. Visit your farmer’s markets. The best way to avoid artificial food is to buy direct from the farmers themselves.
To be extra sure, ask the farmer about how he grows his crops or takes care of his animals. In many countries, especially Japan, you can talk to the farmer and even get tips on how to cook and keep your food as fresh as possible.
Doing this is not only eco-friendly but also money-saving and beneficial to your local economy. Buy local and you’ll see the benefits of fresh, well-grown food trickle down to your community.
What food products are environmentally-friendly?
Despite the desire for a significant part of the food business to get the maximum profit from the sale of low-quality products, modern market law also works with regard to healthy food.
Where there’s demand, there’s supply. Every year, more and more food products appear on the market, which does not harm the body at all, and even vice versa, saturates it with vitamins and micro-elements necessary for optimal life activity. And the main task of the person who decides to choose healthy food is to learn to recognize such products on the shelves of the stores.
If you’re not shopping in farmer’s markets, you need to look more closely in the labels of the products you will buy. After all, you can’t ask the manufacturers directly, unlike farmers. You’ll want to get organic in supermarkets.
Organic food products do not contain genetically modified organisms, synthetic preservatives, artificial flavor enhancers, colorants, and flavorings. Raw materials used in the production of organic products are grown without the use of hormones, antibiotics, artificial fertilizers and pesticides.
Products grown materials are much tastier and healthier than those obtained through the use of growth regulators, chemical enzymes and other artificial additives. Understanding this, many farmers try to minimize human intervention in the natural development of plants and animals.
The advantages of organic (and locally grown) products over conventional foods
In addition to the fact that organic and locally sourced food is completely safe for people, it also has other important advantages. Those are:
- high content of vitamins and micro-elements;
- improved taste, pleasant aroma, juiciness and appetite;
- Security is not only inside, but also outside. Fruits and vegetables are often waxed to prevent them from spoiling quickly and giving an attractive appearance. Organic products do not need such processing. They can be eaten along with the peel, which means that you can get even more nutrients.
- Great for children and pregnant women.
What are eco-friendly food products?
In spite of the fact that more often fruits and vegetables are ranked as natural products, there is a huge list of products that can be considered eco-friendly. So, on the shelves of modern stores, you can find environmentally friendly pasta and vegetable oils, nuts and dried fruits, natural canned goods, dairy products, sweets, and chocolate.
Eco-friendly products of animal origin are also known, prepared according to special technologies. These provide for the rejection of growth hormones, chemicals, antibiotics and poor-quality feed in the process of growing birds and animals. Some manufacturers show concern not only for people but also for their pets, releasing ecologically clean food for cats and dogs on the market. The combination of all these goodies is the absence of harmful components in the composition and the presence of a special sign on the package.
Eco-friendly Product Requirements
In order to market truly safe, healthy and high-quality eco-friendly food products, manufacturers must comply with certain requirements.
When growing crops, the use of mineral fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, chemicals, and any unnatural exposure is not allowed. Animals can be raised only on eco-friendly clean feeds. And hormones and feed antibiotics should not be present in their diet.
It is forbidden to use artificial preservatives, genetically modified organisms, synthetic flavors, substitutes and taste regulators in the production of ecological food.
The use of aggressive processing methods and changes in the initial properties of products is not allowed.
Organic food products are characterized by minimal external processing. Wax and exposure to chemical factors is a sign of an artificial increase in the shelf life of products and an improvement in their appearance.
How do we buy eco-friendly food products?
Every year, the global market is replenished with new manufacturers of environmentally friendly products. Healthy nutrition itself is becoming more and more popular. Many companies open retail and wholesale salespoints, participate in international fairs, show their products at exhibitions.
But buyer beware of greenwashing. There are many unscrupulous entrepreneurs, issuing cheap low-quality goods for environmental products. That is why it is better to purchase organic products in specialized stores and centers that have licenses and certificates confirming the naturalness of the offered products. Before you get to the shelves of Eco-markets, real organic food undergoes mandatory certification and receives a brand that confirms its naturalness.
A bright sign and an original presentation of organic products do not mean they are natural and safe.
When it comes to farmer’s markets, always ask the vendors about how and where they get their produce. Farmers would be willing to boast of their practices. If possible, take time in buying so the vendors will know that you care for quality. This will also help you observe their body language to catch them in case they are lying.
We can be eco-friendly in every aspect of our life. In food, for example, we can choose to go organic or buy local. Whatever you choose to do, remember to be cautious of false advertising. If in doubt, go for well-established brands or stores trusted by many customers. And always trust your gut instincts.
About the co-author: Melisa Marzett is a freelance writer. She is also the author writing for Resume Perk. Apart from writing, she enjoys traveling, swimming and handmade. Melisa is also interested in psychology and specialized literature.