There Are Pros and Cons To Shopping for Organic foods. When many people try to regain control of their health, this often means they become more conscious about what they are buying at the grocery store. Good health necessitates we all be more mindful about what we put into our mouths, and that decision begins with the groceries you buy. Invariably, the question comes up: Should you shop for organic groceries, or is organic a waste of money?
Organic meat and produce has never been easier to find, and even many processed products bear the USD Organic label, which is the gold standard for organic products. If your food does not have the USDA certification, you can’t be sure that what you are buying meets organic standards.
Similarly, other designations such as “all-natural” have very little meaning when it comes to the quality of the food you are buying.
Organic food does not automatically designate a food as healthy, either. Nor does having an organic variety of a certain food make it permissible for the Kaufmann Diet if that food is excluded on the diet. In other words, having organic peanuts or organic corn does not make those foods OK to consume on the diet––they are still excluded. Similarly, an all organic dessert like cheesecake still contains loads of sugar, even if it is certified USDA organic, and should still be avoided on The Kaufmann Diet. The sugar, itself, is still the concern, and pathogenic yeasts don’t care whether the sugar is organic or not.
There are other things to consider when you are buying organic vs. conventional, and there are pros and cons to each. We will break down what that looks like for those on The Kaufmann Diet.
Meats, Fish, Poultry
Organic options for meat, such as beef and pork, and poultry are often available in lieu of conventionally raised products. Fish are sometime found in organic varieties, but it is more often to find wild caught vs. farmed fish.
When it comes to meat and poultry, organic means the animals were given neither growth hormones or antibiotics during the course of their life. For those on The Kaufmann Diet, this is certainly a pro. Antibiotics are something you should certainly try to avoid, even if it means avoiding the trace amounts that could wind up in the fat of the meat from conventionally raised animals. The same goes for exogenous hormones in animals. It makes sense to shop for meat that was raised in healthier ways, when that is possible.
For beef, bison, and lamb, it makes even more sense to go one step further and shop for grass-fed, grass-finished meats. These animals are fed their natural diet, have more nutrient-dense meat with a healthier fat profile (more omega 3s) than conventional meat, or even plain organic. This is likely the most difficult to find but has become more available in recent years. Remember that conventional animals, even organic animals, are often fed corn which is likely contaminated with mycotoxins.
The con to buying organic, or grass-finished meat is that it does come at a premium. You are also subject to regional availability.
If these products are outside your budget, that is ok! You can still achieve your health goals by buying conventional meat.
As far as fish are concerned, wild-caught fish are preferred. Farmed fish are often contaminated with industrial chemicals, fed unnatural diets, given antibiotics, and often raised in ways that are both unhealthy for the fish and the environment. Wild-caught fish have healthier fat profiles (more omega-3s) and are less likely to be contaminated with unwanted chemicals. Look for sustainably caught fish; these operations are ostensibly better for the environment and ensure the health of the oceans and the species that live within them.
The other large category those on The Kaufmann Diet need to think about when it comes to organic shopping is produce, including your fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The difference in organic vs. conventional farming is the use of certain pesticides. Organic farming uses fewer and far more specific fertilizers and pesticides than conventional. Organic produce also cannot be genetically modified. For now, there is no label requirement designating genetically modified foods.
There is some speculation that organic produce is more nutritious than conventional, but there is not a ton of data to support this. Generally, however, soil management can be better with organic farming, which might ultimately yield more nutritious fruits and vegetables.
Some fruits and vegetables are always best to shop for organic varieties. These include strawberries, green apples, tomatoes, celery, peppers, kale, spinach, and other greens. These are thought to be the most susceptible to pesticide contamination.
There are certain fruits and vegetables which have a low risk of pesticide contamination. For those on The Kaufmann Diet, these include avocados, onions, asparagus, and cabbage. For Kaufmann Two, sweet potatoes, kiwis, and peas are included.
The price difference in organic vs. conventional produce is often less dramatic than it is with meat. You are still subject to availability.
Again, regardless of what is available or which you can afford, fruits and vegetables are healthy, and you can enjoy those foods permitted on the Kaufmann Diet regardless of whether they are organic or conventional. Do not be afraid of frozen produce either; virtually no nutrient value is lost, and you can often get a great value for what you pay.
There are a few dairy products permitted on The Kaufmann Diet. These include butter, ghee, heavy cream, real sour cream, and yogurt. Goat dairy products are encouraged over cow products.
Similar to beef, it is best to shop for organic dairy products when possible. These have the least likelihood of being contaminated with hormones or antibiotics. When you can find dairy products from grass-fed cows, these are ideal. This is very easy to find with butter; many stores stock brands of Irish butter, such as Kerrygold.
Since dairy is not necessary nor particularly encouraged on The Kaufmann Diet, it may be best to avoid conventional products. Dairy is thought to be more easily contaminated with hormones, which can exacerbate a yeast condition.
Eggs are encouraged on The Kaufmann Diet, and organic varieties are best when possible. Free-range chickens ostensibly have room to exercise but that is not always the case. If organic is available and within your budget, organic varieties are best.