I have a friend who swears by organic food, in fact he will not eat anything but organic. He is a high energy, positive guy and he made me want to give it a try. I honestly did not know much about it or what the difference really was from plain old ‘regular’ food. I did notice that anything with the organic label in the store was a lot more expensive, usually around twice the price of non-organic. Despite the higher costs, I decided to jump onto the bandwagon by getting some organic bread a few months ago. Here is what I found out. You can decide if organic food is worth the price.
What Does Organic Mean?
There is a lot of talk about organic food, but most people really don’t know what the label means. According to the USDA to qualify for an organic label the food must be grown in soil that has been cultivated without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Also, organically produced foods cannot contain artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.
They do approve of the use of non-agricultural ingredients like the enzymes in yogurt, pectin in fruit jams, or baking soda in baked goods. If the label simply says "made with organic ingredients" that means it is at least 70% natural. For meat to qualify for an organic label, it must be raised in a way similar to its natural habitat. That means it must be free of hormones and antibiotics, as well as allowed to graze and feed on organic foods.
My Experience With Organic Bread
I'll admit I love bread. I take a sandwich to work every day for lunch. Now a lot of people will gasp that I eat bread. Relax, you need carbs for energy and I’ll take a sandwich any day. YOLO. Now I have always avoided white bread. We’ve heard plenty about the bad side of bread especially white bread. So I have always made sure to buy whole wheat, multi grain bread with fiber, extra protein etc. I thought I was doing a good job in my bread choices.
One day I was in my local Aldi’s and saw the organic bread. It was twice the price but I thought given how much bread I eat, this would be the perfect jumping on point for organic foods. If I was going to notice a change in my health from going organic it would be most noticeable by replacing a significant part of my diet.
I have been eating organic bread for 3 months and I am now ready to report that I'm hooked. Organic bread is fantastic. It’s clean, light, dry, and just tastes better. I don’t know how else to describe it. I know that’s far from scientific, but it’s the best I can do. One thing I noticed was that when I tried to switch back to regular, non-organic bread I could taste the difference. It was moist, almost wet in comparison. It felt chewy like a sponge versus the grainy dry texture of organic bread. I am not going to claim that I could taste the chemicals and hormones in non-organic bread, but I did notice that it just didn't taste good.
I have now tried several brands of organic breads. The best tasting one I have found is Dave's Killer Bread. To give you a little background on the company Dave's employs those with felony convictions in an effort to give a second chance to those who made mistakes in their past. The bread itself guarantees no preservatives…. Taste wise, it is good. I really like it but if you usually buy store brand white bread you will be in for a sticker shock when you see the price of it.
One advantage that Dave’s has is that it is a larger slice size - therefore your get a bigger sandwich. That is a benefit for guys that eat a bigger lunch. What I did to save a little money was make a sandwich and cut it in half. It made two sandwiches a little smaller than average, but I think it was the right sandwich size if you eat something else along with it, or for kids and those with a smaller appetite.
There are lower priced options that while still expensive, I think are well worth the money and I am definitely what you would call a frugal shopper. Aldi’s sells a loaf called King’s Grain that is lower priced and great tasting. They also sell a sprouted bread that is pretty cheap at around $3 a loaf. This one is my absolute favorite organic bread. Trying out the different brands I have found that my palate prefers bread made from sprouted grains.
If you are on the fence about going organic, 100% I say go for it! You don't need to buy every organic food in the supermarket, start out by replacing parts of your shopping list with organic alternatives. Right now all I buy is organic bread and meat. I find that I feel fuller and have less of a bloated heavy feeling after I eat. I did have to re-budget for the increase in cost but I think it's better to eat less food that's good for you than more food that is bad for your health.
Comment below and tell me what organic foods you have tried? Have you noticed a change in your health?
Brooke Bailey is a personal trainer, masseuse, and student in health and wellness.
She currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Follow her on Facebook.