Last week we talked about two common myths about eating organic - those who think it's "too expensive," and the nay-sayers who contend that it's not that much healthier anyway. Be sure to check out that post if you missed it!

This week we're covering 3 more myths you may have heard about eating organic foods. The first of them gets my goat a bit, especially since I first read it in a natural health newsletter!

Myth #3: If You're Already Unhealthy, It's Not Worth It

I was a bit shocked to read this conclusion in an article in one of my favorite health newsletters - from an author I usually otherwise almost always agree with and respect. He stated that if you already live an unhealthy lifestyle, eating organic won't make enough of a difference to be worth the cost and/or effort. This was a rather lengthy article, with a lot of other points in it, and to be fair, I do see where he is coming from, to some extent. His point was, you need to clean up other areas of your life first, and then eating organic will be the icing on the cake, so to speak. For example, if you smoke, eat lots of junk food and unhealthy carbs, and don't get any exercise, eating organic food isn't going to magically turn you into a healthy person. In this context he makes sense. We as a species, as I've mentioned before, tend to look for the "magic pill," the "silver bullet," the one cure in a bottle for every ailment or health issue. But the truth is, there are none. There is no pill, supplement, elixir, machine, etc. that can replace a healthy lifestyle. And the same goes for eating organic foods.

 
 
Organic has become quite the buzzword over the past decade - with more and more organic foods available in mainstream supermarkets, and even "organic" cleaning products, clothing, and cosmetics finding their way into our shopping carts - both online and off. But what is organic all about, and is it really worth the (perceived) extra cost?

Today, in an attempt to clear up some of the confusion, I will tackle 5 common myths about eating organic foods, although some of these could also apply to organic items in other categories as well.

Myth #1: It's Too Expensive

I've shared my personal experience - including actual food budget and spending - with getting most of my food through organic CSA programs in a previous blog post, so I won't go into that all again here, although there have been a few updates since that post was written. In the interest of full disclosure I no longer get my milk through the CSA, although I'm currently looking into a local herd share program, and I now get the eggs through the veggie CSA twice a month so I do eat more eggs and spend a bit more. My CSA program has also added some other optional goodies such as cheese, and locally grown organic beans, so that has upped the cost a bit when I opt for those items. That said, I still think my spending on groceries is pretty reasonable for a largely organic diet.

I've recently finished reading an interesting book - Organic Manifesto, by Maria Rodale (yes, the granddaughter of that Rodale). In it, she posits that one of the main reasons we perceive organic food as being more expensive is that chemically raised foods are artificially cheap. If it weren't for government subsidies forcing the prices down in order to keep churning out more and  more corn, soybeans, etc. on a mass scale, organic foods would actually be CHEAPER than their chemical counterparts for several reasons.

 
 
I've had this book on my Amazon wishlist for quite a while, and finally got around to reading it last month. In the subtitle of his book, Dr. James Levine, MD, PhD, director of the NEAT Center at the Mayo Clinic, says you can "Use NEAT Science to: Burn 2,100 calories a week at the office, be smarter in as little as 3 hours, reduce fatigue by 65%, and extend your lifespan by 4 years."

These sound like lofty claims, and although his basic premise is simple, in practice Dr. Levine's concept is rather revolutionary.

Dr. Levine's general thesis is a fairly commonsense one. He posits that the human body is made and meant to move almost continually, and that our modern sedentary lifestyle, filled with conveniences which remove more and more movement from our lives, is killing us. This in itself may sound pretty obvious, but many of us would say, "well, I have a desk job, so there's nothing I can do about it." And here is where the twist comes in. In the second half of Move A Little, Lose A Lot, Dr. Levine shares an 8-week program for incorporating more and more movement into your daily life, no matter what kind of job you have, or how sedentary your lifestyle may have been up to this point.

Since I am not currently looking to lose weight, I didn't follow the 8-week program, but I did read through the entire thing, which is filled with interesting information, and various tips and hints to keep you motivated throughout the program, remind you why you are doing it, and give you the tools you need to succeed.

He claims that, at the end of the 8 weeks, you will not only be thinner and more fit, but also happier, more energetic, and more excited about your life.

 
 
Last week we talked about the first part of the weight-loss equation - the foods you eat to fuel your body. But that's only half of the story....

Another reason so many of us are overweight is that our daily living activities are no longer "activities" in the true sense - that is, we took the "active" out of activity! Our society no longer is a manual labor-driven society. We don't spend all day out in the fields growing our food.

In fact, most of us spend all day indoors, sitting down. Then we leave the office and go home, to sit down some more. Then we expect to spend an hour at the gym every couple of days, and lose weight.

This is a backwards approach to fitness. Our bodies were meant to move - all the time! Being confined to a chair for 8-10 hours a day, and of course sleeping 7-8 hours per night, doesn't leave much room to be active. Obviously for the majority of us with desk jobs, it might seem there is not much we can do about this....