You get what you pay for – Now and Then

It amazes me at the nutritional differences between organic and non-organic, grass fed/finished and grain fed.  I was reminded of this huge gap while reading Dr. Jacobson’s book, once again (you always get something different each time you read it and I think this is about round 3).  In it he shares the nutritional content of several different veggies, both organic and inorganic.  The difference is huge.  For example spinach, also know for it’s iron content, organically grown contains 1584 millequivalents (don’t ask, it’s a confusing measure) per 100 grams dry weight and inorganic contains 19.  19?  Really, so you’d have to eat 1565 times more inorganic spinach to get the value of iron contained in organic spinach.  At this rate is the cheaper option really cheaper?   I’ve often wonder what we as a nation spent on food 100 years ago, and then I found this.

Really, it’s amazing!  100 years ago, organic and inorganic wasn’t even thought of.  Why did we start searching for a cheaper option?  Not just a cheaper option in the form of the food we eat, but in every purchase, every day.  I was just reminded of why I check labels at the store, steering away from products, especially food products, made in China, Brazil and more.  It really is amazing at the false advertising going on throughout big industry.  Ok, back to food.

So, in 1900 the American family spent 43% of their income on food.  Healthy, organic, nutritious food.  Now, we spend 13%.  But that 30% cost savings cut out of our family budgets, actually costs us anywhere from 2 – 1938 times more in lost nutritional value.  Is it really worth it?  On the meat front, 100% grass fed/finished meat and pasture raised eggs have been shown to contain 9 times more CLA (conjugated Linoleic Acid, cancer fighting) and a consistently higher Omega-3 content which results in a more desirable Omega 6:3 ratio, which ideally is 1:1 (Chico State Grass Fed Beef).  In pasture raised chickens, the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association conducted a research study last fall and found the poultry raised on green pasture, even though still supplemented with grains, had a 5:1 Omega 6:3 ratio compared to conventionally raised chicken at 15:1 (APPPA Broiler Study). In light of just a couple examples, the costs of purchasing organic produce and grass fed & pasture raised meats, shows that your money is well spent.  The cheaper options aren’t really cheaper, for what you get.  I don’t know about you, but I’m going to continue to buy organic and when possibly support my fellow farmers.  Although the option is more expensive out of pocket, my families health is worth it and I believe it’s cheaper in the long run.

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