I have not always been a strict organic consumer. About 6-7 years ago I started with organic eggs, mainly because they taste better. When I discovered how much better the eggs were, I figured the chicken would be too. That began my journey to slowly transitioning into more organic items, and within 2-3 years, 50% of what I was consuming was organic.
A short time later at a routine doctor’s visit, swollen lymph nodes were discovered under my arms and other parts of my body. After asking the doctor how to get them back to their normal state, I remember vividly the technician saying, “there’s nothing really you can do about them, other than just monitor them”; an answer that didn’t quite sit right with me. It was then that I began heavily researching and learning more about the organic movement, and the more I learned, the more compelled I felt to switch to an all organic diet. Everything from the extra hormones added, to the animal products available in the market, and the pesticides and chemicals added to the produce; the genetically modified foods we put in our bodies and the chemicals we put on our skin, all have an effect on us.
Switching to a 75% organic diet has been one of the best things I could have ever done. I consume hormone-free, organic eggs, meats and produce. My fridge is usually packed with organic goodness every Monday, and practically empty every Saturday…aka time to get more organic groceries. My lymphs nodes where back to normal a year later. Ironically, I had my check-up with the same technician. I brought up the fact that the swelling was gone as she was scanning my test and she repeatedly said: “it must have been an error, they just don’t go away”. Well, they did.
It’s often said that people decide to make drastic changes once they are faced with big challenges (wake up calls). I am thankful mine was not as challenging as many other people face, and equally thankful for the swollen lymph nodes. I am still not 100% organic, not because I don’t want to be, but because sometimes it’s simply not possible due to accessibility. Life happens, and I don’t beat myself up for it. But when the option is there, organic is always my first choice.
These days the word “organic” is seen everywhere. More and more menus are offering “organic greens served with organic baker’s bread and organic spread”, but one thing we have in our favor is that that the word organic (unlike other feel-good descriptions of food like “natural”), actually means something. Certification procedures in the United States and many other countries are strict. In the US, organic food must meet standards ensuring that genetic engineering, synthetic fertilizers, sewage and irradiation were not used in the food’s production; and that makes it a tad easier for us!
With love and gratitude,
Sara Balcazar-Greene (aka. Peruvian Chick)
Peruvian Food Ambassador