Healthy Lifestyle

Organic Eating Towards a Healthy Lifestyle

Many people contemplate over whether or not to buy organic products. It is commonly known and publicized that eating organic fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases. But where do we begin?

The United States Department of Agriculture’s definition of organic food indicates that it is generally free of synthetic substances, contains no antibiotics and hormones, has not been fertilized with sewage sludge, was raised without the use of most conventional pesticides, and contains no genetically modified ingredients.

Though eating organic can be a bit pricey, it does not mean you have to uproot your eating habits entirely or empty your savings account. Simply incorporating organic fruits and vegetables into your diet will jumpstart a healthier lifestyle.

According to, organic options are healthier options for both people and the planet. The clinic indicates that certain types of pesticides used on conventional produce can cause skin irritations, hormone and reproductive problems, and can even be carcinogenic. These issues can cause direct harm to our metabolic process.

Most people do not think about the effects that pesticides have on our bodies over time, however, the dangers are present. There are many documentaries such as Food Inc., websites like, and research studies done by Cornell University’s Center College of Agricultural and Life Studies that advocate organic food. The common theme in these resources is that organic food is not tainted with chemicals, and therefore, it is a healthier option. says that organic foods, especially raw or non-processed, contain higher levels of beta carotene, vitamins C, D and E, cancer-fighting antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and essential minerals.

Perhaps the greatest step students can take in starting an organic diet is learning about the origin of their food, as the Environmental Working Group indicates. The group encourages consumers to find out where it is grown, how it is grown, and how far the food traveled from growth to grocery store. Students can also find valuable information on the origin of the food and products they consume at

The organic section of the supermarket Whole Foods in Middletown is a great option for discovering organic food, as well as Dean’s Natural Food Market in Shrewsbury. Trader Joe’s, also located in Shrewsbury, prides itself on providing a gourmet variety of organic foods.

A little closer to the University is the West End Farmer’s Market held on Brighton Avenue every Thursday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. According to the West End Farmers Market website, the market only sells homegrown and homemade items that encourage the community to help sustain local farms. It is located behind Jesse’s Café, another establishment that promotes tasty and healthy eating, and is easy for students to access from the University.

Emily Hunter, junior, believes that eating organic is a much healthier alternative. “I try my hardest to eat organic whenever I can, especially for items like milk and dairy products. However, I do realize that as college students it may be hard to live a fully organic lifestyle because organic products do tend to cost more,” said Hunter.

What makes organic milk different from regular milk? According to the National Dairy Council, cows are given synthetic hormones to help stimulate their milk production. Those hormones are released into the milk they produce and transferred to the milk drinkers. The food and pastures that the cows are fed on may contain harmful pesticides. Traces of those pesticides can be found in milk. Organic cows are fed food grown without chemical pesticides, which results in a healthier choice for consumers.

Professors at the University also value the added benefits of eating organically. Mary Harris, a Specialist Professor in the Department of Communication and the Director of the Monmouth Area Vegetarian Society said, “I would personally rather support local farmers who do not use harmful chemical sprays on crops, because it is more sustainable, and I do not want to ingest the residual chemicals.”

Aside from eating organic, there are also healthcare products that value the chemical free aspects like organic food does. Most mainstream healthcare products include harsh chemicals such as parabens, which the Environmental Working Group defines as a class of chemicals used as a preservative in many healthcare products, such as soaps, body washes, and moisturizers. The Environmental Working Group’s website has a “skin deep” database that provides an easy to navigate safety rating index for a wide range of beauty products and ingredients on the market.

Recent studies performed by the Food and Drug Administration note that parabens are associated with certain types of cancers and may be responsible for many skin reactions such as contact dermatitis, which is an inflammation of the skin. To find out if the products you are using contain these ingredients, just take a look at the listed ingredients on the back of the label. Organic product lines often make it a point of letting consumers know that their product is “paraben-free.” The “skin deep” index cites skin care lines such as Kieh’l, Neutrogena, and Aveeno as void of any parabens.

After all, there is no rule which states you have to compromise great taste and pure products for great nutrition. Psychologist Astrid Alauda once said, “Did you ever stop and taste a carrot? Not just eat it, but really taste it? You can’t taste the beauty and energy of the earth in a Twinkie.” Start to taste and feel the beauty of living organically.

Provided is a recipe that incorporates all of the characteristics of autumn into one scrumptious organic treat.