September is Organic Harvest Month, a widespread celebration of organic food, agriculture, and the bounty of the organic harvest. To gain some insight into what it means to choose organic, we spoke with Toby Amidor, an RD and nutrition expert who has teamed up with Kashi to spread the word about positive eating. Amidor helped us understand how choosing organic can not only make a difference on our plates, but also promote a more sustainable food system.
As Amidor explains, "Eating organic is a personal decision. What you're getting is something that's cleaner and free of chemicals and pesticides." And that translates into massive benefits when you trace those healthful ingredients back to the farms on which they grow.
Switching to organic farming practices across the U.S. could help eliminate carbon dioxide from the air equivalent to at least a third of the cars in our world, reduce the energy used in farming up to 45 percent and also protect soils and wildlife. Amidor shares that by choosing organic foods, we're not just promoting the responsible treatment of the land, but also "the incredibly hard work that organic farmers put into raising their crops."
Amidor loves that companies offering organic options pay close attention to what they put in their products, which is evidenced by the wholesome ingredients listed on the nutrition panel. For example, organic whole grains in products like cereals, "Are packed with protein, which is incredibly important for keeping you satisfied throughout the day," she says. "I'm a fan of Kashi's Organic Cornflakes Indigo Morning and Strawberry Fields, which are loaded with organic fruits that pack lots of vitamins and fiber - so you're eating foods that are good for you and for the planet."
According to Amidor, "Scanning the grocery isles for your favorite brands with organic options is a great first step," to incorporating organic foods into your diet. "As you dive more into fruits, veggies, dairy and meats, it also helps to talk to your local farmer and check your local farmers market to get a better understanding of what eating organic means."
Organic Harvest Month is the perfect time to discover how to effect positive change through the power of food.
Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., is a Kashi nutrition partner and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.