Go organic this holiday and help the environment

Home Features Go organic this holiday and help the environment

Heather Madden

Published: November 22, 2006

Does shoving chemically-pumped turkey, hormone-grown squash, and that mysterious green-bean casserole into your mouth take its toll on your body every year?

If so, perhaps you should opt for organic food this holiday season.

According to Wikipedia,<b><a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_food”> organic food</a></b> is better for the environment than factory farming because organic farming does not release artificial pesticides and herbicides into the eco-system.  Organic farming also uses less energy and reduces environmental waste.

A few places in Pensacola offer organic options, including restaurants like Sluggo’s and End of the Line Caf‚’.  Other places like <b><a href=”http://www.everman.org/”>Ever’man Natural Foods</a></b> and <b><a href=”http://www.pensacolanaturalfoods.com/”>Pensacola Natural Foods</a></b> – affiliated with the National Nutritional Foods Association – are health food stores that offer both natural and organic groceries.
“Most of the chemicals [in treated food] are the alleged agents of modern day cancer and other illnesses,” said Thomas Barber, Ever’man employee and PJC alumni.  “In other words, one could make an argument linking cancer and whatnot to the over consumption of modern day pesticides and growth hormones.”

“Most of the food [sold at Ever’man] is organic, which means man-made chemicals were not used to produce the food,” Barber said.  “Not only are the vegetables organic, so are the meats.”

This raises the question, how can meat be organic?  Yes, you can opt for an organic holiday meal and still have turkey.  In fact, Ever’man carries whole turkeys that have not been chemically treated or processed.

“Organic meat does not contain the growth hormones used on factory farms.  Our organic meats and cheeses are also the by product of free-range animals, so if you were on the fence about the ethical questions surrounding meat consumption, then fear not; free range animals were allowed to roam around a little before being pushed into the meat grinder,” Barber said.

Mary Carter, Pensacola Natural Foods manager, said organic food is healthier because of the way the animals and vegetables are produced.

“The animals aren’t pumped with steroids and hormones,” Carter said.

And additive-free foods offer those on restricted diets a healthier way to enjoy holiday foods without cutting corners on taste.

“The store is able to cater to doctor recommended diets, for people who are not able to intake milk, gluten or tons of sugar,” Barber said. “Organic produce does taste better.”

Carter said that for holiday dinners, Pensacola Natural Foods offers organic free-range turkeys, organic cranberry sauce, and organic vegetables.

Opting for organic foods this holiday season can benefit a food-lover’s health and still create for a hearty meal.

“I’m eating veggies and to-furky [this Thanksgiving],” Barber said.

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