Decoding Food Labels: Organic, Wild Caught, Local, and Grass Fed

I’m an avid believer in making positive and thoughtful food choices. That’s why I consulted with my friend Oz Garcia – a leading authority on age reversal and healthy aging – about how particular we need to be when selecting our food. Whether it’s wild-caught, grass-fed, or organic, Oz is decoding food labels. He explains the benefits associated with each, so we can make the best choice for our health.  

When it comes to eating healthy, it’s important to think about what we eat and where it comes from. So exactly how choosy do you need to be regarding organic, wild-caught, local, and grass-fed foods? Many people follow a diet that’s seemingly nutritious, although it’s very misleading. We know that organic foods contain notably higher percentages of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants than those that are non-organically grown. But why is that?

Local Foods

When you purchase produce in a commercial supermarket, chances are you are buying foods that are out of season. If you live in a cold climate and have every fruit and vegetable imaginable at your disposal, you need to understand that it has probably been flown in from somewhere tropical. The issue with bringing in foods from afar – besides the carbon emissions – is the transit time. The nutrients are most intact when crops are picked ripe and delivered straight to your table. This is one of the top reasons you should buy locally from farmer’s markets. If you are eating a winter tomato that is barely ripe, it has lost a large percentage of its nutrient value and is probably somewhat tasteless.

Organic

Organic produce has the benefit of being harvested sans chemicals and pesticides. The toxins sprayed on these crops can lead to allergies, hormonal problems, and even certain cancers. Take glyphosate for example. This is one of the world’s most used herbicides and has been proven to be so toxic that even a panel of 17 conservative scientists from different parts of the world concluded that glyphosate could be dangerous. While it may seem like enough to just scrub your fruits and vegetables well, this small practice won’t make them safe to consume on a regular basis. Even a seemingly nutritious diet consisting of a bowl of berries for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and juicing regularly can be loaded with chemicals that will sabotage your health.

Wild Caught and Grass Fed

Wild caught fish and grass fed meats are superior for several reasons. The first consideration should be the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats. The Standard American Diet is already rich in omega-6 fats, which if consumed in excess is linked to inflammation and diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are anti-inflammatory and help to combat diseases. Wild caught fish and grass fed meats are also not pumped full of antibiotics or fed on genetically modified crops. Eating fish and lean meats regularly for health benefits is advised, but keep in mind that ordering commercial salmon or steak in a restaurant on a regular basis may not be serving you. When choosing eggs, definitely opt for organic over non-organic options. Spending a few extra dollars will provide you with much more omega-3, antioxidants, and vitamins.

Take a look at your diet and see where you can make improvements. Living and working in the real world doesn’t always allow access to the freshest food possible. That’s especially the case during social engagements and business meetings. Although, whenever possible, try to make the best possible choices within your control.