The psychology of organic, healthy foods.

I recently read an article about the psychology of food.  I can’t remember where and I haven’t been able to locate it again (brilliant, I know!), but it talked about how our food choices not only have a physical effect on our well-being, but also a psychological effect.

csa-food1This study was coupled with the recent claims that organic foods have no nutritional superiority to non-organic foods but, like I stated before, my preference for organics has little to do with an expectation of more nutrition; it has to do with the absence of harmful pesticides, herbicides and extra chemicals.  (However, Grist also has an interesting article about the antioxidant levels in organic vs. non-organic foods.)

The more I think about it too, the more I realize that there is some psychology to making my organic food choices.  I really do feel better when I eat organic foods and it’s because, mentally, I feel like I’m doing myself and my family a better “service”.  It may be, in part, like that placebo effect in medical studies where people just feel better when they believe they’ve taken a medication that will help them when, in actuality, they’ve taken nothing all.  But for me, knowing that our foods don’t contain harsh chemicals and additives does make a difference that is both physical and mental.

This was even proven in our own home yesterday morning when our daughter changed her mind about wanting to try out her school’s cafeteria food (despite my recent discovery of an abundance of waste!).  At the last minute she said “mom, I don’t think I want to eat in the cafeteria today.”  When asked why, she said she “just liked my food better.”  As I packed her yogurt, organic carrots and apples, I realized that even she may have a sense of what those “better foods” might do for her.  And asked at the end of the day how she enjoyed the lunch I packed, she said it was “great”!detox-salad

To get a “fresh” start, try this detoxifying salad from nutritionist Natalia Rose, author of Detox for Women.

  • Combine a half cup each of shredded red cabbage and carrots, julienned yellow bell peppers and alfalfa sprouts with one cup mesclun greens or baby lettuce
  • Top with a mix of ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp. diced fresh garlic and stevia, to taste.  These water-rich foods do wonders to eliminate impurities.

Maybe one day I’ll learn that I wasted a ton of money buying organics (although I doubt it!) but for now I’ll take that extra “perception is reality” sensation of “doing a body good!”

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7 thoughts on “The psychology of organic, healthy foods.

  1. Isn’t this true though! I get such a good mental feeling when I make a super nutritious meal, when I pack our daughter’s lunch, when we go to the farmer’s mkt etc. It is amazing how much better I feel knowing our family is eating whole heathy organic foods. Glad to hear your daughter made that decision too 🙂 It’s great to see them intentionally choosing healthy over not! Great job.

    P.S. Did you give away that eco-lunch kit? I do not recall seeing anything about a winner, so just wanted to see if I still had a shot at it 😉

  2. smilinggreenmom – absolutely agreed! And it’s especially rewarding when we learn that those good habits are wearing off on our children!

    As for the lunch kit…. yes, a winner was drawn… no extra post, but it was announced in the comments of the original post… sorry!

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