A friend of mine assumed that I only consume organic food made from scratch. That is very far from the truth. Unless you grow your own food, you are eating processed food. Fresh fruits and vegetables are minimally processed and meat substitutes and nut milks are heavily processed. Most of us don’t have the means or the knowledge to grow our own food. Although I eat a lot of fruit, vegetables and whole grains, I certainly do consume my fair share of seitan, pea protein, nut cheese and some soy based products. I just don’t have to time to make my own. With an active family and schedule, I don’t feel bad about that.
Fruits and vegetables do not have to be organic. I used to follow the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) Dirty 15 rule because it ranked produce with a percentage of pesticides found after harvesting. But, according to the Journal of Toxicology (article), some pesticides are more toxic than others and they are not all equal. So, I try to buy organic when possible. But, sometimes stores are low in organic inventory or the non-organic produce looks fresher than the organic. A good washing of non-organic fruits and veggies removes most pesticides. Simply eating more fruits and vegetables is beneficial along with a balanced diet.
My husband and my kids are not vegan. They consume mostly organic eggs, milk, chicken and fish at home. But, the kids get fast food when they are out with friends and we go to restaurants that do not serve organic meat and dairy.
According to the Washington Post, there are two main differences between organic and conventional animal products. One is what the animals are eating and the other is the level of Omega 3’s. I do care what the animals are eating and not so much about the Omega 3 levels. (article)
Organic milk, eggs and meat come from cows that are pasture raised and grass fed and free range chickens that are not fed animal or poultry by-prodcuts. I just feel better buying organic animal products, but when we go out…
As long as you are eating a diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruit and grains with some protein (animal or plant based), you are on the right track. If that diet includes organic foods, even better! I would love to be the perfect, puritanical, organic, and unprocessed vegan but I’m not and I’m okay with that!
Roasted Garlic & Quinoa Burger Salad
1 package Morningstar Farms Roasted Garlic & Quinoa Burgers (4 patties)
2 C Mushrooms, washed
2 Medium Tomatoes, washed
1 Medium Yellow or Red Pepper, washed and deseeded
2 T Garden Gourmet Basil Paste (or fresh basil if available)
2 T Olive Oil
1/2 t garlic powder
Salt to taste
Cook burgers according to the package. While they are cooking, add olive oil, basil paste, garlic powder and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix well. Chop mushrooms, peppers and tomato into one inch pieces. When burgers are done cooking, cut them into one inch pieces and add them and the veggies to the mixture in the bowl. Mix well so the dressing coats all the pieces and serve. This recipe serves two.