Sure, organic food is all natural and free of chemicals and things you can't pronounce or find outside a chemist's lab, but that doesn't mean it's good for you. In fact, a new study proves what many of us know (somewhere deep, deep inside our hemp-shirt sporting self) -- organic doesn't equal a free license to eat whatever we want. In other words, there's plenty of organic crap out there that can make us fat.
The problem with fat- and calorie-laden organic food is that we trick ourselves with it. Just being in Whole Foods makes me feel healthier, so surely if they carry chocolate truffles, one (or 32) can't be bad for me. Who needs moderation when it comes to pure, wholesome, food that looks so pretty -- and nourishes your body! The fact that it's so flippin' expensive means it must be packed with nutrition, right?
Researchers have a term for this power of organic food: The Halo Effect. This latest study found people believe -- incorrectly -- that food deemed organic has less fat and calories and more fiber ... so bye, bye guilt, hello obesity?
It's easy to see how it can happen with some of the incredibly delicious organic foods out there. Here are a few I have the hardest time resisting:
Pepperoni pizza. Just because there are no scary nitrates in it doesn't mean there's no grease or fat. This Wild Harvest Organic Pepperoni Pizza contains 410 calories and 19 grams of fat -- and that's for just half of it. For me, the fact that it's organic would give me plenty of justification to eat the whole thing.
Organic candy bars. Add the health benefit of dark chocolate, and eating these kinds of candy bars feels like taking one's medicine. That might be fine in small doses, but who can stop when there are sea salt and almonds in the mix?
Organic potato chips. These are just mean. The last thing I need is any encouragement to eat potato chips. Throw in the organic French onion dip, and forget it.
Yes, everything in moderation, and we can all read labels and all that business, but even more willpower than ever is needed in the face of tempting organic fare. Be strong, resist, or face not fitting into your skinny jeans -- whether they're made of organic material or not.
Do you eat more "junk food" when it's organic?