Organic vs. GMO’s. Do You Know How and Where Your Food is Grown?

by Lyn Clark, Holistic Nutritionist, Institute of Integrative Nutrition

Many people today have no idea what they are eating, how their food was made, or where it came from. This is an important question that each and every one of us should be asking ourselves.

One of the questions I get asked by many of my clients during a consultation is, “What is the difference between organic and conventional food”? That is a very tricky question to answer in a few words. I will try to give you a few important facts so that you can make the best food choices for yourself and your family concerning organic or conventional foods.

Certified organic labels always mean that the food was grown without pesticides or herbicides that harm workers, their families and all of us. However, the organic label does not mean that the food is necessarily healthy! Organic does not mean locally grown or fresh. From a health standpoint this is what we all should be aiming for in our diet! When food is packaged, shipped and set on a shelf in a warehouse or store for weeks, much of the nutritional density is taken out. Can a processed candy bar be labeled organic? Is it truly healthy for us? If we look closer it could mean that the label is less about health and more about profit.

The government owns the organic world. Organic is simply a marketing tool promoted by the USDA. Large Agri-business is taking advantage of the organic certification. If you have money then you can get the organic seal, and everybody wants in. Many of these companies are not in this because they agree with these practices but because they want to make the money!








So what do we do as consumers?

  1.  Develop a relationship with a local farmer! It’s important to know the     farmer and ask how they are growing their food. This is more important then having the organic certification. It costs $20,000 to get the organic seal and many local farmers simply can’t afford this!
  2.  Never buy anything that has more than 5 ingredients or has ingredients that you can’t pronounce.
  3. Join a CSA
  4. While shopping, avoid the Dirty Dozen list-
  5. Grow your own organic

Finally, I eat organic food selfishly because I’m concerned about my health and the health of my family. Did you know that 41% of Americans will get cancer in their life time. Children think food comes from a truck or a grocery store. Unfortunately, because of our deteriorating food system 1 and 3 children are developing type 2 diabetes. Our health bills continue to increase, but we don’t understand that it’s related to the food that we are eating. My suggestion is, pay more for high quality food now and you will pay less later!

Here’s a favorite fall soup to enjoy, with wonderful detoxing ingredients.

Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Soup

Recipe by Lyn Clark, Holistic Nutritionist, Institute of Integrative Nutrition


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth(or veggie broth for vegan version)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Heat oil in a large soup pot.

by Lyn Clark, Holistic Nutritionist, Institute of Integrative Nutrition

Add carrot, celery and onion.

Cook until vegetables have begun to soften and onion turns translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in butternut squash, thyme, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to purée soup.

Alternatively, let the soup cool slightly and carefully purée in batches in an upright blender.

You can reach Lyn at her website: