When we head over to the grocery, we don’t normally think of where our food comes from. We’re more likely to scrutinize what is already laid out in front of us--the best cuts of meat and the price point of vegetables. We don’t think--or perhaps we don’t want to think--about the slaughterhouses and the pesticides, but maybe it’s about time we do. After all, we are what we eat, and if what we eat are steriod-injected animals and genetically modified crops, then perhaps it's no surprise that we're all getting a little bit sick. Luckily for our generation, the organic movement has not been idle.

Recently, Healthy Options has taken the plunge into organic produce. Through cooperation with Costales Nature Farms, they are now offering fresh and organically grown foods in their stores. Their five-hectare farm is located at the foot of Mt. Banahaw, where animals are allowed to grow at their own pace in a relatively stress-free environment, and the crops are not grown on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

This is naturally good news for us for a number of reasons, but it's also relatively good news for the animals. Unlike some cows and pigs that have to suffer under brutal and inhumane conditions in industrial slaughterhouses, animals in organic farms are treated with more care and respect. "I learned that people who raise pigs without any chemicals--they're very kind and very gentle to their pigs," says managing director Romy Sia, who has visited piggeries in the past.

"I learned that people who raise pigs the old-fashioned way--they didn’t use to call it organic," he adds. "Organic has always been the way people farmed, about 50-100 years ago. Organic means without any chemical additives, any petroleum-based additives."

Healthy living and animal welfare aside, organic farming is also good for the environment. According to CNN, it it produces less energy compared to conventional farming which yields up to 40 percent greenhouse gas emissions.

While switching to an organic diet may seem radical for others, it doesn't hurt to take baby steps. Staying away from processed foods, watching a food documentary, or even buying kangkong from the local market--these small things can pave the way to a healthier lifestyle.

(Photo by Ruthie Hansen via Flickr Creative Commons)

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