If you're feeling a little more green than usual this week — it's not just you.
From Sept. 22 to Sept. 29, Canada celebrates their third annual National Organic Week, bringing attention to organic food and farming from coast to coast. Organized by Canadian Organic Growers and the Canada Organic Trade Association (COT), the week also raises awareness of Canada's changing organic agricultural sector and its impact on the environment.
"We wanted to carry the message to the public to think about organic products and about the farms and brands making organic products all across the country, " says Matthew Holmes, executive director of the COT.
From 2006 to 2010, the Canadian organic consumer market grew from $1 billion to $2.6 billion, according to a fact sheet created by the organizers. The fact sheet also reveals that Ontario is Canada's largest consumer market for organic products and Quebec has seen the biggest growth.
Under Canadian Organic Standards, producers who want to use the Canada Organic logo must follow specific guidelines before labelling and selling their products, according to CBC.ca. Some standards include products must have at least 95 per cent organic content, multi-ingredient products must have 70 to 95 per cent organic content and organic ingredients must be certified, according to CBC.ca.
"A lot of consumers who eat organic foods are new parents or couples expecting a child," Holmes tells The Huffington Post Canada, adding that parents frequently ask questions about the best foods for their kids.
A heavily debated study from Stanford University earlier this month claimed that organic food wasn't any healthier than conventionally grown food. Causing uproar between companies and advocate groups, some petitions even claimed the study dismissed potential health consequences of genetically modified foods, high fructose corn syrup and other additives found in conventionally grown foods.
Even if don't you purchase everything with an organic label, Holmes suggests to start reading labels and ingredients of food products you pick up from grocery shelves. He also recommends buying organic dairy, meats, corns, soy and white sugar, because of pesticide levels.
Do you buy all your foods organic? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below.
LOOK: The best foods in season this September. Holmes recommends buying organic fruits and vegetables:
An apple a day should keep the doctor away. According to studies, <a href="http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/nutrition/15-health-benefits-of-eating-apples" target="_hplink">apples can protect you against Parkinson's disease, decrease your risk of diabetes and keep your teeth stay shiny white</a>, according to Best Health Magazine.
Tasty when roasted or grilled, asparagus is a great source of fibre, folate, vitamins A, C, E, and K, and can <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/health_blog/5_powerful_health_benefits_of_asparagus_you_probably_didn_t_know" target="_hplink">help our brains fight cognitive decline, according to EatingWell.com. </a>
Tip: Replace your typical romaine salad with arugula instead. This leafy green is filled with vitamins and minerals, and<a href="http://voices.yahoo.com/the-amazing-health-benefits-arugula-4825552.html" target="_hplink"> has been known to protect our bodies from cancers</a>, according to Yahoo News.
Don't choke up on this fact: artichokes can l<a href="http://www.3fatchicks.com/6-health-benefits-of-artichokes/" target="_hplink">ower your cholesterol, improve your liver functions and work as a digestive aid for your body</a>, according to 3FatChicks.com.
This herb tastes amazing on top of anything: Pastas, fried rice and anything infused with Thai flavours. Basil also<a href="http://www.herbcompanion.com/herbal-living/amazing-health-benefits-of-basil.aspx" target="_hplink"> protects our bodies from premature ageing, common skin issues, and even some types of cancer, </a>according to writer Sarah McCabe.
Don't let the slightly strange smell and taste fool you. Beets can be <a href="http://www.herbcompanion.com/herbal-living/amazing-health-benefits-of-basil.aspx" target="_hplink">instant energy boosters and have absolutely zero trans and saturated fats</a>, according to Yahoo News.
<a href="http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/8-health-benefits-of-blackberries.html" target="_hplink">Skin health, eye health, bone health and overall women's health</a>: do we need to say more? Blackberries are in season around the end of August and a little bit into September -- so stock up!
Blueberries have been known to boost your immune systems and protect our bodies from<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/28/saturated-fats-are-worse_n_1836432.html" target="_hplink"> colds, fevers and other infections. </a>
You probably hated broccoli as a kid, but this doesn't mean you can't start developing a taste for it now. Broccoli is <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/broccoli3.htm" target="_hplink">low in calories and high in vitamin A, C and calcium.</a>
Hated by most taste buds but loved by your body. Brussels sprouts are full of phytonutrients (a natural plant compound) and are a <a href="http://www.cookinglight.com/food/in-season/in-season-brussels-sprouts-00400000001701/" target="_hplink">good source of potassium, iron and fibre,</a> according to CookingLight.com.
Beans -- or as one writer likes to call them "the undervalued superfood -- are <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/16/beans-health-benefits_n_1792504.html#slide=1391241" target="_hplink">low in fat, good for your heart and packed with protein. </a>
Cabbage is an excellent natural detoxifier that can help purify your blood and <a href="http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-cabbage.html" target="_hplink">remove junk (yes, toxins) lingering in your body. </a>
Poor eyesight? Eat a carrot. This orange vegetable has been known to <a href="http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-benefits-of-carrots.html" target="_hplink">improve vision, prevent cancer and even give your skin a natural glow. </a>
Cauliflower looks like brain -- probably because it's good for your noodle. Packed with <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/410151-the-health-benefits-of-cauliflower/" target="_hplink">vitamin C, cauliflower can help improve your skin and brain. </a>
Want the most of celery? Make a juice. Celery is filled with<a href="http://www.juicing-for-health.com/health-benefits-of-celery.html" target="_hplink"> vitamin A and B vitamins and is known to lower blood pressure. </a>
Corn -- eaten in small amounts -- is great for your <a href="http://www.boldsky.com/health/nutrition/2012/health-benefits-of-corns-029629.html" target="_hplink">skin, packed with fibre and helps control your cholesterol levels. </a>
It's acidic for a reason. Studies have shown that <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=145" target="_hplink">cranberries can help with urinary tract infections and can even prevent them. </a>
Cucumbers contain vitamin C and caffeic acid,<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/08/09/cucumber-water-recipe_n_922703.html" target="_hplink"> two antioxidant nutrients that can help protect the skin from sun damage</a>, according to health and wellness consultant Doug DiPasquale.
If you're trying to lose weight, eggplant is the way to go.<a href="http://www.3fatchicks.com/3-health-benefits-of-eggplant/" target="_hplink"> Full of fibre, eggplant can make you full faster. </a>
It may make your mouth stick but garlic can help fight <a href="http://www.ivillage.co.uk/the-health-benefits-garlic/78921" target="_hplink">common colds and protect your body against heart disease</a>. Just don't eat a lot of garlic before you have to meet someone.
The stringy, crunchy bean that is low in calories also helps your <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/257290-what-are-the-benefits-of-string-beans/" target="_hplink">body build its immune system and provide you with protein and calcium. </a>
Steamed or baked (as an alternative to chips) kale can help <a href="http://www.canadianliving.com/blogs/health/2011/04/26/the-health-benefits-of-kale/" target="_hplink">lower cholesterol, is full of vitamin K which helps your bones, and offers anti-inflammatory benefits,</a> according to Canadian Living.
Best paired with your stock, leeks are full of vitamins and minerals and provides<a href="http://www.3fatchicks.com/5-nutritional-benefits-of-leeks/" target="_hplink"> folate -- an important vitamin during pregnancy. </a>
You've probably seen them in-between your buns or tossed in a summer salad. Lettuce is a <a href="http://www.3fatchicks.com/5-nutritional-benefits-of-leeks/" target="_hplink">super green food that's high in vitamin K and A. </a>
You won't cry about this one, onions are a surprising source of fibre and can <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/onions4.htm" target="_hplink">reduce blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels,</a> according to HowStuffWorks.com.
Available in August and September, this often sweet and delicious fruit has <a href="http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/nutrition/the-health-benefits-of-melons?slide=4" target="_hplink">anti-inflammatory benefits and reduces blood pressure. </a>
If you don't like mushrooms -- you're missing out. Besides tasting great on pizzas, pastas and any burger or sandwich, mushrooms are also <a href="http://www.readersdigest.ca/food/diet-nutrition/3-health-benefits-mushrooms" target="_hplink">full of copper and potassium, according to Reader's Digest. </a>
Pears are known to be natural laxatives and can ease the movement of <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/496430-are-pears-good-for-constipation-in-infants/" target="_hplink">stool through the intestines if you're dealing with constipation. </a>
Crunchy and sweet in every colour, peppers are a low-cal food option perfect for those <a href="http://www.examiner.com/article/peppers-the-health-benefits-of-green-peppers-and-hot-peppers" target="_hplink">who are trying to lose a few pounds</a>, according to the Examiner.
In honour of fall, we'd also like to give a shout out to this <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/plum-walnut-crumble_n_1048905.html" target="_hplink">plum and walnut crumble recipe</a>. Plums are good for <a href="http://www.canadianliving.com/blogs/health/2011/08/10/5-health-benefits-of-plums-plus-4-mouth-watering-plum-recipes/" target="_hplink">your bones, eyesight and can help with easier digestion if you're feeling bloated</a>, according to Canadian Living.
To be fair, French fries, mashed potatoes and curly fries (sadly) aren't the best options for enjoying healthy potatoes. One study has shown that eating small amounts of spuds can <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1206765/Why-potatoes-suprising-health-benefit-key-lasting-weight-loss.html" target="_hplink">help you with weight loss and make you feel full faster</a>, according to The Daily Mail.
Before you carve them for your kids -- try adding some pumpkin in your diet. Pumpkin seeds are full of<a href="http://www.care2.com/greenliving/13-health-benefits-of-pumpkin-seeds.html?page=2" target="_hplink"> vitamin K, E and B groups and are a good source of protein</a>, according to Care2.com.
An easy way to add a little kick to your meals, <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=100" target="_hplink">parsley is high in vitamin K and C. </a>
Yes, again, this is another root vegetable that might not taste the best. <a href="http://www.fatburningfurnace.com/blog/radish-nutrition-facts-%E2%80%93-health-benefits-of-radishes" target="_hplink">But radishes are low in calories and high in vitamin C. </a>
Look, the hairy fruit! Raspberries are packed with antioxidants <a href="http://www.canadianliving.com/blogs/health/2011/07/20/4-raspberry-health-benefits-and-4-delicious-raspberry-recipes/" target="_hplink">(at least 50 per cent more than strawberries) that can ward off cancer</a>, according to Canadian Living.
Great in pies or jam, rhubarb is filled with <a href="Rhubarb" target="_hplink">vitamin C that helps build a stronger immune system to ward of common bugs. </a>
Another fall herb, rosemary is an easy way to add flavour to your meals instead of relying on salt. According to About.com, rosemary also contains a chemical called quinones, which has been shown in to<a href="http://homecooking.about.com/od/foodhealthinformation/a/rosemaryhealth.htm" target="_hplink"> inhibit carcinogens and preventing cancer. </a>
On top of being an essential source of<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/06/strawberries-ultraviolet-radiation-uv-rays-skin_n_1739399.html" target="_hplink"> vitamins A, C and B, new lab research suggests strawberries might also play a part in protecting against dangerous UV rays</a>, according to a study by the University of Barcelona.
Tip: If you're kids can't stand the taste of spinach, blend it with your fruit smoothies. Spinach is an <a href="http://www.chatelaine.com/en/article/23258--one-of-the-health-benefits-of-spinach-is-it-can-help-you-relax" target="_hplink">excellent source of calcium, folate and protein</a>, according Chatelaine Magazine.
A wholesome vegetable for fall, squash can help with <a href="http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/healthy-eating/6-health-benefits-of-summer-squash?slide=2" target="_hplink">preventing cancer and boost red blood sells,</a> according to Best Health Magazine.
No, this is not an onion -- shallots actually have <a href="Have more anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins on weight per weight basis than onions." target="_hplink">more antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins compared to onions. </a>
Huffington Post blogger Dr. Leo Galland says tomatoes can help fight inflammation and are excellent sources of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leo-galland-md/tomatoes-health-benefits_b_886214.html" target="_hplink">potassium and several vitamins including A, C and E. </a>
About 51 calories per mashed cup, turnips are full of <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/408477-the-health-benefits-of-turnips/" target="_hplink">calcium and potassium, according to LiveStrong.com. </a>
Known as a hydrating vegetable, <a href="http://www.3fatchicks.com/7-health-benefits-of-zucchini/" target="_hplink">zucchinis are full of protein, fibre, potassium and vitamin C. </a>
Nerding out? Grab some chards. Swiss chards (which are not actually from Switzerland) are packed with vitamins and <a href="http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/8-health-benefits-of-swiss-chard.html" target="_hplink">minerals to boost brain, bone and hair health</a>, according to Health Diaries.
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