Is it worth choosing organic?

Our health depends on us consuming a diet full of fresh vegetables and fruit but when those fruit and veg have been smothered in chemicals does the negative out weigh the positive? Well it’s important to eat fruit and veg for many health reasons but if we don’t want to consume the toxic soup that has been sprayed onto them then going organic is the way forward.

Now I appreciate that organic food can be more expensive but look out for offers as I have found that many times the organic fruits and vegetables have been the same price in some of the supermarkets. Also the organic box schemes are great too!

But if cost is an issue then here are some of the foods that you should strive to go organic on and some that aren’t as bad on the pesticide front.

Go organic on –

Apples

These can be sprayed up to 18 times in one season. They are top of the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 2012 dirty dozen list. 98% of more than 700 apples tested positive for pesticides used to kill fungus and insects. 92% contained 2 or more pesticides.

 

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Potatoes

9th on the EWG’s dirty dozen list. 44% of samples tested by PAN detected pesticides. Switch to Sweet potatoes, they are better for your health and EWG’s research shows they carry less pesticide residue. I would say go organic on all root veg as they seem to pick up more pesticide residue from the soil or grow your own in large buckets.

Salad Greens

Spinach is number 11 and lettuce number 7 on EWG’s list. Again another veg that is pretty easy to grow even in window boxes.

121953_8322 Dairy

Organic dairy produce such as milk, cheese, yogurt and cream ensures the cattle it came from had good standards of care and were fed diets that are naturally high in grass as opposed to non-organic where their diets are high in grains and soya. This means that the organic produce has greater nutritional benefits too.

Meat

As well as dairy, meat is another produce where I will only buy organic. I would rather eat less meat but eat good quality meat. Again organic meat has come from animals reared in good living conditions which also means that it tastes better. Meat is more tender and shrinks less when cooked as it won’t have been pumped with water as cheaper meat often is. Organic farm animals are free range and their diets are free from GMO (genetically modified organisms), they are only given drugs as a last resort and they can not be given hormones to boost their growth.

So, are you switching? Like I said, I understand that it’s not always possible to go completely organic but certain foods are better organic than not. If you do buy fruit and vegetables that are not organic then wash it thoroughly in the following way,

Mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon white vinegar with 1 cup of water and place into a new spray bottle. Spray the produce and let it sit for 5-10 minutes and rinse thoroughly to wash away residue.

Although this won’t get rid of all the pesticide residue it will certainly help to eliminate some of the residue that is on the surface.

Here’s a list of EWG’s dirty dozen and clean fifteen to help you. 2012_EWG_Pesticide_Guide
Here is a document from the Pesticide Action Network which explains what pesticides are and how they can impact our health 050_Pesticides_on_a_Plate

If you want to see which UK supermarkets fare better with regards to pesticide problems here’s a link. It seems M&S is the best, followed by Sainsbury’s and Co-Op. http://www.pan-uk.org/supermarkets/what-are-uk-supermarkets-doing-about-pesticide-problems

More info:

Environmental Working Group – http://www.ewg.org/
Pesticide Action Network – http://www.pan-uk.org/
Organic box schemes – I highly recommend http://www.farmaround.co.uk Quote code CE2 at the checkout to get your trial offer. Farmaround also stocks Cow Nation Milk – Milk that comes from cows which will live out their full, natural lives along with their calves.
Other box schemes: http://www.abelandcole.co.uk/ and http://www.riverford.co.uk/

 

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