Organic or not organic- that is the big question.

Posted by on November 18, 2012 in Health, Nutrition | Comments Off on Organic or not organic- that is the big question.

Organic or not organic- that is the big question.

Every time you visit the grocery store you may be plagued by the decision to by organic or not by organic. Usually the decision is to pass on the organic produce because it is definitely more expensive and is it really worth it? We have all been eating regular produce and we are still alive right? And what does organic mean exactly?

The word “organic” refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. Organic farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution. Farmers who grow organic produce do not use chemicals such as weed killers, pesticides, herbicides on any produce. They also do not give their animal’s antibiotics, growth hormones or medications to prevent disease or promote growth.

What they do is apply natural fertilizers and use natural methods to reduce pests and disease such as using beneficial insects and birds. They also rotate crops, till, hand weed or use mulch to manage weeds. Not only is the produce free of any chemicals, it also promotes soil and water conservation and reduces pollution.

Unfortunately, organic produce isn’t as widely available as other produce because it may be transported over a long distance and depending on where you live, it may sit longer before it’s sold. During the time between harvest and consumption, certain nutrients, such as vitamin C is reduced which affects the nutritional value.

As an alternative to buying organic you can buy produce that is local and seasonal to your residence, although buying local fruits and vegetables from smaller farms doesn’t always mean you’re buying organic. It does guarantee that your produce may contain more nutrients and more than likely the produce will be fresh. And, fresh means better taste and better nutritional value. Also, when buying local, you are supporting your local farmers!!

But what about all those pesticides used in non-organic farming. Studies have linked pesticide exposure to cancers, neurological damage as well as birth defects and even possible early onset of Parkinson’s. You may not have any side effects of pesticides now but after years and years of consuming these types of chemicals, it does build up in your body. It is similar to giving your car cheap gas; it runs great for a while and then the cheap gas takes a toll and you begin to have issues.

My rule of thumb is that anyone can benefit by eating more fruits and veggies. I tell my clients who are not big fruit and veggie fans to start out with fruits and veggies and then work their way to local seasonal produce and then perhaps start to incorporate organic produce and meat. I do believe local organic produce has benefits as our bodies were not meant to detoxify so many different toxins.

If you do not buy organic then it is best to wash your produce thoroughly enough to rid the produce of any pesticide residue.

If you choose to buy organic, it does take a chunk out of your wallet. But, you can be smart about what you buy and below are the best foods to buy organic.

 

Fruit Vegetables Other
Strawberries Potatoes Rice
Raspberries Carrots Oats
Apples Corn Milk
Grapes Celery Butter
Raisins Cucumbers Baby food Soy
Grape juice Spinach  
Peaches Green/red bell peppers  
Nectarines Lettuce  
Apricots Hot peppers
Pears Green beans
Cherries Hard winter squash
Lemons  
Limes    
Bananas    
Kiwis    
Cantaloupe/melons    
Tomatoes    

 

The two foods that I do buy organic are soy and corn. Soy and corn are genetically modified and I do believe that genetically modified foods are harmful for your health.

In summary, eating fruits and veggies is the key.

If you choose to not buy organic then make sure you thoroughly wash you produce before consumption.

Buying those organic foods listed above will also guarantee that you are cutting down on pesticide consumption.

Try to buy from your local farmers and buy seasonal fruits and vegetables for more nutrient dense produce in order to reap those healthy benefits.

Cheers!!

 

 

 

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