Should I Really Buy Organic?

 

There are many reasons to buy organic.You can’t walk into a grocery store these days without being presented with a host of “organic” food options. And in case you missed it, organic and “natural” are two entirely different beasts. Organic refers to food grown without chemicals or pesticides. There are strict limits on when food can be labeled organic. On the other hand, the word natural sounds great, yet doesn’t mean a thing as there are no similar restrictions. So the question you may be asking is, “Should I pay extra dollars for food just because it’s labeled organic?”

 

Let’s face it, the question of buying organic is usually ruled by simple economics. After all, who can afford organic food if the non-organic options are already breaking the budget?

 

How much pesticide is in non-organic carrots.

Most of us try to eat healthy, but it is really worth paying extra for “organic”?

On the other hand, if you have food allergies or are worried about the potential harm in certain pesticides you may not care that organic foods cost a little more. With potential health risks like cancer, Parkinson’s, impaired fertility, autism and diabetes there is ample incentive to to limit the consumption of foods containing pesticides and other toxins.

 

And beyond the issue of basic health, a Canadian study, determined pesticides slow the rate we metabolize food. As we learned in our recent series on dieting and weight loss, anything that slows our metabolism generally leads to weight gain. Thus, it would seem that eating foods containing fewer pesticides would be beneficial in terms of dieting.

 

I love oven roasted asparagus.

Non-organic asparagus is one of the foods generally lowest in pesticides. Is that good enough for you?

Whether from a standpoint of wallet, health, or waistline, it’s good to know what foods generally contain more pesticides and what foods don’t. Fortunately, the Environmental Working Group makes that easy. They release an annual report providing a list of the 12 worst offenders (i.e. those containing the most pesticide) and the 15 best foods (i.e. those containing the least). Here are the top five in each category for 2013:

 

Worst

(1)   Apples

(2)   Celery

(3)   Cherry Tomatoes

I love grape tomatoes.

Where do tomatoes fall on the list? About halfway down.

(4)   Cucumbers

(5)   Grapes

 

Best

(1)   Asparagus

(2)  Avocados

(3)   Cabbage

(4)   Cantaloupe

(5)   Sweet Corn

 

Not all fruit or veggies are the same. It depends.

Mango is one of the best on the list for less pesticide.

In other words, if you can’t afford to buy organic, or can’t find organic options in your store, you’ll want to know which fruits and vegetables contain the most or least pesticide as you go to fill your cart. To see all the best and worst offenders on the EWG website, click here.

 

It’s good to go in armed with knowledge when it comes to buying food. I generally try to buy organic when I can, but I’m not willing to pay anything for it so a list like this one helpful.

 

 

One Response to Should I Really Buy Organic?

  • connie says:

    The number two reason to buy organic is that certified organic fruit, produce, and animal protein has not been tainted by genetic modification.

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