To buy organic or not to buy organic, That is the question, I mean organic is so much more expensive than the other fruits and vegetables. Well, this is very true but is it worth it? My mother in law once said to me “ You can either pay for it now in the food you eat or pay for it later in medical treatments”. Wow, that struck a nerve because guess what, Its true.
So I did some investigating and here is what I found.
Organic foods are often associated with fewer fertilizers and pesticides, and the USDA has created plenty of other requirements in order for food to make the grade as a certified organic food.
For instance, In the case of livestock, animal health and welfare play a role. The livestock must also be raised without hormones or antibiotics and fed an organic diet.
Organic crops cannot be grown with synthetic fertilizers, or certain prohibited pesticides, sewage sludge, or genetically modified organisms (GMO). And multi-ingredient foods (think packaged foods in the center of the grocery store) must include 95 percent organic ingredients to earn the organic label.
So all that organic TLC costs extra for farmers and there for making higher prices unavoidable for us.
Have you heard the term The dirty dozen before? It refers to a list of fruits and veggies that are typically grown using a lot of pesticides and other chemicals.
Topping the list of foods with the most pesticide residues, the Dirty Dozen
11 Bell Peppers
Clean Fifteen list is -produce items that tend to have the least pesticide residues are:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet frozen peas
- Honeydew melon
DON’T: Waste money buying organic produce that has thick skins that you don’t eat (bananas, avocados, onions, and pineapple)
DO: Choose organic apples, strawberries, bell peppers, lettuce, and potatoes because you do eat the skin if there is skin and even peeling it off does not take away the threat.
Are pesticides safe?
The food companies spend a lot of time and money trying to convince you that the products they use are perfectly harmless in small doses. But the million dollar question is
ARE YOU WILLING TO TAKE THE RISK WITH YOUR HEALTH? Or your children’s health? Do you want to be part of their science experiment?
Dangers of Pesticides include
- Acute Effects ( short term)
Acute health problems may occur in workers that handle pesticides, such as abdominal pain, dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, as well as skin and eye problems.
- Long-Term Effects
Many studies have examined the effects of pesticide exposure on the risk of cancer. Associations have been found with: leukemia, lymphoma, brain, kidney, breast, prostate, pancreas, liver, lung, and skin cancers. This increased risk occurs with both residential and occupational exposures.
Evidence links pesticide exposure to worsened neurological outcomes. The risk of developing Parkinson’s disease is 70% greater in those exposed to even low levels of pesticides. People with Parkinson’s were 61% more likely to report direct pesticide application than were healthy relatives. Both insecticides and herbicides significantly increased the risk of Parkinson’s disease. There are also concerns that long-term exposures may increase the risk of dementia.
2.3 Reproductive Effect
Strong evidence links pesticide exposure to birth defects, fetal death, and altered fetal growth. In the United States, an increase in birth defects is associated with conceiving in the same period of the year when agrochemicals are in elevated concentrations in surface water.
A number of pesticides including dibromochlorophane and 2,4-D has been associated with impaired fertility in males. Pesticide exposure resulted in reduced fertility in males, genetic alterations in sperm, reduced number of sperm, damage to germinal epithelium and altered hormone function
Some studies have found increased risks of dermatitis in those exposed.
Additionally, studies have indicated that pesticide exposure is associated with long-term health problems such as respiratory problems, including asthma, memory disorders and depression.
These bullets alone are not something to be taken lightly.
I hope you consider your options wisely.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
An EWG simulation of thousands of consumers eating high and low pesticide diets shows that people can lower their pesticide exposure by almost 90 percent by avoiding the top twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables Or Buy them organically. and eating the least contaminated instead. Eating the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables will expose a person to about 14 pesticides per day, on average. Eating the 12 least contaminated will expose a person to less than 2 pesticides per day. Less dramatic comparisons will produce less dramatic reductions, but without doubt, using the Guide provides people with a way to make choices that lower pesticide exposure in the diet.
How do you know if you’re really getting organic
Foods that meet USDA organic standards are “certified organic,” also sometimes called “USDA-certified organic.” Organic food in the United States can be identified when the following conditions are met:
- The product bears the official USDA organic seal.
- The product has been certified organic.
- The product contains 95 percent or more organic ingredients.
The USDA’s official organic seal is green and white, and some manufacturers and producers use a very similar, though different colored, seal. Such mislabeling can result in fines of up to $11,000 per violation. Also, a product does not have to contain 95 percent organic ingredients to be truly beneficial. The USDA allows those products with at least 70 percent organically produced ingredients to use the words “made with organic ingredients.” However, those products cannot carry the green-and-white USDA seal.
If you buy at farmer’s markets you may also be getting organic but their sales are not up to what they require for getting certified. Be sure to talk to them and even ask about how they are grown.
If you enjoyed the article please check out my other article Is Soda really that bad? Is Diet soda better?