Should I Be buying Organic?
When it comes to eating healthy, the emphasis goes beyond just carbs, fat, protein and calories. It even goes beyond food groups! When you make the conscious decision to start eating healthier foods, it’s important to pay attention to what’s in your food.
Did you know that the nutritional value of most of our produce has decreased over the last few decades? The food we eat no longer gives us the nourishment it used to, requiring us to seek other sources of vital nutrients. This is due to the increasingly more common use of pesticides, monocropping and planting genetically modified foods (GMOs).
By consuming organic food as often as possible and choosing foods that are locally grown, you can minimize the effect of pesticides and GMOs in your diet!
Beware These Foods: The Dirty Dozen
These foods have been named as the most likely to be contaminated by pesticides. If you’re on a budget, these are the foods you want to prioritize buying organic.
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Grapes (Imported from elsewhere)
Safer Bets: The Clean Fifteen
These foods are the least likely to contain pesticides, according to the President’s Cancer Panel. Because of their many layers and rough outer skin, these foods are less likely to be toxic when bought conventionally.
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas
- Kiwi Fruit
- Sweet Potatoes (also known as Yams)
Guidelines for Staying Safe When Buying Food
Most foods are much better for your body, on multiple levels, when purchased organic. They’re closer to the earth and more care has been taken to ensure that they’re raised in a natural setting.
If you’re not able to purchase organic at a grocery store, local farmer’s markets are a great alternative. Local farmers aren’t subjected to the same large-scale requirements of a corporate or a farm subsidized by the government. They’re usually more likely to use fewer pesticides and more natural methods when growing foods. Often, these small farmers carry organic produce, even if the label itself doesn't say “organic.”
It’s also easier to buy foods that are in season if you have local sources. Farmers want to ensure that their stock doesn’t go bad before the next crop comes to flower. Eating seasonally is also statistically the best way to avoid food that has been genetically altered to remain fresh longer.
Where do you buy food in your neighborhood? Do you typically buy organic food? Tell me why or why not in the comments!