The word “organic” is becoming a common adjective in households, T.V. commercials and grocery stores throughout the U.S. What does “organic” refer to exactly? The word “organic” refers to the way products are grown and processed. Organic growing uses fertile rich soils with no use of pesticides or toxic chemicals. Instead, organic farming uses practices such as crop rotation, cover crop planting, beneficial insect release, and composting. All of this in turn benefits the environment because it means no fertilizer or pesticide runoff to contaminate our rivers, lakes and oceans. It also means a safer and healthier environment for us to live in. Non organic-especially produce-use all sorts of toxic chemicals to grow and maintain crops. These toxic chemicals are known to cause many health risks to humans. These risks are especially dangerous for babies and children because their developing organs are more vulnerable to toxins. The EWG (Environmental Working Group, a non profit organization that regularly examines pesticide levels) has found that the fruits testing highest for multiple pesticides were nectarines at 97.3%, peaches at 96.7%, and apples at 94.1%. They also found that for vegetables celery tested at 94.1%, sweet bell peppers at 81.5%, and carrots at 82.3% for multiple pesticides. If you would like to view their full list of 47 different fruits and veggies go to http://www.foodnews.org/fulllist.php. Studies show that pesticides do not get through to the edible parts in fruits and veggies with thick skins like bananas and oranges. Other Fruits and veggies that are said to be okay to consume non organic are: onion, avocado, pineapple, mango, kiwi, papaya, watermelon, and tomato. I would still recommend washing the outside with a fruit and veggie cleaner (see post below) so that the inside is not contaminated when cutting. Fruits and veggies that should be purchased organic are carrots, apples, peppers, celery, cherries, nectarines, peaches, pears, raspberries, blueberries, lettuces and strawberries. Generally, I have found that when these fruits and veggies are in season the price does not vary so greatly from their non organic counterpart. For instance, strawberries have been 2 for $5 and organic strawberries are $2.99- to me it is worth the extra .49 cents!! Organic celery, carrots and lettuces are always on sale and are fairly cheap. At least compare the prices before knocking the whole organic thing- or trade out one organic item for its non organic counterpart each week. Organic foods should not be considered a luxury- it is how food is supposed to be eaten. It is cheaper than paying those doctor co pays and prescription refills!!! Eating at least some organic foods is of tremendous value to your diet to maintain, improve or restore health.
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