Interest in organic food with its products has increased dramatically over the past decade, as new claims continue to be made about its health and environmental benefits. Choosing to go organic can be confusing, especially when the benefits aren’t always clear, but we’ve got the basics – from what it is, what the health benefits are, and what to look for!
Organic Foods Facts
Organic products do not contain antibiotics, hormones, pesticides or other chemicals that factory farm products contain.
Animals on factory farms are fed antibiotics and often injected with hormones to make them grow faster and produce more milk and eggs.
Why is this a problem? Humans who are frequently exposed to these antibiotics can become resistant to them, which becomes a problem when we get sick and need treatment! Some experts worry that the hormones in our food lead to health concerns, including early puberty. There are no studies that prove this, however.
Organic Food And Products Benefits for Health
Another reason people choose organic products is because organic farms do not use pesticides. Non-organic fruits and vegetables contain surprising amounts of pesticides, and even thorough washing cannot get rid of all of them.
According to the CDC, most Americans do have detectable levels of multiple pesticides in their body. Different pesticides have actually been linked to a variety of health problems including nervous system toxicity, cancer and birth defects.
The FDC claims the amounts are too small to have any effects, but some are skeptical.
According to Prevention, a study supported by the EPA measured pesticide levels in children’s urine before and after a switch to an organic diet. After just 5 days, the chemicals decreased to undetectable levels.
Organic Foods with Weight Lose
Researchers are also suggesting that all-organic diets may have weight loss benefits. Research in rats found that those fed an all-organic diet (versus conventional food) had lower weights, less body fat, and stronger immune systems. They were also calmer and slept better.
Relatively Pricey Food Organic
The truth of the matter is, you don’t have to go completely organic. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing lifestyle! Organic products are generally more expensive than non-organic is, so most people cannot afford to buy all organic products. It’s important to understand when to go organic, and when it’s okay to just get the old stuff.
The most important fruits and vegetables you should buy organic are those with the greatest pesticide residues. One of the worst contenders are apples; they are generally sprayed up to 16 times, with as many as 36 different chemicals! This is one fruit you definitely should consider buying organic.
List Pricy Organic Fruits and Vegetables
According to the USDA, the following is a list of produce with the highest concentration of pesticides – a.k.a. produce that you may want to spend the extra few bucks to get organic:
Lower Price Organic Food List
Produce not to waste the extra money on:
Other products worth the extra money are organic milk, eggs, and meat. Organic milk is said to contain 75% more beta-carotene, 50% more vitamin E, at least twice the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, and about 70% more omega-3 fatty acids!
Plus, it’s hormone free! It’s also a good idea to start buying organic meat, and say goodbye to antibiotics and growth hormones. If it’s just too expensive, try cutting back on meat all together.
If you’re on a budget, don’t bother spending the extra money on organic packaged foods, like cookies, crackers, candy, etc.
You really aren’t going to see much of a difference there. Just look out for things like high fructose corn syrup, or anything loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients.
You don’t have to throw out everything in your fridge or run over to your local farmers market right away, but next time you’re food shopping, think about the pros and cons and keep in mind which foods are worth making the switch for. Look out for sales, special deals, and even coupons on the internet or in your weekly paper. It might be a little more costly, but in the long-run, it really does save you when it comes to your health.