Now, I know what you must be thinking! "All health professionals say to eat organic!" That may be true and I definitely recommend that you do, however is it essential for a thriving healthy lifestyle? Maybe not. What I will tell you, in this post today, is the benefits of eating organic foods and how to know when and where to make sacrifices if it's not always ideal for the pocketbook.
Whats it mean to be organic?
When you see the "USDA Organic" or "Certified Organic" seal on your food, the item must have an ingredients list and the contents should be 95% or more certified organic, meaning free of synthetic additives like pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and dyes, and must not be processed using industrial solvents, irradiation, or genetic engineering, according to the USDA. The remaining 5% may only be foods or processed with additives on an approved list.
What makes Organic better?
The truth is that Organic foods potentially don't have a better nutritional content, there are lots of studies and indifferences when it comes to this. The big deal is the lack of chemicals used in the processing which could be potentially harmful to your health. As we know, most these chemicals can be carcinogenic or cancer causing. A lot of Organic foods also come from local sources or small farms which helps support our agricultural and local economy.
OKay, so What do I eat?
There is a great website and App for your phone called EWG, Environmental Working Group. They do a really good job mandating and researching things we put on our body or ingest. Every year they come out with a Clean 15 and a Dirty Dozen List that tells you what's better to buy organic and what could be passed on. Typically the Clean 15 foods are less likely to be integrated with chemicals etc and could be purchased and ate without being organic. The Dirty Dozen List, however is typically recommended that you stick to organic.
Here is a link to the current Dirty Dozen List. The Clean 15 can be found here. Something to think about is foods that have lots of layers or protective coverings like onions and oranges are usually less likely to be harmed by chemicals and can be predicted to be safer then ones that have tender flesh, like strawberries. If I don't have a current list, this is usually what I go off of. Also verify the food you're grabbing is organic by looking at the serial number on the sticker. It should begin with a 9, not a 4 etc.
I hope this encourages you to look at Organic eating a little differently, but you need to decide what's right for you and your family.