Is Organic Produce really better for you than Non Organic?
Short answer, Absolutely!
Pesticides is a toxic spray, that is applied to Non Organic food, to kill bugs, weeds, fungus, rodents, and keep pest away from eating the food. They also apply sprays and waxes on fruit and vegetables to preserve it, to make it last longer. So it can make it from the “farm” (I use that term loosely) to the truck, to the grocery store and still be “fresh” and ready to eat.
Pesticides are also sprayed on animals and ingested by the food they eat. They also give animals antibiotics to keep them from getting a disease or infections, from of their living environment. On top of hormones they give to cows to help them produce more milk.
When buying and consuming non organic food, you and your family are ingesting all the Pesticides, all the antibiotics, all the hormones. Even if you wash the produce, it is almost impossible to completely remove all traces of Pesticides.
How many times did your parents tell you or did you tell your children. Eat your vegetables, finish your milk. But really, when the food is non organic. Are we doing more harm than good? You are good parent, you want your kids to be healthy. In this obese world, you try to feed your kids vegetables with every meal and fruit for snacks. But really, if it’s non organic what are we eating?
Pesticides and your Health!
Pesticides have been linked to many health problems. Such as:
- Food Allergies
- Memory Loss
- Autism and children being delayed developmentally
- Birth Defects
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Many types of Cancer
What is the difference between organic and natural?
Do not be fooled. Natural, Simply, or Baked does not mean it’s organic. Do not pay more for a product claiming to be natural.
So what does it mean when a product says it’s Natural? It means, some how, some way. An ingredient in this product came from nature. It does not mean it is good for you. Or better for you than the product next to it that doesn’t claim to be natural. It’s a form of advertising. They change the packaging, up the price a little, and put it in the organic section. It doesn’t mean it’s organic.
Natural chips are made with potatoes, and yes technically potatoes are found in nature. There is also many ingredients in it that wouldn’t be considered natural. But guess what? Because there is one natural ingredient, it can be labeled as Natural. Regular chips are also made with potatoes. Why pay more for the “natural” one when you are getting the same thing? . Mountain Dew soda has orange juice in it. They haven’t yet but, of they really wanted to they could claim it was natural.
Who do you trust and how do you buy organic produce?
Well as we stated you can not always trust something that says it’s “Natural.” And it’s really hard to even fully trust Organic labels. The USDA does allow a small percentage of pesticides in their “organic labeled” produce. And all honesty how often does the USDA check in on these organic farms after they receive their USDA organic label. To make sure they are continuing their organic practices.
Then you need to look at how is the Organic food stored. Make sure to look at the grocery store if the organic produce is on a different section than the non organic. A good grocery store will have an organic section by itself in the produce department. Every so often at the grocery store, the vegetables get sprayed with water. To help prolong their freshness. When organic produce is being stored with non organic produce and the water is sprayed the pesticides from the non organic produce can contaminate the organic produce.
If you have a local farmer’s market, shop there. Talk to the farmer’s see what they are using on their crop. Some farmer’s can’t afford the expensive permit they need to label their food organic. I know this guy at my local famers market. That doesn’t saves his organic seeds, does not use any sprays, grows straight from the dirt that never had pesticides, he uses only organic mulch to fertilize and he grows the best tasting melons. He isn’t USDA certified. But he believes in being organic. To be USDA certified cost a great deal of money. That is why organic food tends to cost more. When a farmer isn’t certified, but is still organic their organic produce tends to be cheaper.
If you have a farm grocery store, or a local natural store, shop there instead of the grocery store. We are blessed with 2 stores within 10 minute drive. And 2 more stores within a 45 minute drive. Most of their produce will be local and organic.
Lastly, it’s hard to trust anything now a days. So grow it yourself. Start with organic non gmo seeds. Buy or make organic fertilizer. And find an organic ways to keep pest off. Like cinnamon, or by planting basil by tomatoes. You can also purchase organic sprays to help your garden grow. Even if you live in the city without a big yard, you can grow produce in pots. I have a big enough yard for a small garden. But live in a 4 season climate, so we don’t get to garden all year round. But in the winter I like to keep pots on my window seals, and grow lettuce, and bell peppers. If you really love gardening and eating fresh food. You could set up a garden in your house, with special lights to help the plants grow. I like to buy or grow the produce in season, and than freeze or can it so I can have it all year round.
Organic food is expensive, how to save money?
Like I stated, growing it or buying it from someone who isn’t USDA certified will save you a ton of money. Also, making anything yourself will save you money. ( like bread, pasta, cookies, etc)
Try to always buy it when it is in season. Find a produce chart for your area. It will tell you what food is in season at what time. When you buy it when it is in season it will be much cheaper. Even at the grocery store organic strawberries in July cost about $3.00. Organic Strawberries in February cost about $9.00 When you buy it in season, buy more than you need. Freeze and can what you don’t use for next winter.
Organic frozen fruit and veggies at the super market is always cheaper than it is in the fresh produce section. Organic produce is much harder to keep fresh longer than non organic, because it isn’t full of harmful sprays. So, when it’s frozen they don’t have to worry about it deteriorating.
Coupons. There isn’t many coupons on fresh produce. But if your purchasing organic frozen produce or bread, or crackers or dairy. You can find coupons online. Stock up, when you have coupons for them.
It’s easy to struggle to stay under budget when shopping for organic foods. That is why I like to shop when in season and way cheaper and than freeze it for winter. But sometimes organic isn’t always available or it isn’t in your budget at that time. Here are two list. The first list is the produce that has the most pesticides and should always be purchased organic. The second list is produce that has a lower amount of pesticides, and when needed can be purchased non organic. Stay away from non organic food that has no protection from pesticides. When it doesn’t have some sort of shell protecting it, the pesticides soak right in, making the pesticides apart of the food, and making it impossible to wash off!
Here is the Dirty Dozen! Foods to ALWAYS buy organic:
- Lettuce, kale or spinach of any kind!
- Tomatoes, (most importantly cherry tomatoes)
- Any type of berry (raspberry, blue berry, black berry etc..)
- Bell pepper
There is produce out there, that is okay to buy non organic if you have to. Most of these fruits and veggies have a shell to protect themselves from the pesticides. Making it hard for the produce to soak the pesticides in!
The Clean 15: Produce that you can buy non organic!
- Sweet peas (when you remove the shell)
- Sweet corn (when you have to remove the husks around it, before you cook!)
- Asparagus (it doesn’t attract many pest, so fewer pesticides are sprayed on it. And it’s a hard vegetable, so it doesn’t soak in the pesticides)
- Sweet onions
- Red Onions (Onion’s have few pests, which means less pesticides)
- Broccoli (it’s hardy texture makes it impossible to soak in the pesticides)
- Cauliflower (same reason as broccoli, just make sure you wash them well to get any surface pesticides off before you eat)