Is Organic Really Better?
With access to the ridiculous amount of health information these days, it’s hard to figure out what’s legit and what’s just another “health fad”. Let’s dissect the “organic” debate.
What does ‘organic’ even mean?
“Organic” refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. Organic farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution. Farmers who grow organic produce and meat don’t use conventional methods to fertilize, control weeds or prevent livestock disease. For example, rather than using chemical weedkillers, organic farmers may conduct more sophisticated crop rotations and spread mulch or manure to keep weeds at bay. [mayoclinic.com]
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 100% organic product means it contains 100% all natural ingredients. Believe it or not, products that are just labeled “organic” can still contain 5% non-organic ingredients (5% is determined by the weight of the product)- as long as the “non-organic” ingredients are on the USDA’s list of “approved non-organic ingredients”
Seriously. Let’s get down to the important stuff. If you are considering “going organic”, know that there ARE some products that are worth paying the extra money for..and there are some that are not.
So here’s where to save and where to splurge:
-organically labeled seafood
-organically packaged foods- breads, chips, cereal
-the “dirty dozen” (as named by the Environmental Working Group): apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, imported grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach and strawberries. The reason being that even after you wash these items, they have such a high rate of pesticide residue- EVEN AFTER THEY ARE WASHED
-meat, poultry, eggs & dairy: these are also free of pesticides, growth hormones and antibiotics
Look for the USDA Organic logo on organic products- this logo indicates the product meets the strict government standards
To good health!