Fact: Bears beat Battlestar Galactica.
Fact: Organic is not always better.
I know, I know, in some circles this is heresy, but it’s just how it is. There are certainly many foods where organic is clearly a better, healthier choice. There are other foods where there is absolutely no evidence that organic is better, and in some cases it may* even be worse. There unfortunately just isn’t a lot of solid research in the area. What little research there is has been inconclusive. It certainly seems like vitamin C content is higher in organically grown, other than that…who knows.
Eating more fruits and vegetables improves health, regardless of whether they are organically or conventionally grown. Obviously organic produce has lower pesticide residue and nitrates, but even conventionally grown produce is usually found to be well below acceptable limits. *There are also some other interesting, but not well studied (again), points to consider with organically grown produce. The lack of pesticides may cause potential increases in biological pesticides, endogenous toxin production, and potentially infectious microorganisms. This is not health-friendly stuff!
Having said all that, I am certainly not anti-organic. I still feel safer consuming a lot of organic produce, I just don’t think that it is always necessary. Fortunately for us consumers, a non-profit research organization called the Environmental Working Group has studied the sitation. They found which produce was the most likely to be contaminated by pesticides, and therefore best eaten organicically grown, and which ones were the least likely to be contaminated, and therefore can safely be eaten conventionally grown. Without further ado, here is your list of the 12 most contaminated foods:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Imported Grapes
Scarily, almost 97% of peaches tested positive for pesticides, with almost 87% having two or more different pesticides found. Apples were at 92% and 72% respetively. I would highly recommend you consider purchasing produce on this list from organically grown choices, or at least wash them very well.
Here is the list of the 12 least contaminated foods, where I have absolutely (for now) no problem with you purchasing the conventionally grown version:
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas
The top three on this list had over 90% of their samples test negative for pesticides.There are other foods to consider besides produce, such as milk, butter, beef, poultry, coffee, etc. There is a lot to consider with those choices as well. I will leave that blog for another day.
In the end, if you choose to purchase organic all the time, that is totally up to you. If you have the means and desire, then have it. For those of us on a budget, trying to do the best we can, it’s at least good to know that there are some foods where the cheaper version is probably more than ok. The information is getting out there, the choice is yours.
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