Organic (adjective) – of, relating to, yielding, or involving the use of food produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides.
While it’s debated whether or not organic is more nutritious than conventional, an apple is still an apple and it’s full of great nutrients, whether organic or not. However, the conventional apple will be contaminated with so many chemical pesticides that you may end up risking your health.
Did you know that the United States uses 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides a year, but only .01 percent actually reach bugs? The rest ends up in our food, air, and water. As much as 63% of conventional produce contains at least 1 pesticide even after properly washing. Pesticides have been linked to health problems such as:
- Skin, eye, and lung irritation
- Hormone disruption (early puberty, as well as other health concerns)
- Brain and nervous system toxicity
- Blood disorders
- Nerve disorders
- Birth defects
- Reproduction effects
If you would have asked me 5 years ago what my thoughts were on organic produce, I might have said that I thought it was healthier, but was too expensive and not worth the money. While it’s true that organic is typically a little more expensive than conventional, there is some good news. Produce is not treated equally when it comes to pesticides – some fruits and vegetables are treated with far fewer pesticides than others – which means, you don’t necessarily have to buy ALL organic. Knowing what I know now, I DO believe that investing in some organic is totally worth the money. But which fruits and vegetables are OK to buy conventional and which should you buy organic? My school has made a nice little cheat sheet that I will share with you! Here is the list of the “Dirty Dozen Plus”. These are the fruits and vegetables that contain the highest amounts of pesticides, so it’s best to buy these organic.
Be sure to check back tomorrow to get the “Clean Fifteen” list as well!