Pages

Ads 468x60px

.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Is Buying ORGANIC Worth the Price?? [UPDATED]

Eat Those Veggies, But Watch Out for the Poison!

Did you ever have to skip dessert because you wouldn't eat your vegetables? I did! We have been told since the beginning of time (or close to it) to eat our veggies! However, some are safer to eat than others. That is, if you don't buy organic!


That is where the EWG (Environmental Working Group) comes in. Every year, they compile a list of around 50 fruits and vegetables, ranking them according to pesticide contamination. This year marks their 9th edition of their  Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.  With the results of the data compiled into a list, dubbed “The Dirty Dozen,” U.S. consumers can lower pesticide intake by simply shopping a little smarter, or buying organic when it comes to the items on this list. 





The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen!

2013
  •  As a side note: you may also want to add Summer Squash, Kale, and Collards to this list as they were shown to be loaded with pesticides.  They didn't make it though because they didn't meet the original "Dirty Dozen" criteria. 


Breaking Down the Clean and Dirty

In short, the foods on the LEFT should be purchased WITH the ORGANIC label.  The foods on the RIGHT are safe, even when NOT ORGANIC! Anyone else notice that the bulk of the produce that I buy is on The Dirty Dozen? Check out the full list of all 48 fruits and veggies tested here.


How to Choose Wisely, Generally Speaking (in a nut shell...or a video)

This video is a little cheesy, but gets the message across! 

Ways to Save Money!

Organic produce can doesn't always have to carry a slightly higher price tag.  Check out your local Farmers Market, CO-OP Groups such as Bountiful Baskets, or you can even check out your coupon blogs for sales and coupons on Organic food.  Zaycon Foods has great prices on meats- especially chicken.  Although not certified organic, their foods are fresh from the farm and hormone free. Make sure that you have a freezer or can split it with a friend though, as these are sold in bulk.

Here in my area, we have a little co-op that is run by my friend Barbara. She orders the food and puts up a list every Tuesday.  You go into the list (managed by Google Docs,) mark down how many of each item you want, and pay Barbara when you pick it up!  (If you are interested in this, shoot me an email and I will get you in contact with her.) 
Finally, consider growing a garden!  I know, it is a lot of work, but NOTHING beats the quality and taste! Careful though, Organic produce DOES tend to go bad faster.  Makes sense though.


Cheating...Never as Good as the Real Deal, But Get's the Job Done!

If buying organic produce is just not in the budget AT ALL, consider AT LEAST doing the following. Studies show that just rinsing your fruits and veggies under tap water isn't enough.  Though not as good as organic, something to this effect would be a reasonable substitute.
Photo

Is It Worth It? Consider These Additional Facts [UPDATED]

By following these lists, we find that it’s actually OK to skip out on organic labels sometimes to save a little money!  

Organic Foods Are Not GMO's

Certified Organic food is not Genetically Modified.  Meaning, they don't use hormones or certain medications in the animal and all the "food" for both the animals and plants is natural. 

We SHOULD consider what is IN the food!  Organic food very often contains more nutrients than your average food.  In Michael Pollen's book In Defense of Food,he talks about the "carrot of 50 years ago" being totally different than the "carrot of today."  The reasons being that:

     1) Farmers have gone from quality to quantity- meaning that they grow more produce per square foot than they used to. Therefore, each "fruit" is getting less nutrients because there just isn't enough to go around. 
     2) The produce of today isn't getting the nutrients that it should because the soil isn't as rich and fertile.  Instead, farmers have gone to synthetic fertilizers that contain NO useful nutrients and DO contain harmful chemicals that we eat just by partaking of the produce.  The plant's food becomes OUR food too. 


Organic Food IS Healthier Than Conventional....Right??  Well......

The science is mixed-and the debate continues. Case in point: a 2009 review published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that there is NO sufficient evidence of a difference in nutrient quality. BUT a 2007 study by Newcastle Univeristy in the UK found that organic produce has 40% higher levels of some nutrients (Vitamin C, Zinc, and Iron) and a 2003 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that some organically grown produce (corn and berries) have 58% more antioxidants than those conventionally grown. This is why most people tend to focus on the pesticide issue when discussing Organic foods.  


Ultimately, you decide what you want to put into your body, and how much you are willing to pay for it. 


I am on my way to becoming The Healthy Redhead!

2 comments:

  1. Organic is partially about pesticides, but not completely. Did you know organic spinach has 1584 mg iron and non-organic spinach has only 19 mg? Because organic spinach must rely on it's own defenses, it is grown in richer soil so it is a healthier plant. This is true for tons of the vegetables on that "clean fifteen" list. If you want to get your nutrients from your food, organic is the way to go (even when pesticides aren't an issue). Is saving money worth getting less iron, calcium, vitamins, etc.? Check out this chart of nutrients in organic v non-organic foods!

    http://www.google.com/imgres?q=organic+v+non-organic+chart&um=1&hl=en&biw=1406&bih=657&tbm=isch&tbnid=g6Eiq9-9TpExJM:&imgrefurl=http://thereflectionofhim.blogspot.com/2012/05/shopping-organic.html&docid=fM_26thABp5V-M&imgurl=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aH0nOQS-xdg/T52jk0gNnBI/AAAAAAAABnk/Z2Nk0ZKld4c/s640/organic.jpg&w=600&h=449&ei=fdGLUbH2IYOgiAKo0IGgBA&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=80&page=1&tbnh=140&tbnw=188&start=0&ndsp=28&ved=1t:429,r:3,s:0,i:89&tx=84&ty=89

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Michael Pollen's book "In Defense of Food," he talks about the carrot of 50 years ago being totally different than the carrot of today. The reasons being that 1) Farmers have gone from quality to quantity- meaning that they grow more produce per square foot than they used to. Therefore, each "fruit" is getting less nutrients because there just isn't enough to go around. 2) For the reasons that you mentioned above. The produce of today isn't getting the nutrients that it should because the soil isn't as rich and fertile. Instead, farmers have gone to synthetic fertilizers that contain NO useful nutrients and DO contain harmful chemicals that we eat just by partaking of the produce. The plant's food becomes OUR food too. You bring up a good point. I'll revise and update the post to include some of this information! Thanks!

      Delete

 

Google+ Followers