To go organic or to not go organic. There are many benefits to buying organic. The majority of experts in the scientific community believe pesticides have adverse effects on health and on our environment. Babies and children are at even higher risk when exposed because their delicate systems are not fully developed.
Certified organic produce is not grown with genetically modified seeds, fossil fuel or sewage-based fertilizers or man made chemical pesticides. The same goes for certified organic meat and dairy and you can be assured the animals were not given antibiotics or genetically engineered bovine growth hormones. Organic farmers conserve water and soil, use renewable resources and do not irradiate their crops.
Research shows that we can lower our health risks by as much as 94% by choosing organic produce
There is no doubt about it, organic can be costly. Save some $$ by buying conventionally when it comes to what the Environmental Working Group [EWG] calls them The Clean 15: onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocado, asparagus, frozen sweet peas, mangoes, eggplant, cantaloupe (although other sources say that cantaloupe has a dangerous amount of pesticides so this one’s up for debate), kiwi, cabbage, sweet potatoes, grapefruit & papaya. Tests show that after washing these fruits and vegetables they were least likely to have pesticide residue on the parts you eat.
I always buy organic when it comes to the The Dirty Dozen. The Dirty Dozen are 12+(there are a few ‘bonus’ items added) fruits and vegetables that still have high pesticide levels even after having been washed: apples (pesticides pool around the stem & drip down inside through the core), celery, strawberries (because they are low to the ground, farmers typically give them a lot more pesticide to ward off bugs), peaches, spinach, imported nectarines, grapes, hot & bell peppers (they have the largest amount), cucumbers (can have as many as 35 pesticides), cherry tomatoes, summer squash, spinach (it can drink in pesticides through its stalks), potatoes, snap peas and kale/collard greens. Lettuce, sweet bell peppers, and blueberries didn’t make the list this year but were on previous lists so I still try to buy those organic. Some argue that pesticides are used on organic crops as well. Yes, naturally occurring pesticides may be used but they are less harmful than most synthetic pesticides.
If ingesting pesticides along with your food doesn’t phase you, how about the humanity aspect? While earning poor wages, hard working crop workers on conventional farms are working in extremely unhealthy conditions as they are subjected to heavy pesticide exposure on a daily basis. Consumers can buy organic but this doesn’t solve the problem for farmers, farm workers or the environment.
The harmful effects of fumigants drifting from farms into nearby neighborhoods, schools, day care centers etc. is another dilemma according to The Pesticide Action Network.
Equally important is choosing household cleaners and personal care products that are truly organic. Our skin absorbs 60% of what we put on it. The scalp, groin and underarms absorb 100% so keep your products clean. Check ingredients. Many companies claim to be natural but they are not. One name you can trust to be 100% free of toxic chemicals is Ava Anderson Non toxic, the entire line is pure.
Visit your local farmer’s market. Many may not be certified organic farms but they grow their produce organically without toxic pesticides. Plus there is the added benefit of supporting local growers. And of course, an economical and convenient option is to grow your own. We just put in a lemon tree, we have some herbs and a strawberry plant but it’s not exactly flourishing so I’ll have to learn more about it. Do you have any tips on growing your own fruits and vegetables?