1. of, relating to, or derived from living matter.
Seems the word “organic” is all the rage these days. There is a powerful movement to educate us on the benefits of buying produce minus pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and many other ugh-a-cides. By definition alone, it should be a no-brainer that buying organic is definitely the preferred option.
I mean, think about it.
Food “derived from living matter” sounds far more appealing than food laced with gunk that’s meant to kill.
Sure, the idea behind these chemicals is to kill pests that would destroy crops. Yet do we really think a substance that would “kill” anything would not cause harm to us?
Organic is better. No one can argue that. But here is the kicker…
Organic produce is always more expensive.
Most of us are coupon cutting, sale seeking shoppers looking to shrink our food budgets anyway we possibly can. Of course, we could debate the day away over where the true cost lies. Pay at the register or pay later with compromised health.
I know where I stand on this issue.
I’m the chick who will be paying medical bills for…oh…let’s say…all eternity.
You have three guesses as to which side of the fence I’m on.
Even still, I like/need to save money wherever I can. Again, organic purchases inflate my grocery bill in a really big way.
So what are we to do?
The most obvious answer is to shop sales and buy in-season organic produce. Local farmers markets are also said to provide cost savings.
Additionally, it pays to know when buying organic really makes a difference. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes a Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides that includes a list of The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen.
This guide is a very useful tool. The Clean Fifteen are considered most safe and pesticide free when conventionally grown. The Dirty Dozen are known to carry more pesticide residue and are the most important to buy organic. The list has been expanded to include domestically grown summer squash and leafy greens, especially kale and collards. These crops did not fully meet the Dirty Dozen criteria but their contaminates are frequently toxic to the nervous system.
It is very important to note, the Environmental Working Group states “the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure… eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all.”
My advice? Seek out sales, utilize these lists to minimize your exposure and consider peeling any fruit or vegetable you purchase that is considered to be more contaminated. And organic or not…
Be sure to eat your veggies!
and I would love for you to…
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