The Importance of Eating Organic Produce
“Those who think they have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” ~ Edward Stanley
Why eat organic?
The simple answer is that organic foods are free of pesticides and chemicals. Per the USDA, organic producers must rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible. Produce can be called organic if it's certified to have grown in soil that had no prohibited substances applied for three years prior to harvest. This is important because pesticides have been implicated in human studies of leukemia, lymphoma and cancers of the brain, breasts, prostate, testis and ovaries. Some pesticides act as endocrine disruptors and have been shown to cause serious harm to animals, including cancer, sterility and developmental problems. Plainly stated – the human body was never meant to digest and process these substances, yet mass production of food often means taking the cheapest way to get to the end result, whether it is safe for human consumption or not. Since a healthy diet, whether eating for weight loss like our clients or not, is heavy on produce, it is crucial to know what you are putting into your body!
But organic is expensive...you might say
We hear this a lot. Yes, organic foods are a higher cost typically, but there is some guidance from the Environmental Working Group, in the form of the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen, that can influence your spending. The Dirty Dozen are the foods you always want to buy organic, as they absorb lots of pesticides into their flesh when they are not organic – so they are the worst culprits. Currently, this list is made up of:
One the other hand, the Clean Fifteen is made up of produce that has minimal pesticide residue. Many have an outer layer (such as a peel for example) that protects the flesh inside. And others just have lower residue with the way they are grown. These are fruits and vegetables that can be bought non-organic:
Frozen Sweet Peas
So if you need to save a little cost on produce, these guidelines are a great place to start, and these recommendations change seasonally year to year, so go to https://www.ewg.org/foodnews for the current list from time to time. For anything not on these lists, try to buy organic if you can. If you have a local farmer’s market, this can also be a fantastic way to buy organic produce more affordably, as the food is not being transported from far away, which helps keep the cost reasonable. Joining a CSA (community supported agriculture) is yet another option that supports local farms. I have included a resource below for finding options in your area, as well as a couple other resources. What matters most is to do the best you can to nourish your body with the best quality food!
https://www.localharvest.org/about.jsp - Their directory lists over 40,000 family farms and farmers markets, along with restaurants and grocery stores across the nation, that feature local food. This includes information on CSA and food co-ops.
https://www.imperfectproduce.com – about 20% of produce in the US does not meet the standards for cosmetic appearance, but they taste exactly the same, so who cares if your cucumber is crooked?
https://www.misfitsmarket.com/ - they ship organic produce to you at up to 40% less than grocery store prices.
I wish you well on your own health journey, and we are here if you need us! Be kind to yourself. ~ Jeanna