We’ve all read about the many benefits that we can get from using organic products and we’ve certainly read the ones that say you’re getting ripped off by buying organic. So do you really have to buy all these organic products? Are they really essential to your health?

I think they are.  For instance, there are many benefits that come with eating strawberries; they’re often referred to as a super food because they’re rich in antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals. But what many people may not know is that strawberries can be more harmful if they’re not organic. According to the analysis of EWG or Environmental Working Group, 13 different pesticides were found on the tested strawberries.  Unfortunately, these pesticides are hard to wash off because of the tiny bumps and soft flesh of the strawberry.

There are other fruits and vegetables that you should always choose organic because of the high pesticide levels.  By choosing organic, you can reduce the amount of your pesticide exposure by 80% according to the Environmental Working Group.  They’ve dubbed these fruits and vegetables that are especially susceptible to pesticides the dirty dozen.

Image via Wikipedia

The Dirty Dozen Fruits and Vegetables

  • celery
  • peaches
  • strawberries
  • apples
  • domestic blueberries
  • nectarines
  • sweet bell peppers
  • spinach
  • kale and collard greens
  • cherries
  • potatoes
  • imported grapes
  • lettuce

Washing fruits and vegetables with an organic fruit wash before eating can help as can peeling the fruit, but not as much as eating organic.  If you are not sure of the source of the fruits like grapes and blueberries, then it might be safer to just avoid eating them.

Storage and handling of toxics is assessed for...

Image via Wikipedia

Headlines lately have stated that you’re getting ripped off if you buy other fruits and vegetables that are organic (usually dubbed the Clean 15). Sure, it sells papers and gets clicks, but the part they’re leaving out is there’s more to organic than the lower pesticide exposure.  By choosing organic you’re also helping the environment by keeping pesticide level use at a minimum and supporting sustainable and ecological agriculture.  It also means a healthier environment for the growers and farm workers – less pesticide exposure for them as well.

Also, the old myth of organic being more expensive than traditionally produced produce is not so true anymore.  My own Safeway store sells organic and non-organic bananas for the same price.  Same with the apples.  Don’t assume they’re more expensive and check for frozen options if fresh is too expensive.  Also, more and more natural and organic companies are offering coupons.  Check Mambo Sprouts for coupons as well as the manufacturer’s website.

Going organic can benefit you and the environment.  I hope you’ll take a look at incorporating more organic fruits and vegetables into family’s diet.

Resources: 

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