Organic or Non-Organic Produce, That is the Question…

I used to think it was a waste of money to buy organic produce–after all, sometimes it’s 3 times as expensive as non-organic. Then I started reading about how organic food has more nutrients than non-organic and I saw this simple video with a girl’s science experiment using sweet potatoes. It’s quite compelling about what we put in our bodies. So now I buy a few things organic–apples, berries of any kind, and carrots. Since we now consume high amounts of fruits and vegetables, I’ve become more concerned both about the level of toxins I’m eating, and also whether or not I’m maximizing nutrients–one University of California at Davis study found that organic corn and strawberries had 50 percent more flavonoids than conventional.

What follows is an excellent discussion of organic vs. conventional produce and a list of when to bother paying the extra money.

Organic vs. Conventional Produce
By Dr. Joel Fuhrman

The large amount of studies performed on the typical pesticide treated produce have demonstrated that consumption of produce, whether organic or not, is related to lower rates of cancer and increased disease protection. The health benefits of eating phytochemical-rich produce greatly outweigh any risk pesticide residues might pose. Certainly, it is better to eat fruits and vegetables grown and harvested using pesticides than to not eat them at all, but it is also wise to minimize our pesticide exposure.

When we buy organic, we minimize our pesticide exposure, and we also minimize the amount of pesticides the environment is exposed to. Organic farming is clearly the more environmentally-friendly choice. According to the USDA, organic farming “integrates cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.” Many organic fruits and vegetables have been found to have more minerals and antioxidants than conventional counterparts. This is dependent on the quality of the soil and soil preparation methods, not on the sprays used on the food. Buying organic is a wise choice – organic foods taste better, and organic agriculture protects farmers and our environment.

More and more studies in recent years are linking organophosphate pesticides with various diseases, including Parkinson’s disease in adults and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) in children.

Highest in pesticides –buy organic if possible:
1. Celery
2. Peaches
3. Strawberries
4. Apples
5. Blueberries
6. Nectarines
7. Bell Peppers
8. Spinach
9. Kale
10. Cherries
11. Potatoes
12. Grapes (imported)

Lowest in pesticides –buy either organic or conventional:
1. Onion
2. Avocado
3. Sweet corn
4. Pineapple
5. Mango
6. Sweet peas
7. Asparagus
8. Kiwi
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplant
11. Cantaloupe
12. Watermelon
13. Grapefruit
14. Sweet potato
15. Honeydew melon

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