Coming up with a grocery list can be a time-consuming task, especially if you are making the switch to organic foods. Because they can be a bit costly, you may find that you are facing some confusion finding a balance between organic and conventional foods. The main advantage of buying organic is that you reduce the chances of ingesting harmful elements. Farmers use chemicals to aid in crop and livestock production. Unfortunately, washing and cooking do not totally eliminate trace amounts that may remain in the produce. Companies will also use certain preservatives which end up in your system, thus resulting in poor health.
You, therefore, need to know the kind of chemicals that you may find in different produce. You may want to subscribe to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) organization website so that you get an annual list which highlights the different pesticides in what you buy. They do the tests after the food comes from the grocery store. They will wash it first, and then do the test. The results are a good indication that you are still at risk, even if you take a due care to wash the fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
What Does Organic Mean?
When you are shopping for your organic foods, you need to take note of the use of the word organic on the label. Since you are not an expert, it may be hard to know what is truly organic or not. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has specific standards concerning the term ‘organic.’ You have to farm the foods organically. The handling process should also comply with the set standards. The rules prohibit the use of:-
- Almost all synthetic fertilizers and pesticides
- Sewer sludge fertilizer
- Growth hormones
- Any artificial or synthetic ingredient or additive
Everything You Need To Know About Natural or Organic Food
- Nowadays, you will find Organic options in almost everything including tea, coffee, nuts, dried fruits among others
- Arm yourself with the necessary knowledge. Understand the terms, the processes, what the labels mean, what you should consider, among other things.
- Make sure you check the labeling every time you buy an organic product. it should also have a certification from the relevant oversight bodies
- If you must prioritize your organic food shopping, you need to know which ones you should avoid. There are specific lists you will find that can help this, including the environmental working group that releases annual reports.
- Washing the foods does not eliminate the pesticide residues; neither does peeling.
- You will find a broad range of other organic products including beauty items and clothing
- Switching to organic food will give you better health which will result in less medical expenses
- You can strike a balance between organic and inorganic foods by knowing which ones to avoid. However, if you can afford it, think about totally switching to organic foods
Which Foods Should You Ensure You Buy Organic?
Buying certain conventional foods will expose you to high levels of dangerous elements such as pesticides. The list below is as per the EWG 2019 list.
It is interesting to note that kales have not been on the list for more than ten years now. However, as of 2019, the conventional ones have tested positive for more than ten pesticide residue.
The highest number was 18 different pesticide residues, including traces of DCPA or Dactyl. According to the EPA, DCPA is a carcinogen, and the European Union has banned its use.
The sample showed more than two pesticide residues. One-sample had as many as 15 different residues.
Strawberries are notorious for their ability to absorb pesticides and retain them for some time. Samples tested after the regular washing showed up positive for more than two pesticides.
Spinach leaves weigh very little, but if you Factor in the pesticide residue by weight, then it is very high. Samples generated high concentrations of permethrin which is a neurotoxin. It is not difficult to find spinach in many organic sections in the grocery stores. You should, therefore, not put your health at risk by buying the conventional ones.
Conventionally-grown apples have high pesticide residue levels. One such pesticide is diphenylamine which Europe has banned. Apples are especially susceptible because they have very thin skin, which allows the pesticide to penetrate the flesh quickly. Taking the peel-off is therefore not enough to protect you from the pesticide residues.
Conventional grapes contained about five different pesticide residues. The pesticides were present in about 96% of the samples.
The level of residues detected in peaches was in up to 99% of the samples. At least four different pesticides showed up.
Conventional cherries had up to 5 pesticides.
Samples tested showed Pears have high levels of pesticides, fungicides, and insecticides. The samples contained five and more pesticides.
Tomatoes had four or more pesticides; one sample had more than 15 residue types. You will find many options when shopping for tomatoes, including canned, paste, among others.
More than 96% of celery samples contained pesticides. One sample had more than 13 types.
12. Hot Peppers
Over 75% of the samples showed that hot peppers contain highly toxic pesticide residues.
Potatoes took the cup when testing for pesticide residues by weight. The report highlights that one of the pesticides is especially harmful and will affect the central nervous system.
The organic foods movement is sweeping Across the Nation and with good reason. You get to enjoy tasty food without worrying that you are introducing any harmful elements into your body. We have looked at some of the foods that are especially notorious when it comes to pesticide residues. If you have to prioritize the foods you buy, as you try to strike the delicate balance between conventional and organic foods, then our list above will provide an excellent guide.
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