It seems like all this talk of organic foods began only a few years back. Some may even consider it a passing trend like Pogo-sticks, The Spice Girls and Pokemon cards. But we know better don’t we? Step back in time a few decades ago, and everyone ate organic produce as compared to non-organic (conventional) foods now. There was only one way to grow and care for fruit and vegetables – the natural way. We didn’t care for economies of scale, maximizing profits and scaling operations to unmanageable levels where only a machine is fit to do the work. Oh, such an idyllic life. Chemicals and synthetic pesticides to stave off pests and weeds was still a problem for future generations to conjure up and deal with. Which brings us to the time NOW. Our increased use of unnatural ways of maintaining crops, as well as the effects these are having on the environment, have steered us back into the direction of organic goods. To a grassroots level of food production that sees us more concerned than ever about the health and environmental footprint these substances are leaving behind.
Unfortunately, eating organic can be difficult all of the time for various reasons. Some foods are best to not compromise on where ever possible though due to their higher risk of pesticide and chemical residue exposure. Here are six foods that are best to eat organic.
Apples are wonderfully healthy for us – but most of the phytochemicals (that reduce risk of heart disease or cancer) in this popular fruit are found in the skin. Unfortunately, the skin is also where chemicals accumulate so this is one fruit you’re better off buying organic. Apples can be dehydrated for all-year-round consumption or juiced in its entirety to preserve all the goodness and fibre. You can check out places like Biome for all kinds of ways to enjoy food in their natural form.
Potatoes are a staple for most households, but unfortunately, they have one of the highest pesticide contents among fruit and vegetables. Potatoes are grown in the ground, so you can understand that growers will want to deter pests from them. However, our bodies are better off without pesticides, and potatoes have the ability to retain the pesticide even after being washed.
Strawberries are notorious for containing pesticides, being grown so near the ground where pests are rampant. Imported strawberries are likely to contain higher pesticide levels because there are fewer restrictions in some countries. Plus, being as fragile as they are, some are enhanced with a substance that contains the fungicide captan. Organic strawberries may not look as pretty, but at least you know they haven’t had foreign substances applied to them.
Peaches have a fuzzy skin that makes them more susceptible to retaining pesticide or preservative residue. This also means that peaches may contain levels above legal limits. Alarming right? The most common contaminants are the fungicides captan and iprodione.
5. Spinach and Kale
These two low-calorie leafy greens are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants – they’re super good for us. The bad news: their fragility means they are often sprayed with up to 20 different pesticides! It can be an issue whether they’re cooked or raw. In the United States, a study was conducted and 58 pesticide residues were found in spinach. Scary statistics.
Conventionally raised animals are often given growth hormones and antibiotics to fight disease. These hormones raise a cow’s oestrogen and testosterone levels to unnaturally high levels which in turn, have negative effects on our body’s natural processes. I’ve written about this topic in the past which you can read here. In most organic settings, farmers rear their animals under the most natural environment possible ensuring good health by encouraging clean housing, rotational grazing and balanced diets.
With so many horror stories surrounding conventional foods today, organics are certainly looking more appealing and let’s be clear, it’s not a passing trend. While organic food may cost more on the surface level, what you are saving in the long term in reducing your exposure to these harmful chemicals and minimizing your carbon footprint, it is certainly worth forking out the extra dollars for some peace of mind. Rest assured, you’re doing something that’s conducive for your health and the environment.
This is a sponsored post courtesy of Biome.com
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