Healthy Eating

 

Organic vs. Inorganic


Organic vs. Conventionally Grown Foods

The organic industry has seen an explosion of  growth in the past few years. In 1992, sales had already reached $1.5 billion. Today the market is worth almost ten times that, and by 2009 it's predicted the market will double again to be worth close to $32 billion. Consumer demand for natural, organic foods is booming and shows no signs of slowing down.

Pesticides and Pregnant Women

For pregnant women and infants, going organic is a good idea since they can be especially sensitive to the effects of chemical pesticides and residues.

Organic: Organic foods are foods that are grown without synthetic chemical pesticides or fertilizers: consumers who buy organic are looking to avoid dietary ingestion of such chemicals. The organic industry has been surprisingly contentious, with some media contrarians claiming organic foods have just as many pesticide residues as conventionally grown foods. However, a 2002 study by Consumers Union (CU), the Yonkers, NY-based publisher of Consumer Reports magazine showed that customers who buy organic are exposed to about a third as many residues as those who buy conventionally grown foods.

Pesticides: There is no conclusive evidence on whether or not levels of pesticide residue that remain on conventional produce are high enough to be harmful. Most experts agree that the amount of pesticides found on fruits and vegetables pose a very small health risk, especially if you wash or peel your produce before eating it. In the long run, the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables far outweigh any potential health risks.

Buying organic is simply a good way to ease concerns over synthetic materials--drugs and hormones in meat, nitrates in foods, irradiated foods, additives, and artificial colors—in our food.

How to find Organic Foods

Most Important Foods To Buy Organically
  • Baby Food
  • Strawberries
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Milk
  • Bell Peppers
  • Bananas
  • Green Beans
  • Peaches
  • Apples
(Source: E: The Environmental Magazine, www.emagazine.com)

Look for labels that say “Certified Organic.” Labels such as “All-Natural” or “Naturally grown” are fine and well, but they are NOT the same as certified organic—which demands the fulfillment of certain regulations. Producers and handlers must be certified by a USDA-accredited certifying agent to sell, label, or represent their products as "100 percent "organic," "organic," or "made with organic."

Some things are more important to buy organic than others. Some fruits and vegetables require very few pesticides for growth or--due to tough skins or peels--absorb fewer residues, while others are sprayed with more, and act like sponges, absorbing residues that are difficult to wash off entirely.  

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