I've spent a lot of time looking into the benefits of buying organic. It's not always easy with convenience and cost, but no matter what you buy, the more you know, the better :)
What does eating organic really mean?
In short....eating organically will decrease your exposure to pesticides.
Fruit and Vegetables are considered organic if they contain
- NO Pesticides
- NO Synthetic fertilizers
- NO Genetic modification
- NO Ionizing radiation
Farm Animals are considered to be organic if they are raised with
- NO Antibiotics
- NO Growth hormones
- NO Non-organic food
Why does organic cost more?
- Most organic farmers don't receive federal subsidies, therefore the price of organic reflects true cost of growing
- Organic farms are usually smaller so don't benefit from the economies scale that larger growers have
- Organic farming is more labor intensive
Do 'organic' and 'natural' mean the same thing?
Nope. When you see something labelled "natural", it is a marketing term used by companies based on their own definition of what “natural” is. Only foods that are grown and processed by government regulations can be labeled organic.
The Dirty Dozen
The dirty dozen refers to the fruits and vegetables that are the most contaminated by pesticide use, according to the Environmental Working Group. If you buy organic, these would be the best bets!
The Dirty Dozen (in order of contamination)
- Sweet bell peppers