Why buy organic?

To buy organic or not to buy organic.  It used to be a term associated with hippies, and health food junkies. These days we are much more conscious of how pesticide ridden our produce really is, and the harmful effect it can have on our health.  For example, conventionally grown kale contains about 51 types of pesticides! These dangerous chemicals are known to cause cancer, birth defects, and can disrupt hormone balance.

The concern for most people is that organic is more expensive, and isn't feasible on a tight budget. While it does cost more, the good news is that not ALL your fruits and vegetables have to be organic.  Most of you have probably heard of the "dirty dozen" and "clean fifteen". The dirty dozen refers to produce containing the highest level of pesticide residue.  These are namely those with thin skins such as berries, and leafy greens.  The clean fifteen is produce that can be purchased conventionally, and is considered safer to consume. Did you know regular potatoes are so pesticide heavy that farmers have been known to avoid eating their own crops? The Environmental Working Group has a great online list available of what to buy organic and what is considered clean.  http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

Eating healthy organic food is good for you and good for the environment.  Conventional farming practices leach not only pesticides into the soil and water supply but also harmful antibiotics. We've heard stories about listeria being found in cantaloupe, and salmonella in lettuce. We shouldn't have to worry about these diseases when enjoying fruits and vegetables right? Choosing organic whenever possible is an investment to your health.  I like to think that the few extra dollars I spend on naturally sourced foods will save me money at the doctors office!

~Adriane Rosenberg