This is going to be a very informational post, just to prepare you. One of my room friends brought home a health magazine and I was going through it, one article was about which produce items you should be buying organic. I was very interested in this article and did some more research to the questions that came to my mind. I also wanted to make this a pretty easy but informative read for you. So I’ll break it down into questions.
What does organic mean?
When it comes to produce, organic means NO PESTICIDES. When it comes to animal by products, organic means NO ANTIBIOTICS OR GROWTH HORMONES.
Well how do I know if something is actually organic?
If something is truly organic it will have to say… USDA Organic, Certified Organic, or when a product contains 95% or more organic ingredients.
So not everything that says organic is organic?
No, that’s why it’s important to read your labels and ingredients. In most definitions organic means; “Relating to, or derived from living organisms.” That could be anything. Did you notice that buying organic has become a trend? Well people are trying to bank off you, if you haven’t noticed yet. They slap, “Organic” on there in a cool font and make it your focal point in their slogan. People who own a business are also in marketing. (Note there are some things that are truly organic but aren’t labeled organic. This entails a ton of information so I’ll let you research on your own.)
Ok, Well why should I even be buying organic?
There’s a various amount of reasons why but for this post I’m focusing on pesticides. No pesticides means healthier soil, water, and wildlife.
Why are pesticides bad and if they’re bad why are we even using them?
Pesticides are used to keep away bugs that harm crops. They want to make sure that their crops show up, that’s their job. Farming isn’t just for fun, it’s their job. Pesticides don’t just disappear after they do what they were intended to, they seep into water systems, kill needed insects, it can then be digested into fish or other animals we end up eat. So we’re also ingesting pesticides. I’ll let you look up in your favorite search engine what pesticides do to our body.
But organic is so expensive…
Yes, yes it is. I know the pain. I want to buy organic but there are times when I’m like this is stupid I have $5 left for the week and it’s Tuesday. But I can tell you that the more we buy and the more people that get involved in actually buying organic the price will start to go down. Consider these things next time the elevator music is playing and you’re in aisle 5…
- Organic farmers don’t receive federal subsidies like conventional farmers do. Therefore, the price of organic food reflects the true cost of growing.
- The price of conventional food does not reflect the cost of environmental cleanups that we pay for through our tax dollars.
- Organic farming is more labor and management intensive.
- Organic farms are usually smaller than conventional farms and so do not benefit from the economies of scale that larger growers get. (this information is from here)
Going to a farmer’s market is probably your best bet as well as it is for your wallet. Plus it’s a fun day with other people if you just go. If you get there and are still concerned, I have found if you talk to the people working the booth/counter and they respond back with confident answers to your questions, you’re safe to buy. They’re not just working there, it’s what they love to do. It’s always nice to purchase from someone who enjoys their profession.
So what inspired this post was the list of produce items you SHOULD buy organic. These are based on having the highest pesticide residue on them.. This comes from the non-profit Environmental Working Group. In other words..
BUY THESE ORGANIC
- Sweet Bell Peppers
Produce you don’t have to buy organic due to their hard exterior or because pests just don’t care for them. Just because they’re on this list doesn’t mean you should stop washing your produce. (In no particular order.)
Sorry that was information overload a little bit. I wanted to post the things to buy organically but felt like I need a little bit of credibility before I posted it.
How do you feel about buying organic?