Sorry for the late blog post peeps. I was out of town eating not so organic things with these two chicks at a skincare convention! But let me get to the point.
Last week we talked about organic, local, or grocery store purchased meats and animal products. Today we’re going to talk about clean veggies and other grocery items.
Produce is a little grayer for me than animal products. Who wants to eat food covered in pesticides? Not this chick. But even in organic farming, certain pesticides and fertilizers are allowed. Some sites claim that these chemicals are just as dangerous. But Monsanto is probably writing these articles. So unless you’re an agricultural major and a chemist, good like deciphering the facts.
One such web site that claims organic production methods are worse is found here. I list this site because there’s a little devils advocate action going on, and she doesn’t seem like she’s just on a soapbox rambling. In other words, it’s actually well thought out. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/httpblogsscientificamericancomscience-sushi20110718mythbusting-101-organic-farming-conventional-agriculture/
While I’m sure there is truth to some of this, there are just as many sites claiming the opposite. This site is an extremely general over view, but does site sources at the bottom. Granted, the first few sites are no longer valid, the others are. http://www.nature.com/scitable/blog/green-science/the_dangers_of_pesticides A literature review through Pub Med of research studies does little to clarify.
Here’s a bit about what I do know. The EPW does a great job each year of putting out a list know as “The Dirty Dozen”. You can find this list under healthy resources on my blog Here. They look at how much pesticide residue actually makes it on to that particular food. The foods highest on the list are the dirty dozen so to speak. These are the foods that should always be purchased organic. Towards the bottom of the very long list you have the clean 15. These are the foods that are either not sprayed with pesticides, or the food is such that it doesn’t really penetrate the skin. These are the foods that I’m not spending extra on to buy organic.
I’ve also heard that once an organic product is sold to the grocery, they can do what they wish with it. Including spraying it with chemicals that preserve the produce to prolong shelf life. I do not know if this is true or not. The safest bet is to buy from a local farmers market. The food will be free from such interference, fresher, and usually cheaper. You’re supporting local agriculture so win – win! When local farmers stands are unavailable, door-to-door organics is a great source of fresh organic veggies.
Finding a local CSA to participate in is also a fantastic option. Typically this is how that works. A certain number of people give the farmer money up front at the beginning of the growing season. As crops come in, you go pick up your share each week. Fresh from the ground. And you have access to the farm. Nice! Some also charge lesser fees and have families come help with the gardens. What a great experience for you kids to appreciate their food sources! You can check Local Harvest for CSA’s in your area.
So what about all the stuff in the box?
I’m going to tell you right now, that anything in a package or a box that’s labeled organic is still not as healthy as a fresh “poison” grown apple. The problem with organic labeling is there is a misconception that organic means healthy. FALSE! There are organic Oreo knock offs. And they are amazingly good. And they are still made of sugar and flour and crap. It’s just crap that comes from organic sources. Healthier for you body than an apple because there are pesticides on it? No. Use common sense people!
If you fall into this line of thinking, and I say this from a place of love, you don’t need a blog to read, you need a life coach. I do not currently offer these services.
Lets summarize. The safest food is grown at home in your garden. The next best is a local organic farmer. You can drive on over and ensure there aren’t men walking around in space suites spraying your food. Third best is debatably organic store bought produce.
Processed food is it’s own beast whether it’s organic or not. It’s always worse for you, period! I am appalled that there are organic baby food TV dinner things. Have you checked the sodium in those people? The yellow food dye in the traditional food is probably less toxic.
If you’re going to buy things in a box, and we’re all guilty, organic is usually better. Organic will not contain MSG, food dyes, weird preservatives, and other gross things. But, as our above example points out, you really need to check food labels if you’re that concerned.
In closing, my answer to the organic vs non organic food debate is that there is no right or wrong answer. You can read and read and read and end up just as confused. I suggest using good old common sense. Things that you can pronounce are USUALLY safer, fresh fruits and veggies are always the healthier choice, and food that is as close to the way God made it is always the healthiest.