Thursday, 21 January 2010 07:22

Why Organic

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Why OrganicI am sure you have heard by now that going organic is good for you, but why? Go to a traditional grocery store and the selection may not be very big, the produce does not look as appealing and not to mention it’s more expensive!

So here’s the deal, mainstream markets are just getting started on the organic band wagon. Hang in there and the selection will grow. When looking for organic produce, look for the organic section. Also, you can look for the USDA organic certification or look for a 5 digit number starting with 9. This indicates an organic product in produce.

There are specialty markets such as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods that carry a wide variety of organic produce, so go there. There are locations nationwide and there is probably one in or around your neighbor hood. If you can’t find one of these stores, try your local farmers market.

Now, when you go to a farmers market, they may not be USDA organic certified. However, most produce at farmers markets are technically grown using organic methods. Getting the USDA organic certification is very expensive and requires a certain number of years of the organic growing method before getting that certification. So, some small farmers may not have the funds for certification, and others may be in the process, but both probably using the organic growing methods. Best thing to do is ask the farmer you are buying from.

As for being more expensive, well it is simple economics; supply and demand. The demand for organic produce is not huge in mainstream markets, so the supply is restricted therefore raising the price. In markets such as the ones mentioned above and at framers markets, the demand is higher, so the supply is also higher, therefore the prices are lower.

Now, for organic produce not being as big, shiny or pretty as the traditional produce…well, it is the nature or organics. Organic produce does not use pesticides or growth accelerators. This may cause the product to be smaller and not as perfect. If you grow something in your garden at home, sizes will vary, and the fruit or vegetable is probably not perfect looking. Now for the shiny part, that is wax…who want to eat that!? You won’t find that on organic produce!

So…you get it now, right!? It’s still expensive though. Well, make it your goal to eliminate as many pesticides and waxes from your produce. If you cannot go organic all the way, choose by priority. Some foods hold onto more pesticides than others. The lists below from the Environmental Working Group website (www.ewg.org) states which foods are the most and least contaminated. Start out your “organic movement” by substituting organic foods for traditionally grown foods on the “12 Most Contaminated” list.

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of why organic is good for you. Whether you are on a budget or it is not as available in your area, you can now make some more educated choices when buying your food.

12 Most Contaminated

12 Least Contaminated

Peaches

Onions

Apples

Avocados

Sweet Peppers

Sweet Corn

Celery

Pineapples

Nectarines

Mango

Strawberries

Asparagus

Cherries

Sweet Peas (frozen)

Pears

Kiwi Fruit

Grapes (imported)

Bananas

Spinach

Cabbage

Lettuce>

Broccoli

Potatoes

Papaya

Last modified on Friday, 12 February 2010 08:37
More in this category: Why Organic (Part II) »