This week we are going to talk organic...is it really better? Why is it more expensive?
What is "Organic" and what does that mean?
"Organic" -- This means the food has a minimum of 95% organic ingredients. It can also use the organic seal. “Made with organic ingredients" -- This means the food must contain at least 70% organic ingredients. These foods cannot use the seal.
Meat, eggs, poultry, and dairy labeled "organic" must come from animals that, among other things, have never received antibiotics or growth hormones. Organically raised animals are NOT given antibiotics, growth hormones or fed animal byproducts. The use of antibiotics in conventional meat production helps create antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. This means that when someone gets sick from these strains they will be less responsive to antibiotic treatment. Not feeding animal byproducts to other animals reduces the risk of mad cow disease. In addition, the animals are given more space to move around and access to the outdoors, both of which help to keep the animals healthy. The more crowded the conditions, the more likely an animal is to get sick. Organic standards for seafood have not been set yet.
Whether you choose locally grown, organic, or conventional foods, just make sure to eat your produce. The health benefits of such a diet outweigh potential risks from pesticide exposure. Government guidelines recommend eating a variety of fruits and vegetables so you can take advantage of their diverse nutritional benefits. Adults should aim for 4-5 cups of produce every day for their health-promoting, disease-preventing substances.
Our expert, Dalana Myers suggested we take a look at, Buying Organic Foods
Buying and eating organic foods are good for you and the earth! However, there is no need to break the bank trying to buy everything labeled organic. You can try just buying organic for the things you eat most or buying the items that you know you will eat the outer peel (apples, peaches, plums, etc).
Below is a list of the best produce to purchase organic:
Grapes (especially buy organic if you are pregnant or feeding them to children)
Lettuce/Spinach –USDA Pesticide Data program found 57 pesticide residues in spinach and 51 in lettuce
If you remove the tough peel on some produce, the remaining food will have less pesticide for you to ingest. Mangoes, bananas, kiwifruit, pineapple, avocados, papayas, onions, and corn are among these foods.
On a budget? Purchase your produce from a locally grown market that offers slightly cheaper prices. If you simply can’t afford the price of organic fruit in your area, consider scrubbing the skin under running water to remove of the pesticides.
Look for the USDA Organic Seal
When buying organic, look for the following USDA regulated terms on food labels:
"100% organic" -- This means the food has no synthetic ingredients and can use the organic seal.
We will discuss the effects that pesticides and growth hormones have on us!