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Top 5 reasons to choose organic
Ways to Save on Organic Foods
Aside from limiting your organic produce purchases to the items with the highest potential for pesticides, how else can you save money when buying organic foods?
Here are eight tips to help stretch your organic food budget:
-Buy in bulk if you can use the food or store it without spoilage.
-Clip coupons from the newspaper or online sites.
-Plan your menus using advertised specials from your grocery.
-Compare prices between fresh and frozen, dried and canned varieties of organic foods. They may be less expensive than fresh, yet equally delicious when prepared correctly.
-Shop grocery chains that feature their own organic brand.
-Buy the generic organic version in your favorite market.
-Join an organic food cooperative (you can often find listings online or in your local health food store).
-Plant a garden and grow your own organic produce, or join a community garden.
Other options for fresher food that is also kinder to the planet:
-Eat foods when they are in season, which honors the natural rhythm of the land.
-Choose less processed versions of conventional foods whenever possible.
-Eat more vegetarian meals. Organic meat can be expensive, and raising animals for meat generally takes more natural resources than growing produce.
When organic vegetables and fruits are not affordable or available, you can reduce the risk of pesticide residue on conventional fruits and vegetables with the following tips:
-Wash and scrub produce under running water (soaking is not adequate); 30 seconds significantly reduces surface residue.
-Peel skin whenever possible.
-Discard the outer leaves of leafy vegetables.
-Trim fat from meat and trim skin from poultry (pesticide residue can collect in fat).
-Eat a variety of foods from a variety of sources.
-Canned fruits and vegetables typically have lower pesticide residue; the canning process removes most toxins.
Keep in mind that whether you choose locally grown foods, organic foods, or conventional foods from your grocery story, experts agree that the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables far outweighs the potential risks from pesticide exposure.
Stone fruit like peaches and nectarines have the highest pesticide concentration in its conventionally grown form according to the Environmental Working Group. Over 90 percent of these fruits tested had pesticides on them, and 86 percent of the peaches the group tested had two or more pesticides on them. In the past, the FDA has cited the peach industry for illegal pesticide use. Because stone fruit is hard to scrub, it is a must on your organic grocery list.
Strawberries, the delicious summer bounty, if grown conventionally, are laden with pesticides. Almost 80 percent of the strawberries grown in the U.S. come from California, and, according to the Pesticide Action Network (PANNA), strawberries are the most densely-sprayed California crop. In 2006, the Network reported 9,222,870 pounds of a wide variety of pesticides were sprayed on strawberry crops. Because the fruit is porous and delicate to wash carefully, it is another important food to buy organic.
Rice is found in everything from baby food to snacks. The rice industry generates more than $1.5 billion annually in the United States. PANNA studies have found over forty pesticides used in rice production, fifteen of which are considered types that have ill effects on the human body or groundwater systems. In the last decade, the rice industry in California’s Sacramento Valley has seriously contaminated the local water system. Buying organic rice can help stem the tide.
Baby food, in its conventional form, is, of course, produced with conventional produce, which is often laden with pesticides. According to a National Academy of Sciences report, federal pesticide standards do to little to protect infants? health. Developing bodies, particularly the immune, neurological and hormonal systems, are more vulnerable to toxins and may absorb pesticides more easily.
Milk, from our mooing friends, can take a long and winding road from cow to glass. Conventional cows are often fed pesticide-laden crops including corn; as ruminants, they get sick when fed things other than grass, which they’re stomachs can properly digest. So they’re pumpep up with antibiotics, to keep them from getting ill, and are often injected with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to keep them pumping out the milk. Buying organic keeps those things out of the cows, and out of your glass. Plus, organic milk has been found to be healthier than conventional, including things like more omega 3 fatty acids.
Bananas are typically grown with one of the highest pesticide levels of all tropical crops. Herbicides, aerial spraying and other chemical methods all are utilized to make sure bananas show up in their Northern markets looking pretty. The conventional banana industry is not only bad for consumer health, banana plantation workers are renowned for being exposed to some of the worst working conditions. Workers unprotected from the array of banana pesticides have even successfully sued banana companies for their adverse effects. Buying organic keeps all these nasties at bay.
Green beans are treated with over 60 different kinds of pesticides. Often, these beans test with pesticide levels above the legal limits. Significant chemical components have even been found recently in frozen green beans from abroad.
- Studies suggest that organic food tend to contain 10-50% higher amount of phyto nutrients as compared to the conventional food.
- Reduced risk of health problems is often associated with the consumption of organic food.
- Officials from the certification bodies visit the farm or plant, where the organic food stuffs are processed, to check whether the food is produced in accordance with the production standards set by them or not. This makes the organic food advantageous over its natural counterpart.
- Since organic foods generally carry labels, you will be able to differentiate them from others and choose accordingly.
- Organic food stays longer, without decaying, than the natural food.
- Since organic foods are treated with manure, they are considered better than the natural food, which are often treated with pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers, when they are grown in farms.
-Organic food contains phenolic compounds, which protects our heart from cardiovascular diseases and reduces the risk of cancer.
-The farm animals in an organic farming are reared without the use of growth hormones. Farmers ensure that the animals are given a healthy and balanced diet. This makes such animal products tastier and healthier to eat, as compared to those produced in the conventional way.
-Fruits and vegetables grown in organic farms are found to have more antioxidants as compared to those grown by the conventional method of agriculture.