Tuesday, May 19, 2009

To Be or Not To Be Organic

I want to recommend an outstanding book for healthy eating; it's called "Dr. Mercola's Total Health Program" by Joseph Mercola, MD.  I was just reading from a his website www.mercola.com about organic foods.  He shows the results of a study where pesticides were found on foods in varying degrees.  The foods which soaked up and held the highest amounts of pesticides should rather be bought organic. (grown free of pesticides).  And the foods with very low pesticide traces are safer to buy conventional (non-organic)... which means they are often cheaper too.  Here's a portion of Dr. Mercola's article: 

"Of the 43 different fruit and vegetable categories tested, these 12 fruits and vegetables had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy or grow organic:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Lettuce
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Pears
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes

Conventionally-grown strawberries, in particular, were found to be highly toxic due to a poisonous blend of pesticides in a previous2007 EU study as well.

But be VERY careful as the list above is for fruits and vegetables.  Non-organic meats have far higher concentrations of pesticides than all of the fruits and vegetables.  And the highest concentration of pesticides is actually in non-organic butter.

So if you can only buy one organic food item it should be butter. Next priority would be meats and once those are addressed, you will want to focus on the fruit and vegetable list above.

Locally-grown organics are your absolute best bet, but bear in mind that many times buying locally-grown food is your best choice even if it’s grown conventionally, as the environmental impact of shipping organic produce across the globe can cancel out many its benefits. Organic farming standards are also questionable in many parts of the world.

Of the 43 different fruit and vegetable categories in the Guide to Pesticides, the following twelve foods had the lowest pesticide load when conventionally grown. Consequently, they are the safest conventionally grown crops to consume:

  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Cabbage
  • Banana
  • Kiwi
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet corn (frozen)
  • Avocado
  • Onion"
If you want to read the rest of the article, go to http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/08/12/12-foods-you-don-t-have-to-buy-organic.aspx?source=nl

Enjoy the sunshine (vitamin D)!

1 comment:

Nickname unavailable said...

That is awesome Amy! What a helpful resource. Thank you! I wonder about this all the time. Without really having proof other than the little bit I know about the chemistry of pesticides, I generally took the attitude that because many pesticides are hydrophobic or lipid-soluble, to stay away from anything that is fatty or generally concentrates lipids (eggs, milk/butter, nuts, beans/seeds) etc. Now I'm really curious whether the fruits and veggies are in these lists because the growers are more likely to use a particular pesticide with that particular crop or if there is something about the composition of the fruit/veggie that promotes such a concentrating effect. I know I'm a nerd, but this is how I think about my food.