Did you know that the average non-organic fruit or vegetable can contain more than 20 pesticides? Now that’s a lot of additional chemicals your immune system needs to process before you’ve even received the benefits of eating nutritious and wholesome fruits and vegetables alone. Those extra pesky pesticides can develop into toxins in your body and unless you detoxify they can build up and cause problems in many different areas.
If you’re wondering why should I eat organic? There are a multitude of advantageous reasons to choose organic over non-organic produce. When you look at it closely, chemically-free, naturally grown foods are consequently healthier for you as they do not contain a host of additives, synthetic chemicals either in the soil or sprayed on the plant, preservatives, heavy metal residues like aluminum, cadmium, mercury and lead, toxic chemicals, antibiotics that can cause allergic reactions in some people and hormones that can wreak havoc with our immune and metabolic systems.
In a perfect world we would all be eating organic all of the time but there are obvious constraints to this such as pricing and availability of organic produce that make us wonder about whether the benefits outweigh the initial apprehensions.
Firstly when it comes to cost although you may think that buying organic food might seem more expensive than purchasing non-organic foods, in actual fact there are hidden costs such as government subsidies and levies which are borne by us, the taxpayers! Other hidden costs that you may not be aware of include pesticide regulation and testing, the costs that are associated with hazardous waste disposal and cleanup, and the cost to our planet in the way of environmental damage. If you add it up in the long run you will be saving money buying organic.
The good news is that over the last couple of years we have seen a dramatic increase in the availability of organic food and it can now be found in more mainstream areas and not limited to health food stores. Organics have sprung up in major supermarkets and chain stores across the country and are far more accessible.
Visiting a local farmer’s market is one of the best ways to support your local community and reduce your carbon footprint. You’ll be able to buy fresh foods in bulk and you’ll be eating food that is free from harmful pesticides and chemicals that affect your health in a negative way. By choosing organic foods, you are not only helping your local community but also by eating organic you will be building up your immunity at cellular level, increasing vitality and strength and promoting recovery from chronic conditions.
Chemicals that are used in soil may give plants an instant lift but as quickly as they have been delivered they leave the soil depleted and impoverished so more chemicals are needed to bring it back to life, it really is a vicious cycle. The problem with chemicals in farming is that they wear out our soils and deplete them of minerals. And the bad news for us is that these harmful chemicals are transferred into the cells of our foods and then to the waiting plates on our dinner tables. Remember if you are consuming dairy, meat and farmed produce then you’re also eating the chemicals, drugs and growth hormones given to the animals.
Commercial fertilizers contain nitrates which destroy the vitamin C content of plants therefore reducing their nutritional value. These nitrates also affect our bodies causing illness and allergies in some people and when you think about it any toxic substance that enters your body is going to affect the liver. The EPA released figures which show that 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides and 30% of all insecticides are carcinogenic. If you look at it organically, pesticides are poisons designed to kill living organisms so in that case they must cause harm to humans, this can happen by way of increased diseases such as cancer, in addition to birth defects, nerve damage and genetic mutations.
Organic farming begins with the nourishment of the soil, in turn transferring nutrients from the soil into the plant. There is evidence now that food plants which are grown with chemical fertilizers contain less protein and minerals and many more carbohydrates than foods grown without chemicals. Organically grown food is richer in vitamins and minerals and retains the levels of nutrients for a longer time. The wonderful thing about organic farming is that pollutants and nitrogens are not leached from the soil into our water supply, so cannot be polluting our drinking water.
Organic farmers leave the fruit to ripen on the vine which therefore allows the development of natural minerals in the produce. On the flipside, unfortunately commercial growers tend to pick fruits and vegetables before they are fully ripe so that they can get it to the sellers in good condition and the produce has not had time to develop its full taste and nutrient value, so the product is far less superior.
If you have chosen to eat organic but cannot afford to buy everything organic then there are some better choices you can make when deciding upon which fruits and vegetables have the least amount of pesticides and chemicals. The Environmental Working Group has come up with a list of the 12 worst offenders when it comes to fruits and vegetables containing the most amounts of chemicals. If you are choosing to buy organic then the following would be the best choices as they contain the highest amounts of chemicals:
The Dirty Dozen
If you’re still unsure whether to buy organic maybe consider that organic food has a higher percentage of nutrients, natural vitamins and minerals in their natural, form which are easily absorbed into the body and delivered at cellular level helping to enhance optimum health. They taste better, richer and more delicious and the quality is at a much higher level. You don’t need to add exotic irradiated spices and processed sauces to make them palatable they taste great just on their own. The whole family can enjoy organic food without the worry, from babies to adults, so before you bite into that chemically laden nectarine maybe try an organic one first and see the difference in flavour and taste.