I received quite a few email questions from readers after the Does Organic Matter? post.
There were so many great questions and a few that I thought it would be helpful to share. So, let’s dive right in!
What does Organic really mean?
Organic, whole foods (meaning unprocessed) are grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and are not genetically engineered (GMO).
The synthetic pesticides and fertilizers used in conventionally grown produce can be toxic, with numerous studies showing the link between these chemicals and developmental problems in children, and their role as carcinogens and endocrine system disrupters.
And while conventionally-grown and organic crops often contain about the same amount of nutrients, one key nutritional difference between them is their antioxidant content.
According to Dr. Joe Mercola, research has shown that organic fruits and vegetables can contain anywhere from 18% - 69% percent more antioxidants than conventionally-grown varieties, and many of these antioxidants have been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers.
So Organic has two benefits – 1) a lack of toxic chemicals that can cause disease, and 2) greater antioxidants that reduce the risk of disease. Win-Win!
Can I reduce or eliminate the pesticides by washing produce really well?
Washing certainly can remove a substantial amount of the pesticides that are present on the surfaces of fruits and vegetables.
However, it doesn’t remove all of them nor can it remove pesticides that have been incorporated into the fruits and vegetables while they were growing.
Those that top the list of the Dirty Dozen + are often those with a greater propensity for pesticides throughout the produce.
How can I tell if an item is organic or not?
At the supermarket – the answer is labeling. Most supermarket produce includes a label that that gives us the info we need, indicating if it was grown organically, with pesticides or with genetic modification.
Check the code on the sticker. If it’s four digits long, it was grown by conventional methods. If the number has five digits, beginning with an 8, it means the produce itself—or something used in the farming process—was genetically modified. And if that five-digit code starts with 9, the food is certified organic (and therefore GMO- and pesticide-free).
If you shop local Farmers Markets, just Ask! One of the first things I do when I meet farmers is ask how they control for pests. If they tell me they “spray,” I appreciate their honesty and move to the next booth. I personally don’t require organic certification from my local farmers. It’s expensive and some of the farmers aren’t large enough to absorb the costs of certification. If they tell me they use organic methods, I typically ask a few questions and I’m good.
Hope you find this additional information helpful. As always, please leave a comment. I love hearing from you!
To read the full EWG report, click here.
Wishing you well,
P.S. So you know what to do, but just can’t seem to make the right choices? You’re not alone! And, I can help you figure out what’s getting in the way between you and better choices. Let’s have a chat about how coaching works and out if working together is a good fit. I offer a complimentary session and scheduling is easy with my online booking system: Schedule Now
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