Two questions I hear on a regular basis and so it’s time to address them. First, let’s define “organic.” Organic foods can only be labeled by the USDA as such if they meet the following requirements:
- Organic farms practice sustainable farming methods that enhance ecological harmony…meaning these farms are good for the earth!
- Organic farms do not use antibiotics, growth hormones, conventional pesticides, or fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients like sewage sludge.
- Organic farms do not use GMO’s (genetically modified organisms).
So how important is it to spend the extra money on organic produce and meat/poultry? Absolutely VITAL! It will keep you and your family safe from toxic chemicals and GMO’s.
One complaint I hear often is that organic foods are more expensive than conventionally grown foods. This is because organic farms require more effort and labor, so the price of the organic foods will be higher than the price of conventional foods. Plus, getting certified as USDA organic is quite expensive, so again, this adds onto the cost at the consumer’s end. But in my opinion, it it’s worth it! Pay higher prices for quality food now, or pay medical bills later!
What is the dirty dozen?
The Dirty dozen is a list of the 12 foods that are most heavily sprayed with poisonous herbicides and pesticides. This list is published and updated by the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization that fights for our rights to a healthy food supply. The Dirty Dozen is a great place to start buying organic produce. Since these foods are so contaminated, you will reduce your toxic load significantly by switching over to the organic versions. The EWG also has a list of the Clean Fifteen, the produce that is least toxic and is considered safe to consume the conventional, inorganic versions.
In conclusion, organic produce and meat/poultry are worth the extra money, but if you are concerned with costs, start by purchasing the organic versions of the Dirty Dozen to get you started. Your body will thank you!