Monday, July 12, 2010

Organic Choices That Are Worth The Money

I know how important your families heath is to you and I know how much time it takes to stay on top of new information and good practices. The foods that we consume can make such a difference in how we feel.  

Organic fruits and vegetables can be expensive and I pick and choose the ones I buy. The big factor that influences my decision about buying organic produce is the level of pesticides used in their production.

Organic produce contains fewer pesticides. Pesticides are a problem because:

*Pesticides can accumulate in your system. Most of us have been exposed to pesticides for so long that our bodies have stored up chemicals that can strain a weak immune system and lead to health problems such as headaches and birth defects.

*Exposure to pesticides at an early age can cause developmental delays, behavioral disorders, and motor dysfunction. Not surprisingly, children and fetuses are most vulnerable to pesticide exposure because their bodies (particularly their immune systems) and brains are still developing.

*Pesticides put strain on already taxed organs so pregnant women are more vulnerable. Pesticides can be passed from mother to child in the womb, as well as through breast milk.

The following foods are considered to be the "dirty dozen" according to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that analyzes the results of government pesticide testing in the U.S. so, try to buy organic.

*sweet bell peppers
*imported grapes
 (rated THE WORST)
*spinach and potatoes did not do well either

The following non-organic fruits and vegetables have low pesticide levels because most have thicker skin or peel which protects them better from pests, and means that farmers do not need to use many pesticides.

*Avocado (both onion and avocado were rated lowest in pesticides)
*Peas (sweet)

When you are shopping, remember 2 facts.

1. "Natural" does not equal organic. "Natural" is an unregulated term that is applied carelessly to market products. Only the "USDA Organic" label indicates that a food is certified organic.

2. Organic doesn’t equal healthy. Junk food can just as easily be made using organic ingredients. These products are usually still very high in sugar, salt, fat or calories.


  1. The pesticides in/on foods are a small part of the problem for children, especially those at risk. The air is not healthy in many places where people live, and may reverse the good done by eating carefully. If you want to raise healthy children, get out of the city and out of the suburbs. In the Internet age, many jobs can be done from home, and home-grown fruits and vegetables don't need a fancy sticker for you to know they are good for your child. Far too many of the foods that are likely to have pesticides are the very goods that children should be eating. Feeding your child too heavily from the foods at the bottom are not going to be healthy from a vitamin and mineral point of view.
    If you want to raise healthy children, move to where the healthy children are grown - in small towns and the countryside, far away from the Interstates.

  2. My friend Betsy Hicks, author of Picky Eating Solutions, has a lovely quote which (paraphrased) goes something like this..."It isn't that organic food is so expensive, it is that crap food is so cheap."

  3. Thanks Michelle, cute comment.