Monday, August 11, 2008

The Truth About Organic Foods

Is it really worthwhile to spend extra money on organic foods? Are organic foods really better for you than conventionally grown foods?

Studies answer yes to both of these questions. Organic foods, or those grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers, really do contain more nutrients. More than 40 studies published in the past seven years have all found that the average levels of more than a dozen nutrients are 25% higher in organic produce, according to Prevention Magazine's September issue.

Other important tidbits on organic foods:
  • This is only on rats, mind you, but those fed an all organic diet were calmer, slept better, had less body fat and stronger immune systems.
  • A study done on children by the EPA measured pesticide levels in children's urine. After 5 days on an all organic diet, pesticide levels fell to undetectable range.
  • Eating conventional produce exposes you to dozens of chemicals and toxins on a daily basis.

Worst foods for chemical contamination, even after washing:

  • peaches
  • apples,
  • bell peppers
  • celery
  • nectarines
  • strawberries
  • cherries
  • pears
  • grapes (Imported)
  • spinach
  • lettuce
  • potatoes

So if you can't eat an all organic diet, at least try to eat these as organic foods.

Is organic milk worth the extra dollars spent? Studies say yes. Organic milk contains 75% more beta-carotine, 50% more vitamin e, 70% more omega 3 fatty acids.

Organic meat contains no growth hormones or antibiotics and has 28% more omega-3 fatty acids.

Also according to the Prevention article, (sadly) organic "junk food" is really not much better for you than conventional junk food - plus it's A LOT more costly. It's probably best to save your organic dollars for fruits and veggies, dairy products and meat.

Our family made the switch to organic foods and organic skin and body products some time ago. I belong to an organic food coop where I get a huge bin of fruits and veggies in season every other week and I buy organic meat from another coop once a month. My organic skin care products come from Miessence and Uri Life, which also sells organic cleaning products.

For me, it makes sense to limit our exposure to toxic chemicals, whether they come from food, water or products we use around the home.

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