There can be advantages to eating organic foods, but there are also many variables like soil quality and how far the food is shipped that factor into the equation as well. Some studies have shown higher nutrient content in organic foods. More relevant to this conversation, though, are the chemicals used in conventional agriculture. Our bodies have evolved to recognize, break down, and process elements found in nature. It is estimated that there are 2,000 new chemicals made every single year now. When blood and urine samples are assessed for chemicals in the human body, there is evidence of plastics, flame retardants, pesticides, heavy metals, and PCBs that are being stored because we can't get them all out. Even more alarming, is that chemical levels are higher in children than adults, due to exposure levels and accumulation across generations.
We don't fully know what all of this means yet, synthetic chemicals are relatively new to human civilization. We do recognize that chemical load and toxic burden on our bodies seem to be disrupting our hormones, increasing rates of obesity, and impacting our nervous systems.
As you know, I don't share this information to be pessimistic but I do want you to think about what you are putting into your body. There are ways you can reduce your exposure to chemicals, and choosing organic foods is one of them. The best way to do this, without breaking the bank, is to avoid the foods with the most pesticide residue - the DIRTY DOZEN.
There is also a list of foods with the least pesticide residues, the CLEAN FIFTEEN, which you can more confidently select from the conventional produce section if you choose.
Each year the Environmental Working Group establishes a new list, so it's important to take a look every spring. Or even better, think about putting in your own veggie garden or visiting the Farmer's Market this year- so delicious!
11. Sweet bell peppers
THE CLEAN FIFTEEN
1. Sweet corn*
6. Sweet peas (frozen)
11. Honeydew melon
*some of these seeds are from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) unless they are organic