Organic Food Facts

Despite the fact that recent research into the subject of organic foods has shown that there is very little difference in the nutritional value of foods grown organically and foods grown conventionally, organic foods are still very popular among many consumers. People continue to buy organic products not because they are nutritionally superior, but because they don’t contain many of the chemical additives and pesticides used on conventionally grown produce. Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of ingesting harmful chemicals and pesticides or the damage that is caused to the environment by the commercial use of these substances.

One of the drawbacks of organic foods is that they are invariably more expensive than their conventional counterparts. This is mainly because organic farming is far more labor intensive than conventional farming methods. Organic crop yield is typically less prolific than crops grown conventionally as they don’t rely on artificial methods of boosting production such as chemicals and pesticides.

Another problem you may encounter with organic foods is that don’t keep as well as conventionally grown foods. This is because they don’t contain the usual chemicals and preservatives added to produce to increase its shelf life. Organic foods sometimes look different than non organic foods, often being smaller in size as growth enhancing substances and hormones aren’t used on them. While taste is a purely subjective factor, many people claim that organic foods taste far more delicious than conventionally grown foods.

“The Daily Green” a self described “consumer’s guide to the green revolution” lists thirteen food items that must be purchased organic because of the exceptionally high levels of chemicals and pesticides used in growing them. Leafy greens, kale, celery, carrots, apples, peaches, sweet bell peppers, nectarines, cherries, strawberries, potatoes and pears are among their list of must-buy organic produce. The website also recommends that you buy meat and dairy produce such as milk organically because of the large volume of antibiotics and hormones administered to meat and dairy animals. The site also stresses the importance of the type of grass and fodder these animals are fed. To be truly organic, the whole meat and dairy producing process must follow organic guidelines.

“The Daily Green” provides a list of items you don’t need to buy organically as they contain minimal amounts of pesticides such as sweet potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, watermelon, papaya, eggplant, cabbage, kiwi, sweet peas, asparagus, mangos, pineapples, sweet corn, avocados and onions.

“A Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides” is an article that has been published by the Environmental Working Group to help consumers in making educated choices. It provides consumers with a list of vegetables and fruits ranked by contamination levels.

Ultimately the deciding factor on whether to buy organic foods or not should be your budget. The best and cheapest way to buy organic produce is to buy a food when it is in season. Buying out of season will invariably result in a heftier price tag so you can save a substantial amount of money choosing only vegetables and fruits that are in season. Stocking up on organic items when they are on sale is another good money saving strategy, but remember that organic fruits and vegetables don’t keep as long as conventionally produced products. If, however, you find a good deal on organic meat, you can save money by stocking up and freezing it.

While organic products are definitely the healthier choice, sometimes it just isn’t economically feasible to buy organic, you will have to weigh between budgetary considerations and the health and well-being of your family when making a decision.

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