Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What is so great about organic fruits and veggies?

I know most people have seen or heard about organic foods, and the price tag that comes along with those foods. I only recently decided to start buying more organic fruits and veggies because where I live, organic foods have specials that reduce their price to be pretty darn close to the price of buying non-organic. I didn't understand why some people only bought organic until I started doing the same. The organic foods taste better, make me feel better, and don't come with all of those pesticides that most of the other foods have. If you need some convincing, I've listed some reasons for why you should buy organic. I've also listed some reasons for why organic may not be the best choice, just for arguments sake :)

Pros of Organic
1. Tastes better - Researchers at Washington State University have proven that organically grown berries tasted sweeter than non-organic. Also proven by new research is the fact that organically grown fruits have more antioxidants and less nitrates than non-organic, which mean that organic is going taste better and be better for you (http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-206). The difference is because organic foods are not treated with pesticides and therefore produce more antioxidants to keep away the pests naturally.

2. No Pesticides - Pesticides are used to kill off living creatures, and contain harmful chemicals.  Many health problems are caused by pesticides. Some of these effects include, irritation of skin and eyes, affects to the nervous system, reproductive problems including birth defects, and in some cases, cancer. These health risks are nearly eliminated when you eat organic fruits and veggies. Using no pesticides is also better for the environment (see next item) and better for the farmers themselves. When farmers handle pesticides they are guaranteeing that they will have exposure to the harmful components, and can get very sick.

3. Better for the environment - When farmers use fertilizers and pesticides on their crops, they are depositing those same chemicals into ground water. This can harm wildlife and if you drink from the tap, you can become sick. Using some fertilizers can also cause the soil to lose the nutrients needed to increase plant growth and reduce erosion. Farmers who grow organically are using less energy and ensuring that your drinking water (tap water) is safe.

Cons of Organic
1. FDA regulates pesticides in non-organically grown fruits and veggies - There are standards determined by the FDA that specify what levels of pesticides in the fruits and veggies is "ok" for consumers to be exposed to. The studies performed to determine the effects of ingesting pesticides are not in depth enough to definitively say that organic foods are healthier as a result of minimal pesticide use.

2. Too expensive - The average cost of organic food is nearly 50% more for fruits and veggies and nearly double for organic meat and dairy products. With the economy being as fragile as it is still, the price of organic is just too high for many people. Paying extra for food that has not scientifically been 100% proven to be more beneficial than non-organic food is not a wise decision.

The decision is yours on whether or not you want to buy organic food instead of non-organic. For me, a mixture of both has been working out. It doesn't break my bank and it makes me feel better (whether it's all mental or not is reserved for another discussion =P).

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