Just because something is organic doesn’t automatically make it good for you. You can buy organic cakes, biscuits, pies and fizzy drinks and whilst it is nice to know that these products have come from organic sources, they are still not good for us.
However, I do believe that when it comes to food that comes from nature (real food, clean food) choosing to buy organic is always going to be better for you. A cocktail of different chemicals are sprayed onto crops as they grow and whilst I can see that their purpose is backed up by good intentions (they allow the crops to grow the best they can without disease or pests) do I really want to be putting these chemicals into my body?
I am aware that all pesticides have had to be approved (this is what the UK officials say) and somebody somewhere has said that they are safe to be used on our food, knowing that some residue will remain and be consumed (although there have been many reports of foods containing more than the legal limit of pesticide residue). But here’s the deal, if I have a choice between purchasing food that has been sprayed with chemicals and food that has been grown without the use of chemicals, I’m obviously going to choose to purchase it without.
Crops aren’t the only things affected by pesticides either, animals are affected by them too. For example, non organic cows are often fed grains (the grains that were sprayed with the pesticides) and because that is not their natural diet (they would rather be roaming freely on green grass pastures) they get sick and so require the use of antibiotics, which we then eat during our Sunday roast… great.
I think it is really important for people to understand what happens to the food we eat. Once upon a time people grew their own food and knew exactly what was in it. Nowadays we haven’t got a clue. The more that we learn, the better informed we are to make decisions for ourselves and for our families within the budgets we have and the foods that are available to us.
My top 5 tips for choosing organic food;
- Choose organic varieties of the fruits and vegetables which would otherwise contain the highest amount of pesticide residue in your country. (See list below).
- If you are unsure of what fruits and vegetables contain the highest amount of pesticide residue then follow the general rule that if you are going to eat the skin of the fruit or vegetable then purchase organic. If you are going to peel it then choose non organic and wash it when you get it home.
- If you are going to eat beef, buy organic. (Organic cows are not pumped with hormones and antibiotics like non organic cows)
- If you are going to eat dairy from a cow, (milk, yoghurt, butter, cheese) buy full fat organic. (Organic dairy products come from cows who are free to roam on organic pastures).
- When possible, purchase organic eggs & chicken. (Some chickens in the UK are fed genetically modified food. By purchasing organic you will always be eating eggs and chickens who are fed a natural, organic, GM free diet).
– But most importantly, if you cannot make all of these changes then please don’t feel disheartened. Buy the best quality food you can afford and you will be on the right track.
The Pesticide Action Network UK reported the following results for Best and Worst Food For Pesticide Residue in the UK
The least amount of pesticide residue was found on the following;
- Star Fruit
- Exotic Fruits
- Kiwi Fruit
- Other Berries
- Corn Cobs
The most amount of pesticide residue was found on the following;
- Soft Citrus
- Beans In Pod
- Peas In Pod
- Sweet Potatoes
You can see the full report here.
But what about the cost? Organic food is slightly more expensive than non organic food and so it isn’t always possible to purchase everything organic.
For me milk, butter, cheese, yoghurts, beef and grapes are always organic. They are the foods that I choose to spend a little more money on. Eggs, apples, blueberries, sweet potatoes and chicken are also high on my list of organic priorities. I do the best I can with whatever other organic products are on offer, or wash and peel my fruit and vegetables. I hope that one day my food budget will allow me to purchase more organic foods (or even better, I hope that one day I will have the space to grow my own). I would love for all of my fruit, vegetables and meat/fish/poultry to be organic. Not only do I believe that it will be better for my health and the health of my family but because I believe that is is better for the environment and far better for the lives of the animals who are able to live as nature intended them too.
What are you thoughts on organic produce?