I get a lot of questions from clients at RC Fitness in Houston, TX, about the benefits of eating organic. It does cost more to buy organic food and the first question is always whether it’s that much healthier to justify the cost. There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that when it comes to fresh produce, you don’t have to buy everything organic. However, the bad news is that most of the produce and other foods you buy will actually cost more and there’s a reason. The first is that it costs more to grow. There are also costs in getting certified as organic, fewer subsidies, no chemical intervention to speed growth and additional costs of getting the produce to market.
You can be assured that animal products labeled organic don’t contain hormones.
If you use animal products that were raised organically, the animals are allowed to graze and eat as they did before factory farms. They aren’t given growth hormones or antibiotics and are allowed the freedom of roaming. If they require supplemental food, it must be organic and not have any synthetic additives. All those things are important, not just because of the potential harm from antibiotics and hormones, but also because there are health benefits from free-range and grass-fed animal products. Those products contain higher amounts of healthy nutrients. For instance, the milk from grass-fed cows contain a higher amount of omega 3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid, making it heart healthy.
What does that organic label really mean?
While it’s easy to understand what organically raised produce and animal products are, what about those boxes of cereal on the shelf or that bread? If you grow organic food, your land has to be free from synthetic pesticides and fertilizer for three years before harvest. No GMOs are allowed. There can be no artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors used to create the product.
Save money with the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen list from the EWG—Environmental Working Group.
Every year the EWG tests thousands of samples of non-organic produce across the nation to check for signs of pesticides, which remain even after washing and sometimes peeling. That means the more you eat them, the more pesticide you ingest, unless you opt for organic. They create two lists. The Dirty Dozen is the top twelve foods that are high in pesticides even after washing. The Clean 15 are those fruits and vegetables that are the lowest. To save money, you can buy non-organic produce on the Clean 15 list and stick strictly to organic for the produce on the Dirty Dozen list.
- Pesticides from eating non-organic fruits and vegetables build up in the body and increase the risk of cancer, hormone disruption, brain disorders and nervous system disorders. It can lower the potential for a successful pregnancy by 26%
- Save money with the Clean 15 options onions, avocado, sweet corn, cabbage, pineapple, papaya, asparagus, eggplant, honeydew, cantaloupe, kiwis, frozen sweet peas, onions, mushrooms, broccoli and cauliflower
- Stick with organic when using fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen plus list. They include strawberries, spinach, apples, kale, nectarines, peaches, grapes, pears, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, cherries and hot peppers as the plus for 2020.
- Hot peppers were added to the list as they were found to contain neurotoxic chemicals that were hazardous when eaten frequently, particularly by children. If they’re cooked, the pesticide levels are reduced.
For more information, contact us today at Reggie C Fitness