Eating organic can seem like a daunting task. It’s hard to go more than an hour without hearing about why you should eat organic, but the real question is how? Where is the best place to get organic food? Do you need to visit multiple stores to get anything you need? Are there only certain foods that are important to buy organic or should it be everything? What does GMO mean? You’re in luck because we are going to demystify the whole organic thing for you and by the time you’re done reading you will be a pro!
As of today, there is no conclusive evidence that eating organic food is better for you. On the other hand, basic common sense says that ingesting food that is processed, covered in pesticides, and full of other chemicals can’t be healthy. The conventional wisdom is as follows – there is a dirty dozen. Dirty dozen? Not the movie from 1967. This is list compiled by Dr. Andrew Weil and the Environmental Working Group. This is a list of twelve foods that you should always buy from the organic section:
- Sweet bell peppers
- Nectarines (imported)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Snap peas (imported)
If you prefer to buy everything organic, that is great. However, for people who are on a budget or are just interested in giving it a try, stick to that list and you won’t go wrong. The reason why these fruits and veggies are on the list is because they have the highest pesticide loads. This means they retain the highest levels of pesticides.
Finding organic food has never been easier. Every grocery store in America nowadays has an organic section full of delicious organic fruits and veggies. They should also have a large selection of organic meat and dairy products. In addition to pesticides, conventional meat and dairy products can contain hormones and antibiotics. Eating the organic versions of these products will make sure you are not ingesting these potentially harmful chemicals.
Another great source of organic products is local farmer’s markets. Nearly every city has a farmer’s market. Some are year-round and others are only during certain times of the year. This can be a great source of delicious organic meats, fruits, veggies, and other food. Also, the prices are usually better than grocery stores. A great way to save money is to buy local and in bulk. Freeze anything you won’t use straight away and enjoy it all year round. Depending on your area, you will find the best places for organic fruit, veggies, meat, and other products. Sometimes certain stores consistently have better deals than others. You will find out how to play the system and save the most money.
One of the biggest controversies in food science today is GMO, or genetically modified organisms. Along with pesticides and animal hormones, there is no conclusive evidence either way, but consider this – the European Union has required all GMO food to be labeled so consumers can be informed about the food they eat. In the United States there are no federal laws about GMO foods, but some states, like California have laws that require GMO foods to be labeled. Currently the most common GMO foods are corn, soybeans, canola oil, and cottonseed oil. While most states do not have laws requiring GMO foods to be labeled, it is easy to find food that is labeled as non-GMO. When possible, buying these products can prove beneficial to long-term health. Some studies have linked GMO foods to sterility, birth defects, and other health problems. These studies may seem extreme, so it’s up to you as the consumer to make an informed decision and do what’s right.