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The Benefits of Choosing Organic

The Benefits of Choosing Organic

What does “organic” mean?

The term “organic” refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. Organic crops must be grown without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers, or bioengineered genes (GMOs).

The main benefits of choosing organic produce:

Organic produce contains fewer pesticides. Chemicals such as synthetic fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides are widely used in conventional agriculture and residues remain on (and in) the food we eat.

Organic food is often fresher because it doesn’t contain preservatives that make it last longer. Therefore, most organic produce is produced nearer to where it is sold.

Organic farming tends to be better for the environment. Organic farming practices may reduce pollution, conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy.

Organic produce can be richer in certain nutrients. Reviews of multiple studies show that organic varieties of many produce provide significantly greater levels of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus than non-organic varieties of the same foods. While being higher in these nutrients, they are also significantly lower in nitrates and pesticide residues.

Organic food is GMO-free. This means that the DNA has not been genetically engineered (GE) in ways that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

Which foods should you try to buy organic?

Despite the above benefits, buying organic produce is often more expensive. Therefore, the Environmental Working Group has put a list together of the produce with the highest pesticide levels. If budget allows, the Environmental Working Group recommend buying the following produce above organic where possible:

  • Apples

  • Sweet Bell Peppers

  • Cucumbers

  • Celery

  • Potatoes

  • Grapes

  • Cherry Tomatoes

  • Kale/Collard Greens

  • Summer Squash

  • Nectarines (imported)

  • Peaches

  • Spinach

  • Strawberries

  • Hot Peppers

For more information, visit: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/organic-foods.htm

Sources: Help Guide & PubMed.Gov.

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