Fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients. They contain vital vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, all of which give the old phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” a ring of truth. But if you’re eating conventionally grown apples, you are consuming up to 25 different chemicals along with those nutrients, even if you thoroughly washed the apple.
Farmers began using chemical pesticides and fertilizers with great intentions. These chemicals allow them to grow more produce, protect their crop from mold and disease and even to extend the shelf life, allowing you to enjoy fresh tomatoes in January in Alaska. Unfortunately, these compounds are not so good for your body. You can avoid them by eating organic.
Organic produce is grown and shipped without the use of harmful chemicals or sewage sludge. Starting an organic diet will help you stay healthy. Enjoy these health benefits of eating organic produce:
Eating Organic Provides More Nutrition
Studies show that eating organic is a great way to get more essential vitamins and minerals in your diet. Produce takes up nutrients from the soil, so the health of the soil is a big determinant of the nutrient quality of the plant. Conventional farming damages soil, leaving it depleted of trace minerals and important nutrients, while organic farming focuses on building healthy soil which can support farming without the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
Eating Organic Helps Avoid Poisonous Pesticides and Herbicides
These compounds are toxins. They kill insects and other plants. The vast majority of commercial pesticides and herbicides are neurotoxins, which build up in your system and can cause damage to your nervous system over time. Eating organic is the easiest way to reduce your exposure to these poisonous toxins.
Organic Produce is GMO Free
Despite the wide-spread use of genetically modified organisms, scientists still don’t know much about them. We aren’t certain how GMOs might affect human health in the future. Until we do, avoid them by eating organic. It is known that GMOs can cause damage to the environment by destroying native plant and animal populations and through harmful interbreeding which destroys indigenous species.
Eating Organic on a Budget
Buying all your produce organic can be a budget breaker. Fortunately researchers at the Environmental Working Group have investigated which common grocery store fruits and veggies have the most pesticide residues. They’ve created a simple guide to eating organic that will help you decide which foods you should buy organic.
Eating Organic: The Dirty Dozen
Which foods should you buy organic? Items on this list have lots of chemical residues. Get the most health benefits out of eating organic by purchasing these only organic.
- Sweet Bell Peppers
Eating Organic: The Clean Fifteen
These items have very little chemical residue by the time they arrive at the grocery store. You can buy the conventional option and save your eating organic budget for the dirty dozen.
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas
- Sweet Potatoes
Your Guide to Organic Gardening
Learn more about the health benefits of eating organic.