What does organic mean? What produce is important to buy organic and what is not? Is it actually healthier? With organic produce becoming increasingly popular over the last few years, these are important questions in considering whether to purchase organic. Organic can be expensive, so understanding how to prioritize can be very helpful.
Organic produce has not been treated with pesticides or irradiation, and the fertilizer used is all-natural. All seeds have no chemicals. Since it is officially chemical free, you can be assured of having no chemicals in your fruits and vegetables.
In terms of health benefits, reviews are mixed. Some studies have shown that there is no difference in nutritional value between conventional and organic produce, while others indicate that organic produce had more nutrients (up to 60% depending on the food). Further, organic produce may be genetically modified (be sure to check labels carefully). The clearest benefit is that organic produce also prevents you from eating pesticides.
So, what are good guidelines for deciding what should you buy organic? Think of it this way: things that you peel or husk – such as corn, avocados, onions and pineapple – see fewer benefits to organic, since they expose you to fewer pesticides. However, items consumed whole – such as apples, berries, grapes, peaches and greens – typically see greater benefits be organic.
When you go to the store, I think about what has been sprayed with pesticides and whether I can peel or husk those parts away. If you are not peeling it off, buy organic. This list of the “dirty dozen” and “clean 15” can also be helpful!
These guidelines help guide how to eat healthy produce and not break the bank!