When going organic really counts – the pantry edition
"Going organic". Its a common statement these days and we at All Organix think it's great that it has become so commonplace! But when is 'going' organic really worthwhile? In a series of blog posts we are highlighting when you should stick to organic and when you can afford (healthwise) to purchase a non-organic version. First up the Pantry Edition!
Why buy organic in the first place?
One of the main reasons we buy organic is the fact that the organic growers are prohibited from using synthetic pesticides that are detrimental to our health and wellbeing. Eliminating these from your food not only lowers the amount of toxic pesticides in your body but can also halve your levels of bisphenol A phthalates, both of which can alter your hormone levels.
And what about the environment?
Organic production assists combating climate change as products are usually produced closer to the consumer and the farming methods themselves help absorb carbon rather than release it. It is calculated that organic agriculture can bind 1,000 pounds of carbon from the atmosphere per acre. This is largely because organic production is based on building up healthy soil, which reduces water runoff and soil erosion as well as provides better habitats for animals in the surrounding areas.
Dollars versus sense
But your bank account might not thank you for doing the right thing for your health and the environment, so what do you buy when you cannot have it all? Organic foods can sometimes cost up to 40 to 50 percent more than the non-organic equivalent and unless you have an organic supermarket around the corner or have the time to visit your local farmers markets for your weekly shop, can be difficult to source. There are ways you can reduce the amount of toxins in your diet while doing the right thing for the environment and it doesn’t necessarily cost you a healthy, toxin-free arm or leg.
What foods should you always buy organic?
Some things are better organic, there is no way around that. A large amount of pesticides are used in the production of certain fruit and vegetables and no matter what you do, it is difficult to eliminate all the residue by washing or peeling. An American study showed that in more than 700 apple samples (or in simple terms whole, washed, domestic or imported fruits) up to 98 percent showed signs of up to 48 different pesticides. Peaches, nectarines, berries, grapes, cherry tomatoes and snap peas are on the list of produce showing especially high levels of pesticide residue as well.
Animal products such as meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products are another source of nasties in your diet. Since animal products tend to bioaccumulate toxins from their pesticide-laced feed, concentrating them to far higher levels than typically found in vegetables. Unlike fruits and vegetables that can be washed and peeled to reduce the residue of these toxins, the pesticides and drugs that the animals get exposed to can become incorporated into their very tissues, especially their fat. And let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to ensure a happier healthier lives to all animals great and small.
What foods you can skip
While you should know when to buy organic, it is equally important to know when you can skip it. Certain fruits and vegetables are very low in pesticide residues such as asparagus, avocados, onions, sweet corn, pineapple, mango and grapefruit.
When you are not to buying organic, try to stick to locally grown produce still, whether it is at the farmers markets, local supermarket or at the corner shop. Regional farms serving local markets can skip the harsh chemicals used to preserve the produce during the long transport.
Most of all enjoy the process
It is a hard job to navigate the jungle of food production at this time and age. Then again it can become a little bit addictive, incredibly inspiring and take you to new and wonderful places just around the corner from your house.