I am sure by now you know I have a huge passion in uncovering the truth about what we eat, and how it impacts us. My passion for my holistic nutrition studies is uncovering some information that I am not even sure I want to know. (what you learn, you can't unlearn)
Let's do it different today, let me give you the bottom line on this article before you even read it… we all just need to have huge gardens and only eat what we grow. End of story. That is all.
Yeah, Right! In a perfect world that is truly what your body would thrive on. We both know that that is literally never going to happen. Since we are doing our best and trying to make positive change in ourselves allow me to share some interesting facts that shed light on the whole organic/farmers market/non GMO movement.
The HEALTH benefits of eating organic: (as told by Science)
When you eat organic you aren’t fully without pesticides, but you ingest much less than you would when you eat non-organic produce. Pesticides and heavy metals are in our produce, and the FDA has deemed them safe, but that is for limited exposure. Repeated exposure causes long term harm and damages our health.
Organic food is always fresher and therefore gives you a better shot at ingesting all of the delicious, yummy and beneficial nutrients your produce has to offer. This also means that it doesn’t last as long, so don’t take your time putting it to good use.
Organic food is ALWAYS GMO free- genetically modifying anything deemed as organic is 100% prohibited, so it will always be safe when it comes to GMOs.
The BENEFITS of shopping at your local farmers market
Money stays in the local economy- they don’t spend time or money worrying about marketing and distribution- they put their time, energy, and money in their farms and plants.
Lack of transportation allows the produce to be picked when naturally ripe. Often food comes from so far away that it is picked when it is green and ripens in a truck crossing the border or the country.
It tastes better- this one is definitely one that you just need to see for yourself. Farmer’s market produce tastes better- it really does… who knows, maybe it is because you feel so good about supporting your local community and the economy that it is that much sweeter… but in actuality its just because it is fresh, healthy and SO delicious.
Often local farmers use organic methods or practices but cannot afford to be certified organic like the larger farms. Next time you are at the farmers market, just ask them! (and how incredible is it that you will have the person who grew your food right there to ask.)
Now listen, I know that buying organic may be more costly, I know that supporting your farmers market may be also. So… that’s why (just like everything else) BALANCE is so important!
15 foods that you should always try and buy organic whenever POSSIBLE:
2. Sweet bell peppers
7. Cherry tomatoes
8. Kale/collard greens
9. Summer squash
13. Spinach *This one is THE most important! (see note below)
15. Hot peppers
* According to the Environmental Working Group:
‘– Out of the 683 conventionally-grown spinach samples collected by the USDA in 2015, spinach contained far more pesticides by weight than all other crops tested.
– The tests detected an average of almost seven pesticides on every conventionally-grown spinach sample collected, with a maximum of 16 different pesticides or breakdown products on a single sample.
– 75% of the spinach samples contained residues of permethrin, a neurotoxic insecticide that is so toxic that it has been banned in Europe since 2000.
– DDT, a pesticide banned in the U.S. since the 1970s, also showed up on spinach.
Residues of DDT and its breakdown products were found on half of spinach samples. This is because DDT residues remain in the soil and are picked up by spinach grown today.’
Known as the “Clean 15”- foods that are generally low in pesticides
5. Sweet corn
12. Frozen sweet peas
13. Sweet potatoes
Full disclosure- I haven’t always been big on the organic way, the majority of the produce I’ve eaten to this point has not been organic. However, while doing my research for this article, I felt strongly that I needed to practice what I preach. I did some more research and ended up subscribing for a weekly fruit and vegetable box from a local organic farm. (pictured on the left) I can officially say I taste the organic difference. This is truly one of the best decisions I have ever made. The other thing I love about this decision is I am finding myself with vegetables that I don’t eat regularly… it is forcing me out of my comfort zone and into that creative mindset that is so important in the kitchen.
I hope that you walk away from this post with some insight on balance, and a little direction as a starting point for your plant shopping.