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Organics and Your Family's Health

 

The Benefits of Organics

Organic foods provide a variety of benefits. Some studies show that organic foods have more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, than their conventionally grown counterparts. In addition, people with allergies to foods, chemicals or preservatives often find their symptoms lessen or go away when they eat only organic foods.

Organic agriculture protects the health of people and the planet by reducing the overall exposure to toxic chemicals from synthetic pesticides that can end up in the ground, air, water and food supply. Because organic agriculture doesn’t use toxic and persistent pesticides, choosing organic products is an easy way to help protect yourself.

Organic growers use biological and cultural practices as their first line of defense against pests. Methods include crop rotation, the selection of resistant varieties, nutrient and water management, the provision of habitat for the natural enemies of pests, and release of beneficial organisms to protect crops from damage.

 

Why Should you Care About Pesticides?

Pesticides are chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides. These chemicals are widely used in conventional agriculture and residues remain on (and in) the food we eat. There is growing concern in the scientific community regarding the subtle ways in which small doses of pesticides affect people, especially during critical periods of fetal development and childhood when they can have long-lasting adverse effects. Because the toxic effects of pesticide are worrisome, not well understood or in some cases completely unstudied, shoppers would be wise to minimize exposure to pesticides whenever possible.

 

Will Washing and Peeling Help?

While washing and rinsing fresh produce may help reduce pesticides residues, it does not eliminate them. Peeling reduces exposures, but valuable nutrients exist in the peel. The best option is to wash all produce and choose organic when possible to reduce your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

These fresh fruits and vegetables are consistently the most contaminated with pesticides. Buy these organic:

  • Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Blackberries
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Green Beans
  • Green Onions (scallions)
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Summer and Winter Squash

 

10 Good Reasons to Go Organic

  1. Organic products meet stringent standards.
  2. Organic production reduces our health risks.
  3. Organic farms respect our water resources.
  4. Organic farmers build healthy soil.
  5. Organic farmers are less reliant on non-renewable fossil fuels.
  6. Organic farmers preserve diversity of plant species.
  7. Organic producers are leaders in innovative research.
  8. Organic production limits toxic and long-lasting chemicals in our environment.
  9. Many organic farms are small, independent and family run.
  10. Organic food tastes great!