Five foods to purchase organic in the new year and beyond
If you are one of the countless Americans who have resolved that 2016 will be the year in which you finally begin to tighten up your diet, you have certainly been spending more time in the produce aisle at your local grocery. Here, you may have discovered that most fruits and vegetables are offered in higher-priced organic options. You may have also noticed organic labels on meats, grains, dairy products and even the cookware in which you prepare your food.
If you do not typically purchase organic foods, you may be wondering what differences make organic products so much healthier that they are worth an extra cost. To help your future decision-making, here are five foods that you should always buy organic.
According to LiveStrong.com, approximately 20 percent of all milk sold in the United States is derived from cows that have received the genetically-modified Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). This hormone stimulates the insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) hormone, which some studies associate with an increased risk of cancer. Organic milk, on the other hand, comes from cows that are fed organic food and are not subjected to the same battery of antibiotic and growth hormone treatments that other cattle receive.
The saying goes that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but a high concentration of pesticide residue on these delicious fruits may ultimately have the opposite effect. According to WhatsOnMyFood.org, the USDA Data Program found more than 47 pesticide residues on apples, six of which are considered known or probable carcinogens and five of which are considered neurotoxins. Thiabendazole, a probable carcinogen and known developmental or reproductive toxin, was found on 81 percent of all apples tested by the USDA. As organic apples are not treated with pesticides, there are no such residues to be found.
These green vegetables are great in salads and ideal for making homemade tzatziki sauce for gyros—never mind that they are rich in vitamin A, vitamin K and potassium. However, the USDA Pesticide Data Program also finds that they are home to as much as 86 pesticide residues, including endosulfan, an organochlorine insecticide that has been banned or phased out in more than 80 countries. While a number of these chemical traces will be removed by simply peeling off the skin, organic cucumbers should always be considered in lieu of regular cucumbers.
The reasons for choosing organic beef, pork and poultry are similar to the reasons for choosing organic byproducts. Cows, chickens and pigs among other animals are treated with growth hormones and antibiotics and eat foods containing herbicides and GMOs. The presence of these additives in meat can lead to an increased risk of cancer, and the heavy intake of antibiotics can lead to the creation of resistant bacteria, meaning that the higher price of organic meats is well worth it. Certified organic meat must be grain-fed, cannot be fed meat byproducts, and must be descended from a mother that was only given organic feed during the formative stages of pregnancy.
The soil in which potatoes are grown is typically treated with heavy fungicides in order to prevent blight, and potato vines are also treated with pesticides that include neurotoxins, carcinogens and hormone disruptors. Organic potatoes are considerably more expensive than the alternative, but the lack of any additives more than makes up for it. Sweet potatoes are considered cleaner than regular potatoes, but they are also not additive-free unless they are purchased in organic form.
Buying more organic products will result in a higher grocery bill, but it will likely result in a cleaner bill of health and a better sense of well-being. Buying these products organic every time will help keep your body cleaner and have a positive impact on your health moving forward.Used with Permission. Published by IMN Bank Adviser Includes copyrighted material of IMakeNews, Inc. and its suppliers.