The buzz about organic food is anything but new. The term organic cultivated in the 1960’s but food free of pesticides, additives and preservatives is the oldest form of food known to man.
I grew up relating the term organic to ‘hippies,’ or back then the more popular term ‘tree-huggers’, people who were viewed to be a bit out of touch. When in reality, I was out of touch. America had put a value on perfectly shaped and colored food. Organic veggies and fruits, aside from costing more, were oddly shaped and had uneven pigmentation.
With the image fad dying down and giving way to the era of health. Organic foods and products are making their way to most grocers and stores.
So what is the difference between organically grown and conventionally grown foods, other than the price? Organic food is grown without the use of herbicides and pesticides in soil that has not been recently treated with synthetic fertilizers.
This is not to say that organic foods are all free of synthetic pesticide residues. The soil where the crops are grown may not be currently using the banned products, but if they have in the past the soil will carry the residue for years and years to come. However, organic foods have, on average, one-third of the synthetic pesticide residue of conventional foods.
Medical News Today published a study showing that organic fruit and veggies contain up to 40% more antioxidants than their conventional counterparts. The 4-year study was the largest of its kind ever undertaken.
Buying all organic is not viable for many of us. There are foods that are more susceptible to carrying the harmful pesticide residue (defined in studies as pesticide load) and it is those foods that we should not waiver on when buying organic.
The top ten foods, in order of highest pesticide load, that should be organically purchased are: peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, kale, lettuce and imported grapes.
The top ten foods that you can skip putting on ‘only buy organic’ list because even conventionally grown do not carry a high pesticide load are: onions, avocados, sweet corn (frozen), pineapples, mangos, asparagus, sweet peas (frozen), kiwi, cabbage and eggplant.
For more information and to view full list of pesticide load in fruits and vegetables visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_food.