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Organic or Conventional?

3 min read

Organic or Conventional?

I prefer to buy organic, but some people still aren't convinced regarding the expense. People I've spoken to range from entirely organic to, "I'm not sure the stuff is really organic anyway, and they still use chemicals, don't they?"

Here is the definition of organic-based as found on the site
"Simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as follows:

Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled "organic," a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too."

There are many benefits to going organic for your health and the environment. After eating conventional fruits and vegetables, children's urine tests are positive for residual pesticides. That was enough to switch my family to organic. It is a personal and financial decision. The chemicals in conventional fruits and vegetables go into your body and become part of your body. The chemicals also become part of the soil, air, and water we consume. Think about the people picking those fruits and vegetables daily and their exposure.

The problems associated with organic is you may not truly be receiving organic items, they are sometimes difficult to find, and they are more expensive. I would much rather take the chance of buying organic and receiving conventional produce than to purchase conventional produce. In my area the best place to find organic products are Fairway, Whole Foods, DeCicco & Sons, and Target. Other supermarkets offer a limited selection. Now when I look at conventional fruits and vegetables I notice the white residue that I used to ignore.

If you would like to limit your organic budget to the most critical, I recommend getting the free Dirty Dozen application available for Android and Apple phones by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). It highlights the worst offending fruits and vegetables, "Dirty Dozen," leaving pesticide residues in the body and also provides the "Clean Fifteen" list of fruits and vegetables that don't really need to be purchased as organic. This way you can purchase organic apples while purchase conventional avocados. I started out using this application but have now shifting to buying all organic fruits and vegetables. In my area I frequent Fairway and Whole Foods.

EWG'S DIRTY DOZEN FOR 2023 - Buy Organic if possible

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale, Collard & Mustard Greens
  4. Peaches
  5. Pears
  6. Nectarines
  7. Apples
  8. Grapes
  9. Bell & Hot Peppers
  10. Cherries
  11. Blueberries
  12. Green Beans


EWG'S CLEAN FIFTEEN FOR 2023 - Organic not needed

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Sweet peas (frozen)
  7. Asparagus
  8. Honeydew melon
  9. Kiwi
  10. Cabbage
  11. Mushrooms
  12. Mangoes
  13. Sweet Potatoes
  14. Watermelon
  15. Carrots



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